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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2017, 23:10 
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ann S wrote:
We like to send postcards when we are on holiday in the UK to the family that look after our cats here in Normandie Last year we were surprised that it cost £1 a postcard that is more than sending a standard Birthday card to the UK about 1euro 10 centime( about 83p)


There's an app that I use called Touchnote that prints your own photos (and message) onto a postcard and posts it in the recipient's own country, which can make it a lot cheaper. I always send postcards to my grandma when I travel and I pester people for one when I hear them going on holiday as I love postcards!

I really love reading the letters in the books but sometimes I'm surprised by how short they can be - surely if you're only writing once a week and sending it all the way you'd want to write a 'lengthy epistle '


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2017, 00:18 
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Well, I suppose you could say that the letters are put there in two different ways by two different sets of people - the author writing as the characters - and their length is likely to vary with their reasons for writing them. Rikki Fry's letter home to the father with whom she's at loggerheads was always going to be as brief as Rosamund's were likely to be long, for example; from the authorial point of view, a brief letter from one character to another is sometimes enough to move the plot action on a good deal.

I wonder is it coincidence that we see few letters from the girls like Biddy, Flora or Fiona, who start out with pronounced regional accents, at least while they have them? Because of course they wouldn't write as they sound, and that might be deemed to be confusing to the reader?


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2017, 17:26 
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Quote:
Local newspapers are still going strong round here :D .

I don't know about local newspapers in the NW :D , but down here in the SE they are very far from being what they were. Future researchers won't be able to use present day local papers in the way historians can use 19th/early 20th century local papers. There just isn't the detail. (Or the scandal or the local feuds.)

Anyone interested, some local libraries allow remote access to (part of) the BL's digitised local newspaper collection via their websites. Look for the Gale News Vault.

Another problem with electronic or digital records is that the technology used to create them becomes obsolete and the information can't be retrieved. Just looking at home computers, who uses floppy disks anymore?


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 17:42 
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Thank you for telling me about the App the only problem is to peoples amazement

we have mobiles so old fashioned that it only does phonecalls
we only use them when we are on holiday in the UK and carry it for emergencies here


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2017, 11:36 
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ann S wrote:
Thank you for telling me about the App the only problem is to peoples amazement

we have mobiles so old fashioned that it only does phonecalls
we only use them when we are on holiday in the UK and carry it for emergencies here


I live in NW England. I first got a mobile about 15 years ago, when my mum was ill, so that I was easily contactable in an emergency.

I have a mobile now, primarily because I don't currently have a landline. However, it's a very basic one and I only ever use it for calls and texts. I'm resisting getting an iphone or similar for as long as possible!

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2017, 01:50 
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Twitter lets you archive your tweets. I may leave this world, but photos of my cats never will!

One of my favourite letter sequences is actually in the fill-in "Juliet of the Chalet School." It starts with regular, everyday school news and culminates with a major plot point (I don't want to give away spoilers!). I think it's very well done.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2017, 11:52 
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There are groups (I believe the British Library and others) who keep a record of every tweet ever tweeted, even those that are deleted.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2017, 13:04 
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The Mass Observation group sometimes links in with the Twitter community to gather comments on particular days or topics, so any tweets that are part of that would also be kept by them in their archives in Brighton (in the care of Univ of Sussex).

MO also collects letters and personal papers, which are available to researchers, but like so many other groups, it can't take everything offered.

Off-topic, but maybe Mass Observation was something that some of the CS characters might have done during WW2...


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2017, 19:56 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
Twitter lets you archive your tweets. I may leave this world, but photos of my cats never will!

One of my favourite letter sequences is actually in the fill-in "Juliet of the Chalet School." It starts with regular, everyday school news and culminates with a major plot point (I don't want to give away spoilers!). I think it's very well done.


Thanks :oops: I also love a chapter of letters, which is why I wanted to try my hand at one :D


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 15:37 
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Victoria wrote:
These days I find that I often don't know friends' addresses particularly if they are young and live in another part of the country. It does mean that I don't send birthday and Christmas cards (or, indeed postcards) as often as I used.


Yes, Christmas and birthday cards really seem to be dying out. It's such a shame really, but nowadays you seem to end up sending cards to someone you were only chatting to that morning via text, email, Facebook or whatever.

Years ago, Christmas cards used to come with scribbled updates about what had been going on in the senders life, or an extra name added in that meant they had had a new baby since last Christmas, or even a letter folded up and inserted into the card.

