© John Denney 6 October 2005
It all started with the rather highbrow “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” with Dr Glyn Daniel and the great Sir Mortimer Wheeler. And then after that came “Going for a Song” with Arthur Negus, and nowadays there’s the “Antiques Roadshow”, and “Flog it!” And “Bargain Hunt”, and “Cash in the Attic” and a dozen other shows about things that people own and collect. The nation, it seems, is fascinated to learn of the history of this piece of pottery, who made that objet d’art, the life of the painter of such a watercolour. A few years ago, I’d never heard of Clarice Cliff, but today no TV treasure programme is complete without something she designed. And I suppose my life is the richer now I can recognise her style.
For me, one of the delights of these programmes is finding out how much something is worth. I love it when someone is surprised to discover that they own something very valuable. But – confession time - I do think “serve you right” when someone discovers that the item they’re so smug about, is in fact a worthless fake. They call the feeling of taking pleasure in another’s misfortune schadenfreude, and it’s naughty and I shouldn’t do it; but don’t some of them deserve it!
I don’t have much in the way of antiques or heirlooms myself. I’ve not inherited anything by Sheraton or Lalique or Fabergé. Ours wasn’t that sort of a family. But what I have inherited from my parents is a rich tapestry of memories; a certainty of being loved; a home that was a haven; and a background of encouragement. And I have done my best to pass that legacy on to my children. My treasure is in all my memories.
You know, the day she said “Yes” to my proposal of marriage; our wedding day; the birth of our children; the day each of them graduated from university; seeing them still as loving children, having interesting and worthwhile careers.
It really doesn’t matter about material possessions, nice though they may be. Jesus said, Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or - worse! - stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
 Matthew 6:19-21 MSG