Just a quick post, but it’s in honour of today’s event at the Soho Theatre, where the super-talented author/illustrator and all-round good egg, Clara Vulliamy and her mum, the children’s book legend Shirley Hughes, gave a talk (along with Clara’s brother, Ed Vulliamy, a journalist and writer) as part of the Soho Literary Festival about how the writing has become the ‘family business’.
I desperately wish I’d been able to attend what was no doubt a wonderful occasion, but I’m hoping that the lovely people on Twitter will be able to fill me in and I’ll enjoy it vicariously!
Anyway, the reason I mention this talk is not simply to say how sad I was not to be able to go, but also because Clara and her mum are playing a special part in the development of my loft treasures.
Whilst I was going through the books I found in Dad’s loft, I came across this:
A lovely book in itself, but inside it was this inscription:
(Just in case I haven’t mentioned it before, Rosalind is my real name!).
I can clearly remember the book show at which I got this signed and how a lovely book became even more special and important because of this personal touch. I don’t think ‘show and tell’ existed when I was at school (it’s now one of the highlights of C’s pre-school week and his little friends have already had every conceivable construction vehicle displayed for them and described with painstaking accuracy) but if it had, I would DEFINITELY have taken this!
I tweeted Clara with pictures of this find and mentioned that I’d love to bring the boys to visit her at a book event some time, so that the next generation of her family could sign a book for the next generation of mine. I fully intended to hitch C and H up to our wagon and set off on a Story Seeking adventure to complete this mission, so was completely overwhelmed when Clara asked for my address and sent through these for the boys:
with these inscriptions:
It’s amazing to think that C and H are already laying the foundations for their own loft treasures, especially when they’ll have such a lovely link with mine as well. Obviously the books will be well-used and well-loved by the time they make it into the loft, but it’s brilliant that the boys will hand these books on to their children and I’m so touched that Clara sent through such generous gifts in order that this would be the case.
Just before I go, as there is a theme here with regards to inscriptions and mums and daughters, I wanted to share another loft treasure. This one is somehow even more magical given that I was unaware of its existence until it popped up in amongst the hundreds of other books. I don’t remember it from my childhood (I was only one when I received it, so my memory isn’t failing too badly) but it’s probably bringing me even more happiness now than it did then anyway!