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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 22:58 
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cal562301 wrote:
She wrote regularly to me, although her letters grew noticeably shorter and less coherent towards the end of my time in Spain. (With hindsight, she was by then in the early stages of vascular dementia.)

When I returned to the UK and started caring for my mum full-time, I discovered a drawer full of letters that I had written to her in recent years. I was quite moved, as you can imagine. I don't know whether she ever showed them to anyone else, as she didn't have a lot of visitors, apart from family, in the last few years.

It was such a small thing for me to do, but it obviously meant a lot to her.

Slightly off-topic, but I kept the condolence cards people sent me after mum's death for several years, although I finally put them in recycling when I was sorting things out before moving back up north 2 and a half years ago. (It's nearly 11 years since she died.)

I think that is one of the biggest drawbacks to electronic correspondence, however convenient it is in many ways. It's much harder to keep correspondence that means a lot to you. I know you can store it on the computer, but it's not the same.

It just occurred to me that a lot of sources on which we rely for historical information, such as letters, could have been lost as well.


My mother also had dementia so small cheerful messages were much better for her than long letters which would confuse her. She liked the photos as well and I made it my mission to get the most interesting ones that I could. I have to confess that I really enjoyed buying the postcards and have a huge collection of unwritten ones that I bought because I loved the images. I want to put them either into an album or into a frame.

I usually buys a stack of stamps up front - going to the post office for the first time in Marseilles to purchase them was a challenge to my very ordinary French - and then it's easy. We used to look for the most interesting locations for post boxes and take photos of them - part of the ritual.

As far as electronic communication is concerned, I actually save a lot of emails. I reconnected with my best friend from primary school in the UK in 2001 after a 25 year gap and I have 90% of the emails that we've written to each other. Every now and then I start reading them and look at the history of our lives together and it's lovely.


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 23:48 
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MagpieGirl wrote:
As far as electronic communication is concerned, I actually save a lot of emails. I reconnected with my best friend from primary school in the UK in 2001 after a 25 year gap and I have 90% of the emails that we've written to each other. Every now and then I start reading them and look at the history of our lives together and it's lovely.

Have you got them safely backed up somewhere off the computer MagpieGirl? I too saved many emails that meant a lot to me, only to lose them all when my laptop went down. Much was recovered but by no means everything... :(

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 11:34 
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cestina wrote:
MagpieGirl wrote:
As far as electronic communication is concerned, I actually save a lot of emails. I reconnected with my best friend from primary school in the UK in 2001 after a 25 year gap and I have 90% of the emails that we've written to each other. Every now and then I start reading them and look at the history of our lives together and it's lovely.

Have you got them safely backed up somewhere off the computer MagpieGirl? I too saved many emails that meant a lot to me, only to lose them all when my laptop went down. Much was recovered but by no means everything... :(


I print mine out and save them like letters. I have a box for each person I save them for, so unless we have a fire or something, I shouldn't lose due to the computer crashing!

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 12:12 
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I use Dropbox and Google Drive for storing things I don't want to risk losing to a computer failure - my uni work, drabbles, photos etc. Also has the advantage that I can move seamlessly between my desktop, laptop and phone and always have everything up to date without messing around transferring things on a flash drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 14:53 
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Aquabird wrote:
I use Dropbox and Google Drive for storing things I don't want to risk losing to a computer failure - my uni work, drabbles, photos etc. Also has the advantage that I can move seamlessly between my desktop, laptop and phone and always have everything up to date without messing around transferring things on a flash drive.

You are more sanguine than I am about any of these things lasting for even the next ten years.... :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 09 May 2017, 15:03 
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Well, the odds of Google or Dropbox deleting everyone's stuff off their servers without ample warning first are a lot longer than those of my hard drive going bust or my external drive corrupting, both of which have happened to me before and caused me to lose important files. Google Drive was also really convenient for my uni work because a lot of it was team-based, meaning we all had access to the most up-to-date versions of the paperwork and could all work on the same document at the same time if we liked, and often did.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 18:50 
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I always smile wryly when reading the long letter that Madge receives from Mollie in Head Girl, all about the Bettanys' plans for visiting. Madge and Mollie have never even met, and it should really have been Dick who was writing to Madge and Joey, but writing letters is one of those jobs which always seems to get left to women. Gay Lambert makes some very funny remarks somewhere about her brother's attempts at writing letters - about three lines max!

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 18:56 
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Letters are treats.
My favourite Chalet letter is in Three Go when Tony writes to Clem and Mary Lou! It sounds very realistic? Would EBD have much knowledge of the foibles of young boys?


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 23:59 
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cestina wrote:
MagpieGirl wrote:
As far as electronic communication is concerned, I actually save a lot of emails. I reconnected with my best friend from primary school in the UK in 2001 after a 25 year gap and I have 90% of the emails that we've written to each other. Every now and then I start reading them and look at the history of our lives together and it's lovely.

Have you got them safely backed up somewhere off the computer MagpieGirl? I too saved many emails that meant a lot to me, only to lose them all when my laptop went down. Much was recovered but by no means everything... :(

We have a separate hard drive for back up as well as the fact that our provider stores them in our mail account. I've changed PC a few times in the last 15 years but always had access to the stored mail.


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