Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

The Collectors’ Eyes


My blog lies unattended, my RSS feed is bulging at the seams, I’ve been absent without leave yet again. And it going to get worse before it gets better.

Last summer I decreed I was going to have a clear out, the boxes of ‘stuff’ that had come out of the loft the previous year when we had the house reroofed, and that were now languishing in the barn, were going to be sorted once and for all.  Some of the ‘stuff’ might once have been described as bric- a- brac ,  some of it I knew had a value but I didn’t know how to go about selling it; but now thanks to the world of eBay  it is ‘stuff’  that can be  found a new home.

Previously the Uphilldowndales have been shoppers on eBay, not sellers, I can tell you it has been a bit of an adventure and it has taken me six months to actually settle down and ‘just do it’. It has undoubtedly taken up swaths of time, energy and parcel tape*( the village post office is my new best friend). But what has been an unexpected bonus is some of the nice people that I’ve ‘met’ , not unlike the people I’ve met here in the world of blogs actually. I’ve particularly enjoyed hearing why people collect certain things and what make an  item a  ‘good ‘un’ **

I’ve sold things that I  whilst I appreciate the craftsmanship of,  I don’t necessarily want to share my life with. It has been rather cathartic, letting go, sending them off to new loving homes. OK, it has been fun too.

It has made me think what is not for sale too,  what is precious to me, for all sorts of reasons. For starters there are my vintage Christmas tree lights which I now know would sell for a pretty penny) and  then there is what my mum tells me is a ‘bread mug’; a large earthenware bowl, crudely made, a tad on the wobbly side but I’m simply fond of it.

Bread mug 1-1

What I love is the hand print in the glaze, made by the person that crafted such a utility item.

Bread mug 4-1

Today it has various uses, none involving bread: sometimes it is full of house plants others it might  be home to my most recent collection of fir cones and beach finds, sometimes it hosts only a spider.

Bread mug 3-1

One of the objectives in this mammoth clear out was to fund a new carpet for the lounge. I’ve achieved my goal,  and now I have to put some elbow grease where my money and my mouth is. There is an awful lot of work to be done before the carpet fitter can arrive.

Spud the dog will be along later to hold the blog fort, whilst we replace skirting boards, plaster walls and sweep chimneys. Spud may well have a paint brush tied to his tale.

*don’t buy Tesco parcel tape it smells of vomit.

** Mr Uphilldowndale say’s I should post a link to our eBay account then you could leave your comments whilst you did a little shopping


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

8 thoughts on “The Collectors’ Eyes

  1. Snap! Exactly the same thing is going on here . Before logging on to WordPress I checked my emails to check that my son had indeed listed items on Ebay last night. I’ve given him a moderately long list of my things to sell. Then he will have to open his cupboards and start on the Thunderbirds models and the Playmobile stuff. He needs to raise money to fund his new hobby – karting. This is turning out to be more and more expensive. And ‘jobs for the boys’ are hard to come by these days. I agree how virtuous the selling makes you feel, though. If you didn’t do it you would have to throw the stuff away, and that would make you feel wicked and wasteful. That’s the reason all the stuff has mounted up in the first place. Oh, and we need more parcel tape too. Thanks for the tip-off.

  2. I wonder if a person could sell parcel tape on eBay . . .
    Because I lacked broadband, I’ve never explored the great online yard sale. I can see that it’s time for me to do that.

  3. We have added the Craigslist phenomenon here. I am not sure that it has taken over ebay, but it is easy, and no mailing of the items, no pay pal, no managing of an account. I also have a vast amount of “sorting” to do. It seems so overwhelming that I have still not tackled it. I admire your energy and fortitude. Hope you will share the results. Oh, and it might be a wonderful idea to post the link to your ebay account. You never know…….

  4. This must be the home for The Terminally Cluttered! I too am having a good clear out — have just attacked the enormous bookcase & put the books I don’t want to keep up for trade on line (or carted to my local UBS for trade). Next comes the CDs — I’ve way too many! Too many clothes, too much in the linen cupboard (what all IS in there, anyway?), too many things I no longer want to share my life with. The criteria is: do I want to move this? since I’d like to move up into the foothills, & no way am I going to move 15+ years of accumulation!

    It has been rather cathartic, letting go, but the feeling of a huge weight off my back is priceless!

    I’ve a huge garage sale planned, & will also start selling on eBay or Etsy. craigslist is dicey — I’ve sold some stuff there, but worry about being robbed (as has happened). It was lovely to read that there are other people also spring cleaning and passing things along to their new homes.

  5. You are very brave. There have been occasions when I should have used eBay to buy or sell but I have never plucked up courage to do it.

  6. It takes a strong will to decide that something might be nice but it needs to go and yet allow sentiment to rule on those things which might be a little less aesthetically pleasing and keep them.

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