Tomorrow the Gasman cometh. Again.
This time he is going to fit a replacement boiler. His name is Dave and he is arriving
between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. He telephoned me today to advise me of his ETA and I have to say that he sounded a cheery fella. I am sure we will get on.
explained that I had made great strides clearing out the cupboard in which the new boiler will be sited and the built-in wardrobe in the front bedroom through which the necessary pipe-work will be routed into the loft – in which a good, clear space had
been created from the chaos within by my ever-helpful son in law and his friend. My New Best Friend Dave said he was absolutely sure that I will have done a “cracking job.”
We were getting on so well that I almost started telling him about all the treasures I uncovered while on my quest to empty said cupboards but I remembered just in time that he had only rung to tell me to expect him between 8 and 8.30
tomorrow morning. Never mind, I can tell you instead.
The door of the top wardrobe cupboard was jammed shut and the handle was swinging half-off where someone
had clearly tried unsuccessfully to wrest the door open at some time past. With the help of a metal ruler I managed to prise the door open - only to discover a Cornucopia of Memories. In short, the cupboard was full of photograph albums. I could
tell that clearing this particular cupboard was going to take some time....
I opened an album from our first visit to our second cousins Bob and Jacky
in Ontario, Canada. It contained not only photographs but also tickets and brochures from places we had visited, and even a Loonie and a Toonie (Canadian coins!) The memories evoked by this particular album were especially poignant as dear Jacky, whose face
smiles out at me from so many of the snaps, died not so very long ago. There is one photograph, taken in a pioneer village we visited, showing Jacky playing an old piano, surrounded by costumed attendants. I can hear and see her now, fingers dancing
across the keys as she played God Save the Queen and Oh, Canada to her appreciative audience. My own face is wet with tears as I reach the end of the album.
are lots of holiday albums bringing back memories of sun-kissed beaches, boat trips, visits to old ruins and innumerable Eating Experiences. My stomach was clearly blessed. The loveliest holiday albums date back to our children’s early days –
here is the Eldest of the Darling Daughters at 20 months old, riding on a rocking horse (I distinctly remember she called it a “susse”); and here are all four happily showing off a mammoth sandcastle on what looks like Bournemouth beach, accompanied
by another family I don’t recognise who presumably we roped in to help us. I wonder who they were and what became of them? And I wonder if that other family have ever come across the self-same photograph and wondered what became of us. That’s
rather too much wondering for just two sentences, don’t you think?
There are photographs of each of the four oldest grandchildren when they were just hours
old. Since then the rise of the digital age has meant that the earliest photographs of the later grandchildren were all captured for posterity by digital camera and loaded onto the computer. I feel rather sorry to think that I won’t ever pull a dusty
photo album from a packed cupboard and find the first records of their existence slotted therein. Mind you, look at the sheer amount of space my photo albums are taking up, compared with that taken up by the thousands upon thousands of photos stored on the
trusty computer! My Usher Gene (which can always find space for another tin in a cupboard, another bottle of milk in a fridge, another set of place mats in a sideboard drawer) should be grateful indeed.
Mr B comes to inspect my labours and wonders aloud whether the top fitted cupboards will also need to be emptied in preparation for the Boiler Men. I pretend I haven’t heard him.
Enough is enough – even for my New Best Friend.