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I enjoyed a visit to my brother’s this month. Besides the usual family catch up, we also discussed the collection of poems that our dad had written. I have some of his original handwritten work, and we decided these scraps, written on old British Rail Register Book paper should be scanned and saved. My Sister has already typed up some of his work. I will collect it all together and do the “save digitally” thing.

We also talked about some of our mum’s writings. Some poems, a book she started, and several years worth of diaries. I will save anything worthwhile from this. Though of most interest is that she wrote down the songs she remembered singing, or being sung to her, by her mother. I copied these to my computer after her death in 2009. Her mother, Martha, died when my mum was only 12. Martha was , apparently a wonderful singer and sang in the music halls of the day. She was known as the Hoxton Nightingale.

If I also save the poems my sister wrote, in her letters to me, I shall have quite a family anthology!

Regarding my own writing: I am taking a break from formally building a new book of work. I had intended getting something together to publish this Autumn, or even next Summer. I have found it tedious and time consuming. With other things of interest to occupy me during the summer – the garden, some home decor, some family events – I am taking a break. I am enjoying adding more poetry to this site, as and when the mood takes me. I am reading more “other people’s poetry”, and enjoying revisiting some well loved verse in “One hundred Favourite Poems”, chosen by Classic FM listeners.

For those following my recent interest in our local library, here’s my latest observation. I thought that I would be able to find “classic” fiction easily. Those great standard works we all read, or were forced to read, throuhgout school, and which only now hold a special charm, and deserve a re-read. But no – there is nothing. No Paul Gallico, Thomas Hardy, John Wyndham. No Under Milk Wood or Don Quixote. Their data base can find them and transfer them between library branches to order. I was going to give them a list, but decided i would probably only read one at a time anyway. So they are finding Tess of the d’Urbervilles for me.