It’s not spring, but I have launched into what amounts to a spring clean. My office is too full, too cluttered, and I desperately need to make space. This is not so easy. My bookshelves are full because, well, I’m a book designer, and not only do I have reference books and type manuals, but copies of most of the books I have designed. Before I became a book designer I worked on magazines—and up until a few days ago I kept copies of those too. Right now, though, I am greatly looking forward to paper recycling pick-up day, when those magazines (so outdated now I would never even consider having them in my portfolio!) will be gone for good. One upside of clearing the shelves is that I come across ephemera, like this envelope and its handwritten A, separated from the birthday card it once contained. I like this single underlined letter, used for who knows how long as a bookmark, and am glad I kept it because, in recognising the hand of the writer, memories of good friendships and celebrations are evoked.

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