Thursday, 31 March 2011

Leafing Through

One of my favourite places to visit, in blogland, is The Age of Uncertainty. There, you'll find, wonderfully written, fascinating posts, largely about books. But I particularly like it when Steerforth writes about what has emerged from his books, apart from the printed text. All manner of items drop from between the well thumbed pages of his used books, and when mysterious photographs, that once served as bookmarks, see the light of day, prepare to be entertained.

Recently, I've acquired two bound volumes of Popular Gardening (1949 and 1950) edited by Gordon Forsyth. It was published every Saturday, and could have been yours for the sum of 3d.


I turned the pages, and entered a lost world, and in the 1950 volume, I discovered this pressed foliage. Someone out there will be able to identify it, I'm sure. It looks like something vaguely illegal to me.


Further on, the advertisements started to catch my attention. It would be so easy for me to remark on the strange irony of filling your lungs with smoke, in the pleasant surroundings of the countryside. But this is how is was in those days. My grandfather, a countryman, was rarely without a hand-rolled cigarette, and most of his contemporaries shared the same passion for smoking tobacco in one form or other. So, for me, there's a swell of affection for this Player's promotion. Yes, it's bad for your health, but I can smell the turned earth, and hear the clunking engine of the tractor above all else.

I don't know for sure, but these volumes are likely to have belonged to my late grandmother, and a give-away photograph/bookmark was discovered, resting between the pages.


It was taken undoubtedly taken by my great uncle, during a boating holiday he and his wife took with my grandparents, way back. That's my grandfather at the wheel, and my great aunt and grandmother (on the right) sunning themselves in swimsuits...without a cigarette.

22 comments:

  1. fantastic family history shared.
    bless you...

    invite you to join us today,
    thanks for the attention..



    hope to see you in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've found some interesting things between the pages of books, but I don't think I've ever found foliage.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the link to "The Age of Uncertainty", after all this time I still like discovering blogs that are new to me. "Players Please" - what a magnificent advertising slogan that was. As for the attractive aroma of tobacco smoke - I still dream of the smell of my pipe even though it has been abandoned these last six years. I have told the GLW I will start smoking again when I am 90.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a lovely piece (and thank you for the link). I love the idea of little bits of history that can be found in used books.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Somehow I Think "ebooks", or whatever they are called, could never offer the same joy or interest........

    ReplyDelete
  6. Martin ~ I'm pretty sure that's a Japanese Maple you have there...and it really does look like pot, too! ha.

    The photo is great...how fun to have treasures hidden among the pages!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful discoveries! I'm with Betsy, I think that's Japanese Maple foliage -- have you already smoked it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. It was the tractor that caught my eye on the Players advert - it looks remarkably like an old Fordson I used to drive on a local farm as part of a holiday job in the early 1950s. Thanks for the Age of Uncertainty link.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I usually enjoy the old ads more than the feature articles in old magazines. That volume turned out to have some other interesting things in it too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A lovely trip into the past; I like that place and visit it frequently myself.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also love finding little lost relics in books, especially pressed flowers. As for the smoking phenomenon, it strikes me as very curious that isolated cultures seem to have come up with smoking independently, almost as if it were a human instinct.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the photo with your grandparents, wonderful to have. I also like old books. I wonder who placed the leaves in this one and why, was it a reminder of a day out in the country ...maybe while they enjoyed a cigarette ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. what an adventure to go through old books and find all sorts of stuff....when my Grandmother died my father had to go through every book she had as she had money stuffed a lot of the books. Must have been a leftover habit from surviving the depression.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I often used to insert leaves which I had come acorss and admired for their shape and/or colour between the pages of my diaries, which didn't quite make up for the fact that I never wrote much in them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very interesting post and I will visit the one you recommended. Love the picture on the boat. I have oodles of pictures over the years of boating adventures with our children and grands.
    QMM

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love that the maple leaves have retained their brightness! Lovely treasures.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What lovely treasures you've found between the pages. Especially finding the family photo. How special is that?
    Nancy
    Ladies of the grove

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh very nice Sepia post, interesting tid bits between each page...pretty cool...I am a great fan of the boat picture and your family, that's really special! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Messing about on the river - wonderful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a lovely surprise to find the "clue" used as a bookmark :-) Jo

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful post, so interesting that books turn into little time capsules. I agree with Tony, ebooks may be convenient, but they'll never be the same!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Is that a woman on the tractor getting a light for her cigarette? How unexpected.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.