Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Compulsions, traditions and Mum.

I'm not sure exactly when or how my compulsion to Op Shop became so embedded in my physche  but I do feel that some of the blame (or maybe that should be credit?) lies at my Mums' feet. Mum was an Op-shopper back in the way-back-when, before there was op-shop chic and vintage was something that only applied to cars or cheese. She loved second-hand stuff - it seemed to be her preference and although like many women of her generation, she was thrifty, I am fairly certain it wasn't thrift that motivated her choices. My Mum was a child migrant, separated from her younger brother and sent to Australia from England at just 14 years of age. She was delivered into the not so merciful hands of the Sisters of Mercy. Upon arrival she was issued a number - apparently names weren't that important. She received no more education and was placed into "service" very quickly. In short she was essentially an indentured employee of the Commonwealth. As a ward of the State she had few rights and had to seek permission to marry. And marry she did. Once she began creating her own home and family she seemed drawn to old things - not really antiques but things that had had a previous life. Things that were imbued with someone elses personal history. I think this in some way compensated for what she perceived as her own lack of personal history. She never spoke of the past. I grew up hunting in second hand stores with her for cutlery and lamps and old tablecloths - domestic stuff with the patina of family life upon it.
I like to think I am carrying on the tradition and hunting up interesting objects in op-shops is second nature to me. If I actually need something for my home I will generally look at the secondhand option first! For me it is about economy and environment and - well I like the way old stuff looks - like old jeans, it just seems to be the most comfy fit for my life. I reckon Mum would approve!

 Here is a box of treasure unearthed at a couple of local Oppies. Do you remember Penelope from the Thunderbirds? There is some holiday reading in there too - a couple of novels to take away to the beach next week! The box was just $2 and I love it - not sure how I will use it yet!

A cute deer to add to what might become my next collection - how cute and kitschy is she? I couldn't resist the childrens  encyclopedia either although I may have to guard it from daughter number 2 who has taken to making art out of old books  (will share a pic of that sometime) but the bestest thing has to be the bird tea set - I think it is a cross between a cockatoo and a kookaburra and it has seen a bit of wear and tear but I love it!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Love the "birdie teaset", wow what a wonderful treasure chest.
Did your mum drag you throu' the rubbish dump?? cos mine did!!!