The young woman behind the desk within my local post office looked bewildered. “I think we’ve got some somewhere”, she mumbled before returning with a pile of dusty envelopes. “Nobody really asks of these any longer,” she admitted.
A century ago this month the world’s very air that is first service began
Passed beneath the counter and into my hand was an example of a mode of communication which have all but vanished. Compliment of Skype, texts and e-mails, there’s little need anymore for the small pale blue envelopes aided by the diagonal red and blue stripes across the border, extra thin blue writing paper and multitude of stamps and post marks that constitutes an air mail letter. Dr. Richard Saundry, editor associated with British Air Mail Society Journal, believes that we’re at risk of losing something both powerful and romantic.
“I think it is very regrettable that nobody seems to use air mail any more”, he tells me. “We are now living in a tremendously lazy age now and something happens to be lost. There’s a thrill that is huge excitement, and a type of romance in receiving an air mail letter from the other side around the globe on your own door mat. The net just can’t replace that.”
A hundred years ago this month the world’s very first air mail service began. Flying from Allahabad, near Delhi, only seven years after the Wright brothers made their first forays in to the air, the plane, flown by a pilot that is french Henri Pequet, travelled 15 miles to Naini. On board were six and a half thousand letters including one authored by Motilal Nehru, father associated with president that is first of India.
Great britain wasn’t far behind utilizing the air that is first flight lifting off from Hendon to Windsor later that year. Today the speed that these pioneers succeeded in reaching to get letters around the world is seldom beaten. Richard at the Air Mail Society told me of a letter he possesses that was sent from Buenos Aires to China in 1938. The letter found its way to 13 days- a feat that could be difficult to match now without paying reasonably limited to a courier company that is private.
As a young child I thought there is nothing more exciting than getting letters that are occasional my aunt in South Africa. Covered in strange stamps and smudged post marks, the creased letter would contain pages of dense hand writing describing life in Cape Town when you look at the latter years of apartheid. It seemed almost like getting a letter that is personal an esteemed foreign correspondent together with gravitas of receiving these letters was so great that, two decades on, I still possess them. I still receive news it’s by e-mail, the tone is scrappy and, in my hastily returned missives, a huge degree of effort and attempt at phrasing and sentence structure is missing from her, but these days.
“Getting an air mail letter was a great deal much better than a phone call”, admits Kate Hunter, a ward that is retired in Nottingham, whose husband had an extended career when you look at the oil industry.
“He was away for months on end through the 1970’s and I also always found the phone that is rushed he could occasionally make in my opinion really unsatisfying”, she recalled for write my essay service me.
“What I really loved were the days when an air mail letter from Kuwait or Dubai would slide through the letter box. It was only in writing that my husband really was able to express his feelings, let me know just how much he had been missing me and present me a truer that is much of what he was going right through. There’s an honesty to a tactile hand written letter that you can’t get in a phone call or an e-mail. I would love to have the letter, flake out in the sofa with a cup of tea and lose myself in just the handwriting for a time. Even though the letters might take ages to arrive, I somehow felt closer to him whilst holding an air mail letter than I ever did as soon as we spoke in the phone.”
With my own air mail envelopes in hand, i got home to realise I’d made a error that is serious. I desired to publish, but to whom? I had e-mail addresses for my buddies based everywhere from Montevideo to Monaco but i discovered I didn’t have a single address that is postal some of them anymore. Just what exactly did i really do? No choice was had by me except that to e-mail my friends asking for their address.
Five days later, and I also continue to haven’t got around to writing anything- preferring to have a chat that is‘Skype. Maybe Richard was right about us residing in a age that is lazy. One hundred years from now, will our descendents have any basic idea concerning the allure of a letter of love, heartache or politics which includes travelled all over the world by plane?