I have recently moved out of London, back in the Dutch countryside. One of the surprising things I’m missing is browsing my local charity shops. In my London neighbourhood about every other shop sold second hand goods for charity. In Holland I have yet to find an Oxfam store for some cheap books or old granny finds.
However with the start of summer most local churches have their annual flea markets. They are basically one big charity fete where between the trash you can find the greatest things for no money.
I have to admit, most of it is rubbish and its also very much about having a laugh with friends and family. The first one I visited was from my nan’s local church. She intended to go alone, but in the end we had a car full with my mum, brother and I joining.
She wishes she’d never told us about it. They had just opened and we were already almost fighting over some deck chairs! My brother got lucky and got the last one for 5 euro. Such fun to see people practically running to be the first to find a great chair, vase, bag or whatever. Soon we split up, only to find each other at the strangest places with the craziest things in our hands. While I was diving into the handbags I spotted my brother with an old stereo and a rug under his arms.
My nan managed to make me crazier than I already am at such occasions. My brothers rug was obviously hers and together we found another rug for in my caravan (I guess you can’t wait to see my carpeted caravan). And I got the last 2 English china cups and saucer after she bought the rest. (50p per set!)
I also got a large leather weekend bag for only 2euro (partly to carry everything else), 2 small tins for teabags and sweets (1.50 together), a 1950s Afga Clack photo camera for 5euro, and a pile of books.
After about 2 hours laughing, coffee, cake and greeting people we carefully made our way home with the deckchair balancing between our heads as it only just fit in the car.
This Saturday I’m helping out at the flea market of my own local church, who knows what we’ll find there.