Sunday, 9 March 2014

Charity begins in the china cupboard

I like living in a semi rural place, our local towns and villages are full of people we know and who
recognise us with a smile. Shopping is fun as we still have the luxury of small independent shops, where you can pick out exactly the number of vegetables you really want and know they are sourced locally. Where the butcher will happily trim for you.. and on it goes. Our local cafes are great places to sit and listen to snippets of conversation and not mind if your own are overheard. Plus they serve real food that tastes amazing, not food that looks amazing but leaves you strangely dissatisfied.

Many of our shop keepers are busy supporting budding creatives, one does a great line in locally made cards and knitted tea cosies; and no end of community fundraisers find a place for their wares. We do have a high number of charity shops, more as the recession bites, but as a lover of a good bargain hunt and an eclectic wardrobe, I prefer to look beyond the gloom. It's a joy to take some pocket money for a walk in search of a sensibly priced bit of 'cheer up' treasure and nicer still to know that the money I spend in the cycle of re-cycling is benefitting those in real need.

All this came together recently in the sweetest way. A local school is fundraising for some equipment; with a bit of ingenious juxtaposition they gathered together odd cup and saucer combinations. Each filled with a bit of damp oasis into which they arranged flowers usually 'retired' by the local florist at day's end. A swish of cellophane and a bow of raffia changed leftovers and un-loveds into pretty bouquets. I bought one and enjoyed the easy display it made, the flowers lasted well over a week and all I needed to do was add a bit of water occasionally.