MY husband's collecting of old farm machinery and memorabilia is bordering on an obsession.
He's got hundreds of old tractors, but not one of them goes.
He has machinery so ancient the only way to find out its age is to carbon date it.
How do you know when collecting has become hoarding?
I'm worried we're going to end up on of those TV shows.
I watched one of the shows about hoarders once. This guy had so much stuff in his house he could only get in by crawling through the cat flap, then had to climb a cliff of old magazines and newspapers using crampons and ropes and then had to abseil into the kitchen.
For a while I thought he would be buried under an avalanche of old tax returns while heating up some bully beef over a candle. It was more exciting than a documentary on climbing Everest.
I know what you mean though. Our neighbour Frank is a hoarder. He's got dozens of rusting vehicles, mounds of scrap metal and rusty rolls of fence wire all piling up in his front paddock.
One day we found a chap throwing his trailer-load of junk over Frank's fence. When we told him he should take it to the tip he said, " I thought this was the tip".
Frank says he's a collector not a hoarder but I'm not really sure of the difference.
I know hoarding is a definite medical disorder but then how normal is someone who collects barbed wire or their belly button fluff? I know a bloke who collects ear tags. Not that bad you might say - except each one is still attached to the sheep's ear.
The only difference I can see is collectors meticulously catalogue their collections and display them nicely. I think a collector is just a very neat hoarder.
Anyway I wouldn't worry too much as long as your husband's collection is confined to the paddock.
When it starts to creep into the house and you can only get around on a forklift then it's time to call for expert help - the TV crew from Hoarders.
The embarrassment of appearing on national telly will cure him quicker than any shrink.