Lost Arts

It’s impossible to switch on a radio or pick up a newspaper without learning of another skill being lost to the age of technology. The art of conversation is making way to social networking. Some would relegate to history the sensuous, tactile experience of reading a book – yes, an actual book. Not to mention the disappearing art of letter writing. So which of these am I rueing today?

Actually none. It’s the disappearing art of opening a milk bottle. It happened in my house everyday when I was growing up, and every house for that matter. Children were able to do it before writing their name or tying their shoe laces. Not anymore. When Ashford moved in with us, he was old enough to vote, get married, do what he would with anyone who’d consent. But open a milk bottle? Apparently not. I came across a few mangled milk bottle tops in the fridge before initiating him in the art. This afternoon, I was making a cup of tea for a friend and she was helpfully PEELING the lid off the milk!

I’m only going to say this once. Holding the lid, shake the bottle. Then press the lid with your thumb. Not the nail. The pad. To summarise, hold lid and shake, press with thumb. There I’ve said it twice. That’s it. No more. Ever.

Just like Old Times?

Bear has gone to Grandma and Grandad’s (Mr. Invisible’s parents), so we have some time to ourselves. Just like old times! We could do exactly what we like! We could go to a gallery and actually look at the artwork. We could take a stroll along the South Bank, stop at every watering hole on the way and then go for dinner or the cinema. Or we could just have a clear out. A lovely, soul-cleansing, cathartic, thorough clear out.

A couple of months ago, our nephew Ashford moved from his room on the first floor to the attic because Grandad (my Dad) was struggling with the extra flight of stairs. We wanted Ashford to have a lovely student den up there so we moved a load of stuff from the attic into our bedroom. Somehow, we haven’t done anything about it. Disgraceful!

Mr. Invisible decided to make a start in the cellar, while I tackled ‘the pile.’ This is a way of working together to promote the utmost harmony. A few boot sale boxes, recycling crates and bin bags later, I’ve made a huge sliding tackle of a start and we’ve had just the one disagreement. (Mr. Invisible thinks I won’t use my bike again as I haven’t used it in the last 10 years. I think it is my bike, so I will decide whether I will use it again or not when I have time to make such a weighty decision!)

Before Bear was born, we had stuff but not this amount and the stuff we had, we had time to keep tidy. So I see this as a bit of a new beginning, an opportunity to get back the tiniest bit of control.

So just like old times? Never again. Our lives have changed so completely, that it’s impossible to go back even for a weekend. We will enjoy a quiet dinner and glass of something this evening and a bit of a lie-in in the morning, thankful for the time together and that Bear is making memories with Grandma and Grandad.