Monthly Archives: February 2014

More from Nanna’s Autograph Book

I’ve decided not to post the more personal autographs from my nanna’s autograph album.  I don’t think she would have wanted them to go public.  Anyway, here are a few more less personal ones, including quite a saucy one:


Duplicate Autographs

I have updated the following posts with entries from my nanna’s autograph album that duplicate verses used in my own album:

First autograph post

Grandad’s autograph

Mum’s autograph

Auntie Alice’s autograph

I think these entries are interesting because they show how long-lived some of these verses are.  It’s also nice to see each person’s different handwriting in this digital age.

Nanna’s Autograph Book

In my first autograph post I mentioned that my nanna also had an autograph book when she was young.  Well, my dad has now sent me photos of the book so that I can share them here.  There are quite a lot of entries so I’m going to split them over a few posts.  I’m going to start with the silly ones.  These were written in 1928 and 1929 when my nanna was 14 or 15 years old.  The pages are a little worn so the writing can be hard to read in places.  If you click on the first photo you’ll be able to see them all enlarged in a slideshow.  I’ve written out the text in the captions, except for one that I couldn’t entirely decipher.

Auntie Alice’s Autograph

Well, I’m going back to my dad’s side of the family again.  Auntie Alice was his aunt not mine, one of nanna’s wonderful siblings.


May your feet go ever lightly,

Time all gently touch your head,

May the flowers blossom brightly,

As along life’s way you tread.

And may love and friendship true,

Sweeten all life’s way for you.

Isn’t that so sweet?  It tells you all you need to know about Auntie Alice. 😀

[Update: 26/02/14]

And here is the same verse that she wrote for her sister decades earlier:


Auntie Jean’s Autograph

My mother’s sister wrote this in my autograph book when I was nine:


For every evil under the sun

There is a remedy or there is none.

If there be one, try and find it –

If there be none, never mind it!

This has a similar message to the “Serenity prayer” that I quoted in my first autograph post.

Auntie Jean has lived in London for most of her adult life so I’ve had some wonderful holidays there.  People, including Auntie Jean, think I’m odd when I say this but I really like the London Underground.  And yes, I have used it during rush hour.  I have had my face stuck next to someone’s sweaty armpit on a tube train for longer than seems humanly possible.  I have repeatedly faced the worry of not being able to squeeze myself off the train before the doors closed.  I have been knocked to the ground by a businessman in a hurry (it was in a tube station in The City, and he didn’t look back).  Maybe it’s because I don’t have to face that every working day but I like it.  I like everything about it; the tiles, the art, the posters, people watching, the feeling of the wind caused by the movement of the trains, the sounds they make (well, not the high-pitched squealing – I could do without that),…  I could go on but you get the idea.

Valerie’s Autograph

Valerie Hughes was my best friend when I was 10.  We weren’t able to be friends for very long but I never really found a better childhood friend.  I hope by some miracle that she sees this post and remembers me.  Here is what she put in my autograph book:


We were both mad about horses.  I still love them, I wonder if she does too.  Valerie’s family was in a circus and they had to move around a lot.  When Valerie left we wrote to each other a lot.  She sent me drawings, handmade puzzles, and all sorts of little gifts.  I can’t remember what I sent her.  I hope I was as nice to her as she was to me.  When Valerie knew me, everybody called me Sally, not Sarah.  They still do when I go back home. Here is a typical letter:


“mister Endresby [sic]” was our teacher in the final year of primary school.  Everybody was scared of him but, with hindsight, he was the best teacher I ever had.  Here is a photo which shows a portrait (near the centre of the photo) that Valerie drew of him:


Not very flattering!  His nickname was Bugsby, I can’t remember why.  You can also see some of the puzzles and games that she made for me.  I love the fact that she knew me so well that she created puzzles that I wanted to do – you can see the coloured pencil marks where I completed them.  Here are some photos of the little numbered circus caravans that she made for me:

circus numbers  circus caravansAnd here is Valerie’s self-portrait of her doing one of her circus tricks:

circuspicShe tried to teach me how to do the tricks but I wasn’t really bendy enough. 🙂

Dad’s Autograph

Dad reads this blog so I’d better not say too much. 😉


String is a very important thing

Rope is thicker

But string is quicker

This is a poem by Spike Milligan.  Dad is a Spike Milligan fan.  Actually, I’m a bit of a fan too.  Spike wrote the first book that ever transported me to another world – “Badjelly the Witch“.  I remember reading it while my dad drove us somewhere in the car.  I was so engrossed in the book that I forgot we were in the car, and when I looked up I got a terrible shock from the mental dislocation.  It was amazing!

Here is my favourite Milligan poem:

There are holes in the sky
Where the rain gets in
But they’re ever so small
That’s why the rain is thin.

By the way, Spike’s own epitaph is written on his headstone in Gaelic.  It translates to “I told you I was ill.”

Nanna Waddy’s Autograph

This one’s for you Sonda.  Not because I think you need the advice but because it’s written in CAPITALS!

Nanna Waddy was my mother’s mother.  We didn’t see her as often as my other nanna because she didn’t live locally.  She passed away when I was in my late teens.  Her husband passed away when I was very little and I have no memories of him, only photos.  Here is what nanna wrote in my autograph book when I was eight:






Nanna Waddy was a formidable lady.  She was a ward sister (nurse) and she ran a tight ship, or so I heard.  She liked everything neat and tidy, and that included her grandchildren.  I remember her giving me a bath in the kitchen sink.  Thankfully I was not old enough to be embarrassed about the scene I was making in the kitchen window.

Nanna Waddy’s love for us came in the form of countless knitted jumpers which came with a hand-written note saying “Love in every stitch.”  I am ashamed to say that I didn’t entirely appreciate those jumpers, particularly the bottle green ones that were part of my school uniform.  I think plenty of adult crafters know the feeling of their wares being under-appreciated.  I certainly do now.

I think of nanna every time I make a bed using “hospital corners” on the sheet.  I think it was my dad who taught me how (he’s a nurse too) but it’s my nanna’s critical eye I feel over my shoulder. 🙂

Mum’s Autographs

My mother wrote this in my autograph book when I was 8 years old:

mumswords1It says “Hitch your wagon to a star.”

A few years ago I asked her to write in my new book.  Here is what she wrote:mumswords2It says:

The kiss of the sun for pardon

The song of the birds for mirth

You are nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on Earth

(As ever, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.)

[Update: 26/02/14]

Here is the same verse written in my nanna’s autograph album:


Origami Hearts

This one is for Colleen whose favourite colour is yellow.  This is to thank her for being my blog angel recently.  🙂


It was made with a single square of paper (yellow on one side, white on the other).

This one is for my secret Valentine:

twoheartsIt was made from a single 2:1 rectangle of paper.  I made the paper by gluing (using watered down PVA) tissue paper to kitchen foil.  It is nice to fold but the folds are hard to reverse – with paper, it’s easier to turn valley folds into mountain folds.

Here is the book I used:

bookHowever, there are instructions for similar hearts on the Internet.  For example, try here and here.