Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The morning after

I don't subscribe to the view that you should wear every item of clothing in your wardrobe x times a year (insert randomly prescribed frequency here) or get rid of it.
If I did, this skirt would be long gone; it was hidden on a hanger behind another skirt and I'd forgotten all about it. 
 I'm pleased to be reunited with those bathing beauties.

1980s skirt - Ebay
T-shirt, cardigan, tights, shoes, belt and bangles - charity shopped
Enough preamble; I guess you want to know about the result of my interview last week?
Alas, my feeling that all was not quite as it should be proved correct, and I didn't get the job. The feedback was positive, so that's something. Still, I'm disappointed, rejection is never a pleasant experience. It's been made a little easier to bear by the outrage expressed on my behalf by so many of my friends; fists have been shaken, feet stamped, and the swearing has been both epic and inventive.
I really do appreciate my friends!
 How about a little flamenco action to cheer myself up? Senor Sexy with the crazed glint in his eyes was another rescued item from the charity shop skip...

along with Nell Gwyn...

and Henry VIII with just three of his wives.
Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Katherine Parr, if you're wondering. 

Maybe Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard will show up next week.
And I couldn't turn down a vintage Thermos, floral tin or a 1960s Spirograph...

or this 1962 novel with the fabulous cover illustration.
That's Charlie's tail getting in the way. He's killed his first squirrel of the year. I have a feeling there will be many more deaths in our garden before the summer's out...

On patrol.

Minnie's strictly a Lidl cat food kinda gal.

I'm going on a school trip tomorrow as part of the team taking 90 children, aged 5-6, for a day of activities in Ecclesall Woods.
And that, my friends, is as much of a challenge as any interview, so wish me luck!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Second Hand News

I hadn't intended to be absent for nearly a week, but that's just how things fell; rain or poor light when I wanted to take photos, busy days, kids hogging the computer. Life. Stuff. You know.

I had my job interview on Thursday. Thank you for all your good wishes, and your feedback about dos and don'ts for charity shops. I really appreciate the encouragement and support.

I won't know the outcome until next week, and of course I'll let you know as soon as I hear. I'd be foolish to make any predictions, but my instinct tells me it wasn't an unqualified success; however, impressions can be mistaken so we shall just have to wait and see.

My interview outfit was good though; head-to-toe vintage, and purchased in St Luke's charity shops, appropriately enough.

1970s St Michael cotton maxi skirt, top, cardigan, bangles, 1960s vinyl bag, and 1950-60s Austrian glass necklace - 
charity shopped
Sunglasses and sandals - retail
 I've been picking up bits and pieces in charity shops as always. 
What I love about charity shopping is having no agenda, no list of Things To Buy, just an open mind and eagle eyes, a willingness to take the time and look

I love this 1970s Miss Mary of Sweden dress. I didn't know Miss Mary made anything other than lingerie, and I can't find any information about their clothing line, but no matter, it's a fabulous frock. 
1960-70s folksy tea towel
bright sari fabric
1950-60s barkcloth
1960s Midwinter bowls (I'm gradually adding to my small collection of Spanish Garden pieces)

I rescued this children's book from the paper recycling box.

It was republished in this edition in 1976 (the definition of a pound clearly puts it post-decimalisation) but the illustrations are pure 1951, its original publication date.  The text hasn't been edited much; it's still a world where dads smoke pipes, mums pour tea, the car belongs to Dad, the sewing machine to Mum, and children ride their ponies, when they're not trotting along on a camel. And we all go to balls when we're grown up, of course. 

You can supply your own jokes about this one.
What do you reckon, Jess?

As always, I'll be joining Patti and co for Visible Monday.

And despite being in a rather uncomfortable state of employment limbo, I do have this to look forward to next month;


And now I'd better get started on a marathon catch-up session; what have you been up to?


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Still got the blues

It's been tough to feel cheerful or positive after the results of the General Election here in the UK last week. I  am shocked at the Conservative victory, and very disappointed.

Another 5 years of austerity measures, and hitting the most vulnerable people hardest in order to pay for them... It makes me want to weep. Sheffield remained almost exclusively a Labour stronghold, but I was appalled to discover that in our constituency, UKIP polled in second place. I don't know what to say about that.

In an effort to shake off the gloom yesterday, we joined a group of friends and neighbours who gathered at my mate Claire's invitation to celebrate her 50th birthday. 
A hearty lunch at Grindleford Cafe was followed by a walk through some beautiful Derbyshire countryside.

Given that most of the people we know are left-leaning and many work in the public sector, there was inevitably plenty of post-election analysis and angst. 
Still, there were gorgeous views, plenty of fresh air, and the rain held off, so we could be thankful for that at least.

I was dawdling at the back, taking photos. I like this stretch along the river Derwent.

Claire had booked the outdoor swimming pool at Hathersage.

The pool is heated but it got decidedly chilly as the clouds gathered overhead. I'm far too much of a wimp to swim in those conditions; I chatted with some fellow fair-weather-only swimmers over a hot drink instead.

Selfies at the station.

Top, 1960s tapestry and vinyl bag, shoes, bangles and necklace - charity shopped
1970s skirt- Ebay
Red wooden bangle - gift from Tania
Grim-faced smile - blame the people who voted Tory

At the prospect of the next five years, I know I'm not alone in thinking of Neil Kinnock's words in 1983, anticipating the effects of a victory for Margaret Thatcher:

I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Midweek maxi

Weird weather we've been having; I'm finding a maxi dress, ankle boots and a jacket are my best bet. Cool enough when the sun shines, sufficiently layered up when the wind and rain set in.
The rough winds have been shaking the darling buds of my cherry tree...
until the lawn is confetti-strewn.

My friend Joanne and I have missed our customary Thursday meet-ups for the last 2 weeks but made it out today. Four charity shops and a vintage emporium later, and all I bought was...

this set of 6 glass tumblers. They are beautifully cut with fancy bottoms, and have a satisfying weight to them. There's no mark and trying to identify their age is tricky, but I think they have a 1930s look. 

Anyway, it doesn't matter what they are, they cost 25p each and we'll use them everyday for juice and water. Glasses don't seem to last long in our house (and I'm laying the blame at Simon and the kids' door for that) so there's little point in paying more. 
The groovy black and white 1960s enamel saucepan and Oriental-style tin came home with me from the charity shop this week. I rescued them from the scrap metal bin, so I was allowed to have them for nothing.

So that's a whopping £1.50 spend. Thrifty? I'd say so!

1970s C&A maxi dress - Ebay
Denim jacket, necklace and bangles - charity shopped
1970s Peter Bettley hat - flea market 
 Ankle boots - community fair

The cats always like to accompany me during my photo shoots in the garden. Charlie was showing off by shinning up a tree...

an escapade which soon turned into a rather panicky shuffle downwards, as he hung on by the skin of his claws.

I laughed. He didn't.

Minnie is above all that nonsense. 

I have finally heard that I have an interview for the charity shop deputy manager post I applied for a few weeks back. It's next week; I'm excited!

Any thoughts on possible interview questions? I want to be well-prepared, and I know you lot are seasoned charity shoppers. What are the most important things to you about a charity shop? What adds value and makes you likely to visit/return, and what puts you off?

All ideas and opinions welcome.

And now I'm off to sort through my sewing patterns and decide on my next project. I'll chant fabric choice is key as a mantra to avoid another dressmaking faux pas...