The Rubberist's Diary

An Introduction

First, a little background is required. James was able to contact his late Aunt's daughter and wrote her on my behalf. This is some of that conversation.

I have been able to contact my late Aunt's daughter! Miss Howe, as she prefers to be called these days, now in her seventies and residing in a home on the South coast. Having never married, and having had no children of her own she has many memories of my visits to her and her mother (My late Aunt) back in the 1950s. She firmly believed in her mother's methods with me. This being fueled by her great jealousy of my mother, giving birth to an (only) son along with three older sisters. Combined with an utter dislike of my famous and philandering father, my also being affected by polio and being very small and petite for my years. Also somewhat effeminate in appearance and under the very strict discipline of my tyrannical German Nanny, as you know.

A woman lacking the slightest 'tech' skills, and not owning a computer, she was unaware of your excellent site. The details, of which, have both delighted and astonished her! She has been delighted to make contact with me after so many years, and to hear about the interest you have in my past boyhood visits. Her memory is even sharper even than mine, of those occasions of my Summer holiday visits in the 1950s. Unable to contact you directly by herself, any communication must be via myself. Something I am only to pleased to do, even learning more details of that time my self! I enclose an initial message of introduction received a few days ago.

'My dear Helga, what a delight it is to 'meet' you, so to speak. The dear boy James, certainly a boy worthy of some suitable 'mothering' from both my mother and myself. His stern treatment leaving the boy in a permanent state of resignation and full acceptance. I have now read many of James' communications with you, and confirm the accuracy of the details within. We must have certainly left a lasting impression on the boy, those sixty years ago.

Mother was a proud, well to do and most religious woman. Her household run as befitting of a proud and principled lady. No expense was spared on my attire, and a large wardrobe of somewhat traditional garments was had. On reaching my teen years, I was expected to wear traditional foundation wear. It was no surprise that the boy should also be expected to be properly dressed. I was well aware of the many delightfully fancy outfits that boys were made to wear by their doting mothers in Edwardian times. James' descriptions of his various outfits are already familiar to you, I believe.

His presence cultivating a growing feeling of maternal nurture within me, his resulting return to infancy was of great satisfaction indeed. The details of James' delightful costumes he has described with great accuracy, but one detail has been omitted so far. His hair style! One would have thought that his Nanny would have kept the boy well cropped. Nothing could be further than he truth, however. Gorgeous long silky blond locks reaching well over his shoulders. So suitable for mother to style into curled 'Bangs' just like a young Edwardian boy, and so suitable with the frills and lace of his Highland suits. Also just crying out to be tied into the prettiest of pink satin ribbons, these matching the pink satin of his blouses and bloomers.

I trust that you have enjoyed our first communication, and please do not hesitate to ask any questions regarding my own memories of the dear boy. I still have many cherished diaries of events of those days. Alas though, no photographic record.'

Miss Howe
Return to Index