The Disappearing Art of Letter Writing

So today I came home and found a letter from “The National Trust” in Lyme Park Stockport UK.

At first I thought it was advertising but the person wrote my name and address. Intriguing. When I opened it, I found an official looking note which said :

A recent visitor to Lyme Park sat at a desk in the morning room, one of the 17th century rooms that form part of the state apartments. Surrounded by sumptuous tapestries and with a view from the window taking in the sweeping moorland, they were inspired to send you a letter. We have pleasure in enclosing this letter as we offered to post it on their behalf.

There was a smaller envelope inside, the thick paper indicating it was notepad stationery. I didn’t recognize the handwriting on the envelope so I became more intrigued and opened it to find a handwritten note that started with “Dear Tante Sita…”

Aww.. It was a note from my niece in UK! It was a really nice surprise for me. I won’t divulge wuhat she wrote but will share more from the National Trust :

Writing a letter is becoming a forgotten art, but was very much an Edwardian pastime in Lyme Park. The writing paper is an exact copy of the stationery used by the Legh family. They lived here for over 500 years, the first years of the 20th century were an Indian summer and a golden era, but would life ever be the same again for those living and working here?

Aside from the thoughtfulness of my niece, I admit this note made me think about the days when email wasn’t common and we wrote letters, postcards etc. I remember living away from family and friends, going through my mailbox searching for for personal letters among the junk mail.

Now? I could only think of one person who still enjoys walking to their mailbox in their front yard. Indeed, how are stationery companies surviving? I LOVED writing on stationery.

Recently I have been trying to go back to writing longhand in (paper) notebooks. This habit became more intense as I rediscovered penmanship and that taking notes by longhand can really help you when you need evidence of things people said during meetings or when calling you about the budget. And now, after feeling the joy reading my niece’s note, I think I’m going to buy some stationery.

Of course, in true 00’s fashion, my niece wrote “tweet you l8tr”. Sigh. Love her anyway 😉



After 4 years

Here’s what I learned after 4 years being on the “outer circle” at my department:

People care. However, if the leader doesn’t care, then the people can lose their sense of belonging, lose any kind of caring feeling they have for an institution. They become apathetic and only care about their themselves. The institution can “go down the drain” and people move on.

Being a leader is not easy. Being a good leader? Damn near impossible.