Tuesday 29 August 2023

The Letter by Eamon O'Leary, one shot cappucccino, no chocolate

It’s years, maybe decades, since I last received or wrote a handwritten letter, so it was with great delight to get one from our grandson. He thanked us for having him, his Mummy and Daddy and baby brother for holidays.

He listed out the Top10 things he’d enjoyed most.

I’d have to reply and went rummaging for a pen. Although the recipient in this case was a 7 year  old, I believe that to give due deference, we must write a letter in ink. Real ink. Amongst a drawer full of biros, I found a Uniball Freeflow. It sounds like an unfortunate affliction but writes beautifully.

I made a start. I stopped. My scrawl, at an angle of approximately 30 degrees, looked as if a fly with dysentery had crawled across the page. The solution was simple. I’d have to practice, like being back at school.

The wastepaper basket was almost full before I managed something legible.

Hello Theo,

Me and Granny loved your letter, and we enjoyed the holiday as much as you did. And you had catching mud crabs in Drake’s Pool as your No1. Yeah, that was brilliant. Although we didn’t count, I’m sure you caught the most, and it was fun when you poured out the bucket and they skedaddled back into the water.

And your number 2 was the day when it didn’t rain, and we went to Rocky Bay and Granny brought along a picnic and we had sausages and marshmallows on the little bbq and made thousands of sandcastles and tunnels.

Watching you climb the Acer tree was super, although I think Mummy wasn’t too happy when she saw you swinging like Tarzan from the top branch.

Thanks for helping me dig the spuds. They were lovely, weren’t they?

You’re definitely a big boy now, being able to tie your shoelaces, and after all the football practice you did in the garden, I’m sure you’ll be a star player.

I finished off by enclosing a few bob to start off next year’s holiday fund.

My letter will probably, in a few days, find its way to the recycling bin, but at the back of my mind, I’m kind of hoping that in 40- or 50-years’ time it might be pulled out from the back of some drawer or journal and bring back memories of holidays ’23.


About the author 

Eamon's short stories have been published in a myriad of anthologies. His latest highlight is reading a number of his stories on RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster. 


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  1. Nice one, Eamon, captures so much in one short gulp... and love 'the day it didn't rain'! Niall

  2. Quality piece, straight from the heart. Well done Eamonn. I hope he frames that letter. I would!