Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Writing - Is letter writing a dying art?


There is quite a lot in the news today about letter writing and I suppose that the writing challenge this week 'write a thank you letter' is no coincidence, hence the letter to the board of Sunderland AFC below.




Dear Sir/Madam,

It is with great pleasure and happiness that I put pen to paper to say thank you for the prompt response in furnishing your reasons for declining me for the post of manager of Sunderland football club.

However, your reasoning I find rather short sighted and in places not a little insulting. In fact I wonder if some of the accusations you make may be actionable! For example, the fact that I’m in my 60s shouldn’t bar me from being considered on grounds of age as that is discrimination. I may struggle to keep up with the youngsters in training but I can ride a bike and the coaches of the university boat racers ride on the tow path!

You questioned my knowledge of football and of Sunderland AFC in particular. I have been attending games since 1961when it cost my father 1s 3d to get me into the ground to watch such wonderful exponents of the art as Charlie Hurley, Martin Harvey and Jimmy Montgomery. It would be my plan to introduce a new system to the Premier League consisting of the goalkeeper, two full backs, a centre half and two half backs and five forwards. The fact that you think this is a dated system shows me how limited you are in your imagination. Playing games with such forward power would guarantee high scoring matches.

My offer of managing the club at a relatively tiny salary of £30,000 a year is a reflection of the depth of love I have for the club. That should cover the amount I have spent in gate money since the age of 11. I reckon it worked out at about £2/season at that time. I have been more than generous as it now costs £86 for each home game I attend.

You raised a number of objections with the plans I outlined for the payment and conduct of the players and staff. Judging by the way you constructed your reply it seemed to me that you to were under the influence of some kind of inappropriate chemical substance! The fact that I think the boys from 18 – 21 should receive £10/week plus expenses. The 21 – 25 year olds £25000 (above minimum wage!) a year, and the older players up to £50000 a year. All players will be subject to attendance and fitness targets as well as performance related targets. All medical needs will be supplied by Dr Crippin at the club.
It seems that the curfew imposed in the club dormitory would be a little hard for you to swallow but I assure you the matron, ex-military sergeant Hilda Kleb, is very caring and would dish out doses of castor oil only when completely necessary!

The education plan that you singled out as inappropriate speaks for itself az yor rpli woz illedgibull.

The final insult was your pathetic attempt to rubbish my life experiences, teaching (I coached under 13 football 1971 – 78), banker and sports fan par excellence. The fact that you described me as something that rhymes with my second occupation was totally unnecessary. Nevertheless, if you had the vision to appoint me, I’m giving you the opportunity to recant the rejection in your previous letter, I can guarantee that the club would be a beacon of taste, morals and exquisite sportsmanship.
NB. It would also save the club a considerable amount of money.

Yours faithfully,


David L Atkinson


This Thursday is National Poetry Day and BBC featured one of my favourite poets, Pam Ayres, on Breakfast this morning. She doesn't describe herself as a poet because she writes for fun and doesn't believe her work is serious enough. Her work always makes me smile and I, as a recipient, think she is a brilliant poet. I suppose that there is still an element of snobbery in those who make such judgments. Pam has a strong Norfolk accent and her website allows you to hear her perform the work.
For your entertainment:-

Yes I'll Marry You My Dear

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear.
And here’s the reason why.
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry.
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it.
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!!!

It’s you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I DO, I DO, I DO!!

 God Bless