Saturday, 19 September 2020

Trying to Take Things in my Stride

Since returning to work after our holiday in Suffolk, things have turned out very different to what I expected. I expected it would be busy due to my being away and that there'd be a lot of work to do  which there was and still is, but there were also other developments that I didn't expect. As a consequence, I'm not too happy, but am trying to just take it one day at a time and take it in my stride.

Basically, I've found myself left in charge of the shop for two weeks with a new Deputy to induct. As I'd never inducted a new employee before, all I could do was what I would do for a volunteer, plus a bit extra with regard to the management role and hope it is sufficient.

As a consequence, this last week has been tough I've not got a lot of stockroom work done thus far. Next week should be better as the new Deputy seems to take it all in his stride and is coping well with the baptism of fire, thankfully.

This was compounded last Saturday, by the lift breaking down in the shop.  We use it to carry all of the donations down to the stockroom and with it out of action, this means a lot of physical humping of bags and boxes up and down a steep staircase, some of them very heavy, as people often overfill them with heavy items rendering them too heavy to carry -  just what we needed!  Anyway, I managed to call for the repair to be done and by Wednesday it was fixed and working again which was brilliant.

I was determined not to work any extra days, but I did cave in yesterday and go in for a few extra hours to do some essential paperwork. I didn't cycle, but caught the bus instead, as I wanted to buy some storage boxes that we had for sale in the shop and then carry them home on the bus. OH can't come into London anymore in the car unless he pays £15 for the congestions charge, but this would have added to the cost, so I managed on the bus, although it was a nightmare return journey.

Basically, the bus stop I usually use was closed, so I had to walk further to another stop, then the bus was fuller than I had expected at 3.30pm and someone sat behind me, maskless, and was coughing over my boxes part of the way home. I was not happy and said boxes are now in quarantine for a few days! Then the bus got stuck in gridlocked traffic, so I ended up getting off and walking a mile home carrying the boxes.  It makes cycling to work seem luxurious. Needless to say, I'm happy to be getting back on my bike today.

I'm typing this as I have my breakfast and prepare to head back into work today. I'm thinking of going early, just to hoover the floor, before we do a seasonal changeover of the clothes in the shop. OH has taken the dog this morning, which makes it possible and I think it will be quieter cycling in earlier on a Saturday morning as very few people are up and about in London. At least I will have two days off consecutively after today, which I'm very much looking forward to.

I've been thinking this morning that I may need to change my route home now nights are getting darker as I have to cycle through a park which is notorious for muggings and other criminal activity.  I think I'll find a road route in the next few weeks. OH narrowly missed being pushed off his bike riding through there at night some years ago and I don't think the area has improved since then. The last thing I need is to get my bike and the contents of my pannier stolen on the way home.

Other than work issues, life is trundling along.  LB went back to work at the pub today for the first time and she is now back at college a couple of times a week. I'm a bit concerned about rising virus figures, but London does seem to be a bit behind the rest of the country this time around.  I do wonder if we'll be all locked down again before long, although I know that the Government will resist as long as possible. It may be a very strange stay at home Christmas this year. Christmas shopping might get interesting. I'm starting now.

Hope you've all had a good week.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Post-Lockdown Mile End Vintage Haul - No. 2

One Wednesday, a month or so ago now , after meeting a friend at the gym to try out a different fitness class, I decided to pay another visit to Mile End Vintage.  It had been about 6 weeks or so since my previous visit just after shops had started opening again and I'd been meaning to go for a few weeks.

I did my usual of just filling a small bag for £10. I bought two dresses, 4 blouses, one kimono and two scarves. 

A couple of the items needed some work, mainly the kimono, as someone had taken some pinking shears to one side and one sleeve. I decided I would buy it anyway and try to repair it myself, as it was quite pretty.  Here's the outcome:





You can probably see the repair line of stitches to the front right hand side. It is quite close to the armpit  though, so isn't too obvious, but at least it's now rendered wearable. I'd never be able to buy such a thing for less than £2 ordinarily, so I'm pretty happy with it.

Also part of this haul was yet another pussy bow blouse, in a black print this time.  I don't know why, but I'm very drawn to this style of blouse. This one fits perfectly, so I will be wearing it as the weather cools down.



Another item that fitted, was this ?1950's pink cotton dress. It's a little on the large side, but looks better with a belt. I'm thinking of changing the buttons on this as they are also pink and I'd prefer a darker coloured button. I've got a few options to choose from in my vintage button stash.







I'm thinking the reddish brown ones might look nice and I've got exactly the right number.

The scarves that I bought are pictured below and will be great to tie in my hair:




A couple of the items were a bit on the small side, so I may re-sell them. One was this very cute pink blouse with very puffy sleeves and roses on the placket. I adored it on sight, but it is too tight around the waist, although fits around the bust.


Another item that was too small was this polka dot blouse.  This is so cute too and again I may decide to re-sell it on Etsy or eBay, as I'm pretty sure it's a vintage 1950's original.
(Apologies for the quality of the photo for this one.)



The remaining two items I'm not sure about and may just donate, so I haven't posted pictures. It is still a bit hit and miss when you can't try things on, but even so at the prices I pay, even if they don't fit it really isn't a big deal and is often worth a gamble.



