Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm in training for something big

They say that self-awareness is a gift visited upon those whose time has past. Actually, I just made that up, but it suits how I’m feeling right now. I made a discovery last night. Not so much a discovery as an awful realisation.

I am a Letter Writer. You’re probably wondering how this important point escaped me for 41 years, but clearly Denial is a land I visit often.

But, first, to set the scene (or introduce the backstory as writerly types like to put it).

I was driving up my street yesterday morning when I came upon the very corner where Mr3 and I kicked off the Emergency Services party a few weeks back. Imagine my horror when I found two cars in almost exactly the same position as my (now gone-to-God) Camry and the other big white thing. Another accident. Same place, almost exactly the same time.

As the image gelled in my mind, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my friend L who lives right near that corner. I told her I’d had my accident, she said ‘you’re the second one this week’. Three accidents in three weeks. Outrage!

So I went home and did what any outraged individual would do in the circumstances. I wrote a Letter to the Council. And even as I was doing it – using words such as ‘innocent toddler’ and ‘upset seniors’ (contributions of The Builder, I might add) – I realised that I was peaking early.

In the 18 months I’ve been in Fibrotown, I’ve written four letters. Two to Council, two to the local paper. Four.

Then I thought back a bit. Even in my years in the Big Smoke I had a tendency to whip out the prose at the slightest hint of trouble. I can think of at least three separate occasions where I shot off lengthy tirades to that local Council.

It was then that I realised. I need to stop poking gentle fun at the letters pages of the local paper – in 20 years time there is a very good chance that I will be its single biggest contributor.

Heck. Twenty years? With four in 18 months, I’m clearly in training at elite level already.

If only they gave gold medals for skills like that.

PS: I know that is a huge picture of pencils. But I just love them. They're by Kylie Johnson at Paper Boat Press, available from local gal Lisa Madigan's e-store.


  1. Thank god someone else writes those letters...I can only manage letters of thanks or appreciation. I am one of the worst types - the apathetic whinger who has opinions but never manages to speak to those who could make a positive change. So Thank You, letter writer elite, we need people like you to take up the cause the rest of us are too lazy to put pen to paper for!

    And as for those pencils...I was drooling over them again. I really need to order some once I get to Oz!

  2. Good on you! The letter writers in our community are the ones who get the ball rolling. Unfortunately I fall in to a lesser category.. Im a 'Im gunna write a letter' person. I have it all planned, every sentence. I tell everyone who will listen about the injustice and finish proudly with "Im gunna write a letter". Of course, I dont. I dont even get to first draft.

    So congrats! Perhaps us 'gunnas' could pay you 'letter pros' to write all the letters we wish we could have, should have, would have!

  3. Me too. Oh the intense mixture of pride and shame as I turn into my Dad, with his weekly letters to the Telegraph.

    (Oh, and my current exchange is to my local council over waste services. Which I am pretty passionate about. How does this happen? Once I cared only for sales figures and manicures?)

    I love the pencil image.....

  4. Over here we call the sort of people who write letters 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.'

    But actually, I think you're doing yourself a disservice. Something may get done about that intersection/junction because of it. And that would be good.

    You're a do-er and we need more of those.

    P.S. But don't include them in your cuttings file.

  5. Have opinion, will write. Only way to get anything done.

    I'm proud of a few letter writing efforts over the years - there's the concrete median sprip on Lilyfield road that I had put in, numerous complaint letters (usually involving some sort of refund $$ ch-king!), and a few efforts to the SMH (sadly, none published). It's a reat hobby, and email makes it so much more immediate!

  6. Does the council ever reply?
    Love the pencils too!
    Keep up the good fight!
    Lisa xx

  7. And if there was any question about your future place as chief letter writer in fibro town. Good on you Al, someone has to do it and im way too lazy and uninspired.

  8. Good for you! I actually made a flyer and put it up at the local shops regarding an RTA decision I was appalled at....think that makes me slightly lower on the rungs of the Do-Good brigade!!!! Love the pencils - I have the ones that say "fill your paper with the breathings of your heart" (Wordsworth)...love them!!!

  9. Yup. I'm a letter writer too. I wrote one earlier this year to the Prime Minister, you might have heard about it. I got lots of responses, a lot of them weren't very nice...none of them were from the Prime Minister.

    Oh, and the pencils did nothing for me.

  10. You never know just how much good might come out of writing a letter expressing your concern over something. It's important. Do it!

    A week or so ago, I wrote a letter disputing a $253 fine I got on a quick drive in to the city - and guess what? Yesterday, I got a response from the fines dept saying they had quashed the fine. Yee-ha!

    The pen is mightier than the sword, and all that...

  11. I don't say this often, but you are so like Mum in this respect. Not only a letter writer, but a second generation one! Was hers positioned next to your in the Register this week?

  12. Go girl. I'm sure your letters will be the source of much amusement/brow beating/nashing of teeth in the Fibrotown local rag. I can see your obit now: she died with a pencil in her hand... Hey, love your pencils pic. Nothing like being inspired AS you write. I want some!

  13. I can see it now ... you and the Builder, long after Mr6 and Mr3 have left the fibro, sitting together and crafting witty, change-inspiring tomes to the local paper. Right before you have dinner at four o'clock and turn in for the night. =>

  14. I think you should write letters about important things.

    A dangerous intersection is definitely a worthy cause for a letter.


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