Clearing out stuff and collecting stuff

Last night, I spent the evening looking around my grandmother’s house to see what I could keep for nostalgic reasons and (don’t tell anyone) but I was also rooting around to see if I could find some booty that has some value. In a week or so Grandma’s moving into a home and whatever is left in the house is going to get chucked by a removal company.

What was evident was how much stuff was now worthless even though it may have been expensive at the time.

It cost a lot of money then, it’s worth nothing now.

I’m amazed how things turn to junk. Most things, after a few years, have no value beyond sentimental value.

Later that day, Grandma and I spent some of the afternoon watching ‘Cash in the attic’. People turned up with antiques and got them valued by ‘experts’.

The dealer always asked the punters beforehand with a patronising smirk, “So, darling, what are you going to do with all that extra cash”.

They almost always responded (in an ascending intonation) with something like, “Well … I’m going to take the family out for a meal!”

Or (for the more valuable pieces), “We’re going to spend two weeks on holiday … in Italy” (round of applause).

I watched a couple sell a beautiful and rare 1930s art deco ring for 300 quid – and they are going to spend that money on a meal out for the whole family. How can that ring with a diamond be the same value as one cooked meal for six people?

People, who actually had valuable items, instead of holding onto them or handing them down, wanted to sell them and then burn the cash on in seemingly the quickest way possible – on food or holidays! Not one of them had a plan for reinvesting the money or even using it sensibly.

Sure, people want to enjoy themselves, but they’ve sold the timeless stuff and they’ll hang onto the junk – like I saw around me in Grandma’s house. It upset me.

I remember a true story about how one chap in America managed to swap a paperclip for a house. How did he do it? He swapped the paperclip for something else with a bit more value, then that for something else, then again, and again, twenty or so more times until he eventually swapped a limited edition collector’s item for a house!

Alternatively he could’ve stopped halfway and had a nice meal.

Anyway, who am I to judge; I’m writing this from a restaurant … on holiday!