Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Orynthia and I were talking about scrapbooks last night, in particular the fact that my Grandfather used to keep a scrapbook which I found fascinating as a child. He would cut out all sorts of things from newspapers, sports news, articles on the changing face of Bristol, the occasional polemical comment feature from the national press and assorted other bits and bobs.

When I was young, I found it amazing to read through these scrapbooks, it really sparked an interest in the city I lived in, and this has stayed with me ever since. Thinking about it now I'm curious to know why my grandfather started to collect these fragments. The books started off in the mid 1960's when he would have been well into in 50's. I know that he was forced to give up work well before that, due to ill health, so I guess it was a way of filling the hours. This was in the days before daytime TV, not that he was ever very bothered about TV from my recollections. He would groan his way through Top Of The Pops, with my sister and I, watch the occasional game of football with me, and laugh his way through various 70's TV comedy shows.

He was always a keen reader, and my happiest memories of visits to stay with my grandparents in the country, are of sitting on a bench, in front of the elderberry bush, in the seemingly huge back garden and reading my way though the endless supply of detective fiction that was available in the house. If I was thirsty, I could reach across and pump up some water from the well beneath the house.

Anyway I still wonder why he started to keep a scrapbook at a relatively late stage of his life? Orynthia and I started the conversation because of a section in the Andrew Collins book "Where Did It All Go Right". Apparently his grandfather used to keep folders of cuttings and assorted bits and bobs, and one day Andrew Collins found a folder full of stuff about him, which must have been a bit strange. I don't think that I ever made it into my granddad's book, but once my father was asked to comment on a football match by the local paper, and that was added to the scrapbook. I remember reading that several years after the event and being very impressed, of course these days the Monday edition of the Evening Post has masses of oh so witty, text messages, regarding the weekends entertainment. Somehow they just don't carry the same weight as my fathers comments from all those years ago.

In many ways, web logs such as this are the current equivalent to the scrapbooks of yesterday. Many blogs are crammed with links to other peoples favourite articles and writers. It's nice to think that I'm carrying something on which my grandfather started.

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