Horsing Around

An Edwardian letter to Father Christmas

Tis the season to be merrily writing to Santa, the one time of year children are guaranteed to employ their best handwriting. Even though Mail Obsession features general British trivia (postcodes are just the device for splitting the country up), I still included a few gems of postal history - like this Edwardian boy's letter to the man in red ...

Horsing Around

Dear Santa

When I said my prayers last night, I told God to tell you to bring me a hobby-horse. I don’t want a hobby-horse, really. A honestly live horse is what I want. Mamma told me not to ask for him, because I probably would make you mad, so you wouldn’t give me anything at all, and if I got him I wouldn’t have any place to keep him. A man I know will keep him, he says, if you get him for me. I thought you would like to know.

Please don’t be mad.



PS – a Shetland would be enough

PS – I’d rather have a hobby-horse than nothing at all

Posts: 8
Edwardian letter to Father Christmas
Reply #1 on : Tue December 08, 2015, 06:31:18
Delightful! Of course these days we hope that some rom-com screenwriter didn't dream it up and pass it off as real. Oh, where's the innocence?

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Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.