Sunday, 26 October 2014

Nobby and Rover

My Great-Aunt Maud was quite unwell and confined to her bed, so to keep her company, and her mind occupied, Mum and I sat with her and sorted through all her old photos. The year was 1969 and Mum knew only a few of the faces staring out of the ancient images, I of course, knew none at all. One by one, we showed them to Aunt Maud and asked her to put names to the anonymous faces, Mum then wrote the details on the back of each photo. Looking back, I'm sure Mum was worried that we might lose Aunt Maud at the time, but happily, not only did she recover from that bout of ill health, she actually lived until 1983, by which time she was in her late 80's.

In the four years since Mum herself passed away, I've often recalled that day sitting at Aunt Maud's bedside. The reason? If I'm ever looking through a box of old photos and wonder who on Earth the subject of a particular snap is, how they relate to my family or where the shot was taken, I turn it over and invariably Mum has provided me with some or all of the required information, written on the reverse. You might think that this isn't unusual, it's something many of us have done with old photos, but Mum took the idea a stage further. I've found that she also added hidden handwritten notations to several of her most treasured possessions. To aid her own memory, or as information for me to find later? I don't know.

Here are two examples. Meet Nobby and Rover, frail mantelpiece ornaments discovered packed away in Mum's loft, who've apparently been in the family since 1955, possibly given as wedding gifts to my Parents.



C said...

Lovely post - that is so sweet that even those ornaments were given names and that you should find them with the dates too.
Soon after my mum died we were taking down the little pictures on her bedroom wall, and I was shocked to find that she had written on the back of one that it was for me and Mr SDS to have. I don't know when she wrote it... it wasn't as if she had had a long-term illness or been given any prognosis before her death - so I was surprised to find that she had thought that far ahead!

The Swede said...

That is strange. Was it a picture you liked? Did you keep it?
Mum named all animals she came into contact with, living or inanimate. She mostly went for simple, almost generic names like 'Tiddles' or 'Matey', so 'Rover' isn't unexpected, but Nobby is quite an exotic selection for her!

Anonymous said...

It's a real blessing that your mum was keen to act as a kind of family curator. My family has a terrible tendency to just let everything fall into forgotten obscurity, which I think is it a bit sad. Nobby and Rover are very cool.

Erik Bartlam said...

I love these old ceramic figures...old ones when there seemed to be more imagination in the coloring.

A good friend of mine who was in his 70's gave me a box of them...everything from a blue dog that I keep in my office (I don't even like dogs really) to little elf-like characters.

It's a touching detail to learn about your Momma...and great for you I'm sure.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Old Ma is a bit like that, never throws anything away and dates things etc.....sadly, maybe, I keep nothing...

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