Today, was our first full day back in London after our holiday and I was back at the CS for the first of my usual two days. As we'd got back from the airport yesterday at about 7.30 pm, I hadn't felt like doing much after a long day travelling, so after unpacking a few things and putting some washing in the machine, I just sat down and vegged out in front of the TV and caught up on two episodes of Broadchurch and half an episode of Vera. It was bliss.
I slept really well back in our own bed, but woke very early this morning at about 5am and after half an hour I decided to get up, as I wanted to catch up on a few things and get organised ready to get out of the house. I never normally wake this early, it was possibly on account of the two hour time difference between our holiday destination and here.
After getting ready, finishing the unpacking, walking the dog and doing some personal banking online, I finally headed off to the CS. Not long after getting there, the Manager told me and another volunteer that he had a special task for us. We were intrigued.
We are one of five charity shops down the street, (there were six when I first started, but one closed down last year) which means that often thrift shoppers go from one to the other, buying things in more than one of the shops.
As the area is also quite a wealthy one, it is a definite destination for many people who come from further afield to shop there, as well as being popular with local residents. Anyway, he wanted us to take an hour or so to check out the other shops for him and see how our shop compared. We were quite happy to oblige and headed off down the road.
It was quite an interesting task. I'd been in a couple of the shops before on my way home, when something in the window had caught my eye, but I'd never been in and had a really good look around each one, partly because I try not to spend money when I go to the CS and partly because I am always trying to get home as soon as I can, once I leave the shop.
Of course, it was always going to be fatal for me, as I couldn't help but buy a couple of items in the process. The first was a big chunky jumper that was reduced to £1.99 in one shop, as they were selling off winter stock. I'm not likely to wear it now until next winter, but at that price, new and still with tags on, I couldn't resist.
Unlike the first item, the second item was something that I actually needed now and just happened to come across in one of the shops. It was a new and unused photo album I will use to help complete the task I started last month of organising our photos. I was so happy to find it and at £4.99 it was about the price I was looking to pay anyway.
Here's a picture of it.
It has a grey fabric cover, is strung with a grey grosgrain ribbon and has blank black card pages. Just perfect for using with the photo corners I bought. It had a price sticker on it suggesting it originally cost $35, and it seems very good quality, so quite a bargain really. I just need to fill it now.
Anyway, after enjoying our little reconnaissance mission to check out the competition, we headed back to our CS and reported back to the Manager. Hopefully our observations were useful to him.
To be honest, everyone is looking for something different when they go thrift shopping. Some people like very low priced bargains, others are looking for things to resell at a profit, some seek out designer or very high quality items at good prices, others just want something to fill a particular need at a particular time, plus there are probably a whole host of other reasons people shop in charity shops. The diversity of shops really fascinates me. Each one is it's own little world.
Anyway, once back the rest of the day went quite quickly and before I knew it, I was heading home again.
As we still had very little food in the house I had to go out to ASDA and do the weekly food shop that evening after supper. I wasn't really relishing it as I was tired, having got up so early, but I was quite pleased I did, as I managed to find lots of yellow stickered bargains to put in the freezer and feed us over the next couple of weeks. Result.
I'm back at the CS tomorrow and then I'll hopefully have a few days to catch up on household chores before we pack up again and head off to Yorkshire for a couple of days over Easter.