A few days ago, in amongst my Christmas cards, I received a handwritten letter from an old friend. A decade or two ago this wouldn't have been an unusual occurrence, but I really appreciated the fact that my friend had taken the time to put pen to paper to share her news and tell me what she and her family have been up to for the past twelve months, because in the few short years since the advent of email and social media, the centuries old art of letter writing has all but died out.
In my teens and early twenties I was a prolific letter writer. My letters to friends and family weren't so much news updates as musings of self discovery. Frequently many pages long, they were written in an elegant free flowing script as my thoughts unleashed themselves and took shape. When it comes to handwriting, practice it seems definitely does make perfect. These days I rarely write anything longer than a shopping list longhand, and my handwriting has deteriorated to a careless hurried scrawl.
On the very same day that the letter from my friend arrived I also received a prettily wrapped package in the post containing a beautiful Sonnet fountain pen from Parker. I started thinking about how different my approach to writing is now that my journey towards crafting almost any written communication nearly always begins on a screen rather than with pen and paper. So for this my final post of the year I decided to step away from my computer screen and write longhand instead.