Tag Archives: charity shop

It could have gone better…

We went down to the Mencap garden tonight to drop off a donation of plants from one of the neighbours. We have Japanese anemone, Michaelmas daisies, buddleia and raspberries. I’ve also donated my tea plants as they can make a better job of looking after them than I will.

The Magpies were waiting.

There were two on the roof of the shed, two perching on the fence and two standing on top of a lamp post. One was perching in a tree and one was pottering around in the grass. He’s the one that we think acts like a stroppy teenager. We assume it’s a “he” because girls don’t act like stroppy teenagers. If Magpies wore baseball caps his would be on backwards.

We’ve never seen eight at one time at the gardens before.

The first part of the afternoon was less interesting.

It involved eating soup (which went well) but then deteriorated as I took two bags of books to the charity shop. It started to rain as I parked the car. I grabbed a lightweight rain jacket from the back seat and managed to empty one of the bags of books onto the floor.

As slapstick goes it was a polished and faultless move.

After parting with the books, which still hurts as I talk about it, I decided to use the available light to photograph some bits and pieces. (I find the light in the car better than the interior of the house at this time of year). I hadn’t locked the door of the battery compartment last time I opened it.

They fell out.

I put them back.

And at that point I realised I hadn’t put the card in.

I was so wet I steamed up the inside of the car. This took a while to clear and gave me time to brood on the unfairness of life.

Then I went home, where Julia told me she had a job for me. That brings us back to the top of the page…

Beeston, Books and a Butterfly

I fell asleep in the car this morning. Fortunately I was in a car park. Julia. meanwhile, was at a meeting in the building attached to the car park. She was having similar trouble in keeping awake.

While she was being trained (I wish them luck – I’ve not managed to train her despite many years of effort), I went for a walk round Beeston. It’s a pleasant place, even in the rain, with a statue of a bee man, a cheap bookshop, an Oxfam bookshop and quite a few charity shops. The Sue Ryder shop has re-branded itself as a vintage and retro shop. That seems to mean it has a lot of old brown furniture.

I’ve been watching Money for Nothing on TV. The presenter goes round tips grabbing people as they throw things out and commissioning various artist/designers to make things from them. She pays them between £200 and £500 to convert the tat then sells it to specialist shops (usually making £50 – £200 profit). Goodness knows what the shops charge.

Apart from being envious of people who charge that sort of money with a straight face, I’m telling you this because the programme seems to take a lot of unsalable brown furniture, paint it and get big money for it. If you need any of it to start making a fortune try the Sue Ryder shop in Beeston.

Call me cynical if you like, but it all strikes me as a modern version of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Everybody in the trade is happy slapping paint about and charging £500 for a £15 piece of furniture. But just let one small child ask why people don’t just paint their own…

Anyway, enough about con tricks perpetrated on people with more money than sense, let’s talk about butterflies.

When we arrived home Julia had a good look at the plants in the front garden. There, sheltering from the wind, was a Small Copper. They are common and widespread according to the books but I’ve never seen that many of them and this is the first I’ve seen in our garden. It’s also the only one I’ve ever photographed, as the previous one was pictured by Julia as it rested on my hand.

Apparently the three white spots on the lower wings are an aberration, as listed on the website. Proper naturalists are interested in things like that.

As for the books I mentioned earlier, I limited myself to seven. This includes a book of historical craft projects and a cheap book about butterflies. These are both for Julia, so I don’t feel so bad about the others, which will be revealed in due course.

 

 

Time to Sit

I’m having a rest now and feeling virtuous. This really should be the action of a man who has filled his day with industry and is now taking a well-earned rest after a hectic day of cooking, shopping, polishing, dusting, hoovering, gardening…

I’ll stop there. Just thinking about it makes me feel tired.

In reality I dropped Julia off at work, came home, went back to bed, read more of The Most Perfect Thing, wondered why the author decided to have a quick pop at battery cages (as so many people do), then cooked three fish pies, two vegetable curries and Sheep’s Hearts with Plums.

I’m just starting to get my head round tonight’s tea – carrot, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potato (for the topping)- that should about do. I already have onions, peas, sweetcorn and mushrooms in the pie. It’s not easy, this ten a day.

Just about to start reading  A Corner of a Foreign Field. Guess what it’s about? Yes, war poetry, how original. It looks quite good, with some poems I’ve not seen before, so I’m looking forward to it. It cost £2.50 from a charity shop in Whitby on Friday. I’m telling Julia it’s part of an economy book project I’m doing for the blog.

She may believe me…

 

 

Kind Hearts and Chocolate Cake

We went back to the farm today. It was raining heavily and the farm track, which seems to have had some hard use recently, had several streams running down it. In terms of the pathetic fallacy it was like the sky was crying onto the ruins of the farm. In fact that was rubbish, it was just bad weather and a badly maintained track, but it gives me a chance to allude to past problems and the fact they are too lazy to maintain a simple farm track.

The aim of the journey was not to remember the bad times but to visit Men in Sheds and eat chocolate cake to celebrate Bill’s 85th birthday. We didn’t know it was chocolate cake when we set off, we just knew it was “cake”, with the chocolate element being a bonus.

Since we last visited they have sorted out the catering and now make breakfast for themselves as part of the daily routine. They have also been making nest boxes and bird feeders and are now making markers to identify the trees in the new edible woodland. That’s woodland that produces fruit and nuts to eat, not a selection of trees you can eat. You’d have to be a beaver before woodland became truly edible.

It was a pleasant enough way of passing a couple of hours and we have been invited back in a fortnight for another birthday.

We followed up with lunch at the garden centre and a trip round some charity shops looking for curtains. We found some at the 5th shop (oh, how glad was I?). They are excellent curtains, even I can see that,  and are long enough to cut down and use the leftover bits for making a couple of cushion covers.

That’s a woman thing – no man would think of it.

I wouldn’t have a cushion in the house if it were left to me. I’ve never seen a use for them, apart from throwing at the kids, and in a house full of books you don’t really need cushions for that.

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All looking serious…

 

A married man and a day off

We’re having a day off today, the first we’ve managed for while. Naturally my thoughts turned to a lie in, leisurely breakfast and some light shopping. Julia is working this evening, so the trip to Stoke on Trent will have to wait until we can organise a full day. That’s Julia’s annual treat – touring factory shops. It’s an annual event for me too, though I find it falls short of treat status.

Hopefully we will have several more days off before Christmas because it’s been busy recently, and with Julia working weekends it’s easy to let the week slip by without taking time off. My workload is such that Julia says it will be difficult to tell the difference when I retire. I dispute this, but am willing to admit that I’m not going to win any prizes for industry.

Anyway, my plans all came to nothing. I woke early by accident, and as I was wondering what to do about this undesirable state of affairs, I was hit by the jobs list. Seems she’s been planning it for a while. Mostly standard stuff, and I did my normal nodding dog routine until…

“Your books in the living room need sorting out, and taking to the charity shop.”

She’s always had this unreasonable prejudice about me stacking books on the floor. To her, it’s an eyesore. To me it’s a logical place to put books, and it doesn’t involve a trip to IKEA for a bookcase calle Billy. ( I’m in total agreement with the Lancashire Hotpots on the subject of IKEA. Follow this link to find out what they think).

This quickly turned nasty.

“But me no buts, you pusillanimous worm. If you don’t have shelf space you can’t keep them.”

(She didn’t actually use those words, but you could tell she was thinking them).

So I’m working slowly and stacking carefully. With any luck I’ll get away with a few dozen books, particularly if I cook a large lunch.

I do so love these rare days off…