It's that dismal and damp time of year when I long to be outside making a start at getting the allotment fettled ready for spring, but the wind and drizzle keep me penned-up indoors, scratching-around trying to find things to keep me occupied.
Although the Potting Shed is now pretty much ready to be used for artistic activity, I still await delivery of the kiln, and without that, there is a very limited appeal in actually making anything, as there is no way for the time being that any pottery items could become finished.
So, as my sister recently passed-on to me the custody of the Dorrell family archive of photographs and paperwork, I have started having a rummage. My goodness - there's some memories here, and some surprises too. I still have to formulate a plan for what to do with all the paperwork, which includes things like receipts for furniture bought by my parents in the 1930s when they were setting up their first home. (We still have a lovely octagonal walnut coffee table bought in 1938 for the princely sum of one pound, twelve shillings and sixpence - that's £1.62 in modern decimal money).
Then I come across some household accounts, also from the late '30s, which showed my father - who worked for the Air Ministry as a weather forecaster - was bringing home just £13.00 per month, and yet the receipt for my Mum's solitaire diamond engagement ring reveals that he paid £10.00 for the ring. Project those figures to 2020 rates of pay and prices, and that ring would cost some £1,500.00 !
But so far, it is Mum's box of photos that I have worked through the most. There are hundreds of pictures, mostly tiny, and in black and white of course. I know my Mum would get the box out from time to time and have a nostalgic browse through the past, and gaze with love, and maybe a few tears, at the images of beaming children and long-departed family members.
I guess we all like to do that.
I am currently working on scanning a selection of the images, and am uploading them as a gallery on my Life Story website that I created several years ago. It is a work-in-progress, but anyone interested will find the gallery here: https://richarddorrell.weebly.com/mums-box-of-photos.html
Here's a teeny sample:
|We are fairly certain Mum is the little girl on the far left with a bow in her hair. |
This would probably have been in Islington, London, about 1920.
|A birthday party in about 1953|
|Mum's brother, Sid, Died 1956, age 42.|
|Signed: 'Your devoted and loving husband, Tommy. Nov. 1940'|