I collect things.
I have, for instance, unusually large collections of children, horses, lycra, shoes, music, books and exercise equipment.
These are my essential collections.
Then, there are various undesirable collections like piles of un-opened letters, broken laptops; c-section scars; unwanted tattoos, sinks full of dirty dishes and stacks of stuff at the bottom of the stairs awaiting eventual ascension to the children’s bedrooms.
The generic name for these collections in our house is “drama”. Believe me, the Saxelby household is always very “dramatic”.
My husband says that my collections are evidence of never knowing when to stop and that it is the same trait that means I am incapable of leaving an argument without having the last word even if, as he claims, the “last word” is not exactly relevant to that particular argument.
Of course, I tell him he is talking rubbish. If I tell him often enough, he usually shuts up and lets me have the last say. Not that I’m bothered about that, of course.
Anyway, Jon’s flimsy evidence for his accusation is mainly centred around my horses, some of which were admittedly bought with only grudging approval on his part. I do not think an accidental horse purchase or two is proof of anything.
I suppose he might have a point when it comes to music. My lovely husband bought my first ever iPod for my birthday the first year we met. It held 4GB of data but I filled it to the max within half an hour. Jon obviously did not know me well enough back then.
My latest iPod is 160 GB – I had to source an old model from the internet as Apple stopped making them that big because they couldn’t make them thin enough!
My shoe collection is not typical for a woman. When you hear the words “shoe collection” you will no doubt be thinking of a bottom shelf in a wardrobe full of shiny Jimmy Choos in various shades.
There are no Jimmy Choos in the Saxelby house (hint, hint dear husband, size 5, preferably pink). There are, however:
-Long leather riding boots
-Extremely dirty yard boots
– Olive coloured Balmoral Hunters – ( thanks Jen and Rick of Country Attire)
– Off-road fell running shoes
-Track running spikes
– Two pairs of motion control running shoes
– Light weight racing trainers
-Mountain bike cycle shoes with cleats
-Racing bike cycle shoes with cleats
-6 inch high glittery gold “Rocky Horror” platforms
– A pair of yellow and blue swimming flippers
-Ladybird slippers (with holes)
– An unworn, ugly pair of “grown-up, sensible” flat shoes – which Jon made me buy
– An over-the-knee pair of hooker boots
-Various pairs of high heels that I have owned since my twenties but still cannot walk in
– A very battered pair of unbranded almost-easy-to-walk-in heels that I bought in Spain on a hen-do and which I haven’t thrown away for sentimental reasons
-Silver Birkenstocks (fake)
-White Birkenstocks (fake)
Pink Birkenstocks (genuine), bought for me by Jon half an hour after our wedding. (I had walked to the registry office sporting a beautiful but blister-inducing pair of diamante stilettos. I wasn’t about to walk back in them so we left the guests to make their way back to the reception while we nipped into the Victoria Centre.
Yes, folks, with ring firmly wedged on finger for less than 30 minutes, it was comfy shoes for me. Jon could not complain, however. Having singularly failed to provide a Roller or Bentley, he made me hop on a number 58 bus in my wedding dress so that we could be back at his place to greet the guests (you will have to trust me that it was a fab wedding – it’s just that Jon would not be shifted from his firm contention that if he supplied a free bar and good food, no-one would be looking at the flowers or other things people get themselves into a tizz about at weddings.)
Back to collections – I think I can safely assign all the blame for my music collection and possibly some others to my dad. It’s all genetic you see.
I know this because, when I was little, dad had a massive vinyl collection which he unfortunately lost when my mum divorced him and wouldn’t let him have any of them back, even though I had only ever known her listen to one album during my lifetime and that was only because it was Christmas!
Dad soon started searching through charity shops and car-boot sales until he’d undoubtedly acquired more than he had possessed pre-divorce.
Then dad took me to visit his brother, my uncle Neville who lived in Boston. Neville and both of his sons, Nick and Howard, loved music and collected albums – literally thousands of them. I was totally awe-struck when I went up into Howard’s attic bedroom to be confronted with walls that were completely shelved and covered in CDs.
It was amazing and I wanted that collection. On the other hand, I realised I had probably inherited a genetic defect from my dad’s side.
When I was at uni, I’d often come back to stay with dad in his bachelor pad for the weekend and after getting in from the pub on a Saturday night, we would play “music quiz” which consisted of dad selecting random tracks from his car-boot vinyl collection and me having to name the artist, song title and year of release.
This came in very useful for future pub quizzes (providing the questions are about music from 1979 or before).
One lesson that I have learned for life from dad’s quizzes though is that Dire Straits are dire. Sorry dad.