Adventures in Letter Writing No. 28: I’ll get my coat

Walking. That’s a fab outdoor pursuit isn’t it. It was during a walk that I dreamt up the idea for The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society.  I’d been wondering what on earth to do with all this enthusiasm for letter writing and there it was quite literally in a flash whilst traipsing across a muddy field! To set up a society dedicated to inspiring others to put pen to paper!

I might be pushing it to claim as Friedrich Nietzsche did that “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” but I could go with Thomas Mann when he said “Thoughts come clearly while one walks”. It really is true. I don’t mean that The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society is a world shattering revelation (although I do feel it’s pretty important), I mean getting out for a walk is definitely good for the mind, body and soul (without wishing to sound pompous).  I used to love running more (hmm, I say “running”, more a jog punctuated by unattractive, sweaty, red-faced walking) but it’s hard to ponder the world when you’re challenging yourself to reach the next lamp-post in record time, so although that actually is a great way to switch off, I decided that as I wasn’t very competitive (or fit) walking was really my thing. It means that if I have company I can actually talk to them too, and solo walking helps me just to order all the chaos of everyday life, as well as get a bit of fresh air. Free therapy and exercise! It’s definitely the way to go.

But how does all this relate to letter writing? Well apart from being a place to think about what you might tell someone in a letter, at some point you’re going to have to find a post box to put your letter in.  I’ve honestly found having a letter to post has motivated me to wander down the road, no matter what the weather, of an afternoon/early evening.  I’m not sure I like most of the collections now being 9.00am. I don’t like the idea of my little letter spending nearly 24 hours waiting to be collected when I inevitably miss it.  You want to write and send it all in the same day, don’t you. I know. I realise it’s a case of “Suck it up, Buttercup!” but still.

So yes, obviously it’s really important to get out more (!?) and what better way than a brisk walk down to your local pillar box.  If you use you can even choose a different one each day.  It could be like post box orienteering.


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