mycharityshoplife does Guernsey

My blog entries are getting few and far between these days (not that I have stopped purchasing and donating – far from it). But I had to make sure I did this one as soon as I got back.

The little one and I have just spent a wonderfully calming week in Guernsey with family (on my late Mum’s side). We got to meet our second cousins and spend time with them, which has been invaluable. My Auntie even found some old recipes of my Mum’s – which I will definitely use again. My Auntie and my Mum are cousins and grew up together in India. Life is so hectic at home in London, that this break was needed, appreciated and is making me take stock about the way I live my life.

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Guernsey covers 30 square miles, has 10 parishes, and a population of 65,000. You are never far from the sea and you could potentially cover the whole island in a day. I was more than happy to take a week. The sky was blue, the sun was shining (most of the time) and the air was clear.

My Auntie also likes charity shops and she drove us to some that were outside the capital. One was a British Red Cross shop in St Martin’s parish. To get to it you had to go behind a whitewashed Victorian semi, of which the shop took up the ground floor. There was a selection of paintings and more quirky items of clothing and accessories outside, which gave it a vintage shop feel. Inside it felt more like a charity shop from home with similar prices. I came out with a few bits and pieces – my favourite being a chunky ring for £1, below, that I haven’t stopped wearing. Bella has the necklaces.

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She also took us to a huge Les Bourgs Hospice shop in industrial unit in St Andrews parish. It was well laid out, with high quality donations – furniture, clothing, books and music, and a large collection of pristine occasion hats. Here’s what I found:

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A New Look maroon polka-dot blouse for £2.75

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An Accessorize metallic shoulder/clutch bag for £3.50 (Bella’s choice – but I may borrow it)

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A pair of green and gold earrings for 50p (I have a green and gold thing going on at the moment).

My remaining purchases were made in St Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey. St Peter Port is a very attractive small town by a harbour, with Castle Cornet at its entrance. From the town you can see the islands of Herm, Jethou and Sark, inviting you to hop on a boat and go take a look. St Peter Port also has an area that looks like a mini City of London ‘square mile’ dedicated to the financial sector. I was eager to find out what kinds of donations I would find in the charity shops. I wasn’t disappointed – but I did spend way more than I intended to!

I looked in the Oxfam and Cancer Research branches. I almost bought some Airwalk combat trousers from Oxfam. They were only £3.50 and I’ve been waiting for the time that combats, skinny T-shirts and skateboard trainers come back in (think All Saints – mid nineties). But I didn’t get them. The big ’40’ is beckoning next year and its enough that I am reliving my shoegaze days, without trying to dress like a nineties girl band.

However – I did make some more mature purchases in the Cancer Research shop. I looked on the Tuesday, and it took 2 days of consideration before I parted with the cash.

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A Jigsaw 88% wool, 12% metal, knee length shift dress for £12.50.

I dithered about this one because I didn’t think it was a practical Autumn/Winter addition to my wardrobe. Sleeveless and a bit shimmery. But I decided it would look good over skinny jeans.

Then there was this:

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I now know what it’s called because of the amount of time I spent Googling the thing trying to work out if I’d bought a fake. Its a Michael Kors Jet-Set tote in slate grey python (not an actual python). I spent a quarter of what its original retail price was. I’m not into blingy bags and mostly walk around with a rucksack or a satchel – practical baggage. But this bag is quite toned down and has enough space to fit everything I need to carry – even Bella-related entertainment. I think I’ll enjoy having a nice bag for a while. Why not?

So I’m back in London, with one more day to chill before the start of a new school term and a new working week. I’m going to take it in my stride and try to keep my Guernsey head on. November looks like its going to be fun. Have a good one!

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