Pen pal tales

There weren’t enough people in the French school we were paired with to write to, so our school got some us to write to kids from a school in (IIRC) Cameroon. One pupil got a letter from a lad who collected money and asked him to send a £5, £10, £20 and £50 note.


I did a German exchange when I was 15

I was matched with a boy called Christian - I think they matched us as I said on my form that I played badminton (which I did, for fun sometimes) and he played tennis (to a very high level).

I think it’s fair to say that we had very little in common

German schools start early and finish about lunchtime - so the kids can go off and do sports and things. Every day I had to accompany him to an indoor tennis place - where he would play tennis. I was never allowed to join in. I was just expected to sit there and watch

When he stayed at mine I got my revenge by making him sit through videos of The Greatest Rock’n’Roll Swindle and Spinal Tap. God knows what he made of them

love the hiding in plane sight approach


Actually I think he came to me 1st, so maybe it was him getting his revenge on me

forgot that they did this

Sorry, I’m not incredibly old

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Bonjour foppyish seras-tu mon correspondant?

is this ageism?


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(i’ve been told I need to stop saying “absolutely!”)

I’ll send you a private message and a playlist if you like?

I think there are some people that send each other CDs and whatnot, particularly around christmas time.

Didn’t have a penpal but my mum’s cousin lives in France and she knew a couple who wanted their daughter to go to the UK for a bit as she was learning English. She was my age (15/16 at the time) and she came over for 10 days. We went to pick her up from the airport and it turned out that she was incredibly tall, incredibly beautiful and had incredible hair. She came to all my classes with me and the boys in my year literally followed us around until she left. It was awkward when she tried to bum fags from strangers, I guess it was normal in France?

When it was my turn to go and stay with her family, I got my dad to come and pick me up three days in because I hated it. Wish I’d stayed with hindsight

Had two pen pals when I was growing up.

One was a kid I became friends with on holiday when I was about eight. I remember writing him a letter all about how I REALLY liked monster trucks. Didn’t bother writing another letter.

Second was a German girl when I was learning German at school. Her surname was ‘Rubbisch’ which I’m assuming was made up. Not sure if this was because she was a punk or an act of defiance by a teenager who had been forced to write a pen pal letter against her will. Think she said her Dad was a dentist and that she liked ‘hearing’ music. Again didn’t last beyond about two letters.

after bearing your soul about monster trucks, what else can you say?

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I’m amazed anyone much younger than me would have had one, TBH.

Felt like an ancient notion when even I was at school

I had three, all American. Two girls and a boy. Two were shortlived but one went on for a couple of years. We exchanged photos and cassette tapes of us talking and songs we thought the other might like. This was the early 80s so mine was full of synth pop and hers was full of rock. She went to El Segundo High and last I heard of her she was debating whether to become a committed Christian like her boyfriend wanted her to be.

I found the boy recently, he still lives in Cottonwood, Alabama just like when he was 12, thirty six years ago. He added me on Facebook but I’ve had to hide him because I think he’s a Trump supporter.

So it goes…

For all I know, Natalie is a Marie Le Pen supporter too


some kid on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway the other day (Saturday) won tickets to Florida to meet his penpal (Glen who looked like he was stood in a barn)

Quite nice to see they still exist

bearing indeed

Wasn’t it on the news last week that celebrity-prisoner Charles Bronson was marrying his pen-pal? Shows that there must still be people writing pen-pal letters to people in jail