Whilst paging through the papers this weekend I came upon a short article advising us dear readers that Royal Mail were increasing postal rates yet again. Both first and second class post will attract an additional penny (new) to the cost as and from 29th March. A first class stamp will cost 64p and a second class stamp will cost 55p. That equates to twelve and nine pence halfpenny and eleven shillings in proper money. From 1st October 1957 until 17th May 1966 it cost 3d to post a standard letter! I can remember the violet coloured 3d stamps being used. Comparing that cost to the new second class rate equates to an increase of 4400% over just under fifty years. That is a lot of inflation! Royal Mail has just commemorated its five hundredth anniversary. I wonder how much longer letters will continue to be posted? The pernicious email is inexorably killing the very idea of a letter. Instantaneous is now the watchword of communication.