Summer is here, still, the work that’s been keeping me chained to the desk is finally over and I have even started to dig my way through the pile of stuff that’s been waiting for this moment leaving me with a bit of free time (which actually feels a bit weird). Obviously, that means getting out into the garden as much as I possibly can, but I have managed to ring the changes with a spot of retail therapy, which in my case means a good truffle through Bigtown’s charity shops, looking for all the things I have on my list to look out for next time I was in a charity shop, which is my idea of shopping. Indeed, I’ve decided the real reason I like charity shop shopping – notwithstanding the benefits of saving money, avoiding more new stuff and supporting good causes – is that it takes aaaages to actually find the thing you’re looking for in them, which usually means not having to buy anything at all, which doesn’t bother me at all.
My current mission (apart from that most elusive of secondhand quarries, a bookcase that will fit a specific spot in the house, the measurements of which I have committed to heart just in case one shows up) is glass storage jars for our pantry. Indeed, I saw some in a charity shop a couple of months back but I hesitated and they were snapped up before I could go back for them, because the other thing about charity shop shopping is that when something does come up that you’re looking for, you have to act fast.
Yesterday I hit the jackpot: four ex-sweetie shop jars (actually five, but by the time I’d sorted out how I was going to get them home, one had already been snapped up). The problem was, I was on a bike and four large glass jars, I can report, are effing heavy. They also don’t all fit in my pannier and even if they had done I don’t think the bike would have handled at all well. In the end, I got two in my pannier, bodged a bag onto my bike to take the other two, and wheeled them* to the edge of Bigtown where the car was (the other half having cycled across town to work) and left them there. Sometimes cars have their uses, if only as handy town lockups for the over-ambitious bike shopper.
Then it was just a matter of riding home, unburdened. I thought about taking a different, more scenic, route as I was starting from a different part of town but then decided to just head back to my usual road. ‘It’s boring’, I thought, ‘but it’s less effort.’
But you know, when it’s June, and the sun is out, and the birds are singing, and the hedgerows are blooming like mad, and the roads are quiet, there really is no boring way home…
I think I might be getting a bit spoilt. But I have dreamed all winter of days like these, and I’m glad that I’m finally managing to have the time to enjoy them.
And our new jars are bringing a little order to our lives, so it’s all good.
* Bumping into my regular bike shop guy out on a lunchtime walk with his dog on the way. The fleeting look of horror on his face as he thought he might be roped into an impromptu bike repair on his lunchbreak was a picture…