Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Charity Shops - they 'aint what they used to be!

No more gloom.

I hope to include lots of pictures tomorrow, today I'll talk charity shops.

My mother has only ever shopped for clothes in charity shops, I can't remember a time in my life where I've steered clear of them. I'm definitely a charity shop addict.

When I visit a new town or city, finding the charity shops is usually a priority. Clothes are my first port of call, but I am not averse to the odd bit of pyrex, 50's shot glasses, ramekins, milk jugs and general kitchenalia (is that really a new word? I don't like it). Books, I'm afraid to admit, I rarely buy from them, maybe 10 a year.
Charity shops, at their best, are like little museums, or time warps. Though you'll always find a Sharon Osborne autobiography, rails of 'Atmosphere' (Primark) blouses, 10000000 piece jigsaws, with the troubling addition of a piece of masking tape with 'CHECKED - ALL PIECES INCLUDED' written in biro on it (who is counting?) and worst of all, for me, those teddy ornaments, teddies peeping out of a basket or holding a heart, you will also always find, if you're patient and look hard enough, something  fascinating or worth buying.

Charity shops used to seem to be run solely by volunteers, usually middle-class elderly ladies. The stock was reasonably priced, no separation between 'vintage' and modern stock, the stuff would stink, and the bag would always be an inside-out 'Fine Fare' carrier. Now, they have a well-paid manager, who will be closely monitored by an even better paid Area Manager, the clothes are steam-cleaned, there will be lots of 'new' stock in the shop like keyrings, trinkets, notebooks and gifts and there'll be a posse of volunteers. Unemployed people wanting to keep their CV full, people with special needs, people on Community Service, people with mental health issues - all falling over each other (is this the case just in South Wales?). I'm not suggesting these volunteers shouldn't be there, it's just a shame there are so many in one place, and so few volunteering for more desperate charities.
Strict pricing guidelines have to be adhered to, but what makes a BHS coat so special that it's priced at £15.99 compared to a Jaeger one at £5.99 I do not know.

Don't know about you, but I wish they would stop fussing so much with the stock. T-Shirts and vest tops are ten a penny from the high street and Supermarket, being greedy with the pricing is a waste of time.

I can't remember the last time I went into a charity shop in town without someone trying to flog me a raffle ticket, sign me up for their 'lottery' or being disgusted by some of the prices.

Am I alone? Are the days where you unearth something of a hidden gem long gone? I hope not.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Today I had some very sad news.

My ex, the father of my eldest son, got in touch to tell me his partner had given birth, full term, to a stillborn girl.

The cord had strangled her in the womb. My son, Liam is understandably upset, he so wanted a sister.

This post is dedicated to Macy. May she rest in peace.

Thanks for all the lovely comments yesterday, it's good to be back.

Until tomorrow,


Lucy x

Monday, 27 February 2012

Broken, on the mend

I'm going to try and post every day for a while, get back doing things I enjoy.

I can't show you my presents today because all the pictures are on my (broken) phone. And that is true!

Everything has been breaking, everything. Life goes like that, even my fancy Global knife snapped clean in half as I chopped an onion.

I've been a misery, upsetting everyone. Traipsing around the supermarket like some sort of lost soul, even the sight of some people enthusiastically rifling through the selection of reduced bakery items compounded my misery.

I got home, washed my hair, read the back of the shampoo bottle - "The result is brunette hair that looks rich in depth with a spectrum of tones and multi-dimensional shine".

What is life all about eh?

Maybe if I keep blogging I'll find some answers.

I cannot thank you all enough for supporting me, cheering me up and offering wisdom.

I've been VERY busy in the charity shops, so lots of pictures will be appearing, with accompanying stories.

I'm going to cheer up, I am, I must!

Lucy x