Lockdown Diaries #3: Letters From Long Ago

24 Jan 2021

Letters from long ago

We drove to York this week for my Grandma’s funeral. As we drove up the motorway in the dark, I watched a train speed along in the distance. I could just see the square lights of all the carriages shimmering through the dark. I miss being on a train. At this time of the year, it makes me think of visiting family and friends for the weekend, speeding along in the dark on a Friday night. Arriving to dark and damp train stations knowing that I will soon be in a glowing warm living room with some of my favourite people. I do miss people, and the world. Of course, thanks to the bastard that is Covid, we couldn’t stay with family in York and so we’d booked a small studio flat on the river instead. It had a big window with a lovely window seat. In the morning, I opened the curtains to find a big flock of geese floating right outside. If we had been away from home for different reasons, it would have been nice to be somewhere different. Even just eating my dinner on a different sofa felt like a novelty. 

Letters from long ago

After the funeral, my aunty gave me some of my Grandma’s diaries and letters to read through; I’d heard about them and wanted the chance to read them myself. What I wasn’t expecting when I opened the old-fashioned suitcase was piles and piles of letters written by my Grandma and Grandad when they were young. After my initial surprise at the number of them, we pulled them all out and started putting them in date order where we could, based on the postage stamp on the front of the envelopes. 

And so for most of the weekend, with old episodes of Location, Location, Location in the background and heavy snowflakes falling past the window, I read words that were inked on paper more than 60 years ago. The paper smells old and yet I swear I can also smell my Grandparents. The majority of the letters were written when my Grandad was away on National Service 1958-1960 and they wrote to each other every single day. It was like sinking into some kind of romantic historical novel, only occasionally I would suddenly remember that I knew the characters in it and I knew how the story would end. They are in incredibly good condition, even so, I’ve vowed to type them all up so the words are preserved properly. I also think it would make a really good story one day, just need someone who likes writing to take on the challenge... 

Hope you’ve had a good week. Most of my social media feed seems to be full of people having a whale of the time in the snow. I am NOT AT ALL jealous that the snow hasn’t settled where we are and I can't build a snowman... 

Letters from long ago


  1. Thank you for sharing, I do hope that the letters from your Grandparents bring you comfort in this tough time :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes