Welcome once again to 'Blog Post Monday'! I hope you're all keeping well.
Now, as I was swiping through my socials this morning, a rather fascinating post popped up on the account of 'Humans of New York' (@humansofny). If you haven't seen this account, you should check it out, it's absolutely brilliant! Anyway, their post was about a guy called Nelson Molina. Molina is a retired refuse collector in New York. He collected trash for over 30 years and during his rounds, he would keep an eye out for treasures within the trash and let's just say, he collected quite an amount! In total, Molina has collected around 40,000 pieces and he's now turned his collection into a museum.
Image: Nelson Molina - courtesy of @humansofny instagram - Check Them Out!
This got me thinking... How much stuff, is too much stuff? I'm always fascinated to see the kind of things that people collect. I've seen people collecting all sorts during my 37 years of living. The outright weird, the rather wonderful and the damn right dangerous! In this week's blog post we're going to be talking about collecting. I'll share a few of my stories and I want to hear yours too!
So, as always, get that kettle on, take a seat, if you can find one underneath all those collectibles, and let's find out, how much, is too much...?
Image: Nelson Molina aka @treasuresinthetrash
Well, I suppose my collecting passion started, like any other school kid's, with Pro Set cards and Panini stickers in the playground. I'd always have a massive wedge of cards or stickers on me, with a great big elastic band wrapped around it. These were like currency at school, and if you had some shiny rare ones, well, you were like the Prince of the playground. But these were small, so they didn't take up too much room. They'd be filed away and kept in a safe place, particularly the shiny ones...!
However, the European Championships started a few weeks back and I got a bit over excited. Whilst I was in the shop looking for a wall chart to enable me to plan my life around the games, I spotted a Euro 2020 sticker album... and worse still, I bought it, along with five packets of stickers! With my new stickers in hand, I ran around to my mate, Jimmy's, at his bar, 'Hop O'Clock', to show him. Well, there were a few people in the bar at the time and their faces, when I revealed my sticker album, filled with jealousy. Memories of childhood commenced and suddenly Jimmy disappeared. Five minutes later, he returned with a sticker book of his own and a collection of stickers. Excitement grew among the people in the bar, to the point that we were then arranging sticker trading days!
Now, this is all well and good, but we're adults now. The fact that Jimmy and I started talking about buying stickers wholesale, boxes of thousands, is a fine example of where things can escalate very quickly when you start collecting something, particularly, I've noticed, if these things take you back to your childhood.
Image: Lisa Courtney - courtesy of guinnessworldrecords.com
In fact, on the subject of collectible cards and stickers, put yourself in Lisa Courtney's (pictured above) shoes. Lisa is in the Guinness Book of Records with her impressive collection of over 17,000 Pokémon items, the largest Pokémon collection in the world.
I guess music has always been another subject area that I've collected on a large scale. Cassettes, Cd's and vinyl records. In fact, I still have quite the collection, which the younger generations find very odd, seeing as you can simply download everything now. These things do tend to take up a fair bit of space, but I simply can't get rid of them. Each cassette, cd and record represents a moment in my life. Maybe a particular genre or style phase that I went through. Some of them I bought at gigs I went to as well. There are just far too many emotional connections to simply get rid.
Image: My Wife, Liina, wearing the dress at the wedding
I used to also collect vintage clothing. I had quite the collection and it was predominantly women's dresses. In fact, I remember, I'd not long met my now Wife and she came to stay with me for a long weekend. I'd been invited to a wedding and asked if she'd like to come with me. "But I have nothing to wear", she said. And that's when I wheeled out my vast collection of ladies dresses for her to choose from. Utter confusion followed, but no questions asked. She selected a beautiful dress, wore it to the wedding and still has it to this day. My dresses on the other hand, well, that's another story... *wink*
Image: Jeremy Corbyn meme - courtesy of wrekinproducts.com
I've known people to collect some rather odd things. False teeth, crisp packets and fossilised faeces to name, but a few...! In fact, doesn't Jeremy Corbyn collect drain covers...? I'm sure, deep down, we've all collected something at some stage in our lives, and all it takes is for that little memory to be jogged and, BANG, you're right back at it again.
Image: Martina Schellenberg - Credit: Robert Nemeti /Barcroft Images
But, if you're like Martina Schellenberg of Schwieberdingen in Germany, sometimes stopping just isn't an option. At 125,866 napkins and growing, Martina has the largest collection of napkins in the world, all of which are sorted by theme and stored in boxes.
While we've covered the expansive areas and subjects of items people collect, we need to talk about when a collection grows. How much, is too much? Personally, I don't think there's any harm in having a room dedicated solely to the items you collect... Unless, of course, it's fossilised faeces... I draw a line at faeces...!! But, I suppose it all has to be relative to the size of your living arrangement. Perhaps, if a collection spills out and begins to affect someone else, particularly if its faeces... Maybe it's time to start downsizing your collection...?
Image: The Lloyds Bank, York coprolite - courtesy of Linda Spashett (Wikipedia)
I imagine York Archaeological Trust employee and Paleoscatologist, Dr Andrew Jones, owns a collection of faeces, judging by his appraisal of this giant example (above) in 1991: "This is the most exciting piece of excrement I've ever seen... In its own way, it's as irreplaceable as the Crown Jewels".
On that "bum" note, let me know your experiences of collecting, I'm so very interested. And if faeces does happen to be your chosen subject, that's absolutely fine, no judgement at all...
Well, that's if for this week folks. I hope you've enjoyed this instalment. Please do let me know in the comments section below what you collect and how many pieces you have in your collection.
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So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!
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