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LBC Friday Post - Pen Pals

So it's Friday again, and time for a bit of joint blogging with the members of the LBC blogging group.  At the height of our glory, we had a dozen or so members contributing.  Nowadays, our membership has rather diminished as our paths have evolved, diversified and changed.  I'm very reluctant to let things go, though and tend to hang on to the bitter end.  So here's my post for this week, PEN PALS, the topic suggested by my extremely handsome and erudite rakhi brother from Pune in western India,  Ramana aka Rummuser.

When I was very young, perhaps seven years old, I started up a correspondence with my cousin Veronica who lived in Scotland. Well, the starting up was mutual.  We exchanged letters throughout our childhood and teens and discussed all the sort of things that young girls would discuss, i.e. studies, friends, etc.  Well, now, as to boyfriends, I didn't have much to contribute there.  I had no breathless teenage romances to discuss.  Oh, I had an odd crush here and there, but nothing you could put a name on.  Veronica, being an auburn haired Scots Irish beauty, probably had many more admirers than I had.  But we were good Catholic girls so anyone coming here looking for juicy details will get short shrift.  Veronica and I knew the rules all right.  Mass every Sunday. Confession every weekend (Veronica was better at that than I was) and absolutely no 'getting up to anything' until one was pretty much married.  So no spicy details via letter hurtled back and forth between Strathclyde and Dublin.

Through letter writing, I learnt that I loved writing.  I used to spend hours writing about different things that had happened to me.  While Veronica was terrific at keeping up her end of the correspondence, I often found myself hungry for more details.  Eventually, I realized that I actually loved writing. I could go on and on doing it for hours on end.  That doesn't mean, of course, that the writing was any good.  But I enjoyed myself all the same.  I've had a few short stories published, written a few novels and hope to have a book out sometime.  Not that that's likely to happen anytime soon.  But I digress.....

One of the girls in my class had a Swedish penfriend.  The Swede had a typically Swedish name, like Bjorn Johanssen or something like that.  She met him when she was in Sweden with her Irish dancing group.  Now that was impressive.  I longed to have correspondence with people all over the world, who knew a variety of languages and belonged to a myriad of cultures.

Strangely enough, thanks to the internet, my dream has come true.  I have lots of international friends now, many of whom I've never met face to face.  There's no limit to the amount of correspondents I can have. Amazing, isn't it?  And I never use as much as a stamp.  The internet has truly brought about a revolution in people's lives.

Some people wouldn't be surprised when I tell them that Yash and I sustained our relationship for seven years prior to our marriage mostly by correspondence.  After all, isn't there email, Skype and Google?  You can speak face to face with someone no matter where they are.  They find it rather difficult to believe, however,  when I tell them that we used snail mail and that Yash was a terrible correspondent.   His letters were certainly few and far between, although, as far as I was concerned, they were worth their weight in gold.

My thanks of course, to Rummuser for the topic.  And to for the images.  And to my LBC group (links in sidebar) for continued inspiration to write posts.


  1. Geeze - quit sucking up to Ramana - he'll get a big head. :-) Love the post and reading of your experiences.

  2. Your extremely handsome and erudite rakhi brother from Pune in western India, has developed exactly what Shackman predicted. Pity that you were not around to introduce me to girls like Veronica when I was young!

  3. The internet certainly gives easier access to people across the globe, but just as you mentioned above about snail mail interaction, one has to put in the effort to make it work.

  4. Omg, I could write for hours on this subject!
    Lovely post to read, it really rings home with me. I can well believe that you kept your relationship going by "mail", but with a bad correspondent? Difficult at best!
    My first penpal was a girl in my class- I was in boarding school and she was a day pupil, so when I went home down the country for the summer, we kept in touch by letter. I clearly recall sending and receiving 13,14,16 page letters. Irish Vellum was our notepaper of choice! And we would write really small to fit the maximum amount on a page!
    I've loads of other penpal stories, am smiling at the memory of them now!

  5. I have certainly made some wonderful friends through the internet that I have never met in person.

  6. Seven years? That must be some kind of a record, Maria.

    Wish you all the best and great success in your writing.

    blessings ~ maxi


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