A Letter For You

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Searching through some old papers recently I found a letter. I sat there wondering if anyone wrote letters anymore apart from ‘thank-you’ notes, or is it a dying art? As I pondered this question the next day on my daily school-run with the children, I realised that as little as 20 years ago we would have written a letter and sent some photos to describe a holiday we’d had, for example, or a special occasion we’d enjoyed. This in turn led to me thinking about what letter I would write to you and which pictures I would include. Would it have been something like this, I wondered?

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Dear Friend

It’s been another terribly rushed week; why do the days seem to fly by so fast? I’m longing for more time, I have so much I want to achieve but never enough hours in the day to even begin half of the things I have planned, let alone finish the others!

The weather has really taken a turn for the worse, but it is November after all; traditionally  the wettest month of the year here in the Charente Maritime, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. But this week it’s gone from dry and chilly to damp and mild. One way or another we’ve had rain virtually every day this week, interspersed with brilliant sunshine. Sometimes they’ve been really heavy downpours and at other times just a light drizzle –  enough to turn my hair frizzy and to make the dogs eye up the terrace (when we open the door and suggest they go out) with some trepidation and exhibit an air of general reluctance to leave the warmth of the kitchen.

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As you know we’ve had Hetty’s birthday this week,  which was great fun. I finally got to use the cake-stand I found at a little brocante stall beside the road last month. The cake has long since been finished but I couldn’t bear to put the stand away, out of sight; so I filled it with some of our citrus fruit and left it out proudly on display. Actually I’m not sure which I am most proud of –  the stand, or the lemons and limes, all picked from our own trees!

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The persimmons are also ripening at last, the tree always looks so incongruent, its branches quite devoid of leaves but drooping with the weight of heavy golden maturing fruit. I’m still trying to persuade all of the children that this is a fruit they should enjoy, “it’s one of the healthiest ones you can eat” I begin, but they give me ‘that’ look, the one that says they’ve heard it so many times before! But I will persevere; I admit the taste can be a little astringent at first and it takes one a little by surprise. But once you get used to it,  they are quite exquisite.

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Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, our village committee has decided to hold open-houses for apéritifs over the Christmas period; Géraldine, a stalwart of village affairs, knocked on our door a couple of days ago and asked if we would like to participate. Roddy seemed unsure at first, but I think it’s a great idea. I love the thought of anything which adds to the festive spirit. I think my excitement was infectious as he’s already come round to my way of thinking.

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Donned in wellies and raincoats we discovered a new dog-walk quite by chance. Both Bentley and Evie have had to make do with a quick half-hour around the block and a run in the garden for a while now, as we’ve been so busy. We decided a much overdue long stomp was needed and ended up in pastures completely new to us down in the Marais. There is nothing like a good hike to blow away the cobwebs and we returned refreshed and invigorated, and of course – it’s back to the routine of having to wash down the dogs when we get home, their paws and tummies are always caked in mud.

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On Friday night we had friends to supper; it was a simple kitchen meal of baked chicken with sauté potatoes, roasted peppers and shallots drizzled in olive oil,  and a good helping of broccoli and carrots on the side. I made chocolate brownies for dessert, gooey on the inside and perfect with a little vanilla ice cream.

We’re under a weather alert for this weekend; it’s our first storm warning of the autumn and the winds are forecast to be in the region of 60 – 80 kph with higher gusts. But there is always an upside to everything. With the threat of gales over our heads we spent a few hours tidying up the garden on Friday morning, putting away chairs and the remaining remnants of the summer. It was actually remarkably calm and we even had a few sightings of the sun, but it was rather timid as it played hide and seek with the clouds.

Yesterday morning we awoke to blue skies and just a gentle breeze, I am wondering if MeteoFrance got it all wrong or if the weather gods were just teasing us as is their wont. We made a last minute decision to head two and a half hours inland to Limoges for the Women’s Open Tennis World Tour semi-finals and by chance we got front row seats. The landscape changed quite dramatically and we were treated to the site of cranes flying south on their annual migration; Gigi snapped a photo out of the window as we raced along!

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Alas this morning the skies were grey and the wind was howling; I was awoken early by two sounds, the half-closed shutters rattling on their hooks for all they were worth, and Gigi giggling in her bedroom next door. Surely that should be an alarm sound – the laughter not the shutters! There’s not much colour left in the garden, everywhere has taken on a distinctly wintery feel, but then it will be December in 11 days; I really need to get organised for the holidays now, before it all becomes a mad rush!

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I’ve really enjoyed writing to you, it’s been a long time since I wrote a letter to a friend. I hope you have had a good week and are having a relaxed and happy weekend.

Lots of love Susan xx

145 thoughts on “A Letter For You

  • That’s the first time I have received a newsy letter from a friend in years, you have quite made my Sunday, thank you special lady x

  • Hi Susan – I still like to send postcards when on holiday and, as well as thank you notes, I write letters to my Mother; she is hard of hearing so talking on the phone can sometimes be difficult and she says it really brightens her day to receive something interesting in the post. I hope the art of writing letters doesn’t die out as when one comes across one that may have been written and received many years before it really does bring memories flooding back – and Adrian still has many of the love letters his father wrote his mother when he was away in the war, which, as you can imagine, are incredibly precious to him. Our supper with you on Friday was simple, but very delicious and hope there will be many more to come!xx Penny

    • I love receiving postcards, and I love that you still write to your Mother. We have an elderly relative who writes to us every month or so, the only problem is it takes us the entire month to decipher the hand writing! But oh how we love receiving the news. Adrian must treasure those letters, how precious. I really hope there will be many many more suppers and far more frequently, not every three months! xxx

  • One of my university friends always includes a letter in his xmas card to me. We’ve been writing since my final year at university when he was on a year out in Italy as part of his languages degree. Another friend usually includes his family’s annual news,etter with his card. My only remaining female friend struggles to send a card on an email on the correct date for my birthday or even xmas. Hello sweets! You can’t remember Dec 25 for a simple email?

    I did get letters from a couple of newer friends, she always included a letter with birthday/xmas cards. But then they got a computer and now he writes the eletters.

    What I think is difficult, is how we all change over the years. So the letters become a string of events, went here on five or six holidays, did this at work, the kids did that, the parents are well/failing/dead.

