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1001 Pelargoniums

May 2, 2014


A year or two back, my younger daughter gave me a present, 'Dear Dad, from you to me' , one of those gift shop gifts which are very well intentionedy, but, alas, time is so short that they can often gather dust and never be completed. I decided a while ago that I wouldn't let this happen, and would aim to complete it for Sophie, Alice and Tom, so whenever they want to, they could find out a bit more about their Dad. So, I have set up a private blog, to which only family have access, and have been posting to it during our summer 2013 holidays and subsequently.

Many of these postings are personal, and best kept private for the family only, but those which are less private will also be posted on my main blog.


We recently had our annual family gathering of Jane's brothers and their families. They are always at our house, since two of her brothers live in London, and one in Edinburgh. They are one of the best weekends of year, always looked forward to, always remembered.

This year I finally saw 1001 Pelargoniums.

The book is available on Amazon.


The Internet is ubiquitous now, and I can't remember the last day I didn't use it; nor can I remember how we managed before it. But I can remember that it was one Bookbinder family reunion, ten or so years ago, when one of my best ever Internet events happened.

The Internet was quite new, and Vicki, one of my sister-in-laws, didn't at that stage use it (now, as the link reveals, she has her own site). So, I decided to try to show her what use it might be, and decided to google her surname, Ambery-Smith. She was in the kitchen, and I in my study, and I shouted that her name appeared, as did her brother's, and as did 'Martin Ambery-Smith, the author'.

Usain Bolt would not have beat Vicki to the study: I didn't know her (late) father's name, she didn't know that his book had been published. But it had, posthumously, and it was googling at that family weekend that enabled Vicki to write to the publisher, who immediately sent her some complimentary copies, and the accrued royalties. Martin had spent his retirement photographing what I thought were geraniums but are in fact pelargoniums (predictive text helped there- I was expected some odd auto-correction) and his co-author had the book published after his death.


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