Long before the 1950s – in the 1920s in fact – we have romance in the East End of London. In Chapter 5 of Solly’s Girl you may read about Solly and Sadie – my parents. Here’s a little extract:
It was a long-distance courtship as Cardiff to London was at least a three-hour train journey. They exchanged letters I don’t have and photographs, some of which have survived. I imagine he asked her to have studio portraits taken so he might show his mates, and these pictures are lovely. For his part Solly, who had a life-long passion for gadgets of all kinds, would surely have had a Box Brownie camera and sent her amusing photographs. She must have already said ‘yes’ when he wrote on the back of one of these that ‘I look as if I possess the world’.
Well the deed is done, the blog is a ‘presence’ of some kind on the web. I take consolation from the thought that my digital ignorance is not that different from my automotive incapacity; ‘just drive’ I tell myself, don’t worry about what’s under the car’s bonnet or in the computer’s hard drive.
Now, my one contribution so far to the Collins’ literary oeuvre is Solly’s Girl, a companion piece if you like to Alva’s Boy written by my husband Alan Collins. He was a professional writer and his works are significant contributions to Australian-Jewish literature; but there won’t be any more since he died in 2008.
- The Boys from Bondi
- Going Home : Joshua
- A Promised Land?
- A Thousand Nights at the Ritz
- Alva’s Boy
But fifty-one years’ of marriage leave their mark and inevitably Alan is ‘all over my book like a rash’. In this blog conversation I’m surely going to quote from his work so we’d best get this point clear from the start. And no doubt I shall reference the life we shared, the family we created; the way it was for ‘the boy from Bondi’ and his ‘ten pound Pom’.