    As I don’t go on holiday, unless going to the finca every month counts, work sporadically from home editing/betareading books, don’t have kids, parents are dead, I have little to say in my letters to uni friends. They aren’t dog people, and the couple that have dogs bought pedigrees whereas all mine are rescues. No uni friends are vegetarian, we are. Small things but they mount up. My newer friends have more interests in common with us and we can laugh and mosn together. I’ve lost that connection with my older friends.

    So … letters? Our blogs are letters anyway aren’t they? To those who are interested. And they reply, perhaps with one comment or more. Many of the people who read my blog think it’s interesting we can score decent bits of furniture from the local rubbish bins. My old friends would keel over in shock.

    I think what I am trying to say is, why write to people who won’t be interested in the humdrum of our daily life, and have no empathy?

    • You might think they are not interested but they might love to hear news from you. And it is not because one has a pedigree vs a rescue doggie that we cannot have dogs in common. I love meat yet some of my best friends are vegetarian – that does not mean we are no longer friends.I hate to say it but you sound like a glass half empty kind of person. You should be a bit more positive in life, it is all too short. Hope you find happiness.

      • Gee thanks Nadia. Gold star for patronising condescension. I’ll return it. Unlike you, I’ve been happily married for 31 years. But like you, I’ve lived around the world. I also know when to accept something is in the past and live within those parameters. Life is indeed all too short, that’s why I spend my time on people who now matter to me and share my interests in animal welfare and not pretentious aspirations.
        Please, don’t provide any more unsolicited agony aunt advice.

      • such a beautiful blogpost seems to have caused quite a stir! Nadia I do agree with you and your advice I am sure was to be helpful, surely dog lovers are dog lovers pedigree or not? As for vegetarian vs meat lovers, who gives a sh.. anyway! Surely friends are friends and a letter received usually means the world to us, I know it does to me

      • Lisa, I do agree with you about vegetarians and meat lovers, Izzi, our eldest daughter is vegetarian and we have friends who are real carnivores loving their red meat, frequently we have dishes on our table that will suit both tastes! xx

    • I can understand what you are saying, times change and people change. But I also think that old bonds are hard to be broken. I have an old school friend that I have known since I was 6, we hadn’t seen each other for many years, nearly 20 I think, but we met up this summer, our lives may have taken very different directions, but fundamentally we were still the same, what had brought us together all those years ago remained strong. We may not see each other for another 20 years but I still consider her one of my oldest and dearest friends. I am guilty in that I don’t write to people, I started the blog as a way of showing friends our new life in France. But I do always write thank you notes and I insist the children always write them too. Hope you have had a lovely Sunday xx

  • Lovely…We want to go on the house tour and nibble our way through the area. Can you take photos of the food and decor for all of us that will not be there?

    Ali xx

    • Hi Ali, I know I am rather excited, as I understand it, there will be different houses open on different evenings over the Christmas period, maybe three or four on each evening. I don’t think I could take photos in someones home without asking them and explaining to them what I am doing, I would feel really awkward about that otherwise, so alas I won’t be able to share it, but next year, maybe you should visit later in the year, you could come on the tour with us!!! xxx

  • I never write letters, the internet has taken over. In fact my mailbox only ever contains bills, nothing exciting there. Do we need to write them any more? Shouldn’t we just go with the flow and save on postage and paper? I’m not being rude, I love your blog and I simply adored your letter, I read it twice, but isn’t this the age to accept what is and stick to e-letters just like you have done?

    • Hello Maria, I can see your point of view but I strongly feel that letter writing should be taught in schools and continued. It is a sign of the times that many children cannot spell, many are reliant on a computer for everything and few would even know how to go to a post office and buy a postage stamp. We owe it to future generations to keep this art alive. If you want to save paper then opt for e-bills but don’t wish for the end of personal letters, it would be such a great shame

      • I think we can turn this into a win win situation, by opting out of paper bills for everything, but by sticking to thank you letters, and if we teach our children to do the same they are being responsible whilst also learning the simple art of writing a letter. xx

    • A very good point Maria, I think emails are fantastic, I am a huge fan of messenger, texts, instant communication, I use all of them every single day, a lot! But I do think there are times when a letter is called for. I love thank you notes, I always write them whenever I receive a gift and the children do too, of course an email would be quicker, but I believe not the same, a letter is called for and a letter is written, of course once the children are older they can make their own choices, but I do feel at least they will know how to write a letter! hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

  • Our children all write thank you letters and when they were younger they had letter writing at school, I treasure the ones they sent, so simple and yet so sweet. I hope it never dies out

    • I tend to agree with you Amanda, I appreciate that emails and texts and messages are so quick and simple and easy but every now and then a letter is perfect and very much appreciated and as you say they are so nice to hold and read again and again and to treasure. xx

  • Dear Susan,
    What a lovely letter. Thank you. I agree wholeheartedly with you…with social media governing us in so many different venues: the “art of the letter” has literally slipped into the “clouds.”
    How lucky you are to live in such a wonderful area with a community that truly cares about each other. We’re in a little bit of an “upheaval” here in the states and your letter only proves to me that “the best of Everything” really begins with family and friends.
    So on this cold and dreary Sunday in late November I celebrate the “art of the letter” and say thank you for reaffirming a need to revisit it in our daily life.
    Also, as a “shout out” I just want to let your readers know what a truly wonderful person you are. Susan, you were one of two bloggers (Vicki Archer was the other) that I reached out to last May/June when I was looking for a place in the Nice area to stay. I will forever be grateful that you took time out of a busy schedule to respond to me: two wonderful and caring women!
    Have a Fabulous Sunday; waiting for the weather to improve to get a “good picture of to Izzi! ❤️

    • Thank you so very very much, I don’t think I really deserve such praise at all, anyone would help I am sure, but it was so very much appreciated.I think a letter every now and then is a beautiful thing, we regularly receive a letter from an elderly relative, it takes us days to decipher the hand writing but we love it just the same, every single word! Our weather today wasn’t actually too bad, very windy but mild and the rain cleared and it was fine all day, enabling us all to get outside and have a lovely long walk “en famille” with the dogs. Hope you too have had a lovely Sunday xx

  • I remember as a child being made to write letters at Christmas to thank people I never knew or had met, thanking them for a 10/- note in a card, or a book token perhaps. A whole day could be wasted scrawling worlds on lined paper while people flew kites, or drove new Dinky cars down pavements, or sat around a kitchen table eating the last of the trifle. As a result, my distaste for letters lasted a long time.

