The delights of charity shops

You know you are joining a bandwagon when you realise the City of Edinburgh Council has published a map of its charity shops.

There were even articles about the map in the papers during the summer.

Evidently theatre companies like to go around the charity shops to collect props for the productions that are then part of the Edinburgh Fringe.  The articles didn’t say whether the companies then donated the articles back to charity at the end of the shows, but it seems a reasonable bet.

Our previous flat was close to Stockbridge, home to many charity shops.  As it’s quite a smart part of town, the clothes on sale are a few notches higher up the designer scale than you would normally expect.  I spent one happy afternoon browsing during August, and came away with two pairs of trousers and two skirts, for a grand total of £19.

The main indulgence though is book shopping at charity shops.  Shelter, the charity for the homeless, is not only very good at window displays, but also has great collections of second hand books, with children’s books a particular bargain.

Our main outing of the year for second hand books is in fact a book sale held in Peebles, close to where my parents live.  It’s only on for one weekend in March, and we book our night’s accommodation with Mum and Dad in plenty of time.

We all adopt different tactics when going round the fair – mine is to show the person at the cash desk a £10 pound note, tell them I intend to spend all of it, and see how many books they’ll let me get away with.

The sale does also have a good antiquarian section, and as one of the organisers says, they’ll even give away old copies of National Geographic to use as loft insulation. No wonder we keep buying bookcases.