Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Dear Maudie, Doesn’t the tempus seem to fugit?

Postcards from my collection;

A set of six postcards sent from Charlie to Maudie during February and March 1904. You may remember a previous post about Charlie and Maudie here

Dear Maudie, I'm sure this sweet set will please you. très bon! With love Charlie

Dear Maudie, only 7 weeks to Easter!!! It’s pouring with rain again and I’ve been playing all the funeral marches I’ve got to cheer me up. It seems like sacrilege to play anything more lively in Godalming. Metcalf has just started on an eight mile tramp through the mud, so we’re all happy. Adieu pour joyous! Charlie. 

Dearest Maudie, I was quite overwhelmed with gratitude to receive such a beautiful card from you this week. It’s too kind of you and I shall never forget it. (You don’t mind me mentioning that I had that one already, do you?) Easter is getting nearer and nearer. Doesn’t the tempus seem to fugit?  Metcalf went to a dance last week he can’t dance, so he wallflowered and talked scandal with all the other old women. With love, Charlie.

Dear Maudie, the C. M. will do very well, thank you. I haven’t quite decided yet what I shall send you when this set is finished. I’m not going out at all on Monday, as I’m sure to be in great demand. Who is the luckless wight you mean to fix? Love Charlie. 

Dear Maudie, only four weeks to Easter! I suppose it wasn't you who wrote to Metcalf on the 29th? He didn't have a chance of accepting, as he could not recognise the writing. Isn't the weather simply lovely? With Love Charlie. 

Dear Maudie, this is the last of this sweet set. How quickly the time does go, doesn't it? With love, Charlie.

I purchased these six postcards, and the previously featured set from an auction.  I've often wondered about Charlie and Maudie and decided to see if I could find out anything about them.  If you would like to know more, please pop over to my family history blog here  (You will need to scroll down the post to read the rest of the story) 

Thanks for spending some time with Maudie, Charlie and me...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Telling Tales

Tale - A fictitious or true narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted: 
‘a delightful children’s tale’
‘tales of witches and warlocks’

 Definition from the English Oxford dictionary.


The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of stories written for young wizards and witches. They were popular bedtime stories for centuries, with the result that The Wizard and the Hopping Pot and The Fountain of Fair Fortune were as familiar to many of the students at Hogwarts as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are to Muggles. 

In 2007, one of only seven original handwritten copies was offered for auction through Sotheby’s selling for £1.95 million. Sadly, I don’t have one of the handwritten editions, but I do have a first printed edition which I’m offering together with an original catalogue from the Sotheby’s auction.  

The shelves at March House Books have lots of other tales to tell, here are just a few of them;

Uncle's Tales Published by Thomas Nelson c1928. A collection of eight tales including The Fairy Muffin Man by Phyllis Megroz with illustrations by A. H. Watson and Tommy and the gingerbread by Evelyn Hardy with illustrations by Honor C Appleton. Colour frontis and approximately thirty seven black-and-white  pictures by various illustrators including Florence Mary Anderson. 

Grandad's Tales : Favourite Stories and Rhymes written by Eddie Clarke with illustrations by Vin Mifsud.

A treasure chest full of delightful tales. First story My Magic Yellow Chair, other stories Include Giant Mountain and Queenie the Collie.  

Sleeping Beauty & Other Favourite Fairy Tales selected by Angela Carter and illustrated by Michael Foreman. London Victor Gollancz 1991. Several tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Bluebeard, Donkey-skin and Cinderella.  

Tales of Babar told by Enid Blyton. Methuen Modern Classics Series. First published in September 1942 this a second edition 1945. Tales of Babar told by Enid Blyton with black-and-white illustrations by Olive F. Openshaw.  The life-story of Babar the most lovable of elephants. Editors note - Enemy Action during the War reduced to ashes a large proportion of those delightfully coloured sheets in which the genius of Jean de Brunhoff, and the skill of the colour-printer had combined to immortalize his career. However, Babar is not easy to blitz. In the Babar story-book, he returns triumphant and with a full-length biography by Miss Enid Blyton. This volume comprises the first half of the Babar story-book with three stories - the story of Babar, Babar's travels and Babar the King.  

