Spent all day with one of my best friends bombing around mid Wales and the borders on an inadvertent great antiques hunt. Or perhaps more a vinyl records expedition plus occasional minor extras. It was ridiculous fun, despite getting annoyed at the over-pricing of a Treasure Hunt board game. But then sifting through flea markets and antique shops is one of my favourite things.
I've always liked antiques, even as a kid. Old before my time, I secretly loved it when we ended up getting 'dragged' around antique shops - when we weren't getting trawled around castles in the pouring rain that is. And its the same now as it was then - I love the idea of things ending up in this one place before you - and a whole cornucopia of stories it might bring. It could of course, have no story whatsoever. But its the possibility that ignites a spark of excitement from within. Who owned that pair of cricket pads? What happened to them? Why did that old tin sign advertising shag end up on the wall of an antiques shop? What countries did those salt and pepper sellers from concord visit, and what people touched them? Like ice cracking a spidered web across a frozen lake, the limitless stories and connotations spread out afar. And thats what I find so inherently fascinating about every item.
The complete randomness of these pursuits brings an extra dimension. I hate shopping to the extent that it bores me senseless and turns me into Basil Fawlty on acid, unless I am shopping for things I don't know I'm going to find.
Forest Gump's mother never stopped rabbiting on about chocolate boxes, but it's flea markets where it's really at - you truly never know what you're going to get. Even if it does mean you might get a Max Boyce record and a babycham beer mat.
One person's trash, is very much another person's gold mine.