A Well-Travelled Gulliver

I recently reconnected with an old friend. We knew each other at college back in the early 1970s and I wrote a few blog posts about some memories I had of the ways in which she helped me through a difficult time.

Subsequently, I wrote to tell her about the posts by finding an address online. My note took some time to reach her because she had since moved, but by some miracle, she ultimately got my message. That in itself is worth celebrating.

fullsizeoutput_1228When she replied she told me that she had kept something of mine all this time and that she would send it to me.  Well, today I received it. It is a lovely old copy of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. If any of my brothers and sisters see this blog, they will recognize it right away.

We all read this book more than once and had it read to us by our Dad. It is now almost falling apart because the glue holding the pages has dried out, but it is still all there. The illustrations by S.B. De La Bere are a delight and I remember looking at them for a long time as a child and noticing all the detail in them.


But there is something else that makes this rediscovery even more wonderful. Inside the cover, my mother had written her maiden name, Miss Emily Philbey, and the date of January 16, 1923.  She had read it when she was a child, too! I am just thrilled.

Mum, this one is for you. I’m thinking of you with a smile on my face. If they let you read blogs in the afterlife, I hope you get to see this.




  1. Oh, how sweet that she held on to your book all of these years! And your mother’s signature and date; how touching! It usually catches my breath when I run into my mother’s handwriting. What a gift; thanks for continuing to share this lovely journey.

  2. Oh gosh! I’m welling up reading this. How wonderful to see Grandma’s lovely writing in this lovely book. What a treasure! X

  3. What a great story! We all should be inspired to reconnect with people who’ve helped us out in the past. Not that all stories will turn out like this, but just reconnecting is a reward in itself.

    1. It has been very rewarding to actually find my old friends. It started out as a need to write about a memory; therapy in a way. That was my initial reward. Since then, though, the rewards have kept on coming. Your idea is a good one. If someone has helped you in the past, I’m sure they would appreciate your reaching out to them.

  4. My Aunt had that book I remember going over to her house and reading it several times when I was younger.

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