That’s what I had been collecting for the better part of my twenty years in London.


Comics, mostly 2000AD, Archie and Manga (or Japanese comics, for the benefit of the few who are unfamiliar with the wider concepts of popular counter-culture).

Records, mostly classical and rock with a few CDs of Irish traditional music thrown in.

Books, of various types, ranging from fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, to dictionaries, the complete works of William Shakespeare, the Bible, not to mention a blooming great big atlas…

And in the past couple of years I began to wonder why I was keeping all this faff. I only changed my address four times between 1991 when I first started living in London and 2011 when I left it all behind. But the hassle of transporting it all from one place to the next was getting to me. I wasn’t just collecting records and comics, I was hoarding them. And I can’t begin to calculate the money I spent on it all during that time.

And since I got a DAB radio I was hardly ever playing any of my records, or cassettes or CDs. And since I got unlimited access to the internet on my moblie phone (which has a reasonably-sized screen) I was hardly ever reading or re-reading any of my books or comics.

And every compulsive collector will agree with me, it’s almost impossible to decide what to get rid of. You know your collection has grown too big, it’s unmanageabe, it’s taking over your life, whether it’s books, records, comics, cigarette cards, butterflies… and you know that some of it has to go. But you’d never dream in a million years of just dumping the whole lot in one go.

But the events of the latter weeks of March 2011 forced me to do just that. For the first time since I was ten when I got the album “Ghost in the Machine” by the Police I have no records, tapes or CD’s. (Although I do have about 50 mp3 recordings on my mp3 player and my mobile phone.) And for the first time since I was six when my Mum brought me home a copy of the “Beano” I have no comics.

My hoarding days are over. May they never return.


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