... and older men", wrote Lilah Wingfield in her diary in 1911. And I like her already, I thought, as I listened in the car to her grand-daughter, Jessica Douglas-Home, recount something of her life on Radio 4's Midweek. Bold, feisty, a 'force of nature', Jessica called her. That's some epitaph. The youngest of five, trapped by convention and Edwardian etiquette into looking after her elderly mother in London after the death of her father when she was sixteen, Lilah escaped at the age of twenty-three with notebook and Kodak camera, and headed for India by train. This week in London, there's an exhibition of her photos (from whose website these pictures come) to accompany her diary, about to be published as A Glimpse of Empire. From a scrapbooking perspective, don't you just love the contrast between the everyday-ness of sandwiches and the exotic nature of the location below? And, in the photo to the right, that great backstory visible between the two concise lines of the caption?
But the greatest lesson for a scrapbooker emerged as Jessica Douglas-Home spoke about the photograph books she had seen, growing up: "I used to flick through, periodically, the ten pages on the Durbar" (the huge assembly to celebrate the coronation of George V) and think 'How interesting', but they didn't mean very much. It was only when the diary was discovered relatively recently ... that the whole thing came to life."
Something to ponder on, as I finalise my journalling preparations for a December Daily/JYC, in readiness for sharing some ideas next week. I already know where to find the (ever so slightly) older man, but I'm in serious need of a few bad hats ... :).