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Monday, 17th December 2007

suppose I should introduce myself before I am cast onto my desert island. My name is Peter Coren and I would like to state upfront my exile is purely of my own choice. Having read Franklyn's excellent site, surely the best cigarette card site in cyberspace I thought I could contribute in my own small way and if this is by being cast upon unknown shores then so be it.

I am a relative newcomer to this cigarette card hobby (started about 12 months ago when I bumped into this site and somehow could not escape) but I've discovered it is as addictive as the product they were given out in so although Franklyn was generous enough to set me on my journey with the largest collection of cigarette cards ever accumulated I am afraid as the boat struck stormy waters I had not really had a chance to look at them all, so my choices of five sets has to be limited to those which I have seen up to that point.

Although I was born and have remained in the US my parents were from London, England. At times there seems to be more history in one street of that Capital than there is in an entire US state and one of my first introductions to cigarette cards was through the set, Churchmans, The Story of London. This set is going to be the first removed from the collection as the waters rise around me.

Churchamn The Story of London

The set does a good job of highlighting all the history of that city and the fine illustrations really give a sense of being there. I imagine my desert island is going to have plenty of free space so perhaps I will miss the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets with all the modernity it represents.

That was an easy choice and my second is just as easy. I have always been a fan of science-fiction novels. Only recently has the cinema special effects even remotely got close to the images which can be created by a good book. Like a lot of people of a certain age, when the cold war was cold and technology was hot the future was something to be both feared and embraced. A trip to the local cinema would see rocket ships suspended by wire fizzing about the screen as bearded baddies prepared to take over the world. So Westminster, The World of Tomorrow is the set for me. How exciting the future seemed, now it seems like tomorrow is going to be more of the same which just shows you how quickly you can get used to even the most radical of acceleration.

The set is an interesting mix of science fact and science fiction and looking back on the future it makes the most interesting of viewing. Who knows perhaps by the time I am rescued from my desert island there will be cities as described in that set, graceful, fluid arches (which have nothing to do with fast food chains).

It always makes me smile that a set about the future was actually printed in black and white, presumably because some of the scenes which are depicted on the cards are actually taken from films of the day.

Reading the other desert island cards people seem to take some set of educational value with them but this is not for me. This old dog will not be learning any new tricks, the sun is going to shine and I am going to get the sort of sun tan too many years of office work have deprived me off. I am going to take the opportunity to improve my skin tone rather than my mind.

Years of office work has seen me just about fit enough to hit the remote control button without undue fatigue hitting but I would not want to flick through an entire weeks TV schedule in one sitting :-)

So perhaps I should improve my muscle tone as well whilst I am out there. The sun is going to shine everyday on my island, not too hot not too cold it is going to be just right for exercise one way or another.

My first thought was a boxing set as I am something of a fight fan (as seen on TV rather than streets) but I was not so sure my shadow would want to box and if I did happen upon Man Friday a couple of brisk jabs to the face might not be the best way to introduce myself to my new found companion. So for a moment I was stumped until I discovered that truly wonderful set Wills, Physical Culture. In the sort of condition Franklyn supplied them to me they truly are beautiful, I have seen other sets at higher prices not half as good. Certainly some of the exercises look rather advanced but I have got time.

Wills, Physical Culture

Who knows once I have been rescued I could join that gym and not feel quite so bad about displaying my body which at present has all the physical characteristics of a stick of chalk, coming back something more like Rambo (well I could not look less like Rambo whatever happened).

Now I have mentioned the idea of being rescued. I am not sure how long I would wish to stay but if I was anything like true to form I would waive the first rescue boat on. I am only judging this by the fact if I am driving along the interstate and the fuel gauge is telling me only fumes are in the tank I will worry everyone to death for 40 miles and just as a gas station hoves into view I always think I can make it too the next one.

So given the fact I doubt a rescue boat is going to arrive just at the moment I want it too I better prepare for my own escape. For this purpose in mind, Churchmans, The Story of Navigation is the set for me. Although I am unlikely to be constructing something as sophisticated as the Queen Mary (the final card) there is certainly every possibility I could float on a fallen log, as illustrated in the first card. The 48 cards in-between have got plenty of variation so as my skills improve so could my ocean going craft.

It would give me something to occupy my mind when I had enough of doing those breathing exercises and lying in the sun. Which is likely to mean I would never get too far beyond the floating about on a log stage.

I could have chosen other shipping sets (this was actually the original reason I ended up reading this site) in an effort to identify the ship on the horizon. Identification would not actually help me much though and so these have all been left in the sea chest.

Now my final set. Goodness it is more difficult than you think, there are so many I have not seen yet, how can I really choose when there are so many sets just in the shadows, wonderful sets I can only imagine existing. Anyway I have made up my mind. Again it is a Churchmans set, Curious Dwellings. I feel slightly light on the choice because it is only 25 cards in length but I have a feeling after a few weeks on my desert island there could be at least one more curious dwelling added to the set.

So there you have it, my five card sets are secured and I am ready to strike out for my desert island, hopefully I will have full Internet access there, as I would hate to miss out on any of the updates of Franklyn Cards. I mean with all those new sets beamed onto my screen every month perhaps living on an island would not be so bad.