It started with buttons.  They used to be precious, you know.  In the days when they were made from shells collected from the sea bed by Japanese divers who didn’t use oxygen.  Japanese divers many miles from home on the edge of the red desert in North Western Australia.  A place so far from anywhere else it defies imagination.  Days and days and days from the next town if you’re travelling by boat, or camel.  And you wouldn’t be travelling any other way.  Buttons made fortunes and cost lives.  Now they’re made from plastic and cost pennies.  But they used to be precious.

Then there were some photographs.  Just snaps, black and white, filled with laughing people and significant moments.  The people in them are grandpas, mums, daughters, brothers.  Someone loved these people once, but the photos didn’t belong to anyone anymore, so I took them home.

Religious charms too, a little St. Christopher, Virgins, scallop shells.  Found in a flea market.  Things that had once been deeply valued, worn next to a warm, loving, beating heart, trusted to keep their owner safe.  Now discarded in a box of cheap jewellery in a freezing Brussels square, snow falling gently on cobbles.

Then a hand.  A small ceramic hand, probably from a religious statue, found washed up on the banks of the Thames amongst the mud, clay pipes and coke cans.  It was probably thrown out as rubbish about a hundred years ago.  That’s what the Thames was for in those days, a repository for things people didn’t want or need.

So many things that were once important, valuable, meaningful.  I’m going to rescue more treasures; from eBay, charity shops and flea markets.  I’m going to give them new life, new meaning.  I’m going to give them a new value.

    • Victoria said:

      Thank you Jen 🙂

  1. LOVE it! Of course, you know I will now to looking out for stuff for you.

    • Victoria said:

      You must! Please!

  2. katgold said:


    • Victoria said:


  3. Heather said:

    I have my own ongoing collection of little treasures I can’t part with – the history of each one fascinates me.

    • Victoria said:

      It’s the story isn’t it? Most of these are largely valueless, but they’re interesting.

  4. Julie said:

    Just beautiful. So evocative.

    • Victoria said:

      Thank you 🙂

  5. Beautifully written, as always. I’m going to say evocative too even though Julie has already said it. I love this, I have carried it in my head since I first read it yesterday, as a family of hoarders and searchers it appeals to my heart. We have a collection of objects we have found over the course of several archaeological digs in the veg patch and one in the sitting room (the floor is laid on earth) and I love having the discarded and lost treasures left by the people who used to live here over the last 350 years. Collecting the past is so important especially in these days of the here and gone.

  6. Kelly said:

    Love this so much. Your words are so beautiful and as most have said, evocative. I want to go treasure hunting now.

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