Ephemera is a gorgeous word to say aloud, when spoken softly it gives a hint to its meaning - those delicate slices of the everyday never intended to last. Old things come with history no matter how mundane and this is partly what draws me in when I see a battered suitcase or a pristine decades-old teacup, my imagination is captured and suddenly I'm inventing a story - little details of whose hands it passed through and how it came to be where I spotted it. Vintage ephemera though, is even more magical in some ways - ticket stubs, hastily scribbled notes, snapshots and shopping lists which should have had the transient life of a butterfly somehow become a legacy through escaping the bin over and over. Where a 1920s beaded bag makes me wonder what sort of glamourous parties it was carried to, a bread and butter letter sent the next day thanking the hostess for a lovely evening fills in a few gaps. In a dream world the two would rock up together - one posing all the questions and the other answering with tantalising snippets - this never happens. Or not to me at least!
One of my friends asked me why I had so many photos of people I didn't know who were most likely dead by now when she saw an open box stuffed with black and white images. Good question. I think it's because in every picture there is a person who was treasured by someone, and even with a date or place written on the back there are stories about each image I will never know. So I'll carry on picking up interesting old photos, pretty vintage postcards and well-read letters when I come across them, they're a beautiful escape to enjoy over a cup of tea every so often.