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“I had boundless admiration for the ease with which he wrote letters…”.

The first few weeks of the New Year roll around, and with them the ballet of thanks and good wishes to our loved ones. When he was a child, Albert Schweitzer always dreaded the moment when he would have to devote himself to this long and uninviting task in his father’s study.

“Oh, those hours when I sat with my sisters in the study steeped in the smell of books, listening to the creak of my father’s pen, my mind absent, dreaming of myself in the company of my comrades who, on their sleds, were hurtling down the slope behind the church! … And all the while I had to write letters of thanks to my uncles, aunts, godparents and other donors! And what letters they were! My sister Louise was very skilful at giving each letter a different twist and varying the transitions. I had boundless admiration for the ease with which she wrote.

Albert Schweitzer, Memoirs of Childhood and Youth