Thoughts and life lessons

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Coles Little Shop Collectibles


From what I’ve noticed on Facebook and beyond, I am not the only adult keen on completing this ever so precious collection.

I was unusually slow to get on board with such a fun fad being somewhat of a recluse in recent times and avoiding the local supermarket – mainly due to struggling with the guilt of taking leave from studio teaching and thus not wanting to bump into any of the families I let down. For the same reason I no longer go for a daily walk. I also have a particular aversion to the local park although the reason for that I am unable to elaborate on for now. I generally limit venturing out in Jimboomba to quite frequent doctor visits to monitor my hypertension or to an occasional Noodlebox or Subway takeout meal when I don’t feel up to cooking after a long day cleaning, lifting and sorting in the house and sheds.

Had I still been earning my own pocket money and educating little students, I would not have hesitated to go all out and buy these toys (and the accessories I missed) from eBay, although not until after August 28th when this promotion ends – because like most collectors I enjoy both the patience and impatience associated with collecting, along with the thrill of the search. It no doubt would have been more than acceptable for this music teacher to gather a whole set plus extras because it’s well known I often use tiny toys to teach creatively at the piano keyboard and for theory floor activities. Perhaps not so acceptable for someone who is supposed to be focused on downsizing and getting their home and belongings and memorabilia in order, in readiness for whatever the future holds.

I am currently half way there in a quest for these thirty highly sought after pretend play groceries…and would be a lot further behind had it not been for lovely friend and neighbour Pam who gave me spares when I had no spares to offer or swap with her. I could not hold back the squeals of delight on finding my first packet of mini Tim Tams in the letter box. They were a definite ‘want and need’ since our famous and delicious Aussie biccy reminds me of son Timothy. Also high on the ‘must have’ list are the bottle of Mount Franklin water (way too cute and my favourite beverage), the Huggies nappies (me being obsessed of course with all things baby even though I used terry towelling cloth and very rarely disposables with our children) and the tube of Colgate (though Sensodyne and lots of it was my toothpaste of choice while up at 3am this morning in much pain). I now have the Colgate and a spare too if anyone out there needs it – meantime the second tube is stored among my box of doll hobby miniature props (just in case the elves and fairies eat too many sweets next Halloween).

Though I would not stoop as low as reaching for and stealing from the mountains of Little Shop packets at the store counters while the person serving is distracted and selling cigarettes, I did have a moment of weakness not being entirely honest with a kindhearted checkout girl who after asking me (and other shoppers) how many grandchildren we have then handed over eight toys when I’d only spent enough to earn three. Did I tell her truthfully that not many of those grandchildren are little kids anymore and of those that are I’m not sure they’re even collecting? No, I took the bonus with a big and slightly deceitful smile on my face and left, knowing she would have got into trouble from her superiors for giving away too many. On arriving home I made, with the best of intentions and aimed at showing littlest granddaughter, an entertaining Little Shop blind bag opening for YouTube. Unfortunately I accidentally permanently deleted the video, including the part where I excitedly shared with would be curious viewers overseas the surprise reveal of a tiny jar of Vegemite. My dear Mum would have said “God moves in mysterious ways Susan”.

As for the negativity associated with this promotion including complaints about giving away plastic toys when plastic bags have only recently been banned and also the safety aspect of introducing dangerous items like cleaning products to children, I am too old and too tired and too set in my love of collectibles ways to join in with the discussion. It only serves to remind me that you can’t please all of the people all of the time – and stirs up memories of when I would put much effort into typing up and handing out regular studio newsletters which resulted in both gratitude for my being so well organised but also criticism for wasting paper and harming trees.

Although on occasion during the past few weeks I’ve pouted and been disappointed, I will not give up easily on finishing my mission to complete the collection. I have a history of perseverance and determination in this field having gathered two full sets of Series 1, 2 and 3 Cadbury Yowies for our youngest boys many years ago, only giving in to the purchase of two rare Lord Balthizaars for ten dollars each during a Yowie swap meet in order to surprise the guys on their 7th birthday as they proudly wore around their necks the almost as rare set of Yowie crystals.

In closing, I promise husband Mark I will not try to use any more imaginative female and desperate collector attempts to convince him it seems only logical to stock up on pet food and frozen meals for two before Coles withdraw the toys from offer. Not a good idea really since the cats know how to open the pantry and help themselves to snacks plus one freezer is already full and the other one isn’t functioning. And for the sake of my health and current diet I will try hard to add fresh fruit not a chocolate bar when the grocery shopping total falls short of the required minimum multiples of $30.

Happy hunting everyone (who’s still hunting) 🙂

Published in: on August 7, 2018 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  


One of the hobbies my mother and I shared was growing African Violets. As a teen I even belonged to an African Violet society in Melbourne. I would delight in mail ordering boxes of leaves ready for propogation, steal with permission a few samples from Mum’s perfect botanical specimens – and husband Mark (then my boyfriend/fiance) would take me on romantic drives to garden nurseries to seek out new plants.

Since living in Queensland I have had little success growing these flowering beauties, until recently, when after two years of struggling to to keep one particular plant alive in my music room, it has presented me with a flower atop lush green leaves. The secret of my success this time? As a last resort I moved the once sad and withered plant to the kitchen window. And there it has thrived to remind me of special times from the past. Once again, life finds a way.

‘Saintpaulia’ reborn……

……and a photo of myself and bridesmaid Roslyn admiring part of Mum’s African Violet collection, January 14th 1978.

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  


My miniature piano collection began with a filigree blown glass grand piano, a gift from my parents when I was 18.

I had a wonderful time displaying these ornaments at the Beaudesert Collectible Fair in 2010.

They made people smile, I was asked questions about where they came from and I heard stories of piano lesson experiences.

Some of the pianos are musical and play tunes such as ‘Fur Elise’ and ‘Love Story’……

Published in: on July 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment