One girl's rubbish is another girl's gold
My name's Rosie, and I'm fairly new to the Learning English team - I've been here since mid-December.
Carrie persuaded me to contribute to the staff blog, so here goes!
I thought I'd tell you about one of my favourite hobbies, which I call 'chazzering', but which is better known as shopping in charity shops.
Charity shops appear alongside normal shops on the British high street, are usually run by volunteers, and make their money out of selling donations from the public. All towns and cities will have a handful, filled with almost anything you can imagine - clothes, books, records, home ware, etc. These items are usually second hand, and also (on the whole) cheap.
To me it's the perfect kind of shopping. In a world of consumerism and unethical mass production, shopping can be both expensive and guilt ridden. But in charity shops it's very difficult to bankrupt your purse, and the things you are buying are effectively recycled. Plus, all the money you do spend goes to charity!
I like to go chazzering at least once a week to check out the latest donations - you never know what will turn up! Before I walk in I always get a real sense of anticipation - what will have appeared for me this week?
I can't describe the feeling when I find something I love in a charity shop. When my eyes meet some barely-worn, vintage shoes in my size, or a fabulous 1950s plate, it's as if they've been put there just for me.
A recent best buy was a roll of designer furnishing fabric from the 1980s - 13 meters for £5! Sadly, when I brought it home, triumphant, my boyfriend took one look at it and said that it was not to his taste, which I have to respect as he also lives in our house. So I can't make any new curtains... Oh well, maybe my mother will want it.
I collect charity shop china and glassware. Here's a selection of my best bits. The black bird you can see is what's known as a 'pie bird' - you put this into the middle of a dish, and build the pie around it. It lets steam out, and keeps your pastry crisp by holding it above the filling.
You can also find amazing furniture in charity shops. Some things you find are in fantastic condition, while others might require a little love. Here you can see some of the furniture I've bought second hand.
I'm going to re-upholster and re-cane the little chair; I added a new shade to the wooden standard lamp, while the sideboard came in pristine condition.
Unfortunately, my house is now so full of second hand furniture that I've completely run out of space, and I have so many plates that I could serve dinner to 100 people, so I'm not allowed to buy any more. But this doesn't stop me from looking - perhaps I need to open my own shop?