Yesterday I went to the Pilgrims Hospice charity shop I’d given my clothes to, not to see if my clothes were there (although, obviously I had a glance around to see if any were for sale. None were – either they hated my clothes, or they’d all been sold. I hadn’t seen anyone in town walking around in my clothes though, which is probably just as well. That would be a tad weird. Okay, a lot weird) but to get Shaun a toilet book (like a lot of men, he only reads on the toilet. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?) There wasn’t anything I thought he’d like, so I popped across the road to the PDSA shop and had a look in there instead. I picked up the Eric Sykes’ autobiography and had a flick through and saw a bookmark nestled between the pages. It wasn’t just a crumped up old piece of paper or a train ticket, but a beautiful metal Celtic bookmark, still in its wrapper, with a £3.20 price label on the back – which made the bookmark worth more than the book, which was priced at 99p.
I decided not to buy the book (I’d flicked through it and it looked a bit boring – sorry Eric) but thought I should probably tell the woman behind the till that it had a bookmark in it, which she could sell separately and therefore make more money for the doggies and other animals but I was having a shy day and just wanted to put the book back on the shelf and quietly walk out and not have to do any kind of communicating with other humans thing. But my conscience got the better of me so I took the book over to the woman and showed her the bookmark. She didn’t seem too bothered about it but sort of said thank you and I left thinking I should have bought the 99p book and then I’d have a pretty bookmark but that would sort of be stealing and then I’d feel guilty about it for the rest of my life, like when I stole a boy at junior school’s ruler but felt too guilty to use it so it stayed hidden in a box forever. I eventually confessed my crime to him when we hooked up on Friends Reunited (if you’re under 30, Friends Reunited was similar to Facebook, but like watching it on a black and white television instead of a colour one) and he said I’d be hearing from his lawyers.
Anyway, yeah, so, yesterday’s kindness was accidentally making the charity shop more money by being honest and not stealing a bookmark they didn’t know they had in the first place.
My wardrobes – like most people’s I would imagine – are bursting with clothes I either a) have never worn; b) haven’t worn for years; or c) can’t fit into any more. In fact, on seeing some of the clothes I pulled out of my wardrobes today I wondered how I ever managed to squeeze into them in the first place. Was I really the size of a five-year-old, five years ago? I had a good sort through and got a bundle together to give to a local charity shop. There were clothes I was sorry to see go (dresses I like but would feel too muttony in), clothes I’d worn once and wouldn’t wear again (dresses from Jigsaw and Bench), clothes I have no intention of wearing again (a suit and ‘officey’ type trousers) and various other items.
But which charity shop to take them to? I’m fussy about my charity shops – any that fund animal testing are definitely off my list, so I walked past the Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation shops and went straight to the PDSA shop; partly because, you know… animals… and partly because the last time I took clothes in there to donate, the old lady behind the till was so grateful you’d have thought I’d just changed my name to Noah and personally saved not just two of each animal but every single animal in the world.
Then I had a dilemma. The PDSA shop was shut for refurbishment (my cast offs had obviously made them a lot of money) and was empty except for a man cleaning the shiny new wooden floor. The sign on the door said it was re-opening tomorrow but I couldn’t see how unless they were planning to put all the furniture and stock back overnight but, still, I wasn’t going to lug all the clothes back home and bring them back tomorrow (I’m not that charitable) so I had to find a Plan B charity shop. Ashford is full of charity shops and I thought about giving them to Oxfam but then thought, don’t they get lots of funding and make loads of money anyway? Then I pondered taking the clothes to the YMCA shop but I’m not really sure what the YMCA does and doesn’t the C stand for Christian? I don’t want to give my clothes to some dodgy God thing and then I spotted up a side street a Pilgrims Hospice shop. Hooray!
I unloaded my rucksack full of clothes and gave them to the woman behind the counter, then went over to the bookshelves and filled my rucksack back up with books. (When I say ‘fill’, I mean ‘three’ and yes, I did pay for them first.)
These books were a bargain – just £1 each, and the Complete Bread Machine Cookbook has been in my Amazon wishlist for approximately forever. I was also mega-tempted to buy the ‘200 Best Panini’ book (yes, really, such a book exists) but as I only like mozzarella and tomato panini, I left it on the shelf.
I think I’ve found my new favourite charity book shop. Yay.