The button tin was old before I was born, as are some of its contents, like these splendid cover-your-own buttons, which true to their word have not rusted, and are endorsed by the strangely bisected face of one of those Ideal Homes-type post-war ladies ubiquitous in the imagery of my childhood who all looked Janet's and John's mummy.
I went to the tin looking for a missing button from a shirt I haven't worn for ages because every time I get it out to wear, I am reminded that it's missing a button, and then I found the button somewhere quite recently, and now I can't recall where it was, but wherever it was it wasn't in the old button tin, or its environs. But plenty of other interesting things were, and by the end of the morning I had lined up a good strong dog-lead swivel clip, so I can mend Mol's extending lead, a long piece of bright gold velvet and some blue ceramic beads to sew onto it for a table runner, and three large, round maroon, Bakerlite buttons, rather art deco in style, which I'm fairly sure came off an old coat of my mum's, and which will just go nicely with the sleeveless thing I knitted from some thick soft yarn I bought in Lidl. The pattern was designed by moi using a piece of squared paper and I'm afraid it rather shows, so I probably won't wear it out of the house, but it is the most delightful sunsetty colours, and will be very warm, and the buttons will give it the added values of nostalgia and continuity.
My make and mend ethic is something of a silly conceit: the things I make I often don't need, or cost more to make than they would to buy anyway, and the things I mend I have often replaced already, or they are just as wearable holey as darned, or the repairs will only hasten their falling apart. I strain thriftily at gnats and swallow wasteful camels. But it makes me feel wholesome, and I do enjoy it, I really do.
I decided to move the buttons round on the shirt, replacing the missing one with a lower one, whose absence will be less visible. This is a sure way to make the stray button reappear.
Lining drawers with a roll of red tissue paper.
The evening air through the window upstairs is cooling at last.