Hello! I’m posting this week’s interview later than usual… The past few days were horrible, but hopefully the next few ones will be better! All you can eat sushi for lunch with Martin on Wednesday should make up for it.
So are you ready to meet the Penpal of the Week? OK, let’s go…
Please tell us about you!
Hello all from the beautiful, rainy, soggy UK! I live in the windy, wet corner of England known as Yorkshire, and love it hehe – hey, it’s home! My name is Hannah, and I am 23 years young, but still a kid at heart – who wants to grow up?
Me at the local butterfly house.
I can’t work at the moment due to illness, but my dream is one day to teach, like my mother and twin sister. For now I have lots of lovely spare time for writing! And I also have a small volunteer job in a charity shop, working with oodles of lovely books. I am also planning to resume structured study in the next academic year, working on my Literature degree.
My biggest passion in life is my sweetheart of a fiance, whose name is Alan. He rescued me from a tree the first time that we spoke… loong story, one for letters. He is completely gentle and sweet and I am still pinching myself that it’s actually me that he wants to go out with!
The other love-of-my-life is my little scamp of a Westie, Harley – he is a little horror but I love him dearly. We got him from a rescue shelter so that he would stop me moping and get me out of the house when I am feeling unwell, and he certainly does that – he is such a badly-behaved dog, and he makes me laugh with his antics. It’s fatal though to let him know that you think he’s funny, because he’s such a ham!
I have 2 siblings, a twin sister and a “brother” – ok, he’s my best friend really, but we are so close that we just find it simpler to say “brother” and “sister.” He is called Rob and is wonderful – he really looks after me and I know I can trust him with anything.
I also really enjoy anything vintage or antique, and have a passion for Victoriana – I find it almost eerie, knowing that there were people so long ago and they walked the same streets and breathed the same air and so on as we do! It’s quite creepy, to me anyway. I also love the Victorians because they were so… paradoxical I think is the best word, so advanced in some ways yet still so Medieval in others… I also love anything to do with “Sherlock Holmes,” and think that Jeremy Brett, who played him in the eighties, is the third best-looking man ever, only beaten by those above!
My darling Alan and I.
I love to write and do arts and crafts, and I have written a “Sherlock Holmes” novel myself, that weaves in aspects of my own experiences. I have also started a love story based on true events from the Wars of the Roses. I just find that I completely relax when I write, and find it so theraputic when I get very stressed. I love writing short stories, poems, and letters too!!
Describe your personality in ten words!
loyal, worrier, intense, tolerant, loving, shy, stressy, faithful, quirky, funny
How long have you been penpalling? How did you start? Tell us about your first penpall!
I first started penpalling a few years ago when I was having problems because I was very ill and became a little bit of a recluse, because I was so scared of going out of the house. I just wanted to stay in touch with my friends, so my brother set me up online, and he and my friends also wrote to me – so I guess you could say that my brother was my first penpal, because I was more or less housebound at the time.
As I got bolder I started looking at penpal sites on the tinterweb, and I was lucky enough to find a site for people with my health problems, from which I have made several very lovely friends. Now that I am coping much better and getting out and about more, I still love penpalling as I just love it when an envelope drops through the letterbox that isn’t a bill!
My lovely brother and I, chilling!
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
At a rough estimate I would say six or seven, and they are from all over the place hehe – the USA, Canada, Spain, the UK, some are from the next town and some are from the other side of the world. It all adds to it for me, I am interested in hearing about anywhere and everywhere!
What are your favourite topics to discuss in letters?
I love to discuss anything under the sun, and I’m quite happy to go into deep subjects as long as I feel that there’s mutual respect and tolerance of the other’s perspective. I like to talk about things like emotions and beliefs, but I am also happy to talk about books, films, what happens in the other person’s life, anything in fact as long as I feel I can trust the person and they trust me.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
Someone who is non-judgemental and openminded, and prepared to accept me for who I am, just as I am willing to accept them. Someone with a sense of fun, as sometimes I can get a little bit stressy and it helps to have friends who can make me laugh. I am happy to wite no matter where you’re from, and age / sexuality / race are no barriers to me. I would love to write to either women or men the only proviso being that they respect the fact that I’m not looking for romance as I’m engaged to Alan.
What do you like the most about penpalling?
I really love that it keeps me in touch with friends and with the outside world, even when I am having a really bad day and feeling ill and not wanting to go out. It helps make me feel connected and a part of the world again. I also love that a friend has taken the time to give a little thought to me and written something nice for me, and I was in their thoughts for that time that it took. I love penpalling!!!
In what language(s) do you correspond?
English only, sadly – I did study German and Spanish at school, but I’m worried that I don’t know enough to have meaningful conversations that are more than about the weather :( I’m up for learning more if anyone would like to teach me!
Handwriting sample :)
What are some of your habbits in regards to letter writing?
I have a portable letter-writing kit that I carry around, so that I can write whenever I get a spare minute. Other than that, I tend to write at my little fold-out craft table that my auntie gave me – it’s so battered and worn now, but I wouldn’t part with it! I write a first draft of the letter so that I can get all my ideas down in one place, then I do any changes and reshuffling that I want. Then comes the best bit – breaking out the pretty stationary!! I tend to write quite long letters, but I tend to just go with the flow and if I have lots of ideas then there’s no knowing how long I’ll go on for!!
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
No hehehe, should I anticipate it? Or worry about it?
Have you met any of your penpals?
Yes, I have had the honour to meet one gentleman at our local museum – it was lovely to put a face to the writing. He was really nice, and it was brilliant to meet him after writing to him for all that time. He even bought me a flattened coin as a momento! We then met up again in his hometown, and went to his local museum hehe where we had a really good time. I remember there was this interactive thing where one had to pretend to be a news presenter and my penpal was just out of shot pulling faces to make me laugh – I ended up hardly able to speak! I wasn’t too bothered until I realised that I had been filmed and it was being played on a screen for everyone to see!
I would really like to meet more of my penpals, and hope to travel one day and experience places – I’ve only once been out of the UK, so I’d love to have the honour to visit places and meet people. One day…
Me and some doggy friends!
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
Most certainly! One or two more would be lovely – as I said earlier I have spare time to write and I would really love to make some new friends. Anyone who would like to write, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for letting me take part, and wishing you all a lovely day!
Thank you Hannah!