On a blustery Saturday morn I strolled off to Cliftonville – Margate’s poorer sister – to take some clothes to the charity shop, casting off my fashion faux pas for someone else to commit (and fit into, thankfully I bust out of them now).
I’d never been that charity shop conscious until I moved to Margate. Living in one of the UK’s most deprived wards opens your eyes to a lot of things the gorgeously affluent Cotswold countryside blinkers had concealed. I’m under no illusion that I’m fortunate, I was brought up in a loving home, I’ve thankfully never been unemployed, I work hard yes and I have the luxury of playing hard when I feel like it. And to me that makes it even more important that I respect and appreciate everything that I have, which I do.
Scouring around the charity shops in Cliftonville, for which there are many, the once-foreign, uncomfortably forced browsing through someone else’s belongings is now becoming an enjoyable pastime. Unlike the many retro shops sprouting up in Margate Old Town hailing the old and worn as ‘vintage’ and whacking a hefty price tag on everything and anything now deemed cool, these un-glamourous shops are the real treasure tombs. There’s nothing spectacular about their appearance, nothing sentimental about the moth ball-esque smell that permeates their wares, but there’s plenty of bargains to be found.
I’m a sucker for books and when I see that golden ticket sign beaming at me ‘3 paperbacks for £1’ I can’t help but dive right in eyes a-boggling for more literary wonders to be transported back on the reading train to Casa Bish.
Stop right there…. 3 paperbacks for £1, 3 paperbacks for £1, it says 3 paperbacks for £1.. that’s just over 30p each.
Blinkin’ batty Nora. When the average price of a new paperback is £5.99 making a total of £17.97 for 3 that’s a saving of nearly £17! And all because I bothered to have a look in a blimin’ charity shop! And when I double my reading trouble to 6 books I’ve saved just under £34 (of course, I love libraries and these are great places to get books too but sometimes it’s nice to own them and in this instance, find some to give to family and friends).
Oh and when you can get the awesome 80s movie Spaceballs on DVD for £2 , it can feel like Christmas 1987 all over again.
So the moral of today’s seaside tale, is to put your snobbery behind you, rejoice in someone else’s trash and embrace the treasure that can become yours, for next to no money. Oh and become part of the re-cycle – take your once treasure to the charity shop, it leaves a nice warm feeling inside and someone else will love it like you once did, however tragic the outfit.
Here’s the treasures I found in today’s bargain hunt…