    In my teenage years I rediscovered the joys of the postal system, mainly thanks to my efforts to have girls swoon madly after me, and then later in life I realised that the letter could be a beautiful thing, a means of communication and an expression of love. For some, it was the only way to keep up with the lives and adventures of far-flung friends and relations. My mother was a prolific letter writer, and I still have some of hers, nearly always sent with a postcard or photograph enclosed. Of course, the success of letter-writing goes back many centuries, and long may it continue.

    Today I still write letters, even if the instant gratification of e-mail has completely over-shadowed the art. But then, I think there is room for both, and even though I have never conducted a courtship by e-mail, I know it can be done, ‘smileys’ and all. However, for a true sense of enduring friendship, I think there is nothing better than a fat envelope waiting by your breakfast plate, to be slit open to reveal not just words, but a picture or two, a lock of hair, or a piece of plaited ribbon. Sometimes there is a faint lingering scent of perfume too.

    This post resonates so much with me Susan, thank you. A letter of yours from France will always be welcome on my kitchen table. I shall pass yours on to my wife to read, and I know she will smile softly at the mention of perfume.

    PS: gales, you say? I have seen the odd umbrella bowling along the shingle this morning, with some poor fella in a mad rush after it. The little woodburner in the shed was roaring yesterday – I won’t even bother going in there today though. It will eat a sack of wood in about ten minutes.

    • Hi Phil, oh how I remember having to write those letters as a child too and how I didn’t want to do it. Much the same thing happens with our children, who still write their thank you letters, between Christmas and the New Year, or at least certainly before school starts again, they sit down and write to everyone who gave them gifts, it does take a little persuasion, but I think it is so important that they do it and that they learn how to write a letter properly. I have just seen pictures of the gales in the UK on the news, I hope you weren’t too affected as I know you are on the coast, but I am sure you are well used to it. Hope you stayed warm and dry and had a good Sunday xx

  • Do not accept what is. Rather hold dear to what is elegant and lovely. Love the persimmons, limes and lemons that you just go into your garden and gather. I would ripen the persimmons and make my grandmothers persimmons pudding. It reminds me of her hands in gathering and preparing the fruits from her orchard. As a child she would have me climb the tree to fetch the prettiest fruit she couldn’t reach. What memories. Thanks for the letter.

    • Love your memories Alice as I am sure you do. Our children climb the tree for the ripest persimmons, I just wish I could get them to actually like them! They do take a lot of ripening, nearly always indoors as it gets too cold too quickly for them to ripen on the tree. Hope you have had a lovely Sunday xx

  • It is a beautiful art that hopefully will never be lost. The joy of finding and reading an old letter is priceless.
    What a wonderful idea of your commune to hold apéro open houses. I am going to mention it to our mayor.

    • I love looking through the old letters my grandparents wrote and also I have several my mother wrote to her parents when she was away at school. The children are all fascinated by these letters and every now and then we get the old leather suitcase they are stored in out and go through them, this is what prompted the post and also everyone’s handwriting was always so beautiful. I love the idea of apéro open houses, a great way for villagers to get together and for people to meet others they don’t know who probably live within a few hundred yards of them. I hope your Mayor likes the idea, it has never happened here before but I think it will be a great addition to the festive season. xx

  • What a lovely letter! The idea of the open house Christmas drinks sounds so fascinating and festive. Will every house serve certain things?

    • Hi Lily, thanks so much. I am not sure quite how it will work, I would imagine each house can serve exactly what they personally choose, I understand the idea is that it will be over several evenings and each night there will be about 3 or 4 open houses. I think it sounds like great fun and a lovely way for people to get together. xx

    • Thanks so much Penny, I still write thank you letters and the children do the same always whenever they receive gifts. Much though I love email and the speed of texts and messenger etc., I do think a hand written note is far more heartfelt. Hope you are enjoying your new home. xx

  • Dear Susan, thank-you so much for your lovely ‘letter & photos’, received this morning, it quite made my day. xx

    • Thanks so much Petrina, hope you didn’t get too badly hit by the gales, it ended up being quite a nice day here, the rain went away and it was very mild, a keen wind but that was about all, much better than the forecast predicted! Hope you have had a good weekend and a lovely Sunday xx

  • Dear Susan,

    It was a wonderful surprise to see a letter from you in today’s post! So few people write letters these days that mail is mostly flyers or pleas for money. Even bills often come via email. I, for one, still send postcards when I’m on vacation, even vacation in France, where I always send them as soon as possible so I don’t beat them home. 🙂

    It sounds as though you’re weathering the seasonal changes well (pun intended) and I certainly enjoy the seasons. The last few days here in the Chicago area have taken us from an unusually mild autumn to a chilly precursor of winter. We’ve had high winds and dramatically falling temperatures, but it could be worse: there are places with 1-2 feet of snow.

    I have to get ready for church, but I wanted to get this in the mail first. Thanks for brightening my morning and the best to you, your family, and the dogs.

    Cheers,

    janet

    • Thanks so much Janet, we still send postcards too and we have friends who do the same. Our neighbour’s son always sends a postcard to both Hetty and Gigi whenever he goes away and the excitement when they receive them in the mail speaks for itself. I heard that lots of places in the States have had snow very early in the season, I hope it isn’t a sign of things to come, it has been the strangest of years weatherise, who knows what the winter has in store for us. Hope you are having a lovely Sunday xx

  • For me, blogging is a sort of updated letter-writing, with lots of lovely photos to boot. When I was young, I had penpals all over the world, spent hours letter writing, and waited with great anticipation for return letters. Blogging now gives me the same delight and it’s so much more efficient!

    • Hi Brenda, you certainly have a point, I started the blog as a way of keeping in touch with friends and showing them our life in France. The comments are like the return letters, so fantastic to receive. I remember having penpals, it was such fun. I do believe we should embrace modern technology, it is fantastic, it offers so much and where would we be without it, but I also think the occasional thank you note is always hugely appreciated. xx

  • Thank you for the letter. I gave up letter writing many years ago living in countries where delivery of either incoming or outgoing mail was definitely not guaranteed, in fact was highly unlikely if there was more than one sheet in the envelope!
    Now we are in France it is time to start again.
    It looks like some of your weather has drifted our way this afternoon but both yesterday and this morning we have had the perfect walking weather. On our way back yesterday evening we saw about 100 cranes pass overhead. I thought the migration was over because we hadn’t seen any for over a week. At the height of it we were seeing several skeins of 100-200 a day going down the Dronne Valley -the sight and sound of them was incredible.

