Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Dying Art.

Twitter is open with a constant feed of information, Facebook beeps to tell me someones after me or what events I've been invited to or who's birthday it is. Social networking is everywhere, and now its air born. The ever increasing use of smart phones allow people to know what people are doing. Anytime, anywhere. Whilst writing this, my phone sits right next to me. It happily beeps differently for a text message, an Internet call, a notification...the list goes on. It's a standard amount of communication for a twenty year old. I don't batter an eyelid to its extent. And no one really does. It's perfectly acceptable. And the turnover on forms of communications is so fast these days. It was only a short time ago that many were consistently logged into 'IM' services provided by MSN, Yahoo, AOL and so on: now they're practically unheard of. But there's one form of communication that's always stood the test of time.

Right now this entry is going to become rather lugubrious. Sorry. God rest her soul, at a good age, my Grandmother died this at the latter end of last year. A loss in the family is something that is never easy; the loss itself has impact. But only this morning did I take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In reality, it's quite often that you hear of a death in someones family, commonly, the more senior generations. Cynically put, the eldest generation is consistently, and always, dying. It's a sad concept but it's life and a natural and normal everyday part of it at that. The world, life, culture, knowledge, fashion and so on continues: full speed ahead. And what people ignore so much in this disposable age is the loss of , not the people, but the culture that also goes with it.

One of the things that I'll always remember of my grandmother was her handwriting, not particularly neat, but something incredibly unique. And I know this because she used to write to my father weekly and also often to my siblings and I. In her senior years she lived a rather simple and easy life and, often with nothing of real importance to write about. But it wasn't the content that was fascinating, more the format in which she chose to tell us whatever she had to say.

There is something satisfying about receiving a letter, irrespective of content or size. The unfortunate thing is that most don't receive any handwritten letters anymore. And that's simply because no one writes them. When was the last time you wrote a letter? I, for one, can count on one hand the amount of letters I've hand written in my entire life. And I feel slightly saddened by this figure. I considered this entry in the first place because I'm actually in the process of writing a letter to a good friend of mine as I can't get in contact with him otherwise. But maybe I should make more of an effort to write letters more often anyway. There's something more personal and affectionate about them than a phone call or an e-mail and I've sure got plenty of relatives to keep in touch with.

It's all the rage to jump on this vintage bandwagon currently as well. Vinyl and turntable sales are on the rise and I see more and more Wrangler jeans and Doc Martins every time I go to Covent Garden. It's fascinating that younger generations finally want to embrace what their parents were wearing. One hell of an interesting method of rebellion. I'm sure their folks find it quite amusing and nostalgic that their kids and young ones are embracing the 'good ol' days'. So, hipsters: if you really want to embrace our predecessors, why not take part in writing a letter? Granny would be proud, ey? I know mine sure would.

Nonetheless, I daresay that won't be the case. And I think I'm being rather hypocritical in the sense that I'm part of this contemporary 'electro-communcations' demographic. Sorry Letter. I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions but maybe I should try and write more letters, positive or negative; after all, you're only a true Brit once you've written a stiff letter. So there's my attempt at being a suave hipster. Or maybe not. But you still can't deny a letter shows more effort than a quick text. And in my eyes, it's definitely cooler.

RIP Evelyn; I suspect the letter will be following you shortly.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy New Year

A year ago today, I was a different person. As is everyone. Many become rather reflective at this time of year. You look back at everything that's happened and it's always a surprise as to how much has happened and changed that you didn't realise before. No matter how you spent it, 2012 was probably more significant in everyone's life than you probably realise. And it's bad idea to begin a new year thinking it'll be better than the last one; don't be so competitive. Every year in your life is far too different to compare. Memories, like a fine wine, grow better with age. You choose to remember the good times better than they actually were and conveniently forget the negative aspects. So, in reality, it's not likely your 2010 or '11 was better than your 2012. Best to embrace each year for the chapter it was in your life. What you've done, where you've been, what and who you know are all questions that might take longer to answer than you think.

I, personally, still being new to university and London at this time last year, have met so many fresh faces. I genuinely would struggle to find a number. It's been a rather emotional roller coaster; although I've gained a lot of people in my life I've also lost several...some I daresay for the better! Against the opinion of several I decided to change my university course and it was definitely the right decision. I've seen some great acts, travelled slightly and definitely found a year's worth of amazing music.

While you ponder on these bleak January days you might find you want to lose weight, realise you've got a paper Everest awaiting you imminently or you could be worrying that it's too late to build those bridges wherever they are in your life, but it's all repairable, replaceable, do-able in some way shape or form. Good luck with those resolutions. If you're successful in completing them then congratulations, you really must have wanted them; if you're not then don't worry - they're probably only trivial and life can't be that bad with those problems. Life is never as bad as it seems and, in the wise words of my Grandfather, "Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday, and it never happened".

Happy New Year everyone; make some memories.