“So collectable, why not collect them all?”…where I confess yet another guilty pleasure.

I love a rummage; nothing beats a good morning doing the rounds of the local opshops and having one (Opshop is short for opportunity shop here in New Zealand – charity shops/thrift stores in other countries). I even have a route and every few weeks on a Wednesday after I’ve dropped the kids of at school and kindy, off I go. Start of at the hospice shop, go across the street to the St.John’s Ambulance store, round to the big hospice shop if there’s parking and end up at the Salvation Army. I’m not joking. This is a hobby.

As you can probably tell if you’ve read more posts on this blog, if I had to write a CV right now the hobby section would look a little odd, but my “hobbies” make me happy and tend to keep me out of trouble. No harm done.

It’s probably a family thing. I can recall going to charity shops with my Nanny when I was young. I remember well the black velvet jacket I found as a teenager which I wore to death through the grunge era. My mum has volunteered her time at various charity shops here and in UK. Yep, it’s a family thing, we’ll blame them! (Hi Mum)

So there’s the route but you also need a focus. In the past my time has been spent looking for a Formica kidney shaped table (mission accomplished), My Little Ponies for the girls (tick), Jamie Oliver cookbooks (tick – new here they are $50, I found a whole collection secondhand for $1 each), vintage Ladybird books (I love these. They remind of being a kid and saving up my pocket money) and many other things. But focus is key. If you don’t have a target to zone in on you can end up spending all day there and buying nothing. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t work for me. 

My focus for the past few months will not surprise some of you. I have been hunting, with some success I’m hastened to add, for the CD back catalogue of Take That and Robbie Williams. I have most things digitally but the inlays in the CDs make this hunt worth it. I’m doing quite well and it is especially pleasing to find once loved CD singles. There is a certain thrill to finding one as you run your finger over the plastic spines of the CD Jewel cases all lined up on shelves. 

So as the world moves to digitalise their music collections, here I am searching for the real thing, wanting to hold the CDs and their booklets in my hands. Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. And here is where I know it’s the thrill of the chase that keeps me going…I could go online tomorrow and order these physical CDs on eBay or Amazon but there is something ridiculously fun finding them in little old New Zealand!

Am I crazy? Probably. Is it fun? Definitely.

I’ll keep looking as you never know what you might find. Maybe one of them will be signed, maybe a limited edition? I’m an optimist and the maybes make me smile. 

The search is becoming more frustrating as my collection grows and there are less I need to find. In one opshop alone today I could have bought all of Robbie’s albums again (a former fan on the North Shore of Auckland had clearly been having a clear out!). Frustrating but exciting.

I’ll probably never find everything so the search will continue but I know there will be other hunts for other specific things. It’s how my mind works.

And in the meantime I will enjoy the shopping aspect while not spending much money. That’s probably how this all started in the first place. The thrill of the buy without the empty purse, and all the while helping others by contributing to charities. After all, someone’s rubbish could always be someone else’s treasure!


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