Friday, 23 September 2011

Childhood Hobbies - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealog and History .

Hobbies is the topic for Week 38 in Amy Coffin’s and Geneablogger’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History series.
52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History
Music, reading, stamp collecting, postcard collecting, dolls, scrapbooks and crafts were my childhood hobbies and many have continued to give me pleasure all my life. 

Music:   My mother was determined I was going to learn to play the piano.  As the middle daughter  she felt a bit hard done by  in  missing  out on the opportunity,  when both her older sister and much younger sister learnt.   I only got as far as grade 3 exams, before we moved across country and I did not resume lessons.  But the love of music has stayed with me and I am still involved with my local music society.  Likewise I have been a choir member since my school days until I recently decided to retire my "voice".  The highlight of singing was taking part in Gilbert & Sullivan Operas in my 20's and then more recently joining in a "Big Sing" of "The Messiah" at the Royal Albert Hall, London in a choir of over 1000,  accompanied by orchestra and organ to a packed audience of 4000 - a marvellous and uplifting experience.

Reading:  I have always been a book lover and took this one step further by becoming a librarian.  See my earlier posting in this series  A Book Lover.

Collecting:  I also have always been a "squirrel", collecting things throughout my life.  I was introduced to stamp collecting by my uncle  and remember my first album and stamps around the time of the  Queen's Coronation in 1953 when so many new stamps were bieng issued by Britain and the Commo.nwealth.  I later went onto concentrate on thematic collections e.g. on Music, Animals, Famous People.   I still have albums in the loft but this hobby has largely gone by the board. 

I loved dolls and had the best dressed dolls in the street thanks to my mother's skill as a dressmaker.  I later collected costume dolls - both historic e.g. the Tudor queens and in national dress, until I ran out of space in my bedroom and they did become dust gatherers. They were resurrected briefly for my daughter and I am sure will come out again for my little grandduaghter.

Nowadays my main collecting focuses on postcards - this is what I spend my money on on holiday.  I have some  postcard albums not only of places,  but also of cards bought in galleries & museums - art, costume, of wartime and of early advertisements.  A  great hobby - cheap to buy, easy to fit in a case, and lovely to look through.  

Scrapbooks - I was an avid scrapbook creator from an early age.  The first one I remember was again in 1953 of teh Queen's Corocnation and I still have  ones I compiled in my teens of ballet pictures and historic costumes. My mother also encouraged me to create holiday scrapbooks and I used to cut out pictures that appealed from  "Girl" and other magazines, ranging from cute & cuddly animals,  picturesque views, dancers, the Royal Family and then eventually film stars and singers.     My latest scrapbook efforts have featured Christmas cards - see my posting Creating Christmas Scrapbooks  - and of course using computers has  had a huge impact on the look of them.

Crafts - with my mother a stitcher, it was inevitable  I would be drawn into crafts. One of my earliest memories is stting on the kitchen drainer whilst she showed me how to knit - of all things  - a dishcloth out of string!  I did graudate later to pixie hoods and scarves.  I do not have my mother's talent, but she introduced me to felt work, basket weaving, collage pictures, embroidery where I could just about manage lazy daisy stitch, but was hopeless at satin stitch;  patchwork - currently working on a bed throw (downgraded from a more ambitious quilt! ),   crosstitch which I still enjoy (see right)  and wool crochet where working with different colours appeals to me so much.

So I am  looking forward to retiring and having more time to enjoy them all - there is still lots I want to do,  thanks to my mother's inspiration.   

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