We live in an age of unbridled consumerism where products have built in obsolescence and we are encouraged to dispose of them through the tempting offers of shiny and new. I think this is because we live in a world of “More is Good” and if you want to get an appreciation of this, I highly recommend reading the Boatman, a fantastic novel by Sarah Beth Hunt.
Last years purchase of a new iPhone left me underwhelmed and I paused for thought and considered is there anything I have that I would be really sorry to lose? And when I mean lose I mean miss.
So I whittled it down to few things that I get pleasure from: Bikes, Watches, Devices (computer/tablet/phone) and Music (radios/CD players).
Bikes. If any of you follow me on Twitter you might know I’ve four of them. My favourite is my mountain bike. Why? because it’s taken me all over the county in all weathers, I have ridden it with Tom when he was younger where we did the Roman Challenge a few times together. It’s not a fancy brand indeed it’s Halfords home brand. I have twice attempted to ride a 100miles on Solstice 100 and failed twice! It’s dog eared, gets punctures like would not believe and has a dodgy back brake from when I fell off. But I love it.
Watches. I have a couple of dress watches and a couple of out door watches. I’m not into wearable tech so they’re all perfectly dumb. But my favourite is my Casio G Shock. I wear it come rain or shine, it beeps gently at 5:35 each morning and when I go overseas I can set the local time in a jiffy. Most of all I like is that it takes some figuring to master all the features – it’s got Japanese engineer written all over it.
Devices. Modern life demands we’ve a tablet and a smart phone. In fact I’m typing this on my iPad in Prague using a hotspot from my iPhone. These are completely fantastic but in fact I think I would miss my desktop computer, it’s an iMac and being 9 years old positively geriatric! But it looks so damn cool sat on my desk in the grey aluminium with a sleek mouse and compact keyboard.
Music. Okay I’m generation X. I grew up on cassette tapes had a Sony Walkman and was wowed when CDs first appeared. These days I have my old ghetto blaster that lives in the garage, a DAB radio that lives in the kitchen and a buggered radio alarm that can also charge Apple gadgets with the old big 40 pin connector. But my favourite is actually my HiFi separates, it’s an old basic Cambridge amp, a CD player with a buzzy transformer and a set of Gale speakers in period wood grain (I’m not sure which period or if it ever was ‘in’).
My favourites all have one thing in common. I did not buy them brand new. They have all had previous owners.
While they’re not perfect I have had memorable times putting them to use and still use them extensively. These days I am thoughtful about any new purchases carefully weighing things up and determining if I really need them.
So what are your prized possessions and why?