So the postal workers are striking again and mail is likely to be affected at least until October 15th. There would have been a time when, as the only means of communication, this would have been an absolute disaster instead of a frustrating inconvenience; now in business we simply rely on an alternative means of transmission and in our personal lives the text message continues to reign supreme.

Communication, however, remains the mainstay of our lives and on which all relationships depend. The handwritten letter, though, is very much in the descendency (little love notes tied up with red string and a miniature rose are surely passé), but the need to keep in contact is as important as ever. Hence whilst the desire to put pen to paper has diminished, the use of the mobile phone for text and conversing has increased, making it ever easy to stay in touch even when miles apart, away from home for weeks or even months. Indeed, the failure to answer a mobile call; answering one against the background of nightclub music when you are supposed to be on a business engagement; receiving a call from a member of the opposite sex in the presence of your spouse; can all be tell tale signs of relationship breakdown. Text messages can give an even worse signal, and if your partner cunningly grabs your phone only to read amorous offerings from your supposed work colleague at the next desk, that is invariably the end.

It was never this way with the post, or maybe it was, but life was slower, communication more formal, and the agony equally as excruciating. Waiting patiently for a letter to arrive, blaming the postman for days and then ripping open the envelope as it finally dropped on the mat, only to read those two heart rending words, “Dear John…”


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