My parents always got tons of cards at Christmas and my mother still gets a lot. I get far fewer. I can see the whole tradition dying out in years to come. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 15:59 
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I don't know what the situation in other countries is, but it doesn't help that the cost of a 2nd class stamp in the UK is now 56p! The price of postage has sky-rocketed in the last few years. I appreciate that this is a circular situation, in that fewer letters are being sent so the Royal Mail needs to charge more to cover its costs - in the same way that shops are cutting staff because more people are shopping online, meaning that there are always horrendous queues and people therefore get fed up and are more likely to shop online! - but it doesn't help.

In 2012 (thank you Google!), the price was whacked up from 36p to 50p, whereas previously it'd just gone up by 1p or 2p per year, and I think a lot of people cut right back on sending cards after that.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2017, 18:15 
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It's now cheaper for me to post my cards to the UK from the Czech Republic than to send them within the UK....

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 12:58 
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cestina wrote:
It's now cheaper for me to post my cards to the UK from the Czech Republic than to send them within the UK....


When I left Spain almost 11 years ago, it was already cheaper to post letters and cards from there to the UK than within the UK. :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2017, 13:47 
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I must confess I find postcards a terrible tyranny when on holiday, so with the (adult) children we tend to What's App pictures and comments as we go along, which is much more interactive. Howevere, I did use to love sending and receiving letters in my youth.


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2017, 19:31 
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I gave up sending Christmas cards some years ago; these days I send a copy of my Christmas newsletter electronically, and people at Church and at the ice rink, who might expect a card from us, get hand-made soap (that way I won't accidentally forget someone, or if I do, it doesn't show).


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 05 May 2017, 04:50 
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ann S wrote:
We like to send postcards when we are on holiday in the UK to the family that look after our cats here in Normandie Last year we were surprised that it cost £1 a postcard that is more than sending a standard Birthday card to the UK about 1euro 10 centime( about 83p)


We did three overseas trips while my mother was alive and I used to send her a postcard every day. When I came back she had all of the postcards stuck up on her wall in the aged care home and all of the nurses and carers told me that she would tell everyone about them and that they came from her daughter. Mum had dementia and it meant so much to her.

As an added sweet point for me, when Mum - and also my mother in law who I did the same for - passed away, I found the collections of postcards in their things. I have them all now and am going to put them into albums as a wonderful memory of some happy times.

I'm continuing the tradition with my best friend who also sends them to me and we plaster our fridges with the updates. So much colour and so many memories. i


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 05 May 2017, 10:48 
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MagpieGirl wrote:
ann S wrote:
We like to send postcards when we are on holiday in the UK to the family that look after our cats here in Normandie Last year we were surprised that it cost £1 a postcard that is more than sending a standard Birthday card to the UK about 1euro 10 centime( about 83p)


We did three overseas trips while my mother was alive and I used to send her a postcard every day. When I came back she had all of the postcards stuck up on her wall in the aged care home and all of the nurses and carers told me that she would tell everyone about them and that they came from her daughter. Mum had dementia and it meant so much to her.

As an added sweet point for me, when Mum - and also my mother in law who I did the same for - passed away, I found the collections of postcards in their things. I have them all now and am going to put them into albums as a wonderful memory of some happy times.

I'm continuing the tradition with my best friend who also sends them to me and we plaster our fridges with the updates. So much colour and so many memories. i


I had a similar experience with my mum in the tater years of my sojourn in Spain.

Increasingly, as time passed, I wrote to friends and family by email - apart from birthday and Christmas cards, which I generally sent by post - but mum was not online, so I continued to write to her each week.

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 05 May 2017, 12:01 
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My mother was the least sentimental of people and not at all demonstrative - I knew she loved me but found it difficult to express. It meant a lot to me, therefore, that when I was clearing her house after she died, I found every Mothering Sunday and birthday card that I had sent to her. E-cards will never have that impact.


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 00:06 
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When my Grandmother was in a specialist nursing home because of dementia, the staff suggested that, if people were unable to visit, sending postcards would be a kind thing to do.

They said a pc provides a point of interest that goes on for several days and that receiving physical post makes the individual feel wanted and recognised even when they can not understand who sent it or why.


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 Post subject: Re: Letters in the Books
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 10:04 
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I really enjoy the letters chapter in Tom as it really shows the various characters of the letter writers and advances a key part of the plot. And the letters are bright and sparkling.

But by the time we get to a similar chapter in Adrienne, it's downright dull. It's possibly because I don't really like Adrienne as a character (certainly in comparison to Tom) but the letters are very wooden and tell us nothing about the characters we didn't already know.

Sad really, because it showcases the deterioration of EBD's writing skills.

Cheers,
Joyce

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