I’m finding lots of really old things on my travels these days, and as I do, I go hunting for even more. Old postcards, letters, maps, book plates – I’m fascinated by them – by the times they come from, the people who have long since passed, the addresses and script and inks, even the stamps!
I’m not naturally sentimental, but sometimes these things really get to me. The ordinariness of it all – the messages of coming to tea, or pleas to bring the pigeon to the railway station tomorrow, or wish you were here. Ordinary. And yet some of these items were written in times of great national turmoil, or before something we now know happened, and of course these people and perhaps even their children and grand-children have long since been and gone. Something about the starkness of it all delineates life and death, and brings it all into such sharp focus.
I wonder what banal crap of mine will be touted on a stall one day? And I wonder who will be enthralled by it.