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This Oughta Be Good

Cities & Towns > A Lost Art

A Lost Art

"The Cat's Whiskers" is a 1986 book by English actress Beryl Reid telling about her cats over the years. That time of writing it, she had 10 cats.

There is a typed note inside my copy that reminds me what a lost art letter writing has become.

And we should all give our houses a name like they do in England. This guy's house is named Homelands.

"Homelands -- 131 City Way -- Rochester -- Kent. ME1 2BD. U.K.

14th December 1989

Dear Teddi,
At long last we have been successful in obtaining the copies of 'The Cat's Whiskers' - it certainly has been a long time, but just no bookshop or wholesaler had any of the paperbacks available - however, there is an old proverb, something similar to the 'he who tries will succeed' and during the past months it has not been without trying - so I am delighted to send them to you, (sorry they were not in time for Christmas).

To-day is rather a dull miserable one, a little rain (we still need gallons of it after the hot summer) although not very cold. A very cold spell came and went a couple of weeks ago, so now we are wondering what form of weather the Christmas period will be like - last year it was super.

We did have an enjoyable weekend when I played some tapes which Frank kindly recorded for us - one of my favourites is still Jesse Crawford playing his selection as the sound is so soft also pleasing and we did appreciate Frank making the time to re-tape these recordings.

I will not write at length today as the prime item is to wrap then mail the books without delay, therefore you may receive them by the New Year.

Again, both of us sincerely trust you enjoy Christmas, good health during 1990 and we are looking forward to your visit.

[Handwritten:] Diana joins me with sending our love - Michael."

Isn't it gracious? He sure liked to use dashes.

Here is a picture of their house, called Homelands:


posted on May 24, 2013 7:23 PM ()


I named my house "The Helter Skelter Cat Shelter."
comment by jondude on May 26, 2013 6:27 AM ()
That's a good description of the place. You could apply for non-profit tax exempt status, just jump through the hoops so the IRS doesn't find you.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:28 PM ()
What a neat looking house. We have a sign at the entrance gate just a few feet from the porch that says "Juniper 'Noles." I guess it more describes the inhabitants than the house itself. But the house is surrounded by juniper trees.
comment by steeve on May 25, 2013 8:51 PM ()
Some years the juniper berries are so prolific, and I always wonder if they are the kind that are edible.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:26 PM ()
P.S. We have named our house Gulf Winds, but we don't have a sign or anything.
comment by tealstar on May 25, 2013 3:06 PM ()
That's a lovely name. Some of the people up here get signs made with their names: Welcome to Our Home - Herman and Marge. We're not doing that any time soon.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:30 PM ()
I think of writing as communicating and for me, the medium is not relevant. I've been typing my thoughts ever since I got a typewriter when I was 16 or so. Typing, whether on an old fashioned typewriter, or, later, a computer keyboard, was a world opening up for me. I still write out cards for occasions -- birthdays and other remembrances -- but communicating is a whole different story so I type. Communicating is serious business -- I can't hand write as fast as I think. E mail allows me to communicate instantly without hunting for tools and stamps. It's a no-brainer.
comment by tealstar on May 25, 2013 3:04 PM ()
One of the letters that Sue wrote me was written using a portable typewriter, and the next one looked like it came via word processor. It's a bit of a hassle for me to print things out, so I usually hand-write letters to her rather than procrastinate because the computer planets are not aligned.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:32 PM ()
This picture was charming and made me want to go inside. We named the farm
Shadybrook farm because it had a shady brook on it. The name was on the
gate in big letters. It seems pretentious to name a house in town but it
would be delightful if everyone did it.
comment by elderjane on May 25, 2013 1:19 PM ()
I have to ask my British cousins if the house name stays with the property. Seems that it should, because if they move to a place with elm trees The Laurels wouldn't work.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:34 PM ()
Anybody who knows me here knows I love to write (especially Martin), and as the years pass I am dismayed by the lack of people who use this form of communication anymore. We have become a society of right now, the quicker the better. You can communicate with people around the world in a blink of an eye, you can text, fax, phone, skype..and many other ways. Gone are the days of waiting for the mailman to bring a letter from a loved one, with progress they're things that get lost in the shuffle..antiquated.
comment by redwolftimes on May 25, 2013 11:57 AM ()
There are a few people in my life who don't have access to email and cell phones, and I'm glad for the excuse to write to them on paper. I inherited a big bunch of old postage stamps - going back to the 29 cent days and later - and it's fun putting together the right postage amount on each envelope going out.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:37 PM ()
Ours is the school house.Yes,people are not writing any more and this is sad to hear.
I enjoy writing and still do it.Keep a journal now and then just to keep my hands in it.
comment by fredo on May 25, 2013 9:41 AM ()
I think some people figure if they don't write in their journal every day, might as well not do it, but I work on the theory that if you get around to it once in awhile, that's okay, too.
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:39 PM ()
My buddy has a road sign at the end of his driveway: Adam St. I like the idea of naming things, but I don't think it would work out well, although one of the houses Donna visits as an ombudsman is named, but that's like a family-care, a business without signage.
comment by jjoohhnn on May 25, 2013 8:59 AM ()
It's hard to come up with a name for things. I struggled with naming our road, but am pretty pleased with the outcome because it reflects past owners of some of the land down here, while seeming to advertise the fishing (Brown Trout Lane).
reply by troutbend on May 28, 2013 1:41 PM ()
When I was in the military back in late 70's mid 80's I always wrote letters, and I agree with you that writing has become a lost art. I'd propose that we pick someone on our friends list, get their address and write them a letter. It would be like a pen-pal letter like we had to write in school, doesn't have to be serious..maybe tell that person more about us, where we live and things such as this.
comment by redwolftimes on May 25, 2013 4:02 AM ()
I've been mailing a letter to our friend MyBloggers Sue (Susil) every week because she has trouble getting to the Internet these days. She would enjoy hearing from any of us, even one of those pen pal letters:
Sue Kenisky, c/o Zabrina Bradburn, 116 Abrego Ridge, Floresville, TX 78114.
reply by troutbend on May 25, 2013 8:34 AM ()
A lot of houses on the lake my parents have a house have Names, I always thought that was cool
comment by kristilyn3 on May 24, 2013 10:53 PM ()
Americans used to name their second homes, and still do to some extent. My house (built in 1913) was called Sylvania, the one next door was Weonaplace (We Own a Place), but now we call it the Brown Palace. Our other cabin was Castlerock, and the smallest cabin is Jazz Mama (Jazz Papa was swept away in a flood) and the shed over there was Tar Baby. But nobody seems to name their house in town.
reply by troutbend on May 25, 2013 8:40 AM ()
our house growing up was called LAURENE my father's name was Lawrence and mothers was Rene.
i certainly can not remember when i wrote a letter last
comment by kevinshere on May 24, 2013 10:35 PM ()
It's different, for sure. I usually hand-write them, so if I get into a particular topic and decide it's not where I wanted to go, I have to throw out the letter and start over. I could do them on the computer, but our printer always prints out a blurry sheet the first page, so it's wasteful.
reply by troutbend on May 25, 2013 8:42 AM ()
As a kid we named our houses--and right now I have had enough letters!!!
comment by greatmartin on May 24, 2013 7:46 PM ()
I'm trying to think of a good name for our house in Las Vegas, and nothing comes to me - there's nothing special about it. Maybe, based upon the neighbors, I could call it West Tijuana.
reply by troutbend on May 25, 2013 8:45 AM ()

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