It is a truth universally acknowledged that life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans . It is not necessarily true that what happens goes against our plans.
Sometimes, life surprises you and dreams that you barely dared to dream suddenly come true. That is the Case of the Writing Slope.
I’ve always been fascinated by antiques from furniture to china, from old photographs to vintage paper. Anything from the past fascinates me. I do not dwell in the past, let me be clear. When I do it is only if it gives me pleasure, as our Jane would say. Maybe the love for antiques is something my mother passed on to me since she is also loves them and has a house full of old treasures. So nothing more natural than imagining that one day I would acquire a writing slope similar to the ones used during the Regency Era and by Jane herself. But it was one of those things that stay in the back of your mind for “one day when I have more money.”
Jane Austen’s Writing Slope – British Library in London
Unbeknownst to me, a dear friend from Wales – Rev. Dr. Paul Fitzpatrick, had already purchased one for me and was carefully restoring it because it was from (wait for it… wait for it…) around 1820 and somewhat damaged. It is very similar to the one owned by Jane Austen. I was totally clueless since my friend never mentioned anything or gave me any clue until it was in my hands. Thank goodness I did not drop it out of shock! I was all astonishment…
There are so many different compartments that it is similar to a doll’s house. At least, it feels a bit like playing with one. What could I do (since I was already in Bath)? I went to the Jane Austen Centre and spend quite a few pounds on ink, paper, writing set and beautiful postcards to “fill in the blanks” of my new favorite thing in the world. I even bought wax and a stamp with my last initial to seal my envelopes. How thrilling it was, dear reader. I hope you get to experience this one day. Soon there will be another post about writing my first Regency style letter. Meanwhile, why don’t you tell me about your unexpected dreams come true?
Rita L. Watts