Last weekend was the end of an era. My parents gave up the keys to their farm – on which I spent my whole childhood getting muddy, learning how to look after new lambs, exploring for hours on end the fields, barns and woodland. While walking from empty shed to open field in a methodical tribute to the place, I came across my name written in the ground.
I can’t remember writing this – but this proves. I was there, I existed, a four year old making her mark in the wet cement. What story would a graphologist draw from this writing? Definite capitals letters spelling certainty, a child asserting her identity? For handwriting is a most personal thing, and it can make someone’s day in the form of a scribbled note on the fridge or a long letter, words tumbling from pen to page straight from the heart or mind. I now have several friends I communicate with more through letters than modern technology. A postcard from Borneo, a printed card and a recipe arrived for me in the last fortnight – you get out of correspondence what you put in. Why not send a letter or a postcard today? Receiving a piece of hand crafted post is always a delight, against the cold bills, forms and junk mail that flood the hallway. Send something, and you’ll more than likely receive something in return.
This is an idea you might like to try. My friend Alex and I are having a little conversation through the post through swapping recipes. So far they’ve been written in small, handmade books: below is what I’ll be sending off tomorrow. A recipe for delicious orange cake in a circular stitched pamphlet. It’s a simple book to make using a three hole pamphlet stitch. There’s also a postcard to go with it, a brief hello, hurrah and how are you to make contact… You could swap crafts, pictures, recommendations, tips, advice, maps, stories – collaboration and correspondence often conjure some brilliant ideas!