The Gods of charity shopping were also smiling on me in the Mencap shop next door, where I found an embroidery hoop for £1.00. Ok, it's not a thrilling buy, but at my craft group the evening before we'd been told that it would be helpful to bring one the following week as we'd be learning some stitching skills. And there it was, the first thing I saw when I walked in. So now I will fit right in on the tram to Croydon, like Jane Austen at a crunk night.
|Me - on my holidays|
There are four charity shops on the main drag in Beckenham, but my trip there was pretty much fruitless. Anything remotely 'vintage' is pounced on immediately - and to my mind, usually overpriced. All I came home with was a cheap but sparkly 'emerald' look brooch for use in a craft project, and a glass jar (smelling strongly of synthetic vanilla) which I've put my buttons in.
A trip to West Wickham (fairly posh village-y high street) just yielded books, but included a couple I was pleased to find. Farmhouse Cookery: Recipes from the Country Kitchen (£2.00, St Christopher's) is a fantastic Readers Digest book from 1980 which I can really recommend. It has all kinds of idiosyncratic regional specialities - savouries, baking, preserves and beverages - and a section at the end of each chapter including favourites from around the world. My mum has a copy, and I remember being fascinated as a child by the section on making sweets. I think this photo had a lot to do with it.
I'll be sure to report back if I ever get around to making Acid Drops or Peppermint Mice, although looking at it now the Toffee Apples look positively medieval!
Finally, I was amused by this piece of personal grooming advice from a 1969 copy of The Dairy Book of Home Management (£1.99, Oxfam)
Legs must be slim, trim and well shaped, and free from hair and fuzz, dry skin and scorch marks, to be really beautiful.
Scorch marks?! What did they use to depilate back then - a flame thrower? Sheesh.