This is just a very small sample of some of the notebooks in my collection. I use them for journals mainly, and have a box full of them, A4 and A5 sized, going back to when we first moved here over twenty years ago, plus some old straightforward diaries going back further. Apart from my daily journals I use them for writing exercises/writing diary; keeping notes from various courses I have done in rune-reading, tarot, astrology; for notes on various faith systems I have read about, Native American, Buddhism and so on; and now I am using two as family history journals for my grandchildren, which they will have on their 18th birthday, some time away yet. I use spiral bound ones for this, so that I can stick in photos without too much strain on the spine. My daily journals also have pictures, from magazines as well as the occasional magazine article, recipes tried, tickets from exhibitions or a special ferry ride we took once across a beautiful lake. But mainly they are full of words, my words, some private and some I have made public elsewhere, and none of them will ever be read by anyone after my death, I've made sure of that. As they are honest, there are certain family members who would not be pleased after reading my thoughts!
Long before emails and texting became the norm for most people, when it comes to communicating with friends, there was letter-writing. Some of us still indulge in this delightful pastime, and I am one of them. I have been writing to penfriends since I was 14, when my first penfriend was Jane, who lived in Cupertino in California, and whose life at high school was as different to mine at a private school as you could get. At 16 I was writing to a Radio Caroline DJ - Caroline was a pirate radio station for those who have never heard of it. But then real life became more important, having a job (or rather a variety of them for I got bored quickly then as now!), a real boyfriend (Hello Neil! I know you read this), and penfriends were something I didn't seem to have time for. Until I was 21 when I again began writing to a penfriend, thanks to Terry Wogan. This penfriend was called Keith, and it was love at first write, for within four months of the first letter being exchanged, we married. Sadly, he died only a few years later, but never fear, dear reader, for the story has a happy ending and I remarried, my soul mate as it turned out, and we have been together for over thirty years now, through thick and thin and the raising of my two sons.
And whilst I love emailing, the immediacy of it particularly, I also love hand writing, or using the computer to write letters to many penfriends, some I have known for almost forty years now... sobering thought. The act of using a nice pen, pretty paper, coloured inks adds to the pleasure of writing to an old friend, and at least it's something you can still do when the power goes out!