The semantics of junk

3 February 2011

I have lately been whinging to all those who’ll listen (and to the backs of those who wouldn’t) about my marking hell.  Well, that’s done and very much dusted now praise be.  Also, I have finished judging a little poetry competition today, and this very hour proofed and sent off my judge’s comments.  Doubly dusted. And glory be to the Great Lord Chicken on high. (Mm..hmm…)  So, before I opened the whacking great envelope of poems (the first installment) from another comp this afternoon, I took myself for a magpie round the charity shops, secondhand lands, retro stores and  vintage boutiques of Norwich in search for objects trouves, junk, tat, call it what you will, to drag into my lair.

What I don’t fully understand is the shady territory between vintage and second hand.  I am guessing it’s in the packaging, in   the eye of the beholder and in the greedy eyes of the seller.  Who, for instance decided in the flea-market type shop that the (retro) jigsaw puzzle, unboxed, possibly half complete and unlabeled should cost eight pounds?  Eight pounds?!  Half a pre-enjoyed jigsaw puzzle, I ask you!  I left it behind sniffily, and picked up a puzzle for fifty pence in Oxfam.  But…it’s not the retro puzzle I wanted. The retro puzzle was cut from wood.  The retro puzzle had distinct sculptural possibilities.  I am imagining the shapes of the retro puzzle inside one of my box frames.  Ah, the desirable retro puzzle…..