    • Hi Gill, It is true many countries do not have reliable postal systems, it sounds as if you have lived in some interesting places. We had the perfect walking weather today too, not forecast, but the rain ceased very quickly and it was mild, the wind was just a typical blustery day, nothing more than that. When we lived further south we used to regularly see the cranes in both the spring and autumn, but they don’t pass by us here, so we were thrilled to see them yesterday, it was just east of Angouleme. We must have seen several skeins over the course of ten minutes or so. xx

  • Susan,
    What a lovely letter! I did enjoy it this morning with tea and scones. It is quite cool here today, only 58 degrees F, which is quite cool for southern Florida. Suki wore her little pink coat when we went out! It is up to 65 now, but the sun is out and we are enjoying this little change. I am making cranberry chutney this afternoon, and quite possibly your coffee walnut cake. It is calling to me! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday!
    Xoxo, Nancy and Suki

    • Sounds like the perfect Florida morning, even 65F is wonderfully cool and relaxing I can imagine. I hope you made the cake, do let me know, it will keep well! We had a really lovely sunday, a long walk with the dogs and then a delicious roast with friends, the perfect weekend! Hope you have had a lovely Sunday too. Bentley says a big hello to his friend Suki xxx

  • I am a huge fan of letter writing. I always…always…write real thank you notes after a dinner or occasion. There is nothing like it. And, I believe I am right, that stationery sales have gone way up in the last few years! Somebody is out there writing away! And a real Birthday, or Anniversary, or Sympathy card is to be treasured. A blog is not like a letter, I think. It’s too one-sided. I tell you what I am doing and feeling, and maybe a few will respond. No, that’s not the same.
    Maybe we should start some kind of a letter writing meme on our blogs??? Thanks for the ideas, Susan and more to come I am sure.

    • Yes me too, but sadly the French don’t write thank you letters so they think we are quite odd even saying thank you the following day let alone writing a note! I am delighted to hear that stationery sales have increased, I always make the children write their thank you notes too, I think it is vitally important and I cannot tell you how much I love receiving a note or a card in the mail. Hope you are having a lovely Sunday evening xx

    • Thanks so much Sarah, We do have to watch the lemons and limes if we get really cold weather with serious frosts, I will then wrap them in winter protection, but usually only for a few days and last winter not at all, they cope really well and it is such a treat to be able to pick our own lemons from the trees. xx

  • Oh Susan, I really thought I was the only person living in Franc who loves to write and receive real snail mail…. And yet, and yet: Last week I have decided NOT to write a ‘Christmas Letter’ any more but to send, just to my family, and on a irregular basis, my ‘little joys’ and things to be thankful for. The energy to write a long account of my year became too cumbersome, looking at my diary made me exhausted just to re-read what had happened…. Any my family knows anyway what’s going on at my end. Our friends speak mainly three languages and I simply haven’t got the energy to do that. Anyway, I DO write little cards with my own photographs (and always each card is related to something that is being written about or was discussed before), sometimes it’s just a few lines along the words ‘Just so’…. or ‘I have been thinking of you….’
    I also write real letters in big letterings for my mother who’s approaching her 90th birthday and who’s very nearly blind. And SHE still writes short cards from time to time – amazing! Last week I got a card thanking us for the proposed get-together with both mothers on Christmas Sunday for coffee & cake….. She could easily have told me this on the phone but she decided to make the effort of writing!
    For my birthay I got some 20 real cards, a bumper year… Plus pressies as if offering gifts might go out of fashion!!! Amazing, again….
    I also write Christmas cards, again, chosen for THE PERSON who receives it – with personal greetings, and yes, this year there will be less as I’m a bit fed-up with all those who send a E-card or just a mail wishing you Merry Xmas in November and adding ‘And a happy Advent Time’…. I also stopped sending cards after receiving just a pré-printed card with no personal touch – after many years of one-sided info it gives me the impression that those people are no longer friends but simply acquaintancies
    —-
    Got to know Kaki fruits as well call it – in Italy when they fell directly from the tree on our table at which we were sitting – HEAVENLY. But I do understand those who can’t love them – they have to be just the right amount of ripe and slightly slippery when you eat them. We had some yesterday, they are horrendously messy to eat but hey, who cares… The ones I buy sometimes are no goo at all, the fruits should be nearly translucient, and nobody should be allowed to watch when they are eaten…. 🙂
    —–
    Will THIS do for a Sunday Letter to you? Because, you see, I really need to lie down for a moment, I got up at 6am to drive in really bad & stormy weather for 120km & later in the day back – so if you permit, I go and make a big painted mug of tea and take it upstairs next to my dear bed…. – Bisous Kiki

    • How lovely to write and receive letters from your Mother. I love getting birthday cards and christmas cards in the mail. I remember as a child, we would open the christmas cards at teatime as a family, never before, we had hundreds each year, now of course we get so very few but we really do cherish those that we do receive. I always write thank you notes and the children do too. Kaki fruit can be difficult to judge for ripeness, we always say they have to be really ugly looking, as if they are so overripe they should be thrown away, then the astringency is virtually non existent and as you say they are slightly slippery, but oh so delicious and very messy!! Hope you had a lovely nap and a happy and peaceful end to the day. xx

      • Oh how I wish….. sorry, am only reading this now – nearly two days on! My ‘Petit roupillon’ (Swiss French for a quick lay-down….) didn’t happen as immediately after my comment, things crept up and had to be handled…. In the end, I think it was well past midnight when I made it …. (story of my life – but I’m not complaining) xoxoxox

  • Hi Susan, I haven’t commented in a while, my husband retired and we took a long cruise deciding to give up all electronics. Imagine my delight to come back to your letter, whilst in various ports we bought and sent postcards and I wrote a diary every day, so much more fulfilling to put pen to paper than fingers to keyboards.

    Whilst away I had much time to think, I sort of reevaluated my life. I will no longer rely on the internet so much and my computer and phone, I am going to take up gardening, we shall be able to have a dog for the first time in years now we will both be at home, we shall walk, enjoy meals together which we have cooked ourselves and grow our own produce I hope.

    I am giving up all blogs except yours and one other, frankly I find half do nothing but repeat themselves or copy someone else’s, I shall remain loyal to you because I feel, just as your letter says, like a friend, even though I don’t know you, and my favorite style blog Velvet & Linen. I spent far too long just browsing the web and reading rubbish that I didn’t need to waste time on, but somehow it had become addictive.

