When I was at primary school (too many years ago to remember!) we were taught to write a beautiful flowing cursive, drilled and practised until perfect. At high school all my assignments were handwritten, and the same for University, until I became the proud owner of an electric typewriter. And I guess its been all downhill since then…

Yet I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been complimented on my signature, which was born in the age of “everything handwritten” and has remained a true, flowing, dare I say beautiful cursive. Like Andrew Piper in  “Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times” I feel that handwriting should be valued for its creative aspect, its artisanal quality. But “real” handwriting is no longer taught, just a quick perfunctory script that plays second fiddle to keyboard skills.

One of the good things about the enforced isolation during the current pandemic is that people are turning back to and dusting off old semi-forgotten skills, or learning new ones: playing board games, gardening, learning to cook from scratch, sewing , knitting, crochet, woodworking, macrame, reading books rather than screens. There’s been  time to think and meditate too. And I’ve been thinking…

Keeping in touch has been given much promotion on social media, and the things that have most caught my attention are the ones that are personal and tangible rather than the sharing of clever memes. Gifts left on the doorstep, singing together from balconies, drive-by birthday parties, pocket hearts.  Before email, keeping in touch was often by mail in the form of a handwritten card or note. I still have a supply of beautiful note paper, sadly long un-used.

So… my next boredom busting project will be to handwrite some home made cards for my friends and neighbours. Writer’s cramp beckons!

#handwriting #isolation #pandemic #crafting #boredombusting



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