Monday, 17 August 2015

"Forget me Not" - (A self-indulgent post, sorry!)

My old autograph book is small and very shabby, the covers are faux pink velvet.   The pages are loose, some are missing and it is filled with childish handwriting, silly verses and messy signatures.   A  sentimental and nostalgic little treasure.

Here are some of the entries:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
'til the good is better
And the better, best

11 was a race horse
22 was 12
11 won 1 race
22112


Roses are red
Violets are blue
If skunks had a college 
They'd call it PU


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet 
And so are you


Down in a meadow
Carved on a rock
Three little words
"Forget me not"


If all the boys lived over the sea
What a good swimmer you would be.


The signatures conjure up old faces I haven't thought about for almost half a century.

There was Claudia, an American missionary's daughter.  She seemed so sophisticated for she was two years older than me - I was the lucky recipient of her outgrown and very stylish early 1960's clothes, they were beautiful.   I knew her for about a year, then she was sent from Hong Kong to a boarding school in Vietnam...

A signature from Jane.   A really good friend, great fun to be with, however, her mother used to dress her in the dullest clothes, very well made, but very sober.  So she loved coming around to our apartment, because my mother would let us dress up in her beautiful silky evening clothes and drape ourselves with all her beads, bangles and baubles, while we wobbled around on her high heeled shoes.  Happy times.

Catherine was Irish, she had two handsome brothers.   I always enjoyed going round to her house to play - for her mother would let us dress up in her shoes and jewellery.

Jennifer, another good friend.   I always felt really sorry for her because her father was a teacher.  Even worse, he was my 3rd form teacher - and he was a tyrant.   We would all have to line up in front of the blackboard and he would fire questions at us.   If we got the answer correct then we could sit down, but not until then.   It was humiliating for someone as shy as me.  I learnt a lot, very quickly, in his class.  I hated him.

Jennifer was also in his class, after a few weeks she got transferred to the other 3rd form, she couldn't bear being taught by her father.



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