Following on from my previous post, here’s another picture of a horse drawn caravan, this time on a birthday card given to me on my 11th birthday by my Auntie Margaret. Margaret Press was not a relative but was my Mum’s closest friend since their schooldays, who lived just 2 streets from us throughout my childhood. She was a lovely auntie and I will write about her life in another post. This card just serves to introduce this post, which is all about birthday cards. I’ve previously featured cards given to both my mum and dad and to my Grannie Lane, but this time it’s all about me, because today is my birthday.
I’m glad these cards have been kept, they are happy reminders of my childhood. Birthdays were always special, with a party or a treat and not one, but 2 cakes made by our mum. Here is a selection of cards my Mum and Dad gave me over the years – can you spot a theme emerging?:
Even more precious are these cards from Dad’s dad, my Grandad R., because I saw so little of him before he died when I was 8. I remember a kind and gentle old Glaswegian gent, always dressed nattily in 3 piece suit and fob watch.
The inscriptions on these cards in “Gran’pop”‘s neat but shaky handwriting show such affection for me, that 50 years on I am quite moved to read them. Especially as one of my clearest memories of him is one that shames me even now. I was about 4 and there was a family gathering at our house. Gran’pop was sitting in folding chair in the garden, smoking a pipe. Full of mischief (and quite probably ginger pop) I thought it a great game to steal his walking stick and run away with it. Leaning over to catch me, the chair collapsed, trapping him awkwardly. As I ran around squealing with delight, he had to call for help from the grown ups indoors – who were not amused, and sent me straight to my room. I’m so sorry, Gran’pop!
I’ve also found this treasure from my Glaswegian family in the archives. As I’ve written before, my Uncle John was a gifted artist. So I’m glad to have found this original J.F.D.G.R. in my card collection:
Sigh. Thanks, bros. They both came to meet me for my birthday this week, which was nice, as we rarely see each other (although I still had to pay for my own meal. Oh well, nothing changes!). So I’ll end on this one, another from my parents, because this sentiment is more like it: “A day to do just what you please.”