Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Accidental Collector

I used to think that the world was divided into collectors and non-collectors. I also thought that I was part of the latter group. I was wrong.

I didn't wake up one day to find myself fascinated by stamps or Lord of the Rings miniatures but I do now have a stash. This is a legal kind of stash. It includes wool in as many colours as I can find, and lately a selection of buttons has been growing in a box of many compartments. And when you live in an Airstream the size of the stash soon reaches its limit. Some clothes had to go.

Most of these things are there just in case, just in case a future project demands them.

I was once the same way with stationery. I loved a good stationery shop. When I lived in London I could be tempted into an irresistible one in the Leicester Square area. It was like walking into a dream-like sweet shop. Everything was arranged in colours: gorgeous, edible, tropical fruit colours. It was impossible to browse and leave without purchasing at least a gel pen in bright orange, or some handmade cards to have 'just in case'.

Bead shops and wool shops can enchant me equally. I'm like a magpie, stimulated by colour as well as sparkles. Time and currency can melt away in these places.

Recently we relinquished quantities of both in the amazing Mandy Wools in Wells in Somerset. This shop fits the 'Alladin's cave' cliche very snuggly. They have all kinds of yarns, in all the colours. I like a shop you can get lost in.

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