When I was a little girl I wanted to be a journalist. Lois Lane was my heroine and while I have long given up dreams of my very own Superman sweeping me off my feet (although J has the occasional superhero moment ;) I have retained a love of writing and the written word. One of the many satisfying elements of blogging. Hand in hand with my love of writing is my slight obsession with stationary. (I'm probably the only person I know who'd be equally delighted with vouchers for Staples as I would be with expensive perfume!) When taking into account my love of vintage too, you can imagine my delight on stumbling upon this beautiful vintage leather writing case for a mere £1 in my local charity shop...This one is particularly darling. Lockable, with the original key. Gorgeous tan leather (is there a difference between leather and cowhide? Are they not one and the same?!) and in mint, unused condition.
Writing cases used to be ten a penny back in the day. For those of you too young to remember, they would hold a pad of writing paper (Lion Brand embossed of course!) in the main section, with pockets for envelopes, stamps, blotting paper and a holder for your pen (slimline fountain, naturally). All designed to take with you on your travels so you could write home about your exploits.
All evocative of a bygone era. Long before emails and facebook. When twitter was the sound a bird would make on a sunny spring morning; and a text was a large volume of printed, erm, text. Handwriting was an art in itself and to have good handwriting was kudos. I remember practicing for hours as a child. Using finger spacing when I was very (very) young. Then as I grew older I remember how grown up I felt when I was allowed to use "joined up" writing for the first time. Again I would spend hours perfecting my "loops", being careful to have a piece of blotting paper under my hand so as not to smudge my fountain pen ink as I went. I was a bit of a perfectionist with my handwriting. I used to receive comments on it regularly. "Oh what beautiful handwriting you have", "look how it flows", "so unusual for a young person...."
These days my handwriting is a pale echo of what it was. Why? I'm out of practice. Simple as that. These days, really, when do we actually need to WRITE anything. I don't mean scribble down a shopping list, or jot down a few ideas. I mean a letter. An essay. Something that will be given to someone else to read. Something that we'd have to take care over not only in terms of what it says, but in how it looks too. The other day I had to sign some paperwork. I even had to think twice now how to sign my name. Like I've forgotten how my signature goes. A few years back I'd sign mountains of paperwork on a daily basis without a second thought.
Everything is so automated these days. We don't sign cheques or credit card receipts any more. We have pin numbers and online shopping for that. We type blog posts and emails. We punch in texts and tweets on our phones. When you really think about it, we put pen to paper so rarely these days. In an era when we are actively embracing "handmade" is "handwritten" actually obsolete? Would it even matter? They say for instance, you can tell alot about a person from their handwriting. Can you tell as much about them from what font they choose on Word?! Is that the modern equivalent of graphology?
I for one, can't decide. I love handwriting but tend to opt for typing because it's quicker. I would tear my hair out without the convenience of "delete" and "cut & paste" when writing my blog posts and emails. I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter. So this little leather case, made just for writing, has got me thinking ( can you tell? ;) Has handwriting had it's day? Will biros ever cease to be manufactured?
Of course I could always use this lovely vintage writing case for a brand spanking new tablet instead of a writing pad....hmmmm...a bit of online shopping coming on methinks....;)