JUST when I thought we had exhausted all the possible lockdown tasks in Hextol Towers, Mrs Hextol came up with a new one last week.

“I want you to clean out your wardrobe,” she instructed leaving me somewhat taken aback, for in the grand scheme of things, my built in wardrobe allocation is vanishingly small.

Mrs Hextol’s attire is distributed among one double wardrobe, a single wardrobe, and three built in wardrobes, not to mention innumerable chests of drawers and cupboards.

I have a small single wardrobe, which is virtually surplus to requirements these days, as I no longer have to wear a suit, clean shirt and tie to work every day.

And what remains is in the main too big for me now because of my drastic weight loss since giving up my pre-retirement Wetherspoon’s pints and Gregg’s pies.

I still have a wedding and funeral suit, which I hope will do me until I go off to sing with the Choir Invisible in it, but otherwise my sartorial choice is somewhat limited.

I suspect Mrs Hextol’s instructions were geared to finding yet more space for her shoe collection, which already rivals anything that Imelda Marcos could boast of, but as I burrowed to the back of the cupboard, I came across something which distracted us both for the remainder of the night and well into the following morning.

Tucked into a fake Prada handbag of uncertain origin were a dozen or more reels of cine film, and covered in dust and cobwebs in another corner was the old projector.

I knew that the Super 8 films contained precious records of the early days of our marriage, when the children were just babies and we were in our 20s.

We had always intended to have them put on video tape, and when VHS went out, DVDs, but somehow never got round to it. I said: “Film deteriorates over time even when kept in perfect conditions, so this lot will just crumble as soon as we touch them.”

I cautiously unwound a few feet of film from one of the spools, and it seemed robust enough.

There was a time when I could see what was on the reel by holding it up to the light, but 2020 eyes are nowhere near as good as those of 1973, and I was none the wiser.

I then dusted down the projector, plugged it in - and nothing happened.

I had to take off two protective covers before reaching the innards, and eventually got the motor to clatter into life, but the bulb remained stubbornly dead.

Just when I had decided it had all been a waste of time, I gave the bulb one last jiggle, and it burst into brilliant life.

“Right, let’s have a film show!” enthused Mrs Hextol, tidying up forgotten, and it was then I realised that all the films would require winding back to their individual beginnings, a tedious process which can be done on the projector in a matter of moments.

However,one of the clips that holds the films in place was jammed, so I had to deploy the old method of twirling the spools between two pencils to get them back to their starting point

It took over an hour, and much crawling on the floor in pursuit of runaway reels, before everything was in order - and then I couldn’t get them on the projector because of the jammed clip.

It took a pair of pliers, a Mole wrench and several squirts of WD40 before it would cooperate and we were ready to go.

“Where’s the screen?” demanded Mrs Hextol. I knew it was buried at the very back of the garage, so said: “These films will probably crumble to pieces anyway so we’ll just project them onto that white wall for now.”

And magically I was wrong, and for the next four hours we were transported to the days when our now 47 year old eldest was kicking and giggling on the floor while having his nappy changed on a camping holiday, and then taking his first steps in Berwick.

One by one, all the boys appeared as babies, along with much missed parents and other relations, not to mention assorted dogs, and even my last-ever motorbike.

Gorgeous as she is now, he young Mrs Hextol was an absolute stunner, while I looked a freak with enormous hair and National Health glasses. Anyone know where you can get cine films made more easily viewable?