Monday 18 April 2011

Where it all began...

We have been away all weekend at a friend's wedding so I haven't been able to post until now. The wedding was lush, and of course hubby wore his charity shop suit again.

The bride looked stunning in a vintage style gown which she was thrilled to find half price!

Makes me wonder if anyone has ever bought their wedding dress from a charity shop? Wouldn't that be a find?!

The tables were so pretty for the wedding breakfast and everyone got tiddly on all the free flowing wine.

And I got to see my oldest friend in the whole wide world, who is pregnant. Believe me, this is a much wanted baby and the first time I have seen her pregnant was at this wedding so it really was a happy occasion. She is glowing and I have bump envy!

Anyway, moving on from fab weddings, I guess I should have put this Cherry Tree post at the very beginning of my blog, but it only just dawned on me when my first charity shop experience took place.

I was about 14 and still under the impression that charity shops were very uncool, dusty, smelly and full of old men's greying overcoats.

Then one day, one of the "cooler than school" trendy girls from the in-crowd strutted into school wearing what I can only describe as THE finest overcoat I'd ever seen.

It was basically a dove-grey overcoat, with silky paisley lining and I coveted that coat beyond belief. She couldn't remember where she'd bought it from (which translated as "I don't want someone as uncool as you to buy the same coat as me.") and so I took it upon myself to search for it myself. It became an obsession.

I went into Bath and scoured the rails of every single fashion store I came across. I described this trench coat in great detail but no one recognised it. Hours later, I was beginning to flag.

Back at school, I soon discovered why the girl from school was reluctant to tell me where she had bought the coat. She'd found it in a charity shop...of all horrors.

Next time I was shopping, I passed Oxfam in Gay Street and decided it was now or never. I checked that no one recognised me before I darted in and headed straight for the coat section. Nothing.

Mind you, I was surprised to find there was no smell, no dust, just rails of bright, clean clothes waiting patiently for a new owner to re-love them.

I even checked the men's clothing rail but couldn't see the coat anywhere. But I realised there were similar coats so it was then that I started going into every charity shop I passed.

I suddenly had that eureka moment - charity shops had loads of garments that were affordable, fashionable AND some were decent high street labels. There was nothing to be embarrased about in the slightest and I could afford to buy more clothes, some of which looked brand new.

And that is how I came across my love for charity shops. I never did find that coat though in any shop.

One day, when I was talking to my beloved grandparents ,I described the coat to my grandfather who I called Bampy/Bamps.

"So, it's grey, long, with a silk lining....hmmmmm. Come out in the garden with me," he said.

Having no idea what was coming, we walked into his garden, past the duck pond, past the vegetable patch and straight up to his scarecrow. And lo and behold, that old scarecrow was wearing exactly the coat I'd wanted. And it was perfect.

Bamps took it off the scarecrow, we got it dry cleaned and I swished around town LOVING my "new" coat for a long time to come. It saw me through my teenage years, grunge phase, peasant phase, even hippy phase.

Sadly I don't know what came of that coat. I can't find a picture of me wearing it either which is a massive pity, but I did come across this photo of me with the scarecrow when I was about six (he was wearing a different coat, prior to the "cool" one I ended up stealing from him!)


Cuckoo said...

Ooh which girl from the cool gang was that? Hannah? Cathy? Noooo it was Nell wasn't it?

Cuckoo said...
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Gem said...
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