My sister and I blu-tacked the photos to the wall – there’s twenty-one, mind the wallpaper – and the glass inserts of existing photo frames with generic scenes of cities, of fields, of disproportionate horses.
After, our reclusive table began to bustle with buffet paraphernalia and relatives, and we moved with coats, bags, drinks, and boyfriends elsewhere to a stretch of window, and windowsill, where it was discovered that there were no ham sandwiches at all.
The clouds darkened and prompted expressions of relief from the still hungry selection of bodies – glad it stayed good for the morning, there’s nothing worse – we were introduced to a man and we shook hands with him over paper plates and trembling cheese crumbs, and he later walked away. Discussion fell limply to the growing number of people on the other side of the room by comparison to our group depleting at the peak of the cooling afternoon. We took down the photos and rolled the blu-tack into little balls for re-use.
There were paper copies of too-fragile photographs mixed with standard prints in gloss and matte – didn’t you want one of those? – yes. My sister chose first because I had already concealed an image from a previous celebration a matter of years ago. She chose the image with two figures, I chose the one with three- a stranger. They looked like people always do in old photographs, like people. The concession was mistaken for nobility and I felt detached from the hand which took the prints, pale fingers and tiny wrists. I shuffled the remaining photographs into a sort of size order for balance; there were seventeen remaining, and they made their way into the carrier bag with the guest book and remaining sausage rolls.