Monday, April 23, 2012

Penpal of the Week #73


This week, let’s meet a girl who lives in a beautiful country and has cute animals…


Please tell us about you!

Hello! I’m Abbye and I’m a 21 year old girl from Northern Ireland. At the moment, I’m coming to the end of my final year at university. (Don’t ask me what I’m going to do next year! I haven’t a clue!!) I study English and Film which is really interesting and more work than it sounds! I am hopefully graduating in July.


Abbye 1

This is me and my insane hamster, Don Juan –

he’s named after the legendary seductive libertine that Johnny Depp

played in the movie… yeah it’s mainly because of Johnny Depp!!


I live in a town, about ten miles from Belfast, with my Mummy and my dog Poppy – she’s a very excitable and over affectionate Staffordshire Bull Terrier (my dog, not my Mum!) Oh and my crazy hamster Don Juan. I’m an only child. I’m really close to my Granda, he’s an inspiration to me. He’s 88 and is super independent! He lives on his own, drives, and does everything himself. He even comes round to our house in secret to cut our grass!! I hope I’m as independent and thoughtful when I’m his age! I’m also very close to my Auntie, she’s more like a sister and a best friend wrapped in to one.


Abbye 2

Me, my Mumma Bear and my Auntie Gail :)


I’m an animal lover and although I like cats, I’m definitely a dog person.


I love travelling and have been on a couple of big trips so far. In 2010 I spent a wonderful month in Thailand. I worked in an orphanage with some other volunteers (and my boyfriend, Paul) – we built a road and spent a lot of time teaching the kids. I loved it there, and I miss all the kids so much! When there’s a language barrier you find so many other ways to communicate – I’ll never forget that experience!


Abbye 3

Me and Apeh (pronounced Ah- Pay).

He was one of the kids that I worked with in Thailand. I miss him!


In Summer 2011 I went interrailing around Europe with my friends. We travelled through The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, France and Spain. It was an awesome trip!


I like to keep active but I’m not a very competitive person so I tend to like to do things like hiking, swimming, cycling. I especially love to go on long walks which turn in to adventures!


Other things that I like to do include baking – I love baking anything and everything for my family and friends (and myself a lot of the time).¬† Reading – I like everything from the classics to more contemporary books, I recently read Stephen Kelman’s ‘Pigeon English’ and Karl Pilkington’s ‘An Idiot Abroad’ – which was actually recommended¬† by a penpal. Movies – I love watching films but I can never decide what my favourite film is! Tea – it might sound silly but tea is a big part of my life! I drink so so much of the stuff!! I think I’m a tea-aholic :)


Abbye 4

Tea! The love of my life!

And a wonderful tea pot cosy knitted by my talented Mummy.


I’ve been going out with my lovely boyfriend Paul for just over two years now. We met on the very first day of university and were friends for a while before we got together. We lived together last year but it became too expensive so we’re back home this year.


Northern Ireland can be a beautiful place to live. There is a lot of charm hidden in places that you wouldn’t expect!! I love going to places like the Mourne Mountains or the Giant’s Causeway. The town I live in is quite busy, eventually, when I’m older I think I’d love to live in the countryside.


Abbye 5

The secret charms of Northern Ireland!


Describe your personality in 10 words!

Ooo! This is a difficult one… Active, imaginative, over-thinker, curious, friendly, trustworthy, loyal, giving, nostalgic and long-nail-hating. The last one refers to my phobia of long nails! I can’t stand them, I cut my nails loads and get a bit anxious when long nails touch me! <WEIRD!


Abbye 6

Me :) at a wonderful place called Bloody Bridge river

in the sea side town of Newcastle.


How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

Well, I think the first ever penpal I had was my childhood best friend who moved to Australia but after a while we started to email each other and unfortunately the letters kind of dried up! I didn’t really write to anyone else until I met a fellow snail mail lover at university whose family home happened to be quite far from mine. We wrote to eachother over the holidays. I began properly penpalling only a few months ago and I’ve found most of my wonderful penpals through this lovely blog :) Thanks Julie!