    So now this is our new simpler life, already we are enjoying it and we’ve only been home a few days!

    • Dear Sharon; congratulations…. I also decided at one time to ‘DO days or Sunays w/o mails’ and it’s surprisingly easy once you admit to yourself that all of this is NOT our real life. I DO envy you the possibility of having a pet – I yearn for another dog and can’t do that to an animal as I’m away far too often (and here in France it’s quite impossible to find a friend to look after your pet/home/plants). I wish I could copy your comment and hang it up somewhere to read often…. Kiki

      • When we went skiing in February, I decided not to look at any emails, I did write a blog post and I did answer comments but that was the only exception, other than that I stayed away from the internet for the entire week, we played cards in the evenings with the children. I loved being unwired! xx

      • Hi Kiki, we have just met a little black Labrador pup, she will start her new life with us in a couple of weeks, I cannot tell you how excited we are. All I can say is we have both worked really hard all our lives for this time. In hindsight I would have worked less and enjoyed far more of my every day life as opposed to disliking every week all for this time now. But we cannot go back so I am jolly well going to enjoy every moment we have left now. My heartfelt advice, enjoy and make the most of every day. Hugs Sharon

      • Oh my goodness Sharon, how exciting. It sounds as if you deserve every second of your retirement, isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing, I shall certainly be thinking of your wise words today, it is what I try to do, it is how I believe in living, sometimes I wonder if it is wrong, but now I feel reassured that it is right! I guess the phrase ‘money cannot buy happiness’ is true. Have a lovely happy and peaceful Thanksgiving week Sharon xx

    • Thank you Sharon, I am truly flattered. The cruise sounds as if it was fantastic and what an excellent idea to have given up the internet whilst you were away, as you say a time to reflect and it sounds as if you have really planned so much for your retirement, a dog, a garden, the produce, the cooking and the walking, it is going to be so fulfilling, I hope you enjoy every second of it, the planning alone will be half the fun and how lucky you are to have a husband that wants to share it all with you. I hope you continue to enjoy every second of it and that you have had a lovely Sunday xx

      • Back to you Sharon: I’m INTENSLY JEALOUS of your puppy. A Lab is my dream-dog; they are full of fun, stupid ideas, don’t obey as they should, they are bouncy and wild and absolutely adorable. I had, for 18 years, a long haired dachsie and thus was spoilt for excentric behaviour as she (named Lee after a Canadian girlfried I had and lost, but for 16yrs called Tigi (short form for Tiger…. need you ask questions? 😉 )…. The only thing I always could say concerning this pup, was: She has a terrible character, but at least she’s got character….
        Good luck – I should be enjoying my retirement too but hey, then I went and got married (2nd marriage) to a much younger guy – so now there is no (retirement) joy for the wicked…. LOL – I just know that you’ll have the best(est!) time of your life coming up NOW.
        Hugs, Kiki

      • Hi Kiki, Tigi sounds like so much fun, we are so excited to get our puppy, this is a whole new life for us and I cannot wait. Your time will come but if I had one piece of advice for anyone having worked myself to the bone for years, it would be not to! Enjoy every moment along the way, that to me would have been a life truly worth living rather than trying to do it all now when we are older and time is running out, sad but true- still perhaps as well as older we are a little wiser also!

  • Thank you for your letter! I have always enjoyed writing cursive and especially letter-writing.

    For nearly 20 years, I wrote letters twice a week to my mother-in-law. Always included what my husband and I were up to, the progress of household projects, goings-on in the garden, photos of our cats, of us, or from weekend get-aways, happenings at our offices, and an occasional newspaper clipping or recipe. In return, she would send us a typewritten letter (on onion-skin paper) a couple of times a month.

    After mom passed away, we found a very large box, filled with all of my handwritten letters. The found treasures took our breath away. It will be a long, stormy weekend project to sort through the box and reminisce about those chapters of our lives. And, now, my husband will be be able to read the news that I shared each week with mom.

    • How fantastic to find the box, she obviously treasured every one of those letters so much, even if you didn’t know it at the time. How fantastic that your husband can now keep these and what a wonderful daughter in law you were to write so regularly. I still think there is something lovely in receiving a hand written letter or even just a quick note, it means so much to me always. Every now and then our eldest daughter will send me a little card or a note she has made and written some special words inside for me, they mean the world to me, we chat every day on messenger or by text, but to receive a note in the mail, is so so special. xx

  • I absolutely LOVE getting letters (I rather think we all do) and it was lovely to receive yours. It may not surprise you that I AM a letter writer. I write to my mother weekly (the upside of her refusal to use a computer) and to my daughters once a month – sometimes just a card, sometimes more, sometimes literally a scribble on something I have found or cut out that I know will make them laugh. This week I wrote to my cousin expressing shock and condolences on the death of his wonderful wife (a year younger than me) …. letters are a joy but they are a dying art. I have to order my thin airmail paper from Staples as they no longer stock it. And the lady at the post office thinks I’m bonkers that I send things through the post which clearly costs a few dollars which I could spend on …. spend on what? What could be better than knowing that someone will have the pleasure of something dropping onto their door mat rather than only ever getting bills and circulars? My mother, by the way, is a far better letter writer than I – me, I just aspire and feel that one of the upsides of living abroad is that I am forced to make the effort to do something that actually brings me as well, hopefully as the recipient, great joy. Thank you for your chatty note and please try not to get blown away …. we are experiencing the beginnings of winter here so batten down those hatches – the Atlantic weather systems are bound to blow your way 😉

    • My father died a couple of years ago, but up until then I always wrote to him, like your mother, he refused to have a computer and so we would chat on the phone regularly but I would also print out photos and mail them to him along with long descriptions. I love sending little notes to Izzi, in fact, you have reminded me, thank you, that one is long overdue, I shall send one tomorrow. Every now and then she sends one to me, a card she has made herself, I know the effort it takes for her to get to a post office, which is a long walk in the opposite direction to Uni so it means all the more to me. I always write thank you notes and the children do too, perhaps the lady in our post office thinks we are indeed the mad English, Gigi is friend with her daughter, so quite possibly!! Time to batten down the hatches indeed, although today turned out to be just a touch blustery and the rain ceased so all in all it was rather a nice day, good walking weather! Hope you don’t get too much snow, or else I shall be green with envy! xx

