A trip back to my late mother’s house in Essex, unearthed a real gem recently.
The small, blue, notebook was crammed with recipes, some written on the pages in her neat, cursive hand, others culled from newspapers and bearing stories of mystery and intrigue on the back of a recipe for peanut butter cookies and trifle. These stories are sometimes just a headline, sometimes whole paragraphs…never the whole story. What a feast for the imagination!
My mother started collecting the recipes when she married my father in October 1948, perhaps even before that! Having survived all these years, the pages are yellowed and worn with time but there is a treasure trove within.
One piece of notepaper did not contain a recipe. It contained the detailed routine she was obliged to follow when in the maternity hospital, giving birth to my sister, in 1949. I can only gasp at the rigidity of the rules and the fact that my mother had been obliged to write them down, lest she forget. What a good thing times have moved on! BBC’s “Call the Midwife,” immediately springs to mind.
The notebook, its recipes and its stories, are fueling the writer in me. So, my year of word starvation is at an end, hooray! I look a little longingly at those books loitering on my bookshelves that I would love to read but, instead, I pick up the metaphorical pen and begin to set ideas down. It’s good to be back!