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September 22nd 2019
I follow Alan Sugar on Twitter, where he uses his lordly title (unlike Lord Adonis, who goes by Andrew and is - since I mention him in passing - gone completely off the reservation). Sugar is not always as polite with the public as you might expect him to be. While he is not the most belligerent and idiotic tweeter who's hosted The Apprentice, he almost certainly ranks second (Arnold Schwarzenegger is a paragon of virtue on the site). Anyhow, give or take the odd racist tweet about the Senegal football team, he's not doing anyone any harm. The reason I bring him up is that he likes to show pictures of his various watches, typically costing more than Big Ben, and when someone pointed out the dangers of wearing such an expensive thing on your wrist he responded: "oh don't be silly they are not for wearing or telling the time they are collecting".
Tame stuff by Alan Sugar's standards (and involving none of his penchant for replacing random letters in mild swearwords with fullstops: usually "pi.. off" but, memorably a couple of weeks ago, "you total wank..". Forgive me). It got me thinking, though, about the nature of collecting. I have far too many Funko Pops, but I don't really regard myself as a proper "collector", because I have no real interest in their value. I like them; they amuse me; I buy the ones of characters and franchises that I enjoy. They're certainly not an investment, and with that in mind I wouldn't consider keeping them in their boxes, as proper collectors do. First thing I do, in fact, is pop the box open - immediately slashing the value. But, to me, the whole point of them is to look good (if you like that kind of thing) and they can't really do that from inside a box.
Similarly, the point of a watch is to tell you the time. I can understand wanting a nice watch - or several; I sit next to a chap at work who has a sizeable watch collection and takes great pleasure in choosing the appropriate timepiece for the day ahead - but only because they look nice in addition to performing a function. I don't understand the idea of buying them up and not using them. That's not what they're for.
Simon has recently written about book collecting with the same conclusion. He has a lot of books, and sometimes buys them because they look pretty, but always (I think) with the intention of reading them. That, after all, is what books are for, and the idea of people buying up first editions in order to sit on shelves is quite alien to him.
Or, to take another example that doesn't particularly chime with me, there's wine collecting. People who spend vast amounts on wine with no intention of ever drinking it... what's the point? Wine is for drinking or, in my case, pouring down the sink; it's not for storing in a cellar and occasionally looking at.
Anyways, do what you want. If you want a big old collection of egg cups even though you're a vegan, be my guest. I just don't really understand it.

what am I listening to?
Amos Lee - Amos Lee
what am I reading?
Brown at 10 - Anthony Seldon
what am I watching?
From Here to Eternity
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