      • I have an email to send to you tomorrow – my sister in law has come through for Izzy … scatty daughter in KL not yet but that is quite normal! I thought you might be a kindred letter writer. I do hope the art never dies 🙂 xx

      • Thanks so much, I just read your post of yesterday this morning, I am so curious, sounds as if you had a crazy action packed life, London, when I was there, fresh out of college, was the absolute best. I am writing a note to Izzi this morning, you just reminded me that it means so much more than an email. xx

      • I certainly careened into life when I left home …. which is fortunate for the girls as I have no credence for playing the heavy parent but rather tend to encourage them to grab opportunities with both hands and not worry about the consequences so long as it doesn’t involve getting hurt or hurting others. I think we should start a group ‘mother’s writing letters’. I’m sure our daughters undergrad friends would love to be recipients of notes from their close ones too! Xx

      • Much the same with me, I sort of just fell on my feet and hence the fact I always say to mine “do what makes you happy.” I see no point in them spending years in a job they loathe, life should be lived to the fullest extent possible. I am sure they would all love to receive notes and letters, perhaps we should indeed start something, if only I had more time! Another thing to talk about….!xx

  • Thank you for your lovely letter Susan. Although I love email and keep in touch electronically, I must tell you we recently invited new neighbors over for a get-to-know-you evening and the next day there was a little card in our mailbox thanking us for the warm welcome. The fact that they took the time to write something somehow made it more special and much appreciated. Pat @ Bringing French Country Home

    • Hi Pat, I can imagine how lovely it must have been to receive the note, especially after you went to the effort of inviting them round and making them feel welcome in the neighbourhood, what a lovely idea. I too love email, it is quick and simple and efficient, but every now and then a real letter is very very welcome! xx

  • How lovely to receive your letter today, we too had the awful windy weather last evening but luckily no damage done, we always had to write thank you letters for gifts at Christmas and for birthdays, I loved to write so it was no hardship for me but my sister hated it, She would bribe me to write them for her with sweets which I would do anything for, she was 5 years older than me and quite bossy. Adeu and keep those letters coming.

    • Thank you so much Roz, I saw on the news that they had really rough weather in the UK too. Time to batten down the hatches for winter! I hated writing thank you notes as a child, of course I did it, I wish I had thought of bribing my sister, but I am not sure she would have obliged anyway, she didn’t like writing them either! Now of course I insist our children do the same thing, they must write a handwritten note for any gifts they receive. I tell them if someone has gone to the effort of mailing them a present then the least they can do is write a simple thank you in return. We had a nice day in the end today, the rain ceased by early morning and the wind was nothing more than a blustery day, perfect walking weather and it was so mild again. Hope you had a good weekend. xx

  • Dear Susan, what a nice surprise to have a letter to read. It seems as if the majority of your friends also enjoyed your letter. It’s so easy to type out a message on an IPad but there’s nothing nicer than going to the mailbox & finding a hand written letter, I’m afraid they are few & far between mostly birthday cards. I love receiving Christmas cards, & guessing who they are from before I open the envelope. You have given me food for thought to write more letters rather than using my IPad.

    • Thanks Barbara, I totally agree with you, the ease of emails is fantastic, quick and instant but I do love getting mail. I do exactly the same with Christmas cards! Some hand writing is blatantly obvious and we all know instantly who the sender was, others can leave us guessing for ages, the only clue being in the post mark! hopefully once all your packing is done you will actually have time to write letters! xx

  • Dear Susan,
    A lovely post. It’s hard to accept the demise of the handwritten and posted letter, especially for me as a teacher with a love of nice handwriting! But I think that’s the reality and I’m a guilty party. For years I hand wrote long messages inside Christmas cards, then I did the photocopied letter, then the letter but no card, and now…. last year, for the first time, I sent nothing! But you see, I keep in touch via emails, and mostly through posts and photos on Facebook, and in the main it would just be repeating things. I feel slightly guilty, but……. Perhaps I should set myself a goal of writing a letter to someone once a month, or something like that!
    The warm weather is very late in arriving here, and we have had an awful earthquake to deal with as well. I am sure that everyone is looking forward to the Christmas break.
    Kind regards,
    Alison.

    • I think we are all guilty of the same thing, I can remember sitting writing endless Christmas cards, I would start at the end of November, but now I only send a few to close friends and relatives, but I do still write thank you notes and I insist the children do the same. That being said, emails are also a fabulous invention, the fact that we can send photos, that we can send videos, and chat so freely, especially with family is fantastic. I cannot imagine not talking to our eldest daughter every day via messenger. I read about the earthquake, I am so sorry, hope you and your family were all safe. No one has really got into he Christmas spirit yet, another couple of weeks and I am sure it will be a different story once the lights go up in towns and villages, usually around the 1st December. Hopefully by then you will have some warm summer weather, I never could get used to warm christmas’s around the swimming pool though! xx

  • Thank you for a lovely letter and (as always) fabulous photos! Life is so busy, people never take the time for letter writing much anymore, so to receive this was a true treat. We experienced our first snow of the season. Quite the jolt to the system going from the 80’sF to upper 20’s! But the signal of an upcoming seasonal shift is welcome. We needed the moisture. Stay warm, friend. Talk with you soon! ღ

    • Thanks so much, life is indeed always busy and rushed and emails are extremely quick and convenient, but just once in a while it is lovely to receive a real hand written letter. Wow 80’s to 20’s is quite a difference, how cold does it get with you, that is cold, we rarely get below 30F here and at the moment we are hovering around the high 50’s in the day and low 50’s at night, great dog walking weather! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday evening xx

  • What a lovely letter, thank you. I read it as a “real” letter, slowly and with great enjoyment. It’s far too easy to skim over something on a screen — a written letter makes you slow down, enjoy, savor the moment in our all-too-rushed times. Good for the writer as well as for the reader.
    And the cake stand is beautiful, you did well.

    • Thanks so much Emm, what I love about letters is the ability to read them again and again, I know one can do that with an email but I find they tend to go down the list and once they are off the page it is often a case of out of sight out of mind, whereas a letter remains on the table to be picked up and enjoyed or a card sits on the window cill or sideboard, a reminder for days of the person who sent it. I was rather pleased with the cake stand, it is so pretty and in perfect condition. Hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

  • Thanks for the news! I do miss letters. I think I have one friend left who writes them and sends them off in the mail, sometimes as many as 6 pages long! They are a treat, as was yours, and your photos are beautiful. You live in lovely countryside.

    • Thanks so much, we have just one relative who writes to us, a few times each year, he is in his 90’s and always writes at least 2 or 3 pages, the only problem is it does take us weeks to decipher his hand writing! Still we get the gist of it even if occasionally there is a sentence that we never manage to fully understand! But we treasure those letters and every lovingly written word. Have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving week xx

  • I really did feel like I was reading a letter from a friend and as I am in another hemisphere and it’s 38 Celsius here today it was refreshing to the mind to say the least! Dreaming of autumn already and I am still in Spring. I was so pleased to see how your recent roadside brocante finds have proved to be both beautiful and useful. Thank you.

    • Hi Ann- Maree, I am so happy you enjoyed the letter, where are you in the Southern Hemisphere, certainly somewhere that is already very warm, how hot does it get in the summer? I am thinking maybe the Northern Territory? But I could have the wrong country altogether! I love the cake stand, I wasn’t looking for one at all but it was just too pretty and old and perfect not to take home, plus it was an absolute steal! have a great week and stay cool! xx

  • When I first went out teaching, my mother wrote me a letter every week. I’m not sure I appreciated them as much as I should have. Life was just so exciting in all other respects. Decades later and about ten days after we moved to France from Australia, the lady on whose property our little cottage was, knocked on our door holding a letter from my mother. I was stunned. I had not even remembered giving my mother any indications regarding an address. This time, the letter was like a little gift, a reminder that we really were not alone even though we had no friends or family around us physically. On another note, I think that my own children consider a handwritten message from me in a different vein from a quick SMS or email. Even if the words are exactly the same as what I would have written electronically, I’m sure they view them as being more significant.

    • Hi Catherine, letters do indeed mean so much more. Every now and then I get a card from Izzi, one she has made and has posted in the UK to me, quite an exercise in itself as the post office is a long walk from both her house and the Uni! It may only have a few words, but the effort that has gone into it compared to a quickly pinged off text or message on messenger means the world to me, I treasure every single one. Hope you have a lovely week xx

  • What a great post, Susan, an arrow of light and joy through the dark electric fog of the internet. You made me pick up a pen and write a letter to my godmother yesterday – something I have been meaning to and have been remiss about. it’s funny how this post of yours seems to have resonated so much with so many of your readers – all of us are no doubt electronic communicators, but we all still pine for the postman. Curious indeed.

    Regards from a leaf-strewn London.

    • Thanks so much Simon, once in a while it feels good just to write an honest old fashioned letter and it feels even better to actually receive one. Your Godmother will indeed be very happy! It’s a leaf strewn France here too, very windy! xx

  • Dear Susan, a letter! Thank you so much, I do love receiving letters 🙂 And I also do still write them, to cousins abroad and, believe it or not, a penfriend. At age 15 I posted a little ad in the penpals column of British Riding magazine and for a couple of years wrote to about 11 around the world. By the time I was 17 I was writing to only one, in Oxfordshire, and we are STILL writing to each other. After being penpals for 22 years, I left my tiny children with my husband and went to England to meet her. It was out of this world amazing. I have visited her twice, and she has visited once. I don’t think anybody who has not received a hand written letter in the mail, or a parcel wrapped in brown paper, could ever know the thrill of it. Even my children who are not of a letter writing generation know the excitement of receiving a parcel in the post. We collect our mail from a post box in town and when there is a parcel, a little slip of paper in the box informs us to collect it at the counter in the Post Office. It doesn’t get opened until home, and not before a cup of tea is ready either! And the same goes for all letters. Have a wonderful week. ❤ Jeanne

    • Oh Jeanne, I can just imagine the excitement with everything. You brought back so many memories though, my mother used to get Riding magazine, Daddy Horse and Hound, but Mummy Riding, I had forgotten all about that! Our mailbox is in our front wall and the children love running out to check the box and pick up any mail, there is hardly ever anything for them, but the excitement “just in case” is always there. xx

      • Lovely! “Just in case” is almost equally exciting….. Did you ever read any of the Pullein-Thompson sisters’ books? Horse & Hound was THE magazine then, not sure about today – 40 years later 🙂 X

      • and when “just in case” turns into the real deal, they are ecstatic! I did read some of their books, I have just looked them up on Wikipedia and spent ages going through all the titles to see which I remembered! Horse and Hound is still going strong! Some things never change! You have transported me back to my pony mad childhood days, I basically lived on a horse or pony from long before I could walk (I was transported about in a wicker basket saddle on top of a Dartmoor pony) until I left home! It’s funny I thought my own children would follow suit but they seem to have the tennis gene instead!! xx

      • Yep, I did that pony thing too… and my boys didn’t. We do have the two tinies though, my younger son got infatuated with miniature horses and we got him a little mare when he was 11 – she was carrying a foal from a Shetland. So we have those in compensation and so cute, they give you a tickle in your tummy! I do wish we got Dartmoor ponies here – would LOVE to have one. XX

      • I daren’t let the children read this, they are always asking if they could at least have a miniature or a shetland, “we have room for that” they say, they would be insanely jealous! But they have ridden on and off here and there, we had a little Welsh pony for years called Freckles, in fact Izzi did quite a few gymkhanas with him and loved it, but no one is totally hooked, they will ride if it’s there and easy but it’s not a passion. My mother bread Dartmoors, so my favourite small breed naturally! xx

    • Thank you so much, so sorry you had to stop writing, maybe you could write on the keyboard and then print it out? There is just something so special about receiving a letter in the mail I think. Hope you are having a lovely week. xx

    • Thanks so so much! I always find it rather fun to receive a letter, not that it happens very often! I have a great friend in the USA and when I receive one of her newsy emails it quite makes my day, I reread it several times, always. xx

  • I haven’t received or written a letter in a very long time. This was a lovely treat – complete with stunning photos!

    … and you have a persimmon tree?! My jealousy knows no bounds 🙂

    • Thanks so much Joanne, I haven’t written a letter in ages too, but it was rather fun, and surprisingly different to a general blogpost! The Persimmon tree or Kaki as it is known in France is fabulous. Way more fruit than we can possibly eat and usually we have to bring them indoors to ripen as it gets too cold too quickly here, but they are delicious. xx

  • Dear Susan – Such a lovely letter. Thank you for writing. And such an important reminder about letter writing and sharing our lives with others…this year, I almost decided to not send Christmas cards. I figured with social media, a card is not necessary, but in my heart, I know that isn’t so. I have sent cards to family and friends and the mail person and the hair dresser and teachers and on and on for 35 years. People throughout the year will often mention my cards and hope that they will be receiving one….that is so nice to know and so special to share…don’t you think? Enjoy the holidays.. they are fast approaching.

