Charity shop finds #1

I have a lot of love for charity shops. You can get terrible ones, admittedly, but generally even the ones that don’t look too promising you can find one gem. Shopping second-hand is exciting because it’s like a quest; you have no idea what you’re going to find, and no two are the same.

Over the last few months I have been keeping my eyes peeled everywhere I go for charity shops, and popping in with a mental list of items I need. On my way home from the train station this week I managed to tick 3 off my list from just one shop (Barnardo’s on Brixton Road if you’re curious)!

Firstly, kitchen investments. I’ve been wanting to invest in a Pyrex jug for the longest time, and the only ones I’ve seen have been like 200ml, but this one goes up to 1L so I’m a happy bunny. RRP £5.00 bought for £3.99 so not a major saving, but a saving nonetheless, AND I saved the energy and resources used to make a new jug for me so I think I win! Then there’s the sieve, which I so often wished I had mid baking-session or to steam my vegetables with (I’ll be living the life now!) RRP £6.00 bought for £2.99, see, I’m getting better at this saving lark!

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Books! When charity shop shopping for books it is even more of a lucky dip scenario than homeware or clothes. Which is why I was absolutely over the moon to find 2 copies of Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman on the shelf! I was gonna try and Ebay it to be honest, but this way I managed to avoid acquiring another parcel to reuse. RRP £7.99 bought for £1.99, YESSS. This Make Do and Mend book is from The Imperial War Museum, and is a reprint of an original book released during WWII by the government to help people make their clothes last longer. This was a spontaneous purchase, but considering it combines my love of sewing, WWII history, and the environment, I’m pretty confident I made a good choice. RRP £4.00 bought for £1.99.

New pen.

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Ever since I read Béa Johnson’s article on her zero waste pen, I have had my eyes peeled online for a pen I can refill from a glass ink bottle and use FOREVER! (I’m really excited about this if you can’t tell). My plan was to find a decently priced one in the autumn and ask someone to buy it for me for Christmas, then a couple of weeks ago I went to Spitalfields antique and vintage market and everything went out the window…

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This guy called Ray had a stall there with about a hundred pens in different sizes and colours, and as I passed I could hear him explaining all about the differences between them. When I approached the table I asked if he did pens with a converter that you could refill and he proceeded to ask me questions about what kind of look I was going for, how frequently I wanted to use it etc. before he pulled out the most gorgeous pen I’ve ever seen. I like to think of it as a ‘wand chooses the wizard’ moment, cos before that point- I have to be honest- I was only really thinking of getting the cheapest pen I could find. Maybe I’m just over excited but once I saw it I just felt it was the only one for me! That’s the closest I’ll ever get to a the Harry Potter dream in my head..

More than 2 weeks in, I’ve gotten a fair bit of use out of my new pen and I am as pleased with the look, comfort and writing quality as when I first tried it (and I HAVEN’T LOST IT YET!) Really hoping to hang on to this baby for a long time.

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If you’re based in London, here are the deets.