I wonder if our grandchildren will ever know the thrill of receiving a letter addressed with genuine, elegant, cursive script
I will never forget my Mother's handwriting, strong, intelligent, forthright, she stood out amongst women and men!! Her shopping list was always written on the back of a fifty cardboard box of cigarettes (you never see those these days except for cigars or Balkan Sobranis' !! I still get a thrill when I see her handwriting on the back of family photographs.
Divine Margot too had extraordinary writing but hers was full of graceful loops and flourishes and her envelopes were scented and beautifully decorated with flowers. Margot's writing was an effortless art, all her zeros had eyeballs in them, all her 'g's and 'y's had glorious flourishes
My own handwriting has not changed since I was in Standard Two when I received the handwriting prize from the beautiful Miss Jean MacDonald at Coghlan School! I read a book on handwriting once and began to dislike some of my characteristics reflected in my hand writing, but try as I may I never managed to change. They say a leopard never changes its spots!! How many hours did I scrawl away as a journalist writing radio scripts for James Thrush, using a shorthand only known to me. It's so much easier, admittedly, to keep a train of thought when typing, even I can admit to that.
I also read once that intelligent people do not write on a line but slightly above the line, well the best way around that is to write on paper without lines!! I have a whole drawer full of beautiful stationery, cards with glittering peacocks, birthday cards for anyone from birth to 90!! But now I resort sadly, like everyone else, to an apple icard on the computer!!
I even had personalized stationery printed some time ago, now totally redundant, I have not sent a letter by post in absolute years.
Christmas Cards, once a cherished but much dreaded chore many years ago, get sent electronically now. We always used to buy the charity Christmas cards, and I often think that was such a fabulous source of revenue for many charities.
HeeHoo has very manly handwriting, totally illegible of course, but unlike many men his nimble fingers can skim the keyboard effortlessly and with great speed.
Our children will never have an affinity with a pen as we had, theirs is a world of typewriter keys, they will remember the clicking of the key, as opposed to the light scratch of a ball point pen. Have they ever even seen a postcard I muse
They will never know the delight of an autograph book, where one could combine one's literary ability with a poem and a picture, one could let one's imagination run riot with calligraphy and one could scribble and scrawl to one's hearts content!
The only time I ever see handwriting these days is during a bridge game, on a bridge score sheet! And a doodle When did you last see a doodle Treble clefts were my favorite followed by faces in profile for some odd reason!! Our telephone pads were always covered in doodles, but now the numbers go straight into a smart phone!!
How often does one even sign one's name these days I remember practising my signature for hours trying to make it adult and imperious, but it is still so childishly innocent that the whole family can copy my signature if needs be!!!
I will always remember when I received love letters from HeeHoo when he was on permanent call-up in the army in the seventies. (A 'love' letter from a Capricorn is a rare event), but I have kept all his letters, written from the back of beyond in some God Forsaken useless place in an even more destructive and useless endeavour (as was our Bush War).
Remembering those glorious days of beautiful copperplate inscriptions, I always take great pains in being overly polite with e mails, it is so easy to mistake an hasty e mail for bluntness.
As we mourn the demise of a graceful skill, I pray that my offspring will at least be able to remember at least a small part of that delicious art of handwriting.