Friday, 11 September 2020

More Random Ebay Purchases

It's been a while since I posted about the kind of random eBay purchases I often make, so I thought I'd do another post of this kind.

I've bought a few things on eBay since my last post. As I'm still working on getting the living room how I want it, some things have been purchased to that end, the first of which was this very sweet brass bird candle holder.  I have to admit that I have a penchant for birds and things with birds on them, so when I saw this, I found it very hard to resist.




It could probably do with a bit of a polish, but I have to admit that I quite like the patina of the brass as it is and don't want it to be too shiny.  I haven't put a candle in it yet and may never actually do this, I just like it as a quirky little decoration.

Also with the completing the living room in mind, I bought this piece of furniture the other week on eBay.



We have moved the blanket box out of one alcove in the living room and into the other and it now has the TV atop of it.  In doing so, this left a space in the other alcove, which I felt needed filling with a useful piece of furniture.

As I have quite a few items that I'd like to put into a display cabinet, this seemed to fit the bill very well indeed. It is quite small and has two glass shelves and a key to lock it. I love the design of the glass door to the front which is slightly bowed.
 
We had to collect it from outside of London, but as it was being sold from a seaside resort, we made a day of it and took the dog and OH's bike, so he could ride it back on the journey home. I'm very happy with it, but I have already painted it to fit in with the living room d├ęcor.  I'll post about it's transformation when the project is completely finished, as I'm currently trying to find suitable legs to attach to the bottom of it and make it a little taller.

It cost £34 and the legs may cost as much as £30, as that seems to be the going rate for carved wooden legs.  It will be worth it though, as it will  look great when it is finished.



Finally, another item that I recently bought on eBay was this lovely vintage Stratton powder compact. It cost just £6 including postage and is so pretty and in very good condition.  I love it.  Not sure if I'll use it, depends if I can find some loose powder to fill it with. It can always go on display in the curio cabinet!!!

I'll be posting again soon about other purchases that I've made and that I hope will transpire.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Post-Holiday Catch Up

Apologies that it's been a few weeks since I last posted. We had a bad week a few weeks ago where OH wasn't feeling too well and we had to get tested for Covid.  Luckily, all our results came back very quickly and were all negative, which was a huge relief, as we were busy trying to rebuild sales at the shop and it would have caused problems if the results had been different.  We had to get tested though, as I couldn't risk potentially passing the virus onto some of our volunteers who live with vulnerable people.  It all worked out OK in the end though thankfully and we got to experience the whole process of being tested.

After the stress of all that and the possibility of it interfering with our holiday to Suffolk, we were so grateful to have a short holiday booked and still be able to go, just to get away from London and relax in the countryside. We packed up and left last Wednesday and returned today after four blissful nights in a lovely cottage not far from the Suffolk coast.

It felt so good to breathe fresh country air, potter around local towns and villages and generally just chill and re-boot.  I did the jigsaw that I bought from the charity shop whilst we were away, which was very relaxing.  Here's a picture of the completed puzzle:



Very pretty and interesting to do and a lovely holiday coastal theme. It always works as an activity to help me unwind from work and clear my head.

Getting out of London has been a long time coming, as I haven't left for six months now, save to collect a couple of eBay purchases, i.e. my bike and a piece of furniture that I re-painted before we left. (Post coming, once the project is completely finished) I don't think I realised quite how much I needed a break until we took one.

Now we're back home and I'm back at work on Tuesday, so I've still got another day to settle back into my routine before resuming work. It was lovely to go away, but it's also lovely to get home and sink into the comforts of our own home.

I bought a few things for the house whilst away, mainly from charity shops and from a car boot sale that we visited this morning before leaving Suffolk. It's a rare treat for me to attend a car boot sale, as there are none near where we live and this one was a good one with many stalls, although some were clearing away before I got to them. It was a lovely sunny day for it too which helped.

Anyway, I bought a new ironing board, a pair of trousers and  a couple of plant pots from charity shops during the holiday.  My ironing board started to collapse just before we came away, so when I saw one reduced to £5 I couldn't resist it, as it has saved me looking around for one now we're back in London and has probably saved me a lot of money too.

The plant pots I bought were quite plain and white, but were needed as our indoor plants had outgrown their current pots and desperately need potting on. I also bought this lovely hammered brass bowl at the car boot, which is perfect for this indoor fern that is just getting bigger and bigger.



I have now moved this plant into the living room, where I hope it will continue to thrive.  We will just have to remember to water it.




The only other things I bought at the car boot were a gold picture frame and a couple more ferns for the garden at £5 each, which was a bargain as they were a good size. I could have bought more plants from this stall, but we didn't have any room in the car, which was a pity. I now have four ferns waiting to be planted out and need to get around to it in the next week or so.

Next week will be an eventful one.  Our long time neighbours are moving out in a couple of days, so I assume our new neighbours will be moving in, although this may or may not be the case. LB is returning to college (although only for one day) and returning to her part time job this week so will be very busy and my new job share partner is starting work at the shop, so there will be lots going on.

 I will try to post more now we're back from holiday.  Hope you had a good week.