Jill ponders her year without shopping in a fun, fresh, engaging and occasionally informed way

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Going In

Hello and welcome to blog #36. On the weekend, we were out and about in Auckland, gorgeous place that it is. Cafes, boutiques, groovy bars with attractive people sitting outside, sunshine, families, mostly well behaved children - this place has a lot to offer.

One of the things we did was visit the Devonport Craft Market. This was the girly weekend activity; the blokey activity was going to see the Warriors play the Raiders (this is Rugby League football for those of you tuning in from countries that do not have this particular breed of sport). The game was played at the "wait 10 minutes and the weather will change" Smart Stadium - sunnies on, sunnies off; umbrella down, umbrella up, gloves on, gloves off... and that was just the players!

Beautiful! Unique! Creative! Those markets, tell ya... they were filled with people who had created such innovative things for sale! One woman had created bowls and ashtrays out of 45 and 78 LPs (if you were born after 1978, you probably wont know what these are - these are what music used to be played on before tapes and CDs -- large black disks that melt very well to form bowls and ashtrays, as it turns out). She had created bags for these bowls and ashtrays out of their album covers. Another were chalkboards painted in primary colours and cut in animal shapes - I was very tempted by the blue cat. Another was a Swedish woman who had created the most beautiful hairclips and brooches out of feathers, kind of like mini fascinators. Rings made out of buttons, brooches made out of zippers turned into flowers, tea cups turned into bird feeders, beaded/elasticised bookmarks - it was a feast for the senses! Such creativity and such beautiful things.

Mine? Not mine? Yours? And you know what I noticed? I enjoyed looking, a few items even tempted me (my visa finger was itching in places, although the stalls only took cash, so maybe it was my cash finger itching). But I wasn't truly ruly deeply messily tested to buy anything. I was able to appreciate these beautiful unique things, without wanting to purchase them and take them home. The voice that accompanies that insistent chant of "I must have it!" is always either husky and slightly menacing (combined with a maniacal laugh - think of any villain in the Batman series) or else it's like the seagulls in the Pixar film Finding Nemo - and their chants of "mine! mine! mine!" Fortunately, those voices were silent on this craft shopping expedition. My medical team will be so relieved.

Streeeetch it baby. I took this as a good sign that I might be ready to enter a real store selling real things that are off my list to purchase... didn't think I would leap straight into a clothing store, but I did saunter into quite a few accessory stores. One had the above brooches made out of Scrabble tiles. I'm not sure that two of those "words" would be acceptable if a proper game were being played (guess which two I'm thinking of!), but yet another example of creating a beautiful piece of wearable art out of an everyday, if not incongruous, item.

Feel the burn? In our travels around the northlands here in Aotearoa, we've stopped in a few funky little burgs. Many of these have shoe and clothing boutiques in them... I've started to stop and look in the windows, or peer in through the open doors at their stock. More appreciating, less the need to consume. And you know what else? I've noticed that my aperture for appreciation is widening on this trip, to include not only the groovy stuff that downtown has, but the natural surroundings as well. Instead of walking through the town centre, let's walk down by the river and observe the ducks. They can be quite aggressive, you know.
Progress, you say? This feels like (more) progress for me, however insane it may seem to somebody else (I get to define the terms of my own sanity, at least in the small territory that is this blog!). This is part of my "clothing/shoe stores are not the enemy" mindset that I am cultivating. Because the enemy is not without, it is almost always within. As much as I'd love that not to be true, and not only because someone very moral and noble said it but because it's the name of a Star Trek episode, I know that it is true. Right?
In other news, Pippa from NZTV One's Breakfast show is interviewing me tomorrow morning just before 8am... the ticker tape at the bottom of the show this morning advertising tomorrows show said "a real shopaholic". I'm guessing that's referring to me. Right?

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