Archive for the 'Flea Markets' Category

Going to the Universettee, is your couch ready?

I did an interview with Trevor Anderson, the head of Retail for Oxfam yesterday. It was fascinating, I asked about some of the unusual donations they have had. He told me about an incident a long time ago when someone tethered a donkey outside the first Oxfam shop, in Oxford, and they managed to sell it.  I’ll write more about our conversation again.

Right now I am working on a talk for Universettee. Great title… It’s a brilliant event I have wanted to go to for ages, it takes place in London and the visual artist Janice Macaulay runs it. People give lectures (like in University) in people’s homes (the settees part) on unusual and diverse topics,  and you bring along some food to share before the talk bit. Some of the topics so far have included: Who the heck is Zizek?, Hunchbacks, lunatics and bio-politics in the work of W.G.Sebald, Volunteering in post-war Liberia, and Signs and wonders: the art of Sister Corita. Oh, and the one I liked the sound of most – a talk about The Cardboard Box!

My talk is called “If I go suddenly – charity shop stories” because the obsession continues! Thanks to Ann Marie for the title, and also for the odd/creepy cat picture she bought in a charity shop which will be a prop.  I’ll talk about why I love charity shops and my fears around the old style shops closing. More importantly, there will be a charity shop raffle!

Thanks to Maeve Higgins and her Enlightenment Night I got to do a version of this talk there last November. That is another fantastic event in Dublin, where people give short talks on things they are passionate about. I’ve been to two nights so far and heard about a range of stuff including barefoot running, the art of drumming, starfish, and Michael Fassbender.

I hope to give my Universettee talk here sometime so will let you know. I’m also hoping to launch myself as a quasi- personal shopper for people who like charity shops but never seem to find things in them, or just for people who want to go shopping with me and my beady eye.

The first attempt did not quite work out as envisaged, I took my friend C. to 9 charity shops in Dublin, she bought nothing but I got some bargains, including a Whistles skirt for 1 euro which was great for wearing at Christmas. I found some new shops I want to write about, and went to a flea in Barcelona… (photos of both in this post) but I better get back to writing the lecture now.

posted by Priscilla in Charity Shops,Flea Markets and have No Comments

There are places

doll's headI got inspired by my visit to a flea market in Brussels, where the sellers put out hundreds of boxes full of random objects mixed up together and let people rummage through them – usually without asking you to hurry up or coaxing you to buy!

I started to hear about other places that I could visit – like the Dog Charity Shop in Machynlleth in Wales where everything is 50p, Raeburn Place in Edinburgh – a street where charity shops outnumber “normal” shops, a 630 mile long yard sale in Alabama, one of the biggest flea markets in the world in Bonn, and my favourite (from Lian Bell, ABSOLUT Fringe Programme Manager) an Animals in Distress charity shop in Minehead, England that was crammed full of things, and very chaotic. An old lady was sitting at the counter crocheting tea-cosies to sell, and the shop was organised as if it were a giant tombola. Everything there had a coloured raffle ticket cellotaped to it and when you paid 50p you could “win” one of the items, but then you had to find it.

I read about the thrifters in New York City who wear body suits under their clothes in case they have to try things on in the aisles. I found out about a woman with over 500 pairs of shoes – many of them found in thrift shops – and an assistant who catalogues them for her. I read about a shop that raises money to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. On Wednesdays Type 1 diabetics get a 15% discount: “Just show us your medical chart, pump, or other diabetes paraphernalia.”

You can see some of the places I got to, in Journey and I hope to put up a Diary there soon.

posted by Priscilla in Flea Markets and have Comments (4)