Collective Consciousness

Posted on: Sep 12, 2013

Collectors - the collective noun for people that collect things. Which is most of us. Most of us have a need or desire to start a collection of seemingly random items and then make it a life-long mission to keep adding and accumulating.

For some it's Star Wars memorabilia, for others it's Matchbox cars. And judging by most social networking profiles, the most popular choice at the moment is collecting photos of yourself pouting with your head at an angle. (Although, hand on heart, how many of us can resist the lure of a selfie?)

I have myself been prone to collecting things over the years, but all in all I've been pretty crap at it. Here's the run-down:

  1. Stamps. Philatelism runs in the family. My dad has an impressive collection built up over decades (only half-jokingly referred to as 'your inheritance') and proudly presented my sister and I with 'My First Stamp Annual' type affairs, only for us to tire of it after barely filling the first page. Poor effort.

  2. Pillboxes. I started collecting these when mooching round antique shops during family holidays in the Lake District. They were the perfect item to collect when you think about it; small, decorative, inexpensive and requiring a certain amount of effort to accumulate. These too fell by the wayside, I'm guessing due to the onset of puberty and the wholesale rejection of anything 'girlie'. They wouldn't be half as much fun to collect now, one click of the mouse on eBay and you'd have a roomful of the things.

  3. Beer mats. A much cooler hobby for the Britpop era – if I wasn't quite old enough to be downing pints in true Ladette style I might as well collect beer mats. Another collection largely formed during holidays in the Lakes, handy considering most of our family walks required rest stops in at least 2 pubs en-route. This one could have continued well into adulthood as I actually took an interest in the design and artwork of the mats, but it was heartbreakingly cut short when the glorious display blu-tacked on my wardrobe was unceremoniously binned by parents as soon as I'd left for Uni. Sometimes I weep for what could have been...

  4. Photos of doors. This one started on holiday in Tunisia four years ago and shows no sign of abating. I just like taking photos of interesting doors. Luckily the urge only seems to strike when abroad or in a new town, otherwise I'd never get anything done. For your viewing pleasure, here are some of what I like to think are the finest doors you'll ever see:


London and Liverpool doors
London and Liverpool
doors in Tunisia
El Djem, Tunisia
doors in Cyprus and Amsterdam
Limassol, Cyprus and Amsterdam


I can't be the only one that has had failed attempts at collecting things, or likes to take photos of random things (genitals don't count). Let me know in the comments box!

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