On this Monday, Julie and I have been talking about flowers, wet things, secrets, sushi, stationery, time management, the song “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles and of course, Penpal of the Week interviews!
Today, I want to introduce you to Ulla. We met through Interpals and I’m very happy to feature her on the blog.
Please tell us about you!
Hi all!! I’m Ulla from the very north of Denmark!! A beautiful country in Scandinavia. I live here with my dear husband and two teenager kids. Actually almost adults, so they give me soooo much “challenge” in my life ;) I also have two very furry “kids”, as we have two ABSOLUTELY crazy cats; a Persian cat “Cornelius” and a “Sacred Birman” Pelle, I looooooooooove cats!!
We all live in a BIG house (my house is surely my castle), with a neat garden, greenhouse and terrace. I work with patients with dementia and Alzheimer, and it is a very rewarding and very challenging job!! I been there 15 years, and I have some of the best colleagues in the world. And I have always been working, so sometimes I really dream of more spare time to all my interests. I can mention a few; My lovely penfriends around the world, reading good books, scrapbooking and crafts, good movies and series, music, holidays and travelling, nature, spring & summertime, family moments and heaps more.
Me in the U.S. Virgin Island on a dream holiday.
Describe your personality in 10 words!
Positive, very smiling, caring, a homebody, loyal, gentle, a “private” person, sincere, friendly and humorous.
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I started penpalling, when I was around 12 years. My first pals were Danish girls, and we got in contact through magazines and newspapers. A few years later, I got lovely foreign penpals, through IPF in Dublin and ads in magazines. It was amazing and fascinating, and it really “opened the world to me”. I wrote with pals in Poland under the crisis there, with pals in Lithuania when they were fighting and pals in Germany, when the wall came down. We had the most amazing and interesting “chats”, and it was amazing to “see things through their eyes”!! I just love writing & getting letters.
My Family by the sea near Køge on Sjælland.
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
I have a bit over 40 penfriends, and they are from all over Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Asia. It is ladies only from around 30 to 50 years. Somehow it is the perfect hobby for me, as you can do it; whenever you want, wherever you want and as much as you want. And I can combine it with my “creative side” and my “chatty side”. *lol*!! And I have a perfect excuse for buying cute stationery, stickers, tape, pens, stamps and so much more.
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
I think that I love to chat about almost everything in the letters; daily life, thoughts, plans, dreams, all kind of moments, interests, the penpalling life and whatever is on our minds. It is wonderful, when the friendships get “deeper”, and we have great chats and discussions in the letters.
My cat Cornelius.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
Well the most important is to be friends and get a good friendship. Of course I always look for “the connection”, to really “click” with a penfriend. I really prefer penfriends that also love to write long & chatty letters, as that works best for me. I adore pals with a good humor and a positive mind. I love handwritten letters, but typed letters is fine with me too. I have some shoulder/neck problems, so once in a while I need to type. But honestly typed letters can be very neat and creative too, with cute fonts, clip art, stationery and so much more. I love letters with a creative touch.
And the crazy Pelle.
What do you like the most about penpalling?
Ohhhhh I like everything about penpalling… it is amazing and exciting to find fat letters in the mailbox. It is a great thought to have a good friend on the other side of the world and be a part of their life!! I have some very “old” penfriends, and we have been exchanging letters for over 20 years. It is wonderful to think about all the things, we have been going through together; single days, boyfriends, kids arriving, jobs, kids growing up, losing loved ones and a million other things in our lives. Such long lasting friendships is just precious. I am really nuts with stationery, and I just can’t get enough. And I love creating my own. And my own labels. *lol*
In what language(s) do you correspond?
I only correspond with penfriends in English and Danish. But I also get letters in Swedish and Norwegian, as I understand those languages pretty good, and I answer in Danish. And it is fun to write with Danish ladies living outside Denmark.
My handwriting and it often looks quite different.
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I love to write letters sitting in the couch watching some TV and having the cats around me, like now. *lol*!! Sometimes I also write letters in the car, when I am behind with my letters, a bit weird, but it works. I am not an ultra-regular penfriend, as I have a busy life, but I like to write pretty regularly. It is okay to take an extra week or two to answer a letter, as I enjoy a great letter.
Writing in the airport.
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
I have many great things happening to me in my “penpal life”. One weird/strange thing… Many years ago I found a very interesting address in a DECO FB, and after seeing it a few times, I wrote it down and wanted to write her an intro letter. Well it took some time, but finally I wrote a letter to this cool Italian lady, and dropped it in the mailbox. Two days after (so my letter had not reached her yet) I found a letter from this lady in my mailbox, and she had seen my address and send me a great intro letter… Sooo “great minds think alike” and it was quite amazing!! We have been writing over 20 years now, so it was really fate!!
Penpalling is not a common interest in Denmark, so people get pretty curious/surprised, when I tell about my hobby. Most people think it is a hobby for kids, and only in a short period in their life. In my late teenager years I was interviewed by our radio, as they wanted to hear more about this hobby. When I was around 30 years, we moved to a smaller town, and people were really surprised and curious about my colorful letters and visitors from other countries. I was actually interviewed by a big newspaper about my interest, and they had a big article called “Writing with the world”. And afterward I got contacted by a bunch of ladies, they wanted to know; how to get started with penpalling and how to find penfriends. COOL!!
I love scrapbooking.
Have you met any of your penpals?
I have not met a lot of penfriends, as we have not really been travelling a lot… But I’ve met pals from Greece, Slovenia and Lithuania. Just after the wall came down did my penpal from Dresden come to Copenhagen and we met. We went to Dresden shortly after, and we stayed by her and her husband. It was a great and very interesting trip, and we really got an idea of living in the old East Germany and had a lot of amazing trips in Dresden and the area around it.
Down there we also met another penfriend, and had a nice time the 3 of us. A few years ago we travelled to Italy, and we did manage to spend a day with my Italian penfriend. She showed us around Milan, showed us her working area, lots of things in Milan and a bunch of her favorite places. And we got the most delicious pizza and ice cream. *lol*!! I enjoy to meet pals after writing together for some time, but it is not the reason I have penfriends. It is a great way to find nice friends, learning about another country and another person and her life.
Me and my husband by our beautiful West Coast.
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
I’m not really looking for a lot of new penfriends, as I have around “the perfect number of penfriends” for me. But once in a while I can get tempted, if I get a really interesting intro. My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penpalling is a lifelong hobby of mine, and it is true “Friends are made by pen and ink”!! Happy writing!!
If you’re reading this post and thinking that you would like to be featured here on the blog, then send me an email and we can set up an interview.
Currently, Julie and I are finding it difficult to decide on something for dinner. We aren’t feeling very inspired. Suggestions?