Handwriting for Mother's Day
And the podcast that never happened.
Handwriting is art. Before the onset of the internet, email, txt and social media, a hand written letter was our best (and most heartfelt) form of communication. Especially for those living with vast distances between family and child.
At boarding school we would receive our letters at morning tea time. Each year group had a designated table - and alongside a big stainless steel bowl full of biscuits - was a pile of letters. Some days it was big, others it was thin and sad. To receive a letter was serious currency at school. Mothers, aunts, grandmothers always wrote for love and to share news from home, but primary school friends, sisters and later boys and boyfriends wrote in the hope they too would receive a handwritten letter in their own post box, whatever the form. It extended much further than the dining room at morning tea time though, at the back of any boring class, letters were being penned to school friends who even though we spent every waking moment together - we needed to write a letter to, to express something deeper; troubles, appreciation or humour. We spent hours, years perfecting our handwriting style in the back of those classrooms - and so, for me a persons handwriting is not just that, it’s years and years of friendship - celebrations, secrets, hardships and again humour. I have a feeling I have kept almost all of those letters from my high school days, in a box, in the storeroom, branded ‘letters’. I bet you have one of these too.
Handwriting as art and intimacy.
You know when you go to the mail box? And sift through the pile of mail and there’s a letter that’s been hand written!!! I know, you know exactly who it’s from, immediately. Handwriting is someone’s branding, their DNA in visual form. Sometimes I imagine that I could be travelling in the middle of nowhere, anywhere all over this world and I happen upon a visitors book where I recognise my friends handwriting. I mean it could be anyone’s in the world but I know for certain whose it is. See, handwriting is not just handwriting is it?
These days the act of actually writing a letter is impossibly romantic. Simply because most people don’t do it. Do girls receive letters from boys these days? Is it still an act of courtship? I often imagine, and I say imagine as it’s something I really want to do but it doesn’t look like materialising any time soon, that each year on Mother’s day I write a letter to my children, telling them what they mean to me and offering my advice to them and also my younger self. A gift for them for later.
Love Mum XX, the image above, is a podcast I wanted to bring to life and release around this time of the year with mothers doing exactly what I speak of - but then recording it to become a podcast. Although this podcast idea has never seen the light of day (I did make the artwork for it however) I believe there is nothing more intimate. A mother recorded speaking to a child; telling, touching and timeless. What a gift.
And Happy Mother’s Day all. A day I love and loathe in equal measure.
So, I this week woke at 3am and could not sleep - enter a fresh podcast rabbit hole.
Behind the Rolling Stone cover; Amy Shark. While baking a Julia Ostro choc cake.
About a girl: Carrie Snodgrass and Neil Young. After Daisy Jones and the Six, I have a new appreciation for the women behind rock men.
Sophie Matterson on Conversations. About crossing Australia with a tribe of camels. I’d love to have dinner with this girl.
Lay your eyes on these instagram accounts
@itprettyknotted || @birkenburn_farm || @plainjaneinterior
This pile of things to read
It’s seems apt on Mother’s Day to offer this. Melbourne’s best florists via Broadsheet. Almost makes me want to take it up.
Is it still worth being on Instagram via Me and Orla on Substack.
Loved this Mother’s Day blog by Penny and Reiby, a gorgeous homewares store in Port Fairy, SA.
My life is so sad at the moment, I’ve given up coffee. Truely. But I still loved this coffee taste selector.
Beth Nasce - Spark and Fable.
A writer’s life by Lulah Ellander. Read this one ‘on creating boundaries’.
And I cannot get enough of Emma Gannon’s substack - she’s just about to release a new book all about success and how it’s a croc (!) and this week she’s started sharing exclusive podcasts with people she interviewed for the book. Her first guest was Chelsea Fagan from the infamous The Financial Diet.
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