I love the letter that Rosamund receives from home shortly after she starts at the Chalet School. Her mum writes a long letter and then her dad adds a couple of lines at the bottom (like the letters I used to get from home when I was at university!), and both her sisters write their own notes and put those in as well, and her mum comments that the budgie's missing her. There are so many dysfunctional families in CS land that it's lovely to see a family who all genuinely care about each other.
However, I really dislike the way that EBD shows Rosamund's letter home being full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: it just seems designed to show that people who aren't of the Chalet School class can't write properly. I'm sure that plenty of other girls made mistakes in their letters, especially when trying to spell words in foreign languages, but it's only Rosamund's errors that EBD makes a point of showing us. Having said which, "Grandma" Learoyd writes a brilliant letter putting the CS authorities in their place over what she sees as their unfair treatment of Gay. As in Gone With The Wind
, older ladies in CS-land seem to have more freedom than anyone else to say exactly what they think
Even when I was at university, in the mid-1990s, letters were still very important. Mobile phones and e-mails were just coming in then, and most people didn't own their own mobile or have personal internet access. As Cestina said, going to the pigeon-holes in the morning (at the halls of residence) and finding that there was a letter for you was very exciting. And, when I was a little kid, I loved getting letters so much that I made my grandparents write to me, even though we saw them and spoke to them all the time
. Stamps were a lot cheaper back then! And we were encouraged to have French pen-friends - we were supposed to write to them in French and they were supposed to write back in English.
I write very few personal letters now, though. E-mails and Facebook are just quicker, easier and cheaper!
I used to love getting postcards, as well, but people don't really bother with them now. I send them to my nephews because they like getting post
, but not to anyone else, and I can't remember the last time anybody sent one to me.
ETA - I think EBD sometimes forgot who'd been at school with whom, but it's amazing how many CS people seem to keep in touch with each other by letter! Len complains somewhere that Tom Gay owes her a letter (why??), and ... I can't remember who it is, but someone with no obvious connection to her receives a letter from Daisy.