I am one of these ‘sad’ people, often criticised on Twitter, for sending Christmas cards with an attached, typed, Christmas Newsletter. Very impersonal, I am often told. However, this is something I have done every year since 1975 (and I have a copy of every one that I have sent, and every one I have received, a veritable Social History!). It started because, between 1973 and 1975, I had shared a house, for the first year with ten people and in the second year five people. After that, we all went our separate ways so this was my way of ‘keeping in touch’; I gradually extended the circulation list to other friends, and family. My initial ones were handwritten; it was only when my handwriting deteriorated that I moved on to word processing, using a computer and finally my beloved iPad.
This year, I tried a new ‘touch’. I sent an individual invitation, to all recipients of the Christmas Newsletter, inviting them to become a ‘Guest Tea Towel’; instructions were included. In all honesty, I had no expectation of anyone taking up the challenge. O ye of little faith. Within two days I had heard from Mick. Mick lives in Surrey; I haven’t seen him in at least 25 years; I have never met his partner. Mick never, ever sends a Christmas Newsletter, just a Christmas card. And here is what he wrote:
I cannot believe I am doing this but in the spirit of the season, and as a continuing embrace of British eccentricity (must visit the Lawnmower Museum one day), I am attaching my contribution.
A splendid entry I hope you will agree, admirably displayed by Jan in our living room. Having thoughtlessly laughed about Skegness over the years, it seems only right to see for myself and accordingly was delighted to find that, in my mind, it has an unfair reputation. We were cycling up from Cambridge in 2017 and enjoyed a good couple of days there, especially pleased to visit Gibraltar Point, though it got a bit grim as we went further up the coast.”
My response was “That is a splendid Tea Towel, with someone who really knows how to pose with a Tea Towel. Thank you for pandering to my eccentricity and, having actually visited the Lawnmower Museum (although they didn’t have a Tea Towel), I highly recommend it as a bonkers place to visit.”
“Blimey, that really means I must go” said Mick.
Thank you Mick, First Guest Tea Towel of 2020. Let me know if the Lawnmower Museum now has a Tea Towel.