It began as a card

It began as a card for my husband to mark a significant milestone, our special anniversary, but a card seemed insufficient to cover fifty years of marriage. So I wondered about a double card but wasn’t sure how I could make that work with two folded sheets of photographic paper, but went ahead anyway.

The double card prompted thoughts of a small booklet which I could have printed, so I pressed on. In the end the card turned out to be a 220 page, A5 book, printed on good paper. A brief memoir (which will have missed out lots), full of black and white and coloured photographs covering the period and more, truncated family trees, and pieces of my writing (including short stories and a chapter from a recent book) in which I’d used vivid memories and experiences that lingered in my mind. All put together in a week as it had to be delivered from the printer before we went off to Madeira for our big family celebration. More on that in another post.

The finished books (limited edition, with one copy for each of the family) added considerable kilos to my cabin luggage (just as well Easyjet didn’t weigh it). The gold candles, tea lights and holders, napkins and table decorations were in another heavy case in the hold.

As we enjoyed a glass of sparkling stuff in the lounge of our quinta prior to our meal on the big day I handed out a book, wrapped appropriately in gold paper) to each of my family.

Hopefully, they and our grandchildren will enjoy leafing through their copy, dipping in to read pieces, exclaiming at photographs of people they never knew but whose genes help make them the people they are.

That was one of my contributions to the celebration. And I’m rather chuffed with the end result.


Oh, and by the way, the original card which became the book cover was still used as a card for my husband. And he did me a delightful one too.


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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16 Responses to It began as a card

  1. Chris says:

    Happy anniversary! Congrats to you both! And congratulations to you, Dorothy, for this fabulous creation. The book will be such a treasure for your family. And creating a 220-page book and lugging copies in your cabin baggage, I must say, shows your dedication to your family and your craft.

    • Writing a memoir wasn’t something I ever intended doing,Chris, but once I got started, and realised many of my pieces of writing could tell the story for me, I became really excited and plunged on. Some time ago I’d bought a slide scanner, so was able to use the images from that, with others coming from the scanner that’s part of our printer. I was surprised at how little it cost to print such a small number of copies on good paper and in full colour, far less than it would have cost to buy a small gift for each of the family, so well worth the effort. I can recommend it.

      • Chris says:

        Dorothy, I am still impressed! Regardless of scanners etc. making the job easier. But I guess sometimes a wave can catch you up and carry you along. It’s great when that happens.

  2. sarah2163 says:

    What a wonderful thing to do. Many congratulations on your golden wedding anniversary.

    • Thanks, Sarah. The book was put together at great speed whilst trying to keep it secret. But I enjoyed doing it, and hope the family will have fun residing it and looking at the photos, especially the grandchildren who know nothing of family history, cattle rustlers and pirates.

  3. walter- says:

    What a good news! 50th wedding anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate. Congratulations to you and your husband.
    The idea of the card and the book is great.

    • Thank you, Walter. Don’t know where all the years have gone, nor do I feel that age. I can recommend writing some kind of memoir. It brings back lots of memories of good times.

  4. carol1945 says:

    Absolutely lovely; thank you for telling us all about it. Isn’t it weird how fifty years can go by so fast?

    • Carol, it’s frightening how fast the years have gone. I was looking at photos of our engagement party and it seemed like merely a few years ago. My dad always said the older you get the faster the year fly by. I don’t think I believed him, but it’s true.

      • carol1945 says:

        I know, I know. I retired from teaching when my grandson was born; that seems like yesterday and now he is almost seven. I try to be with my grandchildren as much as possible, because I know how fast it is all going.

  5. mybrightlife says:

    Just lovely AND inspiring…..congrats to you both!

  6. Thank you. I think I was motivated by the questions I never asked of relatives until it was too late, then realising I knew little about their lives, and wishing I knew more. And a golden wedding anniversary seems an appropriate time to indulge myself.

  7. halfcupful says:

    What a wonderful idea. I’m sure it will be treasured for years! Happy Anniversary!

  8. Congratulations, Dorothy – a huge achievement on both counts! So many people dream of writing a family memoir and don’t – not only did you do it, but at the absolute perfect time, too.

    • Thank you Tara. A memoir is definitely not something I ever thought I’d write, but it just seemed right, and was made so much easier by the fact I’d used many of my own experiences in my writing. So I just had to trawl through files, and find what was relevant, writing linking pieces. And somehow these bits of writing seemed much more eloquent at conveying what I wanted to say than if I had typed pieces anew. It’s not something I’d ever publish, but to have copies printed for the family was my unique gift to them on our special occasion.

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