Keeping It Retro | Guest Blog for Scot Bloggers
Published by Scots Bloggers.
If you’re like me and occassionally get fed up with the electrically buzzing of laptop computers, printers and other assorted modern technology, sometimes reminiscing in retro thingamabobs, vintage contraptions and old-fashioned customs can be a welcome change. Here is the ‘moon child’ short list of my favourite things to use/do that will keep you feeling retro:
While writing letters to pen pals might seem like a bit of a childhood novelty, or an old fashioned custom that went out of date when telephones became readily available, there is still a huge tradition of ‘snail mail’ through websites such as Tumblr and magazines such as Oh Comely* where letter writing is not only kept alive and kicking, but has been transformed. It’s not just about writing letters but also about art, as there are countless ways to decorate your letters and parcels into lovely little bundles of brown paper packages tied up with string.
*Oh Comely magazine organise the ‘Perfect Strangers Project’ where you can swap a surprise with someone from somewhere around in the world selected for you by the magazine. I participated in the project this year and wrote a blog post all about it, too. For anyone thinking about snail mail, taking part in the project is a great way to start!
While I’d like to be a cool retro chick who still uses cassette tapes out of nothing but choice, this one is more of a necessity for me. Since my little ancient car still has a tape deck and only one radio station that actually plays, I decided to head over to eBay to buy some old tapes so I would have something to listen to while driving. Luckily, most of my favourite music comes from the 80s-90s (Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi etc.) so there is no shortage of their tapes if you know where to look. Anyone who knows me well will also know that Trainspotting is my favourite film so I couldn’t resist picking up a tape copy of the soundtrack as well.
Tapes might seem like something from a bygone era (even though it wasn’t that long ago that we all used them) but the quality of the audio on tapes is surprisingly great, and let’s face it, they’re more interesting to look at than boring old CDs which I imagine will also be made obsolete soon what with the progression of digital and online music. (Technology moves too quickly for me.)
If you regularly follow my blog, you will have known that this one was coming. As a writer, and a literature student, I adore typewriters and have my own 1950s Smith Corona model. I use my typewriter for letters to family members and pen pals. But I also use it to type out copies of my poems and short stories because there’s nothing prettier than typewriter font. The upside of using a typewriter is they never run out of battery, and the clatter of the keys and the ding of the bell telling you to move the paper along is nicer to hear than irritating bings and bongs from your laptop.
Typewriters have also seen a revival lately with poets using the vintage contraptions to exhibit their work including Tyler Knott’s Typewriter Series amongst others.
— Tyler Knott Gregson (@TylerKnott) March 27, 2014
What do you do to ‘keep it retro’? Let us know in the comment section below.