I'll say it once, I'll say it twice...I'll even say it thrice!
The charity shops in Manchester are fan-freaking-tastic. In fact, looking at other bloggers who regularly mooch through charity shops in the UK, I'd say charity shops, in comparison to Ireland, are all round brilliant. They're full of hidden treasure, bargains and everything is just plain amazing. From the layout of the shops, to the display of all the products, I literally cannot get over the difference.
I've taken three charity shop trips in the last four weeks and each and every time, I've found something marvelous and which makes my heart go a flutter. I've left with bags (yes bags!) of items big and small and spent no more than £7 - £20 on each trip. This my friends, is my new weekend pleasure.
My first such charity shop haul is from Oxfam on Oxford Road. This amazing thing about this shop is that it is very conveniently located next door to where I work. Everything I bought here, I bought on my lunch break. The staff were very helpful and only delighted in my excitement of finding such lovely things. They also told me about two other Oxfam shops located 15 minutes from my apartment, Oxfam Emporium and Oxfam originals. (They're next on my hit list!)
I loved the layout of this shop. The volunteers putting their time into this shop do it with pride. Clothing was arranged beautifully, books were categorized into relevant sections and items for the home proudly displayed. For the record, they have a fantastic book selection. Probably because the shop is situated in an area which receives a large flow of student traffic and donations, so if you're a book worm, go check it out! The inner Art Teacher in me squealed inside at all the art books on the shelves.
Which brings me to my actual haul. I had a big collection of art books which I sent back up to my mum's house for storage before moving to Manchester, but I like to add to them and will continue to do so. I picked up the following:
- Ways of Seeing - John Berger / £3.49
- Banksy - Wall and Piece / £4.99 (Originally £14.99)
- Blog Inc - Blogging for Passion, Profit and to Create Community / £3.49 (Originally £10.99)
- How to Write Like This - An introduction to the art of Calligraphy / 99p
A few books for the art book collection and another handy one (Blog Inc) which may help me pick up a few useful tips. All in all, delighted with those finds.
I then ventured over to the home wares and jewellery section located just by. This is usually my favourite section. I love to find bits and bobs to decorate my living quarters with and as I've just moved into a bare apartment, I'm itching to find some unique items to add some a bit of character to the space.
I've taken to buying glassware over the last year or two. You can pop some candles into them, buy them in different colours or use them for storage. Either way, they're usually very cheap and found in most charity shops. This trip was no exception. I picked up a clear and green glass piece, both priced at £1 and a larger Jasper Conran storage jar, complete with lid for £3.49. I most likely with use the glass pieces for candles or make up brushes and the storage jar for my craft room.
You'll also spot a rather bright neon yellow necklace. Most likely from Primark or somewhere similar, for a quid I could not resist. I have a a bit of a weakness for bright, large, overstated necklaces and have gathered quite the collection over the year.
So thanks Oxfam, I think you've found a new, happy friend in me!