I’m a Charity Shop Fangirl

In Gentle Journeys by SusanLeave a Comment


Winter arrived early for us in October during our tour of Ireland. Lowering temperatures surpassed our talent for layering. After two years of travel in lightweight clothes we’d need to refresh our wardrobes for our first winter in a colder climate.I had to have a coat and we both needed waterproof shoes. We wouldn’t be in  London until December and I knew I couldn't hold out that long.  Turns out, I didn’t have to.

Our friends from Granada had told us to be sure to check out the Charity Shops in London for great deals on clothing. How right they were. Charity Shops are in every city in the U.K. lined up along the high streets making comparison shopping quite easy.  And we’re talking loads of them. Surprisingly, it’s also been a fun activity that even Jamie enjoys. 

I made my first purchase in Shrewsbury: a sweater in the Cat Protection Society shop. When we did a petsit on Westbury on Trym (Bristol suburb) nearly the whole high street was charity shops.  My favorites were the Great Western Air Ambulance and St. Peter’s Hospice shop where I bought some slippers.  They also had a Cat Protection Society Shop and Oxfam of course.  Oxfam is the largest by far with the most shops.  It made me  recall the old joke about a Starbucks opening in the men’s room of the Starbucks. Only here it’s an Oxfam in the WC of the neighboring Oxfam shop.  Oxfam is so large they can specialize:  housewares in one store front, books in another, clothes in yet another and all can be on the same block. 

I am quite familiar with Charity Shops in the U.S.  My employer, Willamette Humane Society, opened a Thrift Store in 1969 to help support our work and broaden our reach in the community.   Also, everyone knows Goodwill.  Still, I’ve never seen anything like the quantity and quality of these shops.  

Today I purchased a fleece pullover in the British Red Cross shop in Hove and Jamie picked up a stocking cap. So far my investment is under twenty pounds.  I’m hoping to uncover some more finds before I leave the UK with the perfect denim jacket high on my list.   London, here I come!  

Susan writes about the things that make life meaningful for her. This includes places we’ve been and what we’ve experienced as nomads these last several years. And now, includes finding a place to call home.

As we come closer to a “settled” life, Susan will begin to emphasize aging gracefully with a plant based diet, plenty of yoga, and physical activity. She is certified to teach Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga. Adaptive and Senior yoga certification is coming soon.

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