Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Collector

Just started - four boxes to go

Primary school - we used to Maypole dance at local fetes
Is there a difference between a hoarder and a collector? I am not sure but I certainly have a lot of letters. I've started 'sorting them out', I hesitate to say 'catalogueing' as I am not yet that organised but it seems as I go through the boxes, that I've never thrown away even one letter from a family member or personal friend or boyfriend. Why am I doing this? Chatting to one recent acquaintance last night, she thinks I am mad; she has saved no letters ever but there again she can't bear to part with a piece of old furniture.
I've only glanced at the contents of some of the letters and am ashamed to say I can't even recall the faces or names of a few of the writers with whom it seems I had quite a lengthy correspondence.
(Re pics - my mother used to send me all my old school stuff when she was clearing out in order to move house. She wrote to me every week for 30 years ).
Endeavour Prize and winning a cruise in a national essay competition.
This seems to me reason enough to have kept the documents. Memories fade. At least they can be revived this way. I also find that I have over time misinterpreted some people's characters and motives and built pictures in my mind of events or feelings that on confronting the written word, have proved to be totally erroneous.  My second reason for doing this exercise right now, is having to downsize with a view to my husband's retiring in two years time. We have suddenly realised that our home at the coast has almost no cupboards and hubby is having to accept that as time races on ...especially as 2012 has dawned (what happened to 2011?), he just doesn't have time to do everything.
Me pinning a leek on the Mayor on St. David's Day.
We have to get a move on. My third reason is that I am going to re-read everything with a view to collating facts and information  relating to the five decades from the sixties to the present day, with the further view of writing a book.
I've now thrown away the envelopes !
I am hoping to distil the essentials of everyone's characters and lives so that they can be thinly disguised in a work of 'faction'.  Well, we all need a long term project for retirement and as it has been said "different strokes for different folks".  My new friend still thinks I am mad.  One further satisfaction  - I plan to e-mail everyone I can still find and tell them how many letters of theirs I have kept. Hope they will be impressed. E-mail's just not the same. No-one keeps those.


  1. Quite a collection! You nut! Just joking. Is it not odd that we have these things in our lives that have no monetary value, and yet they are like buried treasure. What do you do with such things?

    BTW, quite an attractive young lady in those newspaper clippings. I like the necktie!

  2. I went to a girls' High School which had a strict school uniform, including an awful beret which we used to fold under and clip to the back of our heads under our bouffant hairdos after we had passed the scrutiny of the prefects on walking home. (I was about 16 then). After I've re-read the lot, I plan to keep one example of each person's just for the novelty of seeing handwriting. My friend says my children won't have the faintest interest in my past, but I disagree. As my parents aged, I became more and more interested in their forgotten youth and asked as many questions as I could and have salvaged as many photographs as I could find. After all, none of their personal history is on the Internet.

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  4. I think you just got spammed.

    What is with the black icon next to your username? I have never seen that before. It's not a button.

  5. I think the difference between hoarders and collectors is that collectors know what they have, and hoarders don't. In any case, I'm with you ... what happened to 2011?!?

  6. Hey, Sextant - I didn't notice that icon. Thanks for pointing it out. Should I be worried? And Sightings - not sure what you mean about 2011?

  7. It is on all the Blogger blogs now denoting the blog owner. I have idea of what is for. Hmmm! Maybe it denotes the blog owner.

    Sightings was agreeing with your statement directly above the photo of the mayor who had a supernova form in her right eye. That was probably from the pain when you jabbed her breast with that pin.

  8. What I mean is 2011 still seemed far from retirement date and we procrastinated with finishing the house: the advent of 1st Jan. 2012 makes it sink in that we have really little time left ! Hubby's retirement date is August 2014. (Sounds far off, huh?)

  9. Tempus fugit or something like that. After I had my little hissy fit at work in Sept of 2010, and decided to retire 7 months later, (I wanted to get to 62 and 35 years) the time dragged. That 7 months seemed like 3 years. Now it seems like 7 weeks. But it seems like I retired a decade ago, and it was just last May.

    May I never think of the place again! Its weird, I hardly give the place a thought, and every once in while one of my old buddies will call or we will go out for lunch. They will bring up certain people's names, and its like Oh yeah, that pain in the ass. I haven't given him a moment's thought since I retired. It kind of a neat feeling, like someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard and then you realize ahaaa! I never have to put up with their shit again!!!!!!!! Retirement is great, I wished I could have done it in my 20s!