A potentially frabjous day
First, because I posted my novel mss to an agent yesterday. Now the trick is to forget all about it and get on with the new novel …
Second, because a very special set of research materials arrived this morning. Five 1920s ‘dirty postcards’ from a dealer in Paris. There is nothing like holding this kind of material in your hand – real things have a resonance that no amount of historical research can match. Already I notice things that I wouldn’t have picked up from seeing the same pictures in a book: the women all have permanent waves, or have curled their hair (one has curl pins still holding her side waves,which suggests curling irons were used); none are wearing wedding rings; two postcards are thin and shoddy, suggesting they were cheaply produced, but the other three are much thicker than modern cards; while all would have been sent ‘under cover’ if they were sent at all (most were purchased for collections by young men on leave in Paris or through advertisements) one does have a frank mark on the back, although there is no writing – why?; one has the date ‘1923’ in pencil on the back, the writing being much more ornate than modern script. Suddenly the whole slightly coy, slightly seedy, world of the risque postcard has come to life in my hand.
Third, because Tony is going to Houndslow today and that – with any luck – means Indian sweets! I have given him my order; 500 grammes of Pera, the round flattened cakes topped with chopped pistachio, and somehow I have to get through the day in anticipation of my favourite treat arriving this evening ….