Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pen Friends.

When I was a child we were encouraged to have Pen Friends.   I had two.   One was a girl called Diana Wickens who lived in Bexhill on Sea..  As I remember it, we wrote for quite a few years - up to my getting married in fact - but then we lost touch.   The other was a girl called Vera Zborilkova, who lived somewhere in Czechoslovakia - I can't remember where.   The purpose of these pen friends I suppose was a)to encourage us to learn and keep up the art of letter=writing and b)in the case of Vera, to practise one's English.   That has reminded me that I also had a French pen friend, although as I always hated learning French I seem to have completely blocked details of that pen friendship out of my mind.   But in later life I always wished that my French was better.   But the idea of ever meeting one's Pen Friends was remote - travel then in the 1940's and early 50's was not like travel today.   No, these were long-distance, never to be met friends on the whole.

The times have changed  Now what we have are Blog friends.   Some of the people I blog with have been blogging with me since I first began over four years ago and they really do seem like real friends.   The whole idea of blogging has opened up the world to us all.   And as far as I am concerned, every blog friend I have had the good fortune to meet in person has been an added bonus.

I think when choosing who to blog with one tends to veer towards Kindred Spirits in any case, so it is hardly surprising that when one meets them 'in the flesh' they immediately gel.

I met Elizabeth (About New York) when we went to New York.   She took us out for coffee and we rode on a New York Bus across town together.   Anne from Morning AJ - we met in Kirby Lonsdale for lunch a couple of years ago when they were up this way on holiday and this year they called here for lunch on their way past.
Denise of Mrs Nesbitt's space doesn't live all that far away from here and she was able to call with her husband (on the bike) a couple of years ago for a cuppa.   Fiona (Marmalade Rose) lives quite near and we have met several times too.   But the latest meeting,  is a real long distance affair.   Margaret of Thousand Flower is coming with her family for a holiday in England and they are to spend the night with us.

What I find so pleasing about the whole thing is the way in which travel, communications, the making of friendships, all these have made the world seem a smaller and friendlier place.   In these days of turmoil, wars, civilstrife, refugees, hunger, poverty - the list goes on for ever - a small oasis of long-distance friendship is something to treasure, don't you agree?

18 comments:

Pam said...

I certainly do agree Pat. The world of blogging is fascinating to me - to see how others live such varied lives all over the planet with photos added to text as a bonus - love it!
(not so much a fan of Facebook though, will leave that to others).

Heather said...

Oh I do agree Pat. Even if we never get the opportunity to meet our blog friends, just to share comments and photos on each other's posts brings us a little nearer.
I still have three or four penfriends though as we get older there seems to be less of interest to write about and letters are not so frequent.

Cat Mom said...

Hello Pat, Maureen from Maryland, USA here. I lurk your blog and actually have it on my blog list because I enjoy it so much.
Anyway, I got a pen pal from Australia when I was 11, and, somehow, through all of life's bizarre changes, we still write! I lost touch with her once, and Googled the Australian phone book to find her mother, who, kindly, wrote me back with Robyn's new address.
I am just new to having blog friends. It's different, but quite nice.
Hope you are having a rain-free weekend. Raining for 4 days here. Oh well!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love the contacts we can have now with the internet. Just the other day I was looking at a friend's biography on facebook, saw a familiar name, a boy I used to babysit for when I was about 14. I clicked on his name - saw he was getting married, and there was a photo of him and his mother - I would have known her anywhere - her face is unchanged except for the nice soft roundness that age brings to pretty ladies - it was a fun experience. I might contact him, though I'm fairly sure he was too young to remember me, I'm sure his mother does.

MorningAJ said...

It's easy to have lots of friends online. Blogging is one of the best discoveries I have made.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I had a Danish penpal when I was young and never met her, I also briefly had a Japanese penpal, again who I never met.

I've met quite a few of my blogging friends in real life and it always fun!

Tom Stephenson said...

It has been lovely to meet you, Weave. Did you - like my sisters - also keep an autograph book?

Both my sister's books were signed by about two school friends, plus each other and maybe one old teacher. This is how they remained.

Em Parkinson said...

I've only met Bovey Belle but it was absolutely lovely to link up with her and I hope we'll do so again.

Regarding Tom's autograph book comment. I have one from the end of Junior school which includes Toby Young. He drew a picture of Kojak and wrote 'who loves ya baby'. I'm not sure how he'd feel about that now with his Free School business and journalistic fores! Perhaps I should comment on HIS blog and see if he remembers me?

Rachel said...

I had a penpal who lived in Wangaratta. I thought she had a much more exciting life than me and I stopped writing to her. I then had a penpal in France called Brigitte but that one didn't last long. Arranging the penpals involved a company in Turku and it all seemed very daring at the time.











Hildred said...

I do agree - I have really valued your friendship, Pat, and when Charles was with us your kind words and the closeness of where you were to where he was in the time he was with 170 Squadron and flying missions, somehow created a lovely bond.

angryparsnip said...

I so enjoy my blog friends. I have met two and they are exactly like their blogs, wonderful.

cheers, parsnip

Terry and Linda said...

I always love pen pals also. And, like you I enjoy this much smaller world of blogging friends!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Bovey Belle said...

I had penpals too. I started off with one in Sweden, gotten for me via my Geography teacher, and ended up with about 25!

I have to say, blogging friends I have met tend to be friends I will have for life - some really close ones. Meeting up with Em this year, was the high spot of my summer! It was just like we always knew one another : )

thousandflower said...

I am so excited about this trip. I've wanted to meet you ever since discovering your blog and I love the part of the world you live in. See you in a couple of weeks.

Robin Mac said...

I also had many penfriends when I was at school. I can only remember the names of two, one in Canada and one in Scotland. We wrote regularly for about ten years, but drifted apart after that. I actually had about 30 or more penfriends from Holland, Ceylon (as it was then) and Germany, while I was a lonely boarder at boarding school. Those blue aerograms were a real excitement. I love blogging now, and have formed great friendships with several with whom I have met. I would love to travel a bit further to meet more bloggers, but at least we get to know each other through what we write and the photos we post. Cheers.

Edwina said...

I had penfriends in my teens, a rather disparate couple.... one was a DJ on Radio Caroline (which probably won't mean anything to readers under 40!) and the other a girl the same age as me, living in San Jose in California, as different to me as it was possible to be. I was red haired, freckled, a bit Anne of Green Gables-ish, she tall, leggy, blonde and tanned, a real 'beach babe'. I lost touch with both after a few years, but now have penfriends two of which I've been writing to over 40 years, which is quite an achievement I think. I've met them both and got on well with them but wouldn't say anyone I have met via blogging has struck me as a real kindred spirit. I am still looking.....

thelma said...

Very much so Pat, blogging is a way into a world that is fascinating, the people so friendly. I have only met lovely Bovey Belle and just sat round her kitchen table chatting away as if we have always known her. Blogging can be a bit like keeping a diary but everyone reads it so you have to be a tad careful.

Cro Magnon said...

Children, these days, seem to have social media friends, and exchange 'intimate' photos of each other. Haven't times changed!