Never start anything you can’t finish…

I’ve been enjoying rummaging with my father-in-law through his marvellous collection of Edwardian postcards this week – several boxes and tins-worth of fascinating social history, from seaside promenades to postcards home from soldiers in WW1. There are saucy ones, sad ones, cards with secret pockets out of which a concertina of tiny photos cascades, velvet inserts, embroidery, glitter and even a squeak in one. Philip sometimes used to use them for teaching, and they would certainly be a very inspiring source for writers of any age. I’m showing some of my favourites here…I love the bizarre babies’ banquet, where the little cherubs are feasting on plates of casserole washed down with red wine. The series of seaside clinches appeals as well (there are many more in that vein), and seem particularly amusing juxtaposed with the displays of fresh Yarmouth bloaters (has that fish been re-branded? Not something I’ve ever spotted in a fishmonger). My absolute favourite, however, is ‘Never start anything you can’t finish’ – now there’s a fellow you would want to spend the evening with!

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