Another, other, other of my hobbies, many, many of which there are (let alone those I might do when I get the time, climbing Mount Everest isn’t one of which, not even to get to the ice cream parlour at the top) is scrapbooking.
I was alarmed (and I am not easily frit) to see on the television news that the Museum of the Home are asking for honest photographs of lockdown houses.
Allow me to show you my lockdown album.
And here, on this page which I have decorated with 3D roses and a nice paper with a pattern of flower buds, is a photograph of the dustbin, last emptied three weeks ago.
On this page with the clever pop-out balloons, look, close the page, no balloon, open the page, balloon! Close the page, no balloon, open the page, balloons round a photo of an unmade bed, five socks and a fallen over not-completely-finished cocoa mug. I know. cocoa, how wartime is that? You can’t get drinking chocolate, desperate people are cooking with it, desperately.
On this page with the seaside scene and the cut out whale, very droll, a photo of a million plastic toys strewn across the carpet, the thick plastic sandals necessary to venture in the direction of the curtains, never closed (have you seen what they are doing at number five? What not from your house? Really, well you can come round, oh no you can’t, well…………..actually I’ll ring you later.)
Kitchen, lovely page with cut-out pans, Welsh dresser, antique cook, round a photo of bacon rinds draped over the post which no one can open for another thirty hours, orange peel because the bin is full, mixed up with the cleaning cloth which wouldn’t get the cocoa off the bed and some fish skin which I will worry about until the next postal delivery of clothing catalogues for Your Summer Look – same as Your Spring Look but with worse hair – goes on the pile.
I will no longer be nostalgic for student life because the realistic photos of the toilet are realistic. I will swap five fish skins for a bottle of disinfectant, easily and throw in an orange peel. (You could make fish marmalade, I’m sure someone is.)
Against a faded page of a stately home, a photo of what may be the sofa. If the sofa is under there. Oh hang on, is that a leg? Has anyone seen George lately?
And these are the traditional five pages blank at the end of the book because I ran out of printer ink.
You know what to do with awful scrapbook albums don’t you? (The clue is in the title and it isn’t book or album).
I did read in the paper today of a domestic service agency inundated with requests from the posh, wanting to know how to operate the washing machine.
Now their albums I would like to see.
‘This is a photo of Geoffrey, Lord Avelot, trying to feed the lions in the park………………….’