Old Fashioned Tales selected by E. V. Lucas and illustrated by F. D. Bedford. Published by Wells Gardner Darton & Co Ltd c1905. Compilation including the Inquisitive girl, the Robbers Cave, the Misses, the Sea Voyage, the Changeling and the Oyster Patties. 

Enid Blyton's Treasury of Tales; Four books in slipcase. The stories are Hoo Hoo's party, My nut I think, What no cheese and the wizard's needle each illustrated by Rene Cloke.

Tales from the Story-Teller's House by Thornton W. Burgess Published by John Lane The Bodley Head in 1937. Sixteen stories including the Joy of the Beautiful Pine, It Really Happened, the Old House, Cold Toes and a new tail, Mrs. Possum's big Pocket and Fussy Folk. Eight full-page  colour illustrations by Lemuel Palmer. 

I hope you've enjoyed these tall tales. 

Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit. 

Monday, 8 June 2015

The Best of Robert Westall

Robert Atkinson Westall was born on 7 October 1929 in North Shields, Northumberland, England. He spent his working life teaching art in secondary schools, writing only in his spare time. However, on retiring at the age of 55, he devoted himself to his writing, dying at the age of 63 in 1993.

His first published book The Machine Gunners (1975) won him the Carnegie Medal, and he went on to win many more awards, including the Smarties Book Prize for Blitzcat and the Guardian Award for The Kingdom by the Sea.

The boxed set I'm sharing here features seven of his books;

The Machine Gunners
The Watch House
Fathom Five
The cats of Seroster
A Time of Fire

Plot summaries are as printed on the books.

Chas McGill has the second-best collection of war souvenirs in Garmouth, and he desperately wants it to be the best. When he finds a crashed German bomber in the woods with its shiny black machine gun still intact, he grabs his chance. While the police search frantically for the missing gun, Chas and h
is friends build a secret fortress...

Alone and unhappy in Garmouth, Anne knows the shadows are following her. Spirits of long-dead sailors who won't rest. And from behind its empty windows, the Watch House is watching...

Chas McGill has set out to prove that there really is a German spy in wartime Garmouth, sending information to enemy U-Boats. But what started as a bet with his best friend Cem soon goes far beyond a game. Chas's obsessive search for the elusive spy leads him to the most terrible decision of his life...

It takes just a few seconds for the German bomber to drop its deadly explosives and disappear into the clouds. But those seconds change Sonny's life for ever.  His father leaves home, rage and grief at what has happened driving him to seek revenge on the enemy. Left behind with only his grandparents to look after him, Sonny finds himself pursuing his own dramatic and intensely personal confrontation with the Germans...

The Cats of Seroster; Among the marshes and swamps of medieveal Europe, Cam carried the message that had cost the blacksmith his life. And with it, the blood-stained knife that would never leave his side. When Cam finally reached the Seroster's town, the old Duke was dead - and the great, golden cats were waiting...    Blitzcat: She led the way to safety, out of the blazing hell of blitzed Coventry. People touched her for luck; feared her as an omen of disaster. Wherever she went, she changed lives...   

Stormsearch; When Tim finds an old model ship washed up on the beach after a magnificent summer storm, he knows he's stumbled upon something special. The tiny vessel has a hidden cargo - a mysterious secret from the past that Tim must try to solve. The boat's lonely journey has lasted over a hundred years - and only Tim can finish its perilous story...

The Best of Westall Seven books in slipcase, now sold thank you for your interest.

In other news - this little chap visited our garden last week

We were absolutely delighted. We've lived here for seven years, and although we see squirrels while out walking this is the first one that has paid us a visit. He was quite happy to have his photo taken but didn't stay for long.  Having seen no wild life in the garden we've now had a visit from a rabbit, a squirrel a couple of snakes and last year we made room for a wasp nest. It was fascinating to watch the nest grow, and the wasps were no trouble at all.  The snakes, on the other hand, were a bit troublesome; they had a habit of hissing at us whenever we tried to dig the garden. I rather hope they don’t come back this year. 

Wasp nest 2014

The nest was made from a substance similar to paper that the insects produce by chewing wood into a pulp and sticking it together with saliva.  They were busy with the nest through the summer but by the autumn, they were all gone and the nest slowly fell apart.  
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