Maria Greenwood shares her band of the month and talks instant communication

'Til There Was Uke

'Til There Was Uke - Credit: Archant

September conjures up memories of going back to school and the thrill of buying new pens and pencils, but in the age of instant communication, is the day of the handwritten letter over?

Maria’s Band of the Month - ‘Til There Was Uke

They’ve been friends for 12 years, united by their love of music and passion for vintage fashion. Stacey Hobday and Lucy Broddle live life by the motto, “all you need is a uke and a song”. The Weymouth-based duo formed when Lucy discovered a newfound obsession with the ukulele. Add in Stacey’s soulful and sultry vocals, together with some harmonies and ‘whistling’ and you get the unique and very chic ‘Til There Was Uke. The girls perform an eclectic range of covers from the 1920’s to the present day.

To find out more visit their website


No matter how old I get, September always reminds me of going back to school. That slight sinking feeling you would get when the endless weeks of summer, which had stretched out tantalisingly before you have gone. Instead it’s replaced by last minute searches for school books and lunch boxes and the frantic finishing off of homework that could have and should have been done weeks ago.

The one thing I did enjoy about the preparation for going back to school was, unsurprisingly, the shopping trips for new shoes and stationary. I used to take great pleasure in filling up a pencil case with shiny new pens, felt tips, pencils and rubbers. In fact, I still do. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I still have a pencil case for work. I claim it’s to make sure as a journalist I always have a pen at hand, poised to jot down vital information on a breaking news story. But the truth is you can often find me lingering just a little bit too long around the stationary cupboard, eyeing up the boxes of biros. Just don’t tell my boss.

When I was at school all of our written work was done by hand. These days everything I write is on a computer. Though lap tops and iPads offer technical wizardry (and most importantly spell check) for me they’ll never replace a clean, crisp, white sheet of paper and a freshly sharpened pencil. Emails and texting may allow us instant written communication with work colleagues, family and friends across the world, but there’s something uniquely personal about getting a hand written letter from a friend (complete with coffee stain.)

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I know what you’re thinking. In an ideal world you would happily write to Uncle Eric to ask after the family and find out if he enjoyed his walking holiday in the Lake District, but you simply don’t have the time. But do you know there are actually companies out there offering a hand written letter service? You ‘email’ them what to say, they then hand write the letter and post it for you. It’s an interesting idea, but surely the point of writing a letter is that the other person knows you’ve taken the time and effort to do it. And surely there’s one vital flaw to this, would the recipient not realise that it wasn’t your handwriting?

As well as back to school memories, September always gives me that fresh start feeling. Out with the old, and in with the new. That’s the theory anyway. I’ve recently moved house which has led to some interesting discoveries. I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder, but I’m not entirely sure what I ever planned to do with the collection of old birthday cards I seem to have been steadily adding to over the years. But that’s nothing compared to my collection of old school pencil cases…At least I’ll never be short of a pen to write that special letter with.


Maria Greenwood presents Unplugged, a celebration of Dorset’s live music scene on Wessex FM (96-97.2FM) every Sunday evening from 5pm - 7pm


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