Hoarding Melancholy

Some people are keen golfers. They spend hours on the golf course perfecting their swing, they follow tournaments, buy books on the subject, fill their sheds, cupboards and spare-room with golfing related stuff and top up their club collection with latest and greatest technology. That’s their thing and they’re passionate about it.

Some people are into shoes. They can’t walk past a shoe shop without entering or at least using all their will-power to not enter knowing it would likely result in a new purchase. They’re known for their shoes, they buy outfits to match their shoes. Shoes fill any available space in their home. That’s their thing and they’re passionate about it.

Some people it’s books, others it is quilting, others it’s computers or gaming or electronics…


Circa 1900. Girl in a dome. I was not detered by her missing hand. Measures 9cm tall.

Me? I’m a keen collector and saver of objects. Some of my favourite purchases usually only cost me a couple of dollars. I spend hours trawling through flea market stalls and antique shops with the excitement of not knowing what I’m going to find. I fill my shelves with the things I like and I get excited about where I’m going to put the next new-old item. That’s my thing and I’m passionate about it.

None of these examples are really any different from each other. So why does my thing feel somewhat frivolous? Not so frivolous that I’m able to resist a rummage at a flea market, but I am conscious of its redundancy. Collecting objects allows you to observe how they move between people – someone is selling their collection of frogs because they no longer collect frogs, someone is cleaning out their mother’s house to put her in a nursing home, someone is saving for a trip around the world. These stories are in the objects I buy. In forty or fifty years I’ll undoubtedly find myself downsizing my own collections and they’ll find their way back onto a market stall, recycled back into the hands of others who like the things I like.

Collecting has a heartbeat and being a marketeer makes me happy.


3 thoughts on “Hoarding Melancholy

  1. I love the idea of the ‘heartbeat’ of being a collector. Somehow I never imagine my ‘things’ – my books, and my elephant figurine collection – ever not being ‘mine’. Maybe I don’t like to dwell on not being here to own them. But it is nice to think that others might one day love our things as much as we did.

    • Observing how objects ‘cycle’ is a weird feeling. Perhaps I think about this type of thing too often! But it *is* good to think that they’ll be loved in the future.
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Pingback: My Favourite Things | SJ O'Hart

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