Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Mystery, wrapped in an Enigma, packed in a Suitcase

(Thanks to my dad for the title.) You see above you three generations of suitcases. The swish Samsonite one is Ben's for work - I borrowed it. The falling-apart blue one I 'borrowed' from my parents in the 1980s and it's still going really well, despite the attention needed inside. The little leather one has my grandma's initials on it, and it's been much admired in our family for years - my sister had it on display in the early '90s.
Unfortunately, it's recently gone a bit mouldy in storage, and I offered to bring it over to France for treatment and, of course, use!
It came over bearing jars of British foods (very well wrapped) unavailable in France, inside the blue '80s case.
So here it is: 'M' for Mildred.
This label makes sense; it's the liner on which the family travelled to Canada for a stay of several memorable years.
But these stickers are the enigma - my grandma was terrified of flying and never once in her life took an aeroplane.
This suitcase took a fair number of flights...
My mother, of course, solved the mystery at once - my grandfather frequently borrowed his wife's suitcase!
I love to think about the luxury in which he must have travelled, or at least it seems luxurious looking back on it.
Those were the days...
I wonder if anyone reading this will know anything about the airlines he used?
Now, I can't finish this little suitcase post without pointing you in the direction of a fellow Challengee of the Utmost Kind - Toni, with her charming Australian blog Little Suitcase.


A Bun Can Dance said...

Oh Floss, this is so beautiful!
Just having the stickers on a vintage case is special, but having the family connection is simply magical ! You are very fortunate to have such a special momento of your family history!
Thank you for sharing. In the Bun household we are very fond indeed of old suitcases, which is just as well as they seem to be appearing in various rooms around the house! My excuse is that they make excellent display space when I take my 'wares' to fairs/shows....!
Happy days to you
Denise x

Michela said...

I'm always very impressed by families who have/had the chance to travel a lot! You seem to have such a fascinating history to tell us!

TheMadHouse said...

What a fantastic case, such history and memories making it all the more wonderful. I love old suitcases and it must be wonderful to have one that carrys memories in addition to clothes!

Lace hearts said...

How lovely to have the history behind the case and labels. What a special thing to own.
I agree as well re our antipodean friends - I'm so envious seeing all the new growth in their wonderful gardens... it's made me quite miserable. Hence the lavender pics!

Serenata said...

I can only echo what everyone else has said. Having your grandmothers suitcase is so special and I know you will treasure it.

Lola Nova said...

Oh, what a lovely story and sweet little case. I love old suitcases, I like to imagine their travels through time. Thank you for sharing.

Country Cottage Chic said...

How lovely that you still have it! Obviously they didn't have as many clothes as we do as the old cases are so much smaller than modern ones.


Itch2stitch.com said...

Oh lucky you! Whazt a wonderful suitcase, and those stickers too! That really is something. It gives a feel of what I call real travel, that people just don't seem to do anymore! Suzie. xxx

Josie-Mary said...

Great title, well done dad! Lovely suitcase, sorry I can't help with the airlines but it looks well used :)

Florence and Mary said...

What a precious treasure!

I remember for my first holiday alone when I was 18 I brought one of the Carlton hard case in pink and covered it in stickers from my travels!

Unfortunately I don’t have that any more!

Victoria xx

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hello Floss
What a fantastic suitcase! Something that would be great to have as it is but family history behind it, so much better!
I love the labels on it, it really does give that feeling of 50's travel, a glamorous time.
A great item to display!
Isabelle x

Lululiz said...

The stories those labels could tell! The suitcase is beautiful, even if it does need a little TLC.

Pomona said...

I love old things with a story - and all sorts of stories are written over that case - it really does speak of a bygone world.

Pomona x

susan said...

I came over from Glenda's at Dab of this...So glad I did! Your grandmother's suitcase is a treasure. I recently gave my high school graduation Samsonite to Good will. It came in 3 stunning colors that year--hot pink, purple, and orange. Mine was orange and I cannot for the life of me remember why..I hate orange :) Love the title of your post!

Dan said...

That's a really cool case.

I have a big wooden trunk with US imigration stickers on it which I really like, but it lacks the family connection of yours.

Floss said...

OK, folks, just putting this down in writing - having got home, our house is the poverbial mess. I'm not comming back into blogland until I've sorted things out! Hold me to it, please!

karen said...

oooooo how special is that. I just love vintage suitcases there's just something about them isn't there.

Please can you email me your address, I am just about ready to post off your christmas swap parcel.