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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Secret Thoughts of a young artist!

Ninety years ago as a schoolgirl my aunt started writing some of her diary entries in Greek script - so that her brothers and other intruders wouldn't read her most secret thoughts.
A few years ago I got my ex husband Will Huxham to transcribe the diaries for me, but of course he left out the Greek bits. About a year ago we deposited her diaries at the Scottish Jewish Archives and I asked him to photocopy all the pages which had bits in Greek letters, with an idea that one day I would get someone to decipher those bits.

In the autumn some students from the Archiving MSc at Glasgow Uni did some cataloguing of my aunt's papers, letters, and diaries. I was very excited because one of them was actually Greek and I had high hopes of her being able to read the bits in Greek script. However because my aunt had a special way of transliterating English words in Greek, the student wasn't able to do this.

Meanwhile, I had looked all over the house for the photocopies and hadn't been able to find them. AND LAST NIGHT (thanks to a 'flylady' [flylady.net] decluttering mission, I found them, neatly filed away in a special folder - and have spent half an hour this morning beginning to decipher my aunt's most secret thoughts! These early ones were all about going in for essay competitions, and how she was annoyed at her relatives reading her poetry without any emotion at all.... I look forward to communing with my aunt more and more over the next months (there are LOTS of Greek entries). There's something new in the 'Hannah Frank project' every month, as usual. In December it was the launch of the Poetry competition - last month the Children's Laureate endorsed the competition - this month, her secret thoughts! (also a lovely article in the Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor).