What do you collect?

 

Do you collect anything? I’m trying hard to reduce the amount of “stuff” that I have in my house and I’m doing quite well. I didn’t realise how much of a hoarder I was but when I finally started sorting through things with my ruthless hat on I found that I wasn’t really as attached to things as I though. I had a box full of small bits and bobs from my teenage years including my first mobile phone (a giant motorola M3788e that I saved up for myself and was SO pleased to have), passport photos of my boyfriend when I was 16, a Princess Fiona from Shrek toy that was free from Pizza Hut, various purses and half packets of playing cards. All little keepsakes that meant enough to keep them at the time but really I don’t need them and I’m not attached to them at all. (I also found quite a lot of small stones and pennies, does everyone collect random rubbish or is it just me?)

Despite my intention to reduce, it is enjoyable having a mental list of things that I consciously want to collect and look out for. I generally keep my eyes open for Cornishware (as you can see from my one piece that it is not something that happens a lot!) and little glass bottles of the *perfect* colour. They are quite easy to come by, so I am now very particular about bringing one home and it must be the right colour.

My main things to collect are books. I’ve mentioned numerous times how much I enjoy re-finding books from my childhood and I always have a look through charity shops to see if any catch my eye. It’s one of my strong memories of growing up, having a huge amount of books that were various different ages, styles, editions and genres. It didn’t occur to me until a few years ago that books from different decades have different style artwork. I know that sounds silly but I didn’t. I just accepted (for example) that Rosie’s Walk” was illustrated how it was, and not because it was illustrated in the sixties.

 

As well as keeping my eyes open all the time for children’s books, I actively look for Topsy and Tim books, Ladybird books and also The Railway Series by the Rev W Awdry. Last week I found a Topsy and Tim book in a charity shop, as well as two Ladybird books and two Roald Dahl books – all 50p each! I did buy the two Railway Series books from ebay which brings my total collection of those to er, four, although I managed to buy the same one twice, ah well. I’m only at the start of collecting them although I’ve been planning to for years, because this is the first time I’ve had anywhere to put them!

On the subject of Thomas the Tank Engine, I found the episodes that we had on VHS as kids on Youtube, the original (I think) ones narrated by Ringo Starr. Before it became technicolour and “Thomas and Friends”. I tried putting a more recent episode of it on for TTB but I couldn’t stand it and went back to Postman Pat instead. I hate that it is called “Thomas and Friends” or “Thomas the Train”, he’s a bloody tank engine and that’s what he should be called! Pah. I hate it when things like that are changed. (Grumpy old woman at almost 27, oh dear Heather…)

TTB was lucky enough to be gifted these four beautiful Ladybird books recently as well. At the moment I love how they look on top of the expedit in his room but I do look forward to when he is old enough to enjoy their content too.

I know that by collecting books like this with intent I’m sort of pushing them on to TTB in a way, trying to inflict my happy childhood nostalgia onto him when he may not want that. It’s not my intention to do that, I genuinely enjoy collecting these things because *I* like them and it’s always a good feeling to find one, a bit like finding a hidden prize somewhere. My intention is to enjoy collecting them, and to just make sure he has access to a lovely collection of all types of books and is encouraged (but not pushed) to enjoy them. If I enjoy them too, so much the better, and perhaps he will be more inclined to enjoy them if he sees me doing so. Who knows! He is certainly showing an interest in books already.

I’d love to hear what you collect (if only to help justify mine!) x

25 thoughts on “What do you collect?

  1. Heather, the books CAN be for you too you know if they have a place in your heart!
    I collect Little Grey Rabbit books purely for my own nostalgic pleasure, I keep them by my bed and the kids KNOW they are MUMMY’s and are very respectful about them.
    I am also compelled to collect seaglass and other beach treasures, I cannot resist bringing them home even though we have a ToNne of it already. Ditto bird feathers and pinecones. And greetings cards. And old brightly coloured enamel ware. Oh, and teatowels. I’m sure there is more. Grade A Hoarder here and proud to admit itxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Oh and totally agree about the “old” thomas tank engine being oooooodles better than the new hi-tech version, ditto old PP without the stupid helicopter and mobile phone. We have both on DVD.
    Tom and Jerry have always been really big hits with us, my kids would watch endless episodes of those, we have every single one on 4 dvd’s :o)x

