but it is not mine. I found it about 10 years ago, in the barn next door, in an abandoned box of assorted household items and personal possessions.
The box was left behind by our previous neighbour, who had a removals business plying between Spain, France and England. It was one of many items that would never reach its intended destination. Among the clutter were magazines, cigars, and family photograph albums. Unfortunately I was never able to find any way of tracing their owners, as there were no names, no addresses, no clues whatsoever.
Except on the book. It is a pretty thing, with a floral cover, called Victoria Book of Days. And it is a book of memories, written by the wife of a man who died in 1993. Apart from his name, and hers, all I have to go on is that they lived in or around Weston Super Mare, where an inquest was held for the man on 15th June 1993. It is a very personal book, and I can’t begin to imagine how it came to be in a damp cardboard box in an old barn in south-west France.
I contacted the Weston Super Mare council in the hope of finding the address of the lady to whom the book belonged, but they weren’t able to help. Neither was the local newspaper, and Internet searches proved useless, too. And so after several months I put the book in a drawer, where it has stayed ever since, until I came across it a couple of days ago and decided to have another try at reuniting it with its owner.
On Facebook I found somebody with the right name, living in the same area, who seemed like a strong possibility. I have sent her a message, and an email, but so far heard nothing, so I don’t know if I have the right person yet. Or whether she hasn’t received the messages. Or, perhaps, she has moved on doesn’t want the book back?