Today is my mother’s birthday: she would have been 90 years old. I have featured some of her birthday gifts in previous posts (see here and here) – so here is another one. This miniature Walter Scott birthday book, with what seems to be a hand-tooled leather cover, was a gift from her cousin Anne (who featured in a previous post). I know this because she has inscribed it inside:
On March 16th, Mum has very modestly entered “Myself” (alongside a Patricia Lawrence who apparently shares her birthday). Scott’s quotation of the day is from Marmion:
“Lightly he dreamt, as youth will dream,
Of sport by thicket, or by stream,
Of hawk or hound, or ring or glove,
Or, lighter yet, of lady’s love”.
The birthday book is a lovely thing to have, but there is another important object pictured next to it: the little blue and gold earring. When I found this single cheap clip-on earring in Mum’s jewellery box, amongst her most precious gold and diamonds, I knew instantly what it was and why she had kept it there. I know how much it meant to her, because she told this story so often. When Brother 1 was abut 6 or 7, he chose this pair of earrings himself for her birthday: the first gift ever given to her by one of her children. And Brother 1, apparently, was well aware of the significance of his gift, boasting that “They cost seven and six in Woolworths, they must be real sapphires!”
As far as my Mum was concerned, they could not have been more precious if they had cost 76 thousand pounds. She wore them proudly until one got lost, which she must have been heartbroken about. So the other one was put safely away amongst her most precious jewellery, for me to find 4 decades later, after her death.
Many Happy Returns, Mum.X