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John Masterson: Living room wall says a lot about who you are

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Sir George Martin (Neil Munns/PA)

Sir George Martin (Neil Munns/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Sir George Martin (Neil Munns/PA)

I am inquisitive. I like to eavesdrop on conversations. It always fascinates me what people think. We make a lot of assumptions just by how people look. Sometimes I am surprised by what I hear people say, as in the rather staid-looking woman last week who couldn't give a damn whether Leo smoked cannabis or not. "Sure he's only human. He was a young fellow. I'd say half of the others did too but they wouldn't admit it." Sometimes it proves everything I suspected. Suffice it to say that there is a disturbing tinge of racism in Ireland. I find some of these attitudes unsettling, but I keep my head in my newspaper.

I am also fascinated by the things we surround ourselves with. I was walking along a residential street in the five o'clock darkness recently and I couldn't help casting a glance into living rooms that were all lit up. There was one where every inch of the wall was covered with family photographs. I wasn't close enough to see what, but they looked quite formal, and I suspect the 'family snaps' were on the fridge or hall table.

My own fridge is a bit sad. As well as a few holiday and relative snaps, there is the 'Me and…' gallery. I have to admit that I still have George Martin and me on the fridge. I met him circa 1992 but it still matters! Some of these pics are what we want to remember. Some are what we want people who know us to think we value. As relationships break up people are expunged from the family record. I once heard of a mother-in-law who cut her son's ex-wife out of every single photograph that she laid her hands on.