There really is an improvement in stock once the boot sale season ends.
I bought three hats in the ambulance shop, some pretty material, a skirt, vintage napkins, a pyrex casserole dish (with lid!), a merino wool jumper and some picture frames. Sum total £15.75. "I'll put the hats on ebay" I thought.
In the hospice shop, I found myself wondering if some of the customers thought it was an actual hospice.Two wheelchair users, a man and woman, and their respective partners, cut a sorry sight. The shop manageress greeted the older couple with a welcoming familiarity. They were after a blanket for the lady in the wheelchair, to keep her legs warm. A pile of beautifully crocheted blankets sat on a table, knitted in subdued, tasteful and gradually merging tonal shades.
The lady, who looked at least 65 said "I don' wan' one-a them, they for grannys, in't they? I'll look like I belong in a nursing home!".
I thought about the current resurgence in popularity these blankets are having, and how they'd fetch a pretty penny on some 'hip' city stall, thirty-somethings snapping them up to dress their sofa. £3 for one the size of a single quilt, £4 for a double. Very reasonable.
They left with nothing.
The second couple looked malnourished and really pathetic, they were wearing those strange padded hoodies, with mystical transfers on the back of wolves and wizards, don't know if you've been lucky enough to see these garments on show?
The manageress spoke to them in an over-familiar, prying way. I know her, I worked with her daughter a few years ago, she tested my patience, which is in pretty high supply.
Before the.charity shop she was the manageress at Mc Donalds, and raised a lot of money for charity. She has one of those union representative type personalities.
"What happened to you then, why are you in a wheelchair? It's like wheelchair club today".
Great way to break the ice.
"I'm diabetic love, feet don't work at the moment, hahahaha"
"Terrible thing, diabetes, my nan had her leg off with it". Great retort
They went on to discuss infections, hospitals, rubbish wheelchairs...
I kept getting drawn towards a beaver lamb fur coat, which smelt of badgers, not that I'm familiar with the scent.
As I tried on the coat, transforming myself into the type of lady who gets 'taken out', I eavesdropped further on the conversation. I wish I hadn't.
"Infections - they can be very nasty. I had a terrible internal itch in my bowels awful, it was. Antibiotics didn't work, and you can't exactly scratch your bowels can you? They had to open me up. I still wasn't better. The smell was horrendous, let me tell you, I made myself feel sick, so lord knows how my family coped. I got in the bath one day, the water was brown in minutes, it was." My partner used to sponge me down, but he began retch".
She glanced over, and changed the subject.
"That coat looks stunning, doesn't it? Real beaver, it is 1930's" (sheepskin, possibly early 1960's).
The couple agreed it looked nice, and seemed to accept wearing a 1930's beaver was perfectly acceptable. Caught up in my little fantasy, I bought it, £10, way over my usual spend allowance.
As I paid, I decided to show her my hat collection, "ooh, what a bargain, REAL mink!"
I looked again. It was real.
Oh dear, how many dead animals was I willing to take home? I really hadn't thought about it.
You can't really argue that "it's already been killed, so it's ok - second hand" can you?
It's still glamorising fur. Is it ok if you're a meat eater and the fur is a by-product of the food chain?
I won't be wearing the mink hat, that's for sure. The smelly coat? What do you think?
As for bowel stories, as much as I love toilet humour, the brown bath tale even had me feeling a bit sick.
|ready for bed in tartan p.j's and beaver|
|Ebay? Or pet sematary?|