|Emma Morris, UK|
If you have to describe yourself in only 5 words what would they be?
Lively, fun, artistic, friendly, humerous.
Tell us something about your town, city or country.
I live in Letchworth Garden City, It is one of England’s two garden cities and it was the first in the world. It was founded by Ebenezer Howard, and inspired other garden cities around the world such as Welwyn garden city (a neighbouring city to me) and many other towns. It is a pretty city with lots of trees, gardens, greenery and a 13.1 mile country path that goes around the edge of the city via countryside, farms, parks and villages
How did you start penpalling? When was that? And why did you decide to start Penpalling?
I started penpalling in January 2009, I had just had my first baby and as I have always been used to full time work or study, I felt a bit lonely at home. I will never ever regret it! I have made some amazing and inspiring friends. I find I can tell my penpals anything without them judging me!
What do you like / dislike about Penpalling/correspondence?
I dislike it when you are in the middle of a good friendship that has lasted at least a few months and then your penpal stops writing, I find that upsetting, I would rather they were honest or put a postcard in the post to say they are unable to write for whatever reason.
How do your friends react when they discover you are into Penpalling? Are they also into it or they give you the “strange” faces?
The majority of my friends think it’s really great, and I am not ashamed to tell them. After all the people I write to have become good friends of mine too ;-) I have learned so much about other cultures and countries; it would be hard for my friends to say that it’s anything other than brilliant to have penpals!!
Do you still stay in touch with your first penpal? Tell us about your first penpal even if you have lost touch with them. We might be able to help you locate him/her.
Yes, I do! In fact, I have 1 new penpal, the other pals I have had since I started penpalling! My first UK penpal keeps in touch when she can but not on a regular basis and my first European penpal writes every fortnight or so.
How many Penpals do you have? Where are they from?
I have 5 (just right for me) they are from England, Malaysia, Faroe Islands, Germany and Belgium.
Are you searching for new Penpals? If yes, please give us some contact information that we can publish in the magazine so that people can write to you back.
I am not at the moment, I feel like I have just the right number to remember each letter, and to keep up regularly.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
A friendly, chatty letter. Honesty and non judgemental. Sometimes there is a delay in replies or I can receive a sad letter, but that’s life and I try to send them back some positivity or a nice card :-).
Where do you find new Penpals from? Do you rely on FBs or Facebook or other websites/blogs? Sandbook or interpals, I don't use addresses from FB'S.
Tell us a funny/interesting story from your Penpalling experience?
I was writing to a lovely lady, and I realized that she actually only lived and worked in one of the next villages to my mother and father in law. It was quite funny at the time, it is a very small world.
How do you keep track of your mail? Share your tip on how to organize ourselves. I keep all my new letters in a letter rack and reply as soon as I can, and keep all letters that I have replied to in a box. At the end of each year I put the years worth of letters away, I never throw them away. I also keep the stamps in a stamp folder, so that in a few years time, I can show these to my daughters.
Do you swap things? Do you like sending gifts to friends? If yes, what is the funniest gift you have ever sent/received? I love swapping and sending gifts. I send different things from handmade items made by myself to jewelry or cosmetics. I have been sent lots of lovely things – baby clothes (for my children), tea (!!), cookbooks, stickers, jewelry ...the list goes on. Although friendship is more important than presents ;-).
Have you met a penpal? If so, let us know how the meeting went. I have not yet met a penpal but aim to meet my German pal this year and have invited my Malaysian pal to stay when the time is right for her!
What do you usually like writing/reading about in the letters? I like writing and reading about pretty much anything. I write/read about day to day lives, hopes and dreams, good things that have happened such as births, milestones etc!! One of my pals had her book published last year that was amazing to read about!!
When it comes to making cute and personal letters, everyone has his/her own style. Tell us your trick how to make a letter/envelope unique? Do you decorate it? If yes, how. Give us some tips on how to make the letters more interesting.
I always use brightly coloured stationary (which doesn’t have to be expensive) and lots of stickers, I don't hand decorate my letters but like them to be pretty. I also use decorated tape to tape my envelopes up (as sadly things can go missing in the post!) and I also use personalized address labels.
Where do you buy your stationery supplies from? Do you prefer traditional shops or e-shops? If so, give us some links.
I use letterset.com, paperchase (UK Shop chain) and Phonex Trading UK - I am a phoenix seller ;-) you can buy phoenix items in the UK, France, Australia or New Zealand only.
Your contact information:
Blog/website, etc- Em's Lovely Treats, Baking and the other bits