Sunday, 10 August 2014
'Elbows at the ready' - My first jumble sale..
'I'm off now Maureen, I'll see you next week, I'll tell you all about it, I've got my elbows at the ready!'
I tried not to make it so obvious that I was blatantly listening into the elderly ladies conversation being shouted across the charity shop and sidled up to one of the women.
'Excuse me..' I said 'I couldn't help but overhear the elbows comment, are you going to the Jumble Sale?'
'Oh yes!' She said 'I'm going to get some bargains!'
I have reached the age of 23 without ever attending a Jumble Sale. Charity Shops? Love them. Vintage shops? Can't keep me away from them. But jumble sales have somehow completely passed me by.
So, I recruited a friend and headed to the local church sale.
On arriving, a minute after it opened, the place was swarming. Picture feisty mothers ramming buggies into the backs of your knees and old women barging you out of the way, craning their necks to see inside.
We paid our 50p and walked into the main room. A rectangle of tables had been set up and piled high with clothing. We obediently joined the clockwise queue and began squeezing our way towards the table.
With my head squashed between two bargain hunters, I feebly began rummaging through the masses of jumble. I lifted up a stained check pattern dress, only to have it snatched out of my hands by the woman next to me. This is when I realised that Little Miss Charity Shop herself was way out of her depth.
We showed willing and slowly completed the table, watching as people piled their arms high with old scraps of material and worn Primark vests.
Now, I'm the most bargain savvy person I know, but I'm not going to get into a shopping frenzy for a mound of manky, second-hand tat. We swiftly gave up, (I bought a denim shirt and belt for £1 but on leaving I noticed a stain on the shirt and dumped it) and headed for our usual charity shops.
I suddenly treasured the open space and how freely I could scan clothes on rails without being pressed into someone's armpit. I told the volunteer in the shop about our jumble horror and she told us that people buy bulk clothes and upcycle them to sell on at the market.
After a quick browse, I found a DKNY cardigan for £5 and headed home happy.
In future I'll stick to my safe haven of charity shops, you can keep your elbows to yourself.
Let me know if you've ever scooped a bargain at a Jumble Sale, should I be willing to give it a second chance?