    • I do entirely agree, I have to admit my Christmas card list has dwindled quite dramatically but I do still send them to family and old friends whom I have known since school days and we always give them to the children’s teachers etc., I know when we receive a card it is extra special, it means the world to us and we proudly display them, so yes, I say, let’s keep giving those special occasion cards. I cannot believe that it will be Christmas in a month or so, I am not in the least organised, it seems to have crept up on us so quickly, HELP!!! xx

  • Susan, your beautiful “letter” is resonating with me at 2:30 a.m. as. I am jet-lagged in Normandy (though very happy to be here for a visit). I remembered how I used to write letters, especially when traveling, and later put notes with hand-drawn guinea pigs in my daughter’s lunches. Time to send her another, as she is so far away studying in Australia. You are an extraordinary person to inspire so many of us in this way.

    • The dreaded jet lag, how long are you in Normandy for? Hope you didn’t get too battered by the gales, at least you experienced good bracing weather, I rather like walking when it is a howling gale, it makes coming back inside so welcoming! I used to put little notes in our children’s lunch boxes too, (when they had packed lunches) not everyday but occasionally as a surprise. I take it your daughter loved guinea pigs, what a great idea! I used to draw a heart on our youngest daughter’s hand, along with a little message on her palm on days when she didn’t want to go to school, so that she could look at it and feel loved throughout the day if she felt homesick. It just goes to prove the written word is so important. Have a lovely time in Normandy, if you ever head southwards, do come and see us. Susan xx

  • Yes, blog posts can be very similar to letters to those you love. It sounds like life if lovely there in Maritime Charente. I always enjoy your stories. Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France.

    • Thanks Paulita, letters are so important and so is the written word, I agree. Life is good in the Charente Maritime, we have just been battered by the recent gales, but it makes for a bracing walk and then it is so much fun to come into the warmth afterwards! xx

  • Susan, I love your letter that you wrote to your friends who stop by more than me haha. It was great to read it, well done. Isn’t it good to remind the world about “Letter Writing?” I did make a post at my blog sometimes in August this year about Letter Writing. And that came to my mind after I received a letter from a long time friend of mine I left on the island many years ago. And the letter was handwritten by her daughter, and so from there I took the plunge to write about letter writing. It is so emotional not to see such art being performed in our modern world. How joyous it was when the “Postman Pat” haha knocked on the door many years ago. I hope one day handwritten letter will overtake technology, fingers cross. You take care now.
    Juli

    • I shall go and have a read! I don’t think letters will ever take over technology now, we are too far down the road, but there is always an upside, there has to be! Without technology we wouldn’t have blogs, we wouldn’t be able to communicate so freely, especially with children and family who don’t live in the same town or village, I cannot even begin to imagine only hearing from Izzi once a week by mail, in fact a message from her just popped up in messenger as I write this, instant communication 24/7. xx

      • It is true, I agree that without technology we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing instantly. but missing the past is a big challenge, I feel I miss it and I think because I grew up in that time that letter writing was still going on. But when we look at our children, technology is a must for them because this is what has been invented in their days and they need it, It is also part of their education. I remember we used to find meanings of words in the dictionary, whereas the kids go straight on the screen to find them hahahah LOL. The world has massively changed.

      • Yes it is true as this is what we have gotten to use actually and without it, we would be so miserable, we won’t do blogs haha.

      • It is true, nothing is functioning by email anymore. Every pictures and writings is done straight by blogging where friends, families and fans can see them all at the same level. One Job done for everyone. But I still miss letter writing, trust me, at least even once a year, it would be nice to read from someone far away away and sending one response to the other side, it would be fantastic!

  • Well, that’s a great letter, and a lovely one to receive. I think that blogging to has an extent replaced letter writing. It’s certainly why started my own blog, when I realised that I wouldn’t have time to write to everyone interested in my own adventure to India 10 years ago. But handwritten is the very best, certainly. Thanks for yours!

    • That is exactly why I started the blog too, I know I wouldn’t be able to email everyone separately with photos about our life in France and a blog seemed like the sensible way to go and it grew from there. But as you say, receiving a letter in the mail is so very special. xx

    • Margaret / Susan; THAT is my main problem and the reason I never started a blog: I would have to write it in three languages…. which simply is un-doable – but I totally agree with both of you – handwritten is best!
      btw; yesterday I got another handwritten card from a Swiss friend 🙂 – and I have spoken, as well as written a card, to a 90yr old friend who had her b’day… She said she’s always waiting for my messages (but I have to phone her at least 4 times before she takes a call because they get so many cold calls, coming from a French number, trying to sell anything from wine to a tea-totaler over insurance polices to food….) !
      Kiki

  • I enjoyed your letter very much. The beautiful photographs actually made it better than a letter alone. When my daughter did a semester abroad in Italy she mass emailed one long letter to all her friends and family once a week. They were so delightful to read and made a nice compromise between letters and social media. Thank you for sharing with us at Monday Social.

    • I am more than happy to receive letters via email, as you say they do make a nice change from a quick text message or a few lines on messenger or Facebook. Hope your daughter enjoyed her semester in Italy, we have a friend who just spent a summer in Spain, what a great world we live in where our children can so easily study abroad. xx

  • Hi Susan, loved your latest blog. I do think of blogs, and yours especially, as letters, to be enjoyed. I have been meaning to write for ages but am the worlds worst procrastinator and events here have somewhat overwhelmed us recently.
    Probably my hate of letter writing came from school days. The dreaded Sunday chore before trooping off down the village for church. Having said that my Ma used to write three times a week, every week. I can feel the guilt even now!
    Re persimmons, a friend made a delicious and moist cake, using them and I don’t even like cake. I’m sure your troop would enjoy it.
    What I really wanted was to thank you. A lot of our fun, explorations and enjoyable food this last summer has come about because of you and your blogs. I may not comment, sorry, but do always enjoy them and as for the figs…! Xxx

    • Thank you so much Diana, I remember letter writing at school and I also remember the excitement when a letter arrived in the mail. So happy to hear you have enjoyed some of the food we have shared this summer, that really makes me so happy. Today I posted a very quick recipe for the simplest of apples pies amongst other things! xx

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