Collecting the future


At the end of last year a lovely woman from Seattle – a friend of my American sister – came to tea with me in London, and brought me my very own crystal ball. It says so, as you can see from the photo.

I’ve never been much of a collector of things. I don’t mean that I lead an admirably minimalist life because, alas, I do not; I mean that although I’ve faffed around from time to time, thinking that I might collect pottery cats, or Victorian samplers with rhyming religious verses on them, or even silver apostle spoons (don’t ask, that one didn’t go anywhere) I have never followed through on any of them for long. I still have a few little cats and one beautiful sampler but the apostle spoons are long gone.

An old friend of ours used to have the most astounding range of collections imaginable. He had salt & pepper sets, he had Niagara Falls snow globes, he had obscure medical equipment – the list would be too long. If I saw something I thought he’d like (the Tropical Trash Dept in Fastbuck Freddy’s shop in Key West was always a treasure trove of kitsch) I’d phone and ask if he needed it, ‘need’ being an elastic concept in this context. I’d say something like, “Larry! I just saw a salt and pepper set with an utterly vulgar cat and dog on it, might you like that?” and there’d be a pause, and then he’d say “Is the cat wearing plaid overalls and simpering?” It was. “And does the dog look really gross and does it wear a cap?” It did. “Got that one,” Larry would say, before adding, “and what’s more, I love it dearly.” Go figure.

Anyway. I’ve never consciously saved or collected globes but to my surprise I see I now have three (do three make a collection?). There’s my new crystal ball, there’s a heavy globe maybe made of glass and covered in gold leaf that someone once airmailed me at mortgage-level cost from the other side of the world, and there’s a pretty papier maché apple, probably given to me because I like apples so much. So perhaps this is indeed the start of a new collection, I could add a snow globe, for which I have a none-too-secret affection. Or maybe a small world map globe? And in the meantime I thank Joanne for her kind generosity, and continue to peer into my crystal ball from time to time, to see what’s cooking in my future.

2 Responses to “Collecting the future”

  1. Joanne Says:

    Yes, three items do a collection make. In your case an accidental collection but they can be as charming as intentional ones. You definitely need to add a snow-globe, one with LOTS of snow and not that fake glittery kind.

  2. admin Says:

    Joanne – is that you? How nice to know you’re reading the blog! Thanks for your thoughts …

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.