In the roof-space I found this box which appeared to be full of rubbish. I brought it downstairs to get rid of it but had a closer look before doing anything. On inspection it was, in a way, a treasure chest. It yielded some fascinating things.
A pencil drawing of my mother dated 14.8.46 Naples. It's not much of a likeness but it reminds me of the story of how my mother got to Naples in 1946.
Letters from my father while he was on active service during WWII, all having been opened by the censors. This one in particular caught my eye because someone had gone to the trouble of cutting out offending sections.
It's particularly interesting because elsewhere in the letter my father says:
"Now we are in North Africa, our meals consist largely of dates and oranges"
"We are now under canvas in the sand dunes on the edge of the Med. "
"a drive through orange and lemon groves past [cut out piece] (very thrilling to my simple mind)"
So I think I could hazard a guess as to where in the world he might have been. In another letter he assures my mother he wasn't chasing after "dark-eyed Sicilian beauties". Where on earth could that be I wonder? Granted my father's writing was, like any good doctor's, appalling, but it seems to me that the censorship was slightly lacking.
It's going to take some time to go through all the papers, and to decide what to do with them. But isn't it a good thing that I did indeed wonder "what is that?" before putting it into a rubbish bin.