Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Happy endings

Two 'Hilda' posts in one week!
When I was about nine and my sister seven, our uncle gave us poetry books for Christmas. Mine was 'Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Poetry'
My sister's was 'A Child's Garden of Verses' by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by HB.
The fanciful pictures captured my imagination and brought the poems to life.
When we left home the books went their separate ways with us both. Mine was a firm favourite with my children, their dad read the poems with funny voices - The Mermaid by Alfred Lord Tennyson in a posh falsetto, 'The Spider and the Fly' with an enticing, chocolatey  voice for the spider and a squeaky, anxious voice for the poor fly. A second lease of life for the poems.
When our eldest girl went on her travels I photocopied 'The Jumblies' for her, because it reassures: travelling can be frightening but exciting, makes the traveller grow. 
She was in Australia when it was her birthday and I found the book on ebay, from a seller in Melbourne. I was lucky enough to win it for a fantastic bid. The seller was a lovely woman - she put in a birthday card and dispatched it to my daughter in Brisbane. So of course, I had to get another copy for our other daughter. This time I had to pay four times as much to win the auction! I will acquire one for our son in due course.
Last Sunday in an idle moment, I checked ebay to see if my sister's book was available. It was! £3.99, 0 bids and 54 minutes till the auction was over. Happy ending - the book is on its way to me! After all these years, my book will soon be joined by a copy of its old companion.  

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