Thursday 7 April 2011

My affair with all things thrifty

I have had a penchant for charity shops for years. For so long, that it's beginning to take over my life. I cannot EVER go past a charity shop without going in. No matter how scuzzy it may look from the outside.

I have estimated that 75 per cent of my wardrobe is from umpteen charity shops and it gives me incredible pleasure to feel I am donating to a good cause, I am getting a bargain and I am wearing something that someone else fell out of love with. It warms the heart. Well, mine anyway.

Five years ago I bought a Harrods rocking horse for a measley £5 from a charity shop on Kensington High Street. He is stunning (see the below pics, the first was taken on Red Nose Day by my daughter). Who could have got so fed up with him (I say it's a Him, he looks male) they donated him to charity? Poor thing.

My husband had dropped me off outside the shop (I think it was Oxfam) and gave me the familiar vaguely wary look as he said "Don't be long, I'll get the car and pick you up outside. Don't buy anything silly that we can't take home with us."

Imagine his face when seven minutes later, I was on the pavement with Floppy (my daughter named him within seconds of us taking him home), I still can't be sure how we fitted him in our little car but I was determined. To this day, both my children adore Floppy and rest assured we will never part with him.

Before that, I decided to rebuild a collection of vintage Ladybird books. I had loads when I was young but somehow they had all vanished so I started hunting them down in any charity shop I could find.

To be honest, I expect mine were all donated to charity by my parents all those years ago and I am probably buying them back. But even that gives me a thrill. To date I have 91 Ladybird books, from Peter and Jane to The Magic Porridge Pot. I will post a pic sometime. Still keep an eye out for the ones I don't have. It's a hobby.

So I've decided to blog about my finds, share the delights,  and more importantly, aim to complete my quest of completely overhauling my wardrobe so that it proudly stores 100 per cent charity shop items.

I don't want designer stuff or expensive high street clobber that I've just bought off the peg and paid a ridiculous price for. That's not retail therapy for me.

I want the heart stopping moment that I get, an adrenalin rush, when I spot something so gorgeous and in my size.

And I always refer to charity shops as cherry tree shops, hence the name of my blog.

Must end it here to feed my children who are tearing around the garden and scaring our resident robin and bluetits, but I really want to blog about the head scarf I picked up from a second hand shop in Adelaide, Australia. I cannot ever part with it.

It holds the key to my many memories of my backpacking year with my husband, way before we tied the knot and had children.

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