Friday, January 14, 2011

One person's trash is another person's treasure..

Did I tell you I love charity shops? Well, truth be told, I LOVE a bargain... and this way I feel I am getting the best of both worlds; something cheap, quirky and one-of-a-kind... and also it IS charity (karma points!) and better for the environment than the throw away, mass produced Hight Street.

When I lived in Australia I used to go to the charity job regularly as I always found the most amazing jewellery. Even to this day, one of my most favourite pair of earrings are from St. Vincent de Paul and cost me the phenomenal price of 20c in 2003. I could always snap up a bargain clutch purse ("It's vintage, daaarhling!") and it was the fastest and cheapest way to collect my beloved Stephen King Hardbacks.

When I moved to London in 2005, charity shop trawling took a backseat for a number of reasons.
Firstly, believe it or not, central London does not have a huge amount of charity shops, you have to sort of head out into The 'Burbs to find an Oxfam, British Heart Foundation or Marie Curie...

Secondly, I worked in fashion, so I was pretty happy at that point to take my 200 quid bi-annual shopping allowance for our store instead (and of course it was policy to wear the clothes we were selling).

So since moving  to the country in 2008, I have rekindled my relationship with the charity shop. I have bought everything from writing paper to children's toys, to (more) jewellery and (even more) books.

That brings us to today, and the perfect example of why I like these treasures so much.

En route to getting my afternoon of pampering (maybe another blog entry?) I stopped by the afore mentioned Oxfam and British Heart Foundation in beautiful Farnham, Surrey. Of course, as always, I really just intended to browse... well....

I got a lovely fair trade writing set (made lovingly out of elephant dung no less)... an edition of Jane Austen Compilations in pristine condition AND a red corduroy dress for Avalon at the bargain price of 6.99 GBP when it retailed for 40.00 GBP (Oh yes, I had eyed it in Trotters many a time) which I shall pair with her own red patent mary janes.

This is a love affair I shall continue that is as close to guilt free spending that I think I will ever get. Little do my frineds and family know that this years Christmas gifts will either be handmade, lovingly purchased from a charity shop (thinking GREEN) or from Oxfam Online

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