When I was young, I used to like shiny things, vivid colours and fancy toys. I don’t remember having ever worn second-hand clothes or playing with toys, which once belonged to other children. There was a clear preference for anything that came in beautifully wrapped paper and smelled new.
However, as I grow older and older, (alas the inevitable) I’ve developed a love for anything old.
1. I love old clothes belonging to an era before my time. I even own some and my favourite jacket is still my mum’s wedding jacket from the 70s.
2. I love old furniture, chipped and somewhat tortured. I found once a skip on my way home, where someone had disposed an old trunk, a little bit rusty with broken tassels and a lock no longer working. It is still in my flat and I simply adore it.
3. I usually find myself wander in antique shops, car boot sales and open markets, where one’s junk may indeed be my treasure.
4. I love old books with missing pages, broken spines, inscriptions on the first page and in a condition far from pristine.
I can’t help but wonder what is the reason behind this change in attitude towards old things. Is it because I grow old, so I identify with them because of similar age? Is it because vintage is so popular and in fashion that I am one more of its victims? Is it, perhaps, because when I was a child my memory bank had just began its process of acquiring some substance, hence now that it is significantly fuller tries to recreate a piece or pieces of the past by touching, smelling collecting anything that may carry a bit of secret history in them?
Often, I dream of who was the lady to whom my 1935 diary belonged, what did the owner of the old-fashioned theatre binoculars watched through them, who used my tiny French dictionary and what colour was the hair gently touched by the delicate hairbrush.
Tiny pieces of history…