Adventures in Letter Writing No. 63: Happy Talk

Lockdown. If I never hear that word again I think it would be too soon but I guess, not wishing to sound like a know-it-all, deadly viruses are pretty much a long haul affair aren’t they, and there still feels quite a way through the woods yet. I mean, I’m no expert but I would’ve thought there’s no quick fix to a pandemic. But that wasn’t the reason for writing, it was just I was thinking in these trying times don’t we all need a little pipe-dream to keep us going, to give us something to look forward to once the world returns to some sort of normality (whenever that might be)?

I appreciate in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs taking The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society to some local festivals this summer was maybe nearer “self actualisation” than “physiological needs” but in fact I was pleasantly surprised that it did fit into “love and belonging” which is in the middle, and that was always the feeling I was left with whenever we spent a weekend letter writing with festival goers.

And I totally understand the reasoning for cancelling them all. I wasn’t sure I was happy to partake if it came to it this year anyway, but it got me wondering if dreaming about future plans and schemes and dreams gave me that much needed hope, and well, while out on a lonesome walk yesterday, I decided writing about that little pipe-dream would do exactly that. I’ve no idea if it’s at all feasible but I love the thought of it. Funny too, but I think I told Sir Tom Jones in a letter recently that if I was a stick of rock I’d have “Romantic” written through me (that’ll make more sense when you read what the dream is).

So anyway, here it is. My little dream for happier times… A quirky signwritten and eye-catching vehicle with a vintage theme much like the old Post Bus with the yellow top as found in The Postal Museum. Long summer days touring village greens and coastal towns where I’m allowed to pitch up with said vehicle and gazebo, table and chairs, maybe some bunting, and lots and lots of free stationery so that people can call in and write a letter or a postcard to someone special. We could even be a part of village fetes if the organisers wanted us. We’d spend the days chatting to all sorts of people about the wonder of letter writing and hear all their postal adventures and stories of treasured letters from past loves, or current loves, or long-gone Grandparents, or people they’ve met over the years. We’d have a stash of postage stamps too that people could purchase if they didn’t have any and at the end of the day we’d seek out the local pretty postbox to post everyone’s letters. We’d have a stove to make cups of tea throughout the day, and a sandwich or two (and cake) to keep us going. After we’d packed up we’d go and find a B&B and relax, as well as pore over the road map to find our next destination for the following day.

I realise it’s just the bones of a plan; just a little daydream really but I’m good at those. I keep forgetting to do the Lottery, but it’s either that or a rich benefactor that’s going to be needed I reckon. I don’t even know if there are any of those Post Buses available to buy any more, and we’d probably need to factor in the cost of a mechanic as well.

And my really ambitious plan, and great telly potential (well I think so!) is that we could meet some famous folk along the way and hear their tales of letter writing and get them to write an “open letter” (as in it’s OK for everyone to read it) that could then be auctioned off for a good cause. Just gentle television, sort of like Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it.

So yes, pipe-dreams. Have some, however ridiculous. They are really good for the soul and you know what they say, “You got to have a dream, If you don’t have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?


Summer 2019
Back Garden and Letter Writing Shed, Swanage
Drayton Village Green, Oxfordshire
Leeson House Field Studies Centre, Langton Matravers

5 thoughts on “Adventures in Letter Writing No. 63: Happy Talk

  1. Ann Marie Hodkinson says:

    That is a beautiful dream and I hope one day it comes true. I’ll have to think one up too. Just realised I already have one. I would love a little cottage industry in our village. It would be a few shops together and they would all be craft shops and maybe your van could visit us at least once a week or more. We would have a craft supply shop, a florist, an art shop where we could have classes and exhibitions, a sewing shop with room for classes. I would call it the cottage industry or crafty inspiration. We would have everything we need under one big roof and the rooms would be decorated and spectacular. I enjoyed that dream. Now for the lottery!!!

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