Dusty and slightly squashed, A4 in size, rescued from my parents’ loft.
I open it carefully and slightly apprehensively, as it comes from the past. The smell of old, dusty papers wafts up, released into the fresh Norfolk air for the first time for almost two decades.
Postcards. Newspaper cuttings and cartoons. A photograph of a Canadian diesel-electric locomotive. I leaf through each, transfixed.
A ticket stub: the Richard Thompson Band at the London Palladium. A torn-off scrap of paper featuring the shakily-written address of a girl with whom I’d once briefly been associated, and who was universally known amongst my friends as ‘the Sad Nympho’. A Reliant bonnet badge. An old train ticket to London Liverpool Street. An invitation to a Finnish Independence Day party in Blean, Kent.
And what I’d been looking for.
Lots and lots of stuff about Steerpike.
To be continued.