It is now so rare to receive a letter (not talking about bills or other officialese, but real letters) that it’s hard to imagine receiving more than could be read at a sitting, let alone being able to stuff a bundle of them in your bag.  I sorely miss receiving hand-written envelopes with typed or handwritten letters, which at least used to arrive more or less weekly.

And somehow, sitting in a hammock wading through emails on a laptop isn’t quite the same. Feel free to send me a letter if you disagree.

‘… so that much of my mail never reached me, and the rest accumulated until there was more than could be read at a sitting.  I used to stuff a bundle of letters into my bag and read them when I felt inclined, which was in circumstances so incongruous – swinging in my hammock, under the net, by the light of a storm-lantern…’

Source: Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968 (1945)), p. 217

Photo credit: Chris Thompson at


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