Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brown Paper Packages

The Hedge's 100th post is today & I wanted to find an image that I love so much to share with you. Though this time, it isn't a gorgeous house, sublime rooms, a stunning weekend retreat or a wondrous garden estate .... but something much more intrinsic. Its about what makes me the happiest!

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved books. I grew up in the beautiful Clare Valley in country South Australia & the town was too small for a public library. So once a month the Country Lending Service of the State Library in Adelaide would send me a parcel of 6 books.

My dear Dad would drive me to the Clare Railway Station & there waiting for me in the Parcel office was my precious package. Wrapped in thick brown paper, tied with string & labelled with my name, it was a joyous moment as I skipped back to the car with my much awaited delivery in one hand & my Dad's huge loving hand firmly holding the other!

On arriving home I headed straight for the sanctuary of my bedroom, & sitting on my bed I would carefully unwrap the parcel. The anticipation of what lay inside was almost too much to bear, but I was never once disappointed. Carefully selected from the details my Mum had sent the Library (country girl 7 years, likes English classics, the Secret Seven & horses!) were my next month's supply of happiness!

I can still see those books so vividly - Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Millie Mollie Mandy, Cherry Ames - Nurse & of course the Famous Five & Secret Seven series. Whoever chose those books for me all those years ago has my utmost thanks & appreciation. The selection was just perfect, as though they were able to read my mind & understand exactly what I wanted to read next. So for the next month, I could escape for an hour or two each day - escape into the wonderful world of fictional characters and faraway places.

My Mum was a teacher, so instilled her love of reading in me from a very early age. As soon as I could read I would constantly have 'my nose in a book', & still do at any opportunity I have.

Thank you to everyone who visits The Laurel Hedge, whether it be regularly or occasionally. All your comments & support have added a wonderful dimension to my life, one that I truly never expected when I started on my blogging journey. It has been such a pleasure strolling through your sites each day - thank you for the constant inspiration, your insightful commentaries, breathtaking photos, laughter & friendship, I feel very honoured.


  1. Happy 100th Post Millie!!! What a WONDERFUL story you shared. I can't stop smiling :)

    Your blog is such a treat to visit everyday and constanly inspires me. I look forward to 100 more posts at The Laurel Hedge.

    Anna :)

  2. Congratulations!!! I love your blog, it feels as if we are on the same page or wave length. I check it everyday and I am filled with joy everytime you comment on mine. Thank you Millie. I have been reading to my little boy every night for years now and I am hoping that he too will be a book lover. So far he is and it's a great one on one time for him and I as well. Thanks again for everything. Heidi

  3. Congratulations on your 100th!! (sort of. lol). What a beautiful story. I look forward to reading your posts each day, they are always inspirational and stunning. Take Care, Millie.
    Ness xx

  4. Yay! This calls for celebration - I'm thinking cupcakes and champagne!!
    I'm so glad I found 'the laurel hedge', even though it is kind of in my backyard! You are one of the first I check every morning, so thank you so much for providing such inspiration and it is such a treat to receive a comment from you on my blog. What a beautiful story as I too love books, a passion that was instilled by my parents when I grew up in Burra! Dad is a school principal and mum used to work part time in the fabulous community library we were lucky enough to have there when I was growing up.
    Ok - before I leave an essay.... Happy 100th Millie, look forward to many more xxx

  5. Hooray for 100! You know that I adore you and your blog. I can't wait for the next 100 beautiful posts!

  6. Dear Millie

    Congratulations on your 100th post, well done! I really enjoy your blog, you are so wonderfully enthusiastic it really shines through. Thank you so much for your comments on my blog, much appreciated and your also a follower too :)

    Best wishes


  7. Dear Anna - it was your blog that first inspired me to create The Laurel Hedge. Villa Anna is still Numero Uno in my books, & always will be. Thank you my friend for your generous & kind spirit & that wicked sense of humour!

    Heidi - you are undoubtably our honorary Aussie gal! So much like us, & with such a lovely soul. I've looked in Millie's crystal ball & definitely see you happily living in the Land Down Under in the future.

    Sweet Ness - my lovely Tassie connection. You know how much I adore your part of the world & am so excited being part of your plans for the future.

    Miss K - gorgeous words that made me feel very humble. I love Brown Buttons take on the world, your incredible sense of humour & your ability to find the most amazing 'stuff' for your posts!

    Supermodel Tanya - I just couldn't let a day go by without my SUNDAY BAKER fix!! Your wonderful ability to see the positive in each & every sitation, to rise above the worst of all adversities & the beautiful courageous way in which you honour Colin's memory continues to amaze & inspire me.

  8. oh that's cute ! and yeah congratulation !!

  9. Hi!


    Came here from Minnas..and I must say you have abeautiful blog!

    Wonderful pictures..!


  10. What a beautifully written tale of your childhood Millie - I am a great reader too and could not imagine life without my books.
    Let's hope we are all commenting when you post your 1000 th Post!
    Huge congrats xv

  11. Vanya - thank you for your kind words. It's always lovely to meet a new friend & your blog is such a visual treat!

    Thanks for your message of congratulations Mr. Style.

    Mia, I'm delighted to have you join us from the gorgeous & talented Minna's blog. Please come back often!

    Vicki, so great to hear that books are so important to you too. And even more wonderful is the fact that you have gone to the next level & actually written one! I stand in awe!! Your beautiful blog allows me to experience the French countryside each day without the airfare!

  12. I can relate to your love of reading. I discovered the world of books in the 1st grade. My teacher, Miss Durkee, encouraged a passion for reading that I have never lost.

  13. Well done Millie - we all appreciate your wonderful posts, encouraging comments and witty sense of humour. We three all love the books you grew up on. Milly Molly Mandy was one of our favourites and I now read it to my children (they have no concept of the one dress for everyday and one for Sunday best unfortunately!) Having always been a book worm myself (I used to spend al my pocket money down at the second hand bookshop) I still think there are few things better than losing oneself in a great read. How lovely that someone took the time to choose books they thought you might like. I wonder if they still offer that service!
    Clare (on behalf of the 3 of us mondo cherry girls!)

  14. Happy 100th post! Your blog is always inspiring but this is one of my favourites - I love to think of someone selecting those books for you and I love the image you chose. Congrats Millie - cant' wait to read the next 100! Tracey x

  15. Oh congratulations Millie. I am back from holidays and I have so much to catch up on. I will savour your blog over my morning coffee tomorrow. First... the washing! A-M xx

  16. One of Nettie's Girls - thanks so much for visiting, I've left a message at your blog.

    Dear Mondo Cherry gals - so talented, so creative, so encouraging! How wonderful to know that MMM lives on with the next generation!

    Tracey - your blog is one of the must see's on my daily stroll. Your posts are all always such a visual feast, brimming with beauty & style.

  17. Belated congratulations Millie! A usual I am delighted after a few days away, to catch up on your posts, always original and inspiring xx


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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