  3. Heather says:

    Oh I know they can be for me too, some of them I do collect just for me (I must show you my Alice Melvin book) but some I am collecting because I’m looking forward to reading them with him if you see what I mean? That’s the enjoyment – I probably wouldn’t collect The Railway Series if I didn’t have a child. Other ones I would though :-)

    Rachel – YES! I am! Bring it on x

  4. Thomas has to be the old version to watch – and my son had Thomas brio too.
    He played for many hours and it is now in the loft for him to give to his son – so
    he tells us. My house is full of “stuff” we seem to collect everything. My personal
    Favourites are yarn, copic pens, glass ornaments, and old Observer books.
    My son collects “interesting” stones. We made up stories when he was small that
    pebbles were part of a treasure map. He still (age15) picks up stones when we are out and has
    a collection called his “treasure stones”. :)

  5. Thomas has to be the old version to watch – and my son had Thomas brio too.
    He played for many hours and it is now in the loft for him to give to his son – so
    he tells us. My house is full of \"stuff\" we seem to collect everything. My personal
    Favourites are yarn, copic pens, glass ornaments, and old Observer books.
    My son collects \"interesting\" stones. We made up stories when he was small that
    pebbles were part of a treasure map. He still (age15) picks up stones when we are out and has
    a collection called his \"treasure stones\". :)

  6. Heather says:

    Sara, I love your son’s collecting of pebbles and the idea of the treasure map. Imagination games are the best. We used to play shops with stones and shells on the beach when we were kids x

  7. Gillian says:

    Definitely agree about the Thomas the Tank Engine videos – my children (now in their twenties) loved the ones narrated by Ringo, except that when my eldest was 3 he was terrified of the episode of Percy falling off the dock into the water, we had to fast forward through that. I grew up on the Little Grey Rabbit books too and I treasure my old beaten-up copies. I wanted more than anything to live in her little house drawn on the end papers. Heather, the time when your little one will be able to enjoy the contents of your books will come only too soon, don’t be in a hurry, just treasure every minute of his babyhood! My boys insist that I keep ALL their books from when they were little, they love to peek at them now and then when they’re not playing scary war games on their computers… What about the Ant & Bee books? Aren’t those wonderful? Oh, I could go on and on!

  8. Gillian says:

    Definitely agree about the Thomas the Tank Engine videos – my children (now in their twenties) loved the ones narrated by Ringo, except that when my eldest was 3 he was terrified of the episode of Percy falling off the dock into the water, we had to fast forward through that. I grew up on the Little Grey Rabbit books too and I treasure my old beaten-up copies. I wanted more than anything to live in her little house drawn on the end papers. Heather, the time when your little one will be able to enjoy the contents of your books will come only too soon, don\’t be in a hurry, just treasure every minute of his babyhood! My boys insist that I keep ALL their books from when they were little, they love to peek at them now and then when they\’re not playing scary war games on their computers… What about the Ant & Bee books? Aren\’t those wonderful? Oh, I could go on and on!

  9. Kay Parker says:

    When I was young we always got a annual for Christmas that was treasured and read again and again. We emigrated to Australia when I was 11 but I managed to keep most of them, my daughter when she was growing up loved reading my 1960’s Beanos, Beezers and Dennis the menace books to name a few. She wants me to hang on to them for her children (she is now25) think I might just manage that!

  10. Anna-Marie says:

    Hi Heather, Books are always good to have and collect!!!I have always, from day one, instilled a love for books into my children and really their general knowledge is so much better than other kids the same age who are not keen readers!!!They will also rather buy a book than anything else!!! Have a super wonderful weekend!!!
    Love
    AMarie

  11. Brenda says:

    Agree, old Thomas, my almost 18 year old daughter still loves the old Thomas, new one is creepy! Collections, well, china, fabric, wool, plants, books, glassware, and that’s just me, my kids are older but have all collected, feathers, stones, book, figurines and leaves, collect away and be happy watching your old Thomas and postman pat ( love him) Ted glen sounds exactly like my grandad, love it, he has been gone for many years now an I close my eyes and listen to postman pat and grandad is back with me. Even better I my mum (also gone) was named pat so hearing Ted saying och now pat was exactly what he would say to my mum, so sweet, xxBrenda

  12. Sarah A says:

    I was raised in the USA and have never been to England- but my mom was British. I have a love of certain things that she passed on to us as children… I buy Egg Cups occasionally-they arent readily available here so if I find them – i usually buy two..

    I also KNOW that if I were to ever go to England and be able to travel to various small towns – I would certainly go into any bookstore or especially charity shops in hopes of finding older volumes of The Faraway Tree series. We had VERY old ones and do not know where they ended up. I am sad that we dont have them. I have a condensed version that my sister got for me when in England and during a Ravelry swap – I was sent an older version as well.
    Books are wonderful- read them to your children or leave them around- they will pick them up and read them I am sure…

  13. Sue says:

    I have a lot of books in my loft that used to belong to my brother and me. These include Thomas the tank engine and the now politically incorrect Noddy books.

    I also have a lot of books and toys in the loft that belong to my two daughters. I am not allowed to get rid of anything as my youngest wants them for her children. I am waiting for her to buy a house so she can then fill her loft with all of the boxes currently filling my loft :-) The youngest daughter is getting married later this year so maybe grandchildren will arrive in the not too distant future.

    I try not to collect things but there are stamp albums and teddy bear ornaments in the house. I also have a few antique copper items on display. I do collect distant relatives as I am researching my family tree LOL.

  14. I have been reading your blog for a while now and decided it was time to comment! You are totally right, if he sees you enjoying something, he will be more inclined to be interested in it, too. Found you through Lucy and have enjoyed going back and getting caught up.

  15. Louise says:

    My boys both loved the “old” Thomas, in fact I am sure its how they learnt colours etc. Our old dog was named Skarloey from the series. Other favorites were Fireman Sam and Postman Pat!

  16. What beautiful treasures you have found!Ladybird readers played a large part of my childhood. I collect Beatrix Potter figurines. A dust hazard but my little girl has found a love of all things Beatrix Potter on her own and loves to look at them now too!

  17. Sheree says:

    Ladybird books are wonderful and bring back so many happy memories. I learnt to read using “Janet & John” books. I have no doubt TTB will love them, they are just the right size for small people and have lovely illustrations I have some in the attic I’ll pass on to the grandchild. I collect Minnie Mouse things, probably started off by the Pelham puppet I had as a child

  18. I LOVE that you have one thing that you love and consider it a collection… On that basis I collect blue glass, birdcages and spotty jugs! The brambly hedge books are fabulous. Ruby Buttons and Violet Pickles (rag dolls) were lovely too, and I had ‘a hat for Emily’ that came with a pattern for a rag doll that I’m still waiting for my mum to finish… Plop, the baby barn owl. Loved topsy and Tim too – remember the one where they are learning to swim and Tom just keeps his feet on the floor? I remember wishing I had thought of that while trying to pick up bricks from the pool floor in my pyjamas… Oh, the nostalgia

  19. Anne Marie says:

    I hoard LOTS, I collect Lorna Hill books and also Barbara Pym (what a contrast hey?) Take a look at this website http://www.marchhousebooks.co.uk/ you might find some of your old childhood books, although probably not as cheap as charity shops. I’m hoping I might sell some of my Lorna Hill special ones when I decide I can part with them.

    I also seem to acquire linen tea towels, and I’m sitting in the middle of my only spare bedroom piled with junk around me, which I’m hoping to sell on Ebay when there is free listing. The things are what I’ve stored, just in case!

  20. Mostly I collect junk! Seriously our flat’s so full of my clutter it’s unreal, but I guess not really a proper ‘collection’. Does wool count?

    I love your Thomas the Tank books, I grew up with that on the telly – and yes, the Ringo Starr version :)

  21. Rosy Nancarrow says:

    How lovely to see those books in your post Heather, (to be honest they are as much for you as TTB!) Don’t worry about hoarding random stuff, I have a box of bits and bobs which go back to my childhood/teens and I am 43 this year – can’t bear to get rid of any of it though! x

  22. Rosy Nancarrow says:

    How lovely to see those books in your post Heather, (to be honest they are as much for you as TTB!) Don\’t worry about hoarding random stuff, I have a box of bits and bobs which go back to my childhood/teens and I am 43 this year – can\’t bear to get rid of any of it though! x

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