I am a collector. I’d love to be able to tell you exactly what I collect, but it’s a little tricky. You see, I am what you might call an inconsistent collector. For a more definite term, you could ask my kids what I collect and they will tell you that I collect ‘old stuff’.
My kids are of course right, I collect lots and lots of ‘old stuff’. I regularly trawl markets, car boot sales, antique shops and eBay in search of more ‘old stuff’ for my collection. And of course, I’m a lot more specific in my quest of stuff than simply requiring it to be old.
But again, I struggle a little at this point to tell you what I go in search of. What I come home with is always varied, that’s for sure. 1950s toys, 1940s newspapers, Edwardian postcards, Victorian photos, 1920s gramophone records, 1930s children’s books, toys and books that I recall from my childhood (late 70s-80s). That’s a lot of ‘old stuff’.
While I can’t tell you exactly what I am in search of (especially as I’m not sure myself) or even what my ‘collection’ is made up of, I can tell you what it is that an item has to have to win me over.
It has to ignite something in my heart and my head. It needs to set off memories, evoke nostalgia or start a stream of thoughts. Perhaps what I’m trying to say is that it needs to enchant me.
Isn’t ‘enchant’ such a wonderful word? The dictionary tells us that to enchant means to delight someone, to charm them or put them under a spell. That’s it ! Now I can tell you what I collect! I collect items – whether they be books, dolls, clocks, letters, postcards – that enchant my soul.
Ah okay, maybe that is still as vague as the ‘old stuff’ label my kids have for the things I fall in love with. So, how about I show you all the things I have found that have lit a little touch paper in my head and in my heart? I would love to share the stories, thoughts, memories or emotions that are woven into the bits and pieces that I buy. From the late 19th century photos that I have to the 1980s books and toys, I have fallen in love with 100 years of stories.