Once, about four years ago on a flight to the States, I sat next to a woman with whom I have corresponded ever since. She was in New Zealand visiting a grand-daughter and every time she writes she asks me when I am coming over stay with her. Here are a few extracts from her last letter.
"... No Christmas note from me last year because I was off on a Cultural Exchange to China. What a different world: too much to absorb. Even got to walk awhile on the Great Wall, but nearly froze there with a long down coat plus many layers. Cranes everywhere, (half the world's are in Shanghai); construction is mind-boggling. Go soon if you want to see traditional China ....
... I was going to a church meeting Feb. 6 when I fell off a curb trying to evade a man who'd followed me more than 2 blocks ... Broke the same knee cap as 2 years ago, but also gashed my forehead, broke an elbow, a finger and some ribs. Luckily I'd bought the usual pair of season tickets for 5 theatres. For those free tickets people offered to wrestle with my wheelchair ... so I got to see a performance of every production that three months. Amazing theatre we get here."
Oh, and she has just bought a new car.
She is 90 years old this year.