Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Secret Love Story

A few years ago I bought a beautiful wooden sewing box from ebay. It was a house clearance sale and I got the contents of the box too. I spent a happy couple of hours sorting through the threads, zips, pins and buttons. I do love a good button box, and this was a great one, so many decades of fashion packed into a tiny case. It was like a historical archive. There were even some just like my Mum had in her button box; small white ones with pictures on that would be perfect for a baby cardigan; its funny the things that take you back to your childhood.

Curly, War photoHidden at the bottom of the box I found the previous owner's secret. There, beneath the jumble of a lifetime of sewing was a photograph, a very old photograph. It was of a young man, dressed in an Army uniform. On the back a message reads "To my darling, all my love Curly xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

Why was this photo secreted away in the bottom of a sewing box? Why was it not on display in the lady's house? I think he was her first love, lost in the war.

There was evidence in the sewing box that she had been married; buttons from mens clothing, patches for the elbows of jackets, a fuse and a bicycle repair kit. Yes, I know that a single woman could own all of these things, but they added a masculinity to the contents of the box. I think she was married. Also if she wasn't married who was she hiding the photo from?

So, Curly, her first love, killed in the war, kept secret from her husband of many years. When she was alone, maybe sewing a button onto her husband's shirt, she would see Curly hiding under the threads and she would miss him.

I contacted the seller to see if I could return the photo, but there were no relatives. So the photo will forever live at the bottom of my sewing box, as it has done for many, many years.

9 comments:

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    1. and the prize for quickest ever comment on a blog goes too...I only just posted this!

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  2. Oh that's so sweet and sad at the same time. Glad it got to someone who'd keep Curly in a safe place.

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    1. Curly has a place in my heart now

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  3. Lovely - I often find bits and bobs of things tucked into old books (I'm forever picking them up at carboots and antique shops!), dried flowers, bible passages, notes, scribbled down recipes etc. I find it fascinating.

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    1. Oh, I'd love to find a recipe hidden in a book. I would make whatever it was right away to test it out (unless it involved tomatoes because they are evil)

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  4. I love this - its amazing. What a piece of history to find. Brings the past to life and gives you a small window into someone elses life. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It does make a war that was such a long time ago feel so close. My next plan is to find someone who knows about uniforms and who might be able to identify which part of the army he was in

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  5. Ooh, I love a good mystery! What a lovely tale, thank you for sharing on Oldies but Goodies this week :)

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