"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Friday, April 16, 2010


Tonight I watched "Collectors", a short, weekly TV program about people who collect things and the things they collect. I'm rather addicted to this show, and I amazes me to see what people do collect. I don't think I'll ever forget the guy who collected tins of tomatoes...for the pretty pictures! The other thing that astounds me occasionally is that some of these people are actually still married! I figure they promised "...in sickness and in health", and OCD is a sickness, after all...

Tonight's program had a segment about things children collect. Apparently, researchers found that, in the age of Xbox and Wii, kids don't collect things any more. However, as "Collectors" demonstrated, Aussie kids are avid collectors of all sorts of things. There are the ubiquitous footy cards and marbles, but some kids' collections were more quirky, such as a young lad's collection of red sports shirts (?!), or a young lady's rather pretty collection of snow globes - and she knew exactly what she wanted next for her collection!

Listening to this, I asked DH what he collected as a kid. "Matchbox labels" was one answer, which intrigued me, as this was not something we had as kids (I grew up in Germany). Apparently matchboxes were adorned with pictures, and children collected whole series of them. He also collected coins and stamps. It made me think of what, if anything, I had collected when I was growing up. My memory is hazy - my sister would be able to tell me - but I do remember collecting some childrens' book series - definitely Enid Blyton - translated into German! I remember a large collection of movie star photos - my uncle worked in a cinema and often gave me those. Glamorous ladies and handsome leading men - Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire, Clark Gable....sigh! How I wish I'd kept them! I also collected postcards - and am doing so again! For some reason, I've always had a collection of soft toys trailing around with me. I'm a mature, professional woman but people still give me toy animals.... Go figure.

I've never seriously collected anything; I tend to develop a passion for something, and start collecting it, then see something else I like.... I'm afraid I'm a serial collector. So corners of my house are devoted to my small collections of bears, light houses, owls, shells, Chinese painted bottles, elephants, masks, tarot decks, pottery... The only thing I've been accumulating steadily over the past 10 years or so is quilt fabric....that's pretty serious!


  1. Donna, when I worked for Hallmark I used to collect cards but lately it is postcards. One more thing for our list! Nowadays I collect live animals but back in the day, I used to collect collections! My largest was cows! In the same week of 1987, two different people bought me cow fridge magnets. People assumed I collected cows--which gave rise to dozens of bovine gifts for the next few years! Like you, the constant has always been fabric. :-)

  2. Hmmmm! I remember collecting teaspoons from my travels but then people started giving them to me and I didn't want that. They were to be for my memories, not theirs. So I sold all of them. I didn't miss cleaning them at all.
    I also collected little mice - porcelain, crystal, pottery, anything except the real ones.
    I still have a massive collection of books, music, jewellery and so forth but my passion is also to collect fabric and beautiful paper.