Back in the early 80s, I was a collector – of scented rubbers.
No sniggering over there in the US! By rubbers, I mean erasers (the British word is rubber, because they rub things out).
I can’t remember how it started – probably with an innocent rainbow pencil-topper, or a strawberry-scented lipstick rubber, but from about 1980-1986 my collection bred like rabbits.
When I’m staying at my parents’, it always astounds me that my Mum has kept so many of our childhood things – and each year we stay, she brings out the most amazing vintage toys for the boys to play with.
Last year, I marvelled at my china tea set and 100-year-old antique rocking horse, while BB and LB spent many happy hours parking dozens of lead-painted matchbox cars in my old dolls’ house. This year, it was my rubber collection’s turn to see the light of day again.
I pored over my rubbers, turning them over like precious stones and smelling each one. Some had kept their scent, even after 30 years! Goodness knows what chemicals they were made with – probably something quite addictive to a 9-year-old girl.
“Which one do you like best,” I asked BB, showing him the miniature Ariel box with a white t-shirt inside, the milk carton, the Coca Cola-scented can of coke, the cassette, LP and the camera with a roll of film.
“The cheese burger,” he replied – and immediately did a taste test.