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ephemera

Picture: discouraged-looking man standing at counter with stack of used bus-tickets.
Caption: (dealer speaks) "I'm sorry, but the craze for ephemera just didn't last."
E/005

Well, in fact, I know someone who used to collect bus-tickets. I spread this news obligingly among friends and family, and he found himself struggling with quite uncataloguable numbers of obscure items: a ticket for the Cleveland transporter bridge, for instance, a 1930s omstigningsbillet or transfer ticket from the Copenhagen tramways, an Edmundson ticket from Sint-Maartens Bodegem to Brussels with the name in black-letter and a return (motor-cycle rate) for a very small firth crossing somewhere near Fort William.

I abandonded my own collection of reminders because it was not sufficiently documented. OK, so the votive candle was from attending the Easter Vigil ceremonies at Sacré Cœur, the wine-bottle foil from sharing a memorable Pouilly-Fuissé with Sally at a college feast … but the pencil-stub? the lolly-stick? the orange-wrapper?

Chris fights a constant battle against ephemera at home, because I keep coming across things I think worthy of preservation. Newspapers are the worst – articles and reviews I want to keep in case I ever have the time to read them again or (less likely still) to translate them. Striking photographs. Pleasing illustrations. Witty cartoons. It just seems a shame that someone must have put a real effort into work that here in Belgium won't even end up wrapped round fish and chips.