You find me perplexed. I have a modest collection which takes up little time or money. I even collect for my mother.
What is it I collect? Annual Evian bottles. A few years ago they came in the shape of a water droplet and provided a festive addition to Christmas and New Year tables. Then, Evian engineers came up with the stylish 'mountain' topped with different coloured 'snow' according to year. They retailed at slightly more than a classic bottle of Evian; normal since they were made of glass and had required some research into design and style.
I would venture into Intermarche, or Carrefour in December/January and pick up my two bottles. When my mother visited, I would give her one, or take it over if she had Ryanair weight issues. It was all easy, stress-free, fun and cheap.
Not so this year.
Evian has gone all 'exclusive'. The 20,000 available bottles are numbered, come with a gold-coloured snow cap and are only available from one shop in Outer Mongolia which is open from 2-3pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
They are not available in Intermarche. Nor in Carrefour. I have not been following the marketing of this year's bottle so was not aware until today that there was anything untoward. I went onto the Evian site and came across the news that this year things are being done differently. And it's already Jan 22. Bugger.
I thought it might be interesting to browse Ebay.fr and see who was selling what there. Lo and behold, there I saw the 2007 Evian bottles. One auction was just about to end, the bottle selling at 41€. This was daft! Further down the list, someone had a 'Buy it Now' at 50€. The bottles retail from 4€. On Ebay.co.uk, some canny person had bought 10 in Harrod's (from the Philippines - the total allocated there) and was selling them at nearly £20 each. Complete with Harrod's card.
Having lured us into a happy state of collecting the bottles, Evian now has us by the short and curlies (they think). They have whipped up a frenzy of collecting and people are prepared to pay anything (almost) to keep their collections current.
I will not pay anything, however, or go running all over town in search of an elusive bottle of water. I may just venture into town, to Monoprix and see if there are any still on the shelves. If not, I'll admit defeat and that'll be that.
Is this the end of the annual Evian limited edition? How could they possibly follow this year's coup?
Edited to add that I did look in Monoprix, and there were none, natch.