ALMOST every Sunday my husband sits down at the table and writes letters to our two daughters.

Over four pages, he describes the week’s events, however trivial , and most are - apart from gardening and the weekly shop, we don’t do much.

He uses good quality paper and writes with a fountain pen. He has done this for years, every since they left home, and I have been pleased to see, on visits to my daughters, that they keep them all.

I occasionally ask my husband why he writes so regularly when he has nothing other than mundane things to say. He told me that he likes taking time to reflect on the past week. “It’s like an open dairy for them to read.” He finds it relaxing and likes the feeling of closeness that writing and posting a letter brings.

The subject came up this week after TV presenter Monty Don confessed to seeing letter-writing as a “terrible chore.”

He said: “I am very bad at writing letters. I think it comes from boarding school and being forced to write them on a Sunday morning. Also, my mother never allowed us to play at Christmas or on birthdays until we had written every thank-you letter.”

My husband also went to boarding school and was put through the Sunday letter-writing ritual (“they were all scrutinised before posting too,” he tells me), but while his schooldays put him off sport for life, he did not develop an allergy to writing letters.

I am glad of that. Unlike my husband I am not a prolific letter writer and like the fact that at least one of us keeps in touch with the children in this traditional way.

When I do get around to putting pen to paper I too enjoy it. I take time to think about what I am about to say and how it will be received. Half the pleasure of letter writing is - providing it’s not a poison pen missive - the notion of a happy surprise at the other end.

I like that it’s an age-old activity - the writing materials and language may have changed, but other than that it’s is the same. It’s also chance to practice your hand-writing. Nowadays, other than shopping lists, people don’t write by hand.

Monty Don can take comfort in the fact that letter writing is a dying art. A 2018 survey found that 60 per cent of adults have sent fewer than five handwritten letters in the past decade, while six per cent have neither sent nor received a single one in the same period.

I doubt that many schools now teach letter writing - a subject covered in my English classes - let alone demand their pupils do it. With instant electronic messaging, the kids of today have no need to master the ‘Yours Sincerely/Faithfully’ rules. They are more likely to introduce themselves with ‘Hey!’ on the top of an email.

It’s sad. Handwritten Letters are keepsakes, something you feel inclined to put in a box and treasure. unlike deleting an email, they are hard to throw away.

I recently came across some letters sent to me in my teens by a friend who had moved abroad. It referred to our schoolgirl crushes - good-looking lads who will most likely now have bald heads, pot bellies and grandchildren.

Throughout the letters, the i was dotted with a tiny round circle, something we all used to do at that age, and think was ultra-cool. I can picture my friend through them.

We don’t write letters because we don’t have time and there are other means of communication at our disposal, but we should make time. We should think about the pleasure it will bring at the receiving end. It’s well worth the effort.