Junk junkie

Stasia Buckle, a comedy writer and performer from North London shares her passion for vintage.

I absolutely love junk. I don’t care what it is. If it looks rubbish I’ll probably buy it.

I think I got this from my grandad. His flat was full of the stuff. I remember he had a cupboard piled with treasures which my sister and I would spend hours rummaging around in. I don’t think we ever actually made it through to the back wall but I did manage to find an old pellet gun once. I casually pulled the trigger right at my sister’s head. Thankfully the pellet missed, but the bang was so loud that it did leave us both deaf for the rest of the day. Grandad thought this was so funny and from then on every time we left his flat he would follow us out to the car and fire the pistol into the air as we drove away.

I don’t think grandad gave much thought to the colour scheme or interior design of his place. You couldn’t see the walls or the carpet for a start. To an adult it was a mess, but it was like Santa’s grotto to me. You never left there disappointed. He had it all, Charles and Diana mugs, framed pictures of the Pope, china dogs carrying shopping bags, trinkets of every kind. He even re-purposed his junk. I once walked into the living room to find a picture of the Queen framed by a toilet seat - I don’t think he was much of a fan.

To an adult it was a mess, but as a kid it was Santa’s grotto

My love of junk has got me into financial trouble. If I want something then I’m quite happy to barter all day. For me it’s not about the price, it’s about the game. I love it. When I'm on eBay, I forget about the price and what I'm buying. I get so involved with the bidding that all else is forgotten whilst I race to win the sale. Then right at the last minute some clever git always gets in there with the final bid. This is when things get personal and I burst into a fit of rage and bid on anything just to win and make myself feel better.

I went to Kempton Market the other day and I could feel my heart speeding up as I looked at all the piles of lovely junk. Here it’s described as ‘antique’ or ‘vintage’ and I can’t afford it. Even an old Muppet money saving tin, where you put a shilling into its mouth and in return it shuts its mouth and then smiles at you, was £85. And where would I find a shilling anyway?

I have managed to get my hands on some good stuff during my junk raids. I have had to work hard for it though, but it was worth it. My favourite pieces of junk are special. They have history, character and charm, and I suppose you can never really put a price on that.