Monday, 8 August 2011

Theatre Royal Recipe Book

A few years ago I went on an midnight expedition to an abandoned theatre in Chatham. We explored the building, (what remained of it at least, it was distinctly decayed and dangerously rubbled) by torchlight and found and saw many weird and wonderful things. On our way out we saw the deserted ruins of the administrative offices and saw that lots of things had been left, almost as if the people who had worked in the office had left very abruptly and without warning. The place was littered with mouldy newspapers, water bottles and other signs of a working life. I found it rather eerie. On the floor I sighted a blue ringbinder and, being inherently curious, I picked it up to see what was inside. Separating the pages stuck by mould, mildew and dirt I discovered I was holding someone's collection of vegetarian recipes. It's comprised of photocopied pages, typewritten sheets and, best of all, handwritten notes (anyone who knows me will know I collect the dropped notes, letters, shopping lists and other handwritten things of strangers). I put it in my rucksack and took it home. The book is in bad condition and I resolved to restore it but it has been sitting forgotten on top of my bookcase for two years now.

I think it has been there quite long enough now and it's high time I put this collection, which someone has painstakingly put together, into a working condition.

The pages need to be cleaned as half of them are barely readable, then I'm planning to scan/photocopy the pages and print them on good quality paper. After that I would love to bind it myself, possible with a leather cover... (If anyone knows anything about bookbinding then please do let me know!)

Perhaps I'm being fatalistic but I have always wondered if I was meant to find the scrapbook of recipes. I've been a vegetarian for as long as I can remember and love cooking, then I found the folder which must have been lying in the rubble for years before I picked it up...

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