Well, the coming of my lovely, new doll children is quite a long story. Mince pies and coffee may be in order, if you plan to read this post.
Back in August 2012. My dear, dolly-and-every-other-treat-enabling Uncle Roland died suddenly at the age of 93 and, fortunately, without any suffering.He left me money to buy dolls - a man of taste!
However, the money he left for his funeral was insufficient and I used most of the money he left to me to pay for that.
With what was left, I was delighted to be able to buy this little man.
He looked a little like photos of Uncle as a boy, so he was named Roland in his honour. He became the best friend of Robin, the shaggy haired chap who figured two posts ago. They are inseparable, attend the same weekly boarding school and I really love them. Like Robin, Roland is far from perfect. He is rewigged ( it's a great wig, though) and has a few noticeable bumps, scratches and bruises....but what healthy little British school boy doesn't?
In early autumn this year, Dee decided to sell Jocelyn and allowed me a layaway on her. I have never had a blond girl with good, well rooted hair and, though Jocelyn has had hers cut, I really like these girls with short hair. So, given that, though short, her hair is well cut and beautifully two toned, she was the perfect Trendon girl for me.
Here she is!
A month or so later, I got a letter from Uncle Roland's solicitors. They informed me that his bungalow, which he had left to a charity, had finally been sold. The charity's auditor had asked if all costs had been taken out of what they were to receive and, on hearing I'd used most of my portion for the funeral etc. he asked the solicitor to return some to me, but stated I must honour Uncle's decision about how I should use it.
I looked on Shelly's site and was amazed to see this little lady.
Is she the original Mary that my cousin owned? I used to borrow her in the 60s because Bridget always made her the naughty girl in our games and I felt sorry for her always being blamed. She had very distinctive eyes and this one looked exactly the same. Could she be? Bridget and I couldn't rule out the idea of her being THE Mary so we decided she has been named Mary, just in case.
When the money arrived, it was over twice as much as I had been told...so back to Shelly's site I went and a sister for Mary was chosen.
Her eyes are a little more clearly defined than her sister's and her hair is in better condition. I named her Laura because I so loved the book, The Little House in the Big Woods when I was small (still do - far better than the rather sentimental TV series!) and Mary had to have her sister, Laura.
Within days of Laura arriving, my family offered to club together to buy me another doll. They may have thought twice, had they known about Jocelyn, Mary and Laura, on the grounds that I was being inundated with dolls......so I didn't inform them! They asked me to choose one and gave me a price range.
So, here is Tove. (Forgive the even worse than usual photo - it started to pour down.) Originally I was going to call her Roccio because she looked a little like a Spanish gypsy child, but as most people can't remember how to say it and both she and I got fed up with repeating the pronunciation. She asked if she could change her name again. I consulted my daughter, who said she looked like her childhood friend Tove, who had an Icelandic father and Indian mother so, though it s a Nordic name, the original Tove was dark. It seems to suit her, so Tove she has become.
The last to join the crowd of 'car people' was Gerda. She is perhaps one of the most touching gifts I have ever received. My family had quoted me a maximum for buying Tove that was greater than her actual cost. Good, I thought, I'm saving each of them a little money. Not so!
Many of my ex-pupils have kept in touch with my own two children, who went to the school I worked in, though were never in my class. Word got round amongst them that I am ill and may not make it to Christmas 2015 and they got together and asked my son to choose a gift to buy me from them. He decided it should be a twin for Tove. He added in the extra that family had offered and chose Gerda as a gift from pupils and family together.
I had a copy of Hans Andersen's fairy tales when I was young and, unlikely as it might seem, the beautiful 20s picture of Gerda in the Snow Queen story showed her as having dark, braided hair, hence her name. How wonderful and surprising to find I am loved enough by pupils from over a quarter of a century ago, that they would help to buy this sweet girl for me. Her stringing has loosened further in the last three days and she will soon need surgery but she is so very sweet.
So - that is where Santa got all those dolls to bring to me, giving me the best Christmas ever. Who would have thought that I would ever own 6 early Gotz dolls? At one time, I didn't think I liked them at all!
I hope you are all feeling as cherished and lucky as I feel right now.
Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2015 to you all!