Abbye 7

My boyfriend Paul, Me and my best friend Cheryl,

enjoying the best ice-cream ever in Rome.


How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?

I think at the moment I have around six penpals, they are from lots of different countries including England, Norway, Finland, USA and Canada. I love finding out more about other cultures and how people live in other countries.


What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I suppose I like to discuss everyday life with my penpals. I like to tell my penpals about any adventures I’ve had, anything strange that’s happened and I also like to ask odd questions – I like to know the day of the week people were born on or what they weighed when they were born :)


Abbye 8

Being an adrenaline junkie in Thailand.


What are you looking for in a penpal?

Someone who wants to share :)


I like writing to people who care about what they’re sending.


Abbye 9

The view from (almost at) the top of Slieve Donard.

You can see some of my friends on their way up.


What do you like the most about penpalling?

I love opening a letter and thinking about the person who wrote it and learning about them. It’s like being able to peek in to someones life.


I also love picking the post up from the floor and spying a colourful or handwritten envelope between the bills!… That’s if Poppy hasn’t got to the letters before me! Sometimes by the time I get to them, they have a couple of little holes in them, she’s getting better though :)


Abbye 10

This is the very hyper but lovely Poppy.

She’s actually camera shy so I was lucky to get this one.


In what language(s) do you correspond?

Unfortunately I can only speak English :( I so wish I could speak other languages, maybe I’ll get round to learning sometime!


What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

The perfect letter writing environment for me is a quiet hour and a big pot of tea. I use quite a lot of nice letter sets but I also like to decorate my own envelopes. I like to try to include my penpals interests when I decorate envelopes. I try to write back as quick as I can, usually within a week and my letters are normally quite long since I tend to ramble a bit!


Abbye 11

A sample of my handwritting :)


Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

Hmm… I’m happy to say that nothing negative has ever happened. I receive a lot of tea – which I will never complain about!! I’ve also received beautiful handmade tokens and cards from my lovely penpals which I treasure.


I try to send nice things when I can too :)


Abbye 12

A collection of some of my decorated envelopes.


Have you met any of your penpals?

I haven’t met any of my penpals, they are all quite new, I would love to meet them if we were ever to cross paths.


Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Of course! I would love more penpals. No one is too rich to refuse a friend! That’s what I think anyway :) I would love more penpals from anywhere in the world!


If anyone would like to get in contact with me, my email address is


Thank you for interviewing me Julie :)¬† it’s been fun!


My pleasure, Abbye!

Lovely handwriting, by the way…

Posted under Penpal Interviews

7 Responses to “Penpal of the Week #73”

  1. My dog is camera shy too! I have to be very sneaky or hold a treat to get him to sit still and look at the camera :)

  2. You have beautiful handwriting! :)

  3. I’ll try the treat trick on her Beth but she freaks out every time she sees it!!!
    And thank you Jamie:)

  4. This is such a lovely interview :) I’m going to try harder to see the loveliness of N. Ireland .
    I may have had a letter or two from Abbye before so I can say she would make a great pen pal ! x

  5. Abbye! Nice penpal add! Haven’t heard from you in a little bit. did you ever get my letter? ;)
    Toodles, Shannah

  6. Hi Shannah,

    I sent you a letter at the start of last week,

    Hopefully you’ll get it soon!

  7. Good deal!


My name is Julie and I'm 37.
I'm French Canadian and fell
in love with an American,
so I'm now living in Vermont
with my wife.

I write letters, I love stationery and I have a handwriting fetish. I often eat sushi, still feel like I'm 16 and only wear skirts & dresses (with colorful tights when it's cold).

I'm happier with a mind full of ideas, a mailbox full of letters from my penpals, a shop full of stationery, a house full of pens and a day full of hugs.

Read my Top 10 Quirks here.

This is me with my wife,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after in the
Stationery Kingdom.

Denise blogs here too and is
the one in charge of the
social media: Facebook,
Twitter and Pinterest.

She's 40 years old,
from South Dakota,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

Send your penpal ad & top 10 quirks to:

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