I'm not a particularly sentimental person-at least i don't think i am. However, I have hung on to a couple of old primary school projects that I completed between age 8 and 12.
I wouldn't have them in my possession at all if my mum hadn't kept them safe for many years, although I remembered making each one.
This one was a project on the local plants that i worked on when i was 9/10 - everything in the book was collected in the Clyde valley [Scotland] .
I didn't press the flowers and leaves which was a mistake as the moisture soaked into the paper and wrinkled it.
After 30-odd years the leaves have begone to skeletonise and crumble to dust in places. I also used sellotape to stick the items in place and this has gone a yellow-y brown colour. I really need to photograph the whole thing [Scanning isn't an option as it would proabbly accelerate the leaf disintigration] . It is not going to last much longer - every time the book is opened, masses of leaf dust falls out and smells faintly of past summers.
I spent a lot of time researching the plants and quizzing my grandparents about each one [and checking things in the library and I drew the flowers, seeds or berries that I wasn't able to collect.
I think I'm most sentimental about the botanical illustrations that I drew with felt-tip pens. I remember being frustrated by the colour limitations - but they actually look pretty good.
I particularly like the hawthorn flowers and berries.
As a reward for all my hard work, my grampa gave me this book - the AA Book of the British Countryside -the original 1973 edition.
After all these years, its a bit scuffed at the edges but I still use it regularly as a reference book- the information is still a good starting place , even if I end up searching things on the web or in other books too.
I remember how impressed i was by the photo of daisies on the cover - I suspect this has been a hidden inspriation to my photography.