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This blog has been retired. I won't respond to any inquiries but have retained it in case it is still of interest to anyone passing by.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Whitman Sandy and Sue No. 1956 (1963)

When I was a child we spent our Christmas (summer) holidays at a remote location on the Transkei Wild Coast in South Africa.  Two other families usually holidayed with us, but on one occasion another f\amily came to visit for a day. I can't recall now who they were and my mother most certainly was caught unprepared when they arrived bearing gifts.  I can remember her hurriedly trying to parcel up sweets and other Christmas fare in an effort to reciprocate so that the children of our guests did not leave empty handed.  My mother was so mortified by this turn of events that she tried to convince us to return our gifts, but when I opened my present and saw it was this paper doll book there was no way I was going to give up such a wonderful treasure!

Me - Port St Johns, early 60's
One of the most striking features of this book is its decorative cover.  Even as a child I recognised that it is something special.  Laura Ashley prints were just starting to become popular, but for me the rich intricate pattern with its sumptuous colours has always been reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement and William Morris wallpaper.

Port St Johns (South Africa)

In November 2009 I introduced my husband and son to my childhood playground.  It was the first time I had returned since 1973. The beach where we stayed is now a nature reserve (Silaka) which I realised is a positive development as it means the area will be preserved.  Our old cottage is long gone but I was able to book one of the new chalets close to where it used to stand.

I think my family arrived with some trepidation as they thought the place could never live up to my expectations.  When we left they agreed with me that it is indeed paradise.  

Ryan and Me

John and Ryan

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