• Jody Woodbridge

To hoard or not to hoard ...... that is the question...

By Clare Ellison

I am a hoarder. I think it is from my Blue Peter days as an avid watcher of this programme during my childhood. Who would have thought metal coat hangers, a bit of tinsel and four candles (truly four candles not fork handles as per Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett sketch) could make an advent decoration? Not sure it would pass our strict Fire Safety instructions now. Paper mache and cardboard and other items that were generally around the house could be transformed into Tracey Island...Empty washing up bottles to be made into space rockets, the list is endless.


Over many years I have kept random items, in the deep and certain knowledge one

day these sacred things would be utilised and could save the day.


Item 1.

Back in the 80s, I could never bring myself to dispose of my oversized purple framed glasses believing that one day they would become fashionable again or even ‘retro’. Imagine my surprise and delight when 80s revival parties appeared, fancy dress optional! My oversized purple framed glasses were a perfect addition to my Cyndi Lauper outfit. I’m so glad I kept them.


Item 2.

How many ‘free samples’ of creams had I collected over the years, again safe in the knowledge they would be needed and more importantly used. In the early stages of the 2020 lockdown period I was determined to clear all these carefully saved items for a rainy day. My daughter was the proud owner of many items of my vast collection and me; I now have a new pre-bedtime ritual of applying eye restorative cream, night cream, neck cream and hand cream. Why have I not followed this routine before? It is very therapeutic and highly recommended. I did have to get into another routine of removing any make up first before I went to bed.......but hey what’s another five minutes I wasn’t going anywhere.


Item 3.

When I attempted to drink more water during the day, I, along with the general population were convinced we needed special water bottles with their own straw and markings down the side of the bottle letting us know how much water we had drunk and although that was good we needed to drink more! Each of these bottles came with a miniature wire brush for cleaning the aforesaid bottles. Unfortunately I never quite got the hang that there was no need to tip the water bottle for a drink (too much time spent at the gym), I quickly realised I could drink as much water with sports bottles available from the supermarket. What should I do with the brush?? I saved it in my special drawer. Enter 2020 lockdown period and it was my bathroom’s turn for a spring clean, I needed something to tackle the hard to reach places in my shower rail. Light bulb experience, the wire brush! Perfect.



Item 4.

At work our caretaker gave me a few pieces of extra strong double sided sticky pads, with the instruction ‘they will stick to anything’. Musing, I immediately thought of the Solvite wall paper advert in the late 1970s, where a guy’s overalls were pasted to a board, he crawled in them and was then lifted into the air by a helicopter and flown suspended over sea and through a city. The Australians had a similar one where the ‘lucky volunteer’ was glued to a board on a boat with man eating sharks beneath him! Why aren’t adverts as adventurous today? The pads went in my special drawer.


I had long kept a framed picture where the metal hinges keeping the glass in place had long since perished. The picture was not sentimental but I liked it and knew one day I would be able to fix it.

Thanks to the 2020 lockdown period, I remembered the sticky pads, retrieved them and cut strips and repaired the picture. It is now hanging proudly and securely on my bedroom wall.



Item 5.

I love stationary and collect pens, pencils and note books of all sizes. I was holding one of my beloved pencils during the 2020 lockdown period when my 88year old Mum saw it and exclaimed ‘what a sharp pointed pencil, I can never get mine like that’. At the time I thought nothing of it and then realised she was genuinely impressed and I mischievously thought a teeny bit envious of my highly sharpened pencil. Later in the day I gave it to her and her smile said it all.


So, will I still hoard?? Oh yes, never throw anything away, you just never know when it

could come in handy.


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