What a lovely thing I found yesterday!
When one of my great aunts died, at least ten years ago, but probably closer to fifteen, I remember spending some time helping my mum sort through her belongings. I picked up two very old autograph books, which had belonged to my great uncle as a boy, and asked if I could keep them.
I came across them again yesterday when I was sorting through boxes, and I had forgotten how absolutely beautiful they are. Both are leather-bound, with ‘Album; embossed on the outside in gold lettering. One is dated 1918, and the other seems to have entries dating from 1924-1926.
They seem to have been used as a way of collecting small notes, sayings and sketches – often humourous – from family and friends, and I can’t get over how lovely some of the pages are. There must be at least forty or fifty pages that have been filled, each by something witty and delightful. Here is a very small selection:
One of my favourite pages is a long bit of advice from someone called DL Kent, which was written in 1926, in very elegant, cursive handwriting.
Be sharp in all your doings
said the knife.
Trust to your stars for success
said the night.
Find a good thing and stick to it
said the glue.
Spend much time in reflection
said the mirror.
Strive to make a good impression
said the seal.
Turn all things to your advantage
said the lathe.
Make much of small things
said the microscope.
Never take sides, but be sound when you’re wanted,
said the bell.
Make the most of your good points
said the compass.
Such good advice, nearly 90 years later!
I’m so glad I found these two books again, and can’t wait to make time to read through them both properly. What a wonderful thing to treasure.
Nominations have just opened for this year’s MAD Blog Awards. Last year I was chuffed to pieces that your support saw me end up as a finalist in the Best New Blog category. I’m obviously not eligible for that again, but if you think I deserve to be nominated in another category this year such as Best Blog Writer or Best Family Life Blog you can do so on the MADS website here.