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Of course, it was the books that drew me. Second hand bookshops are a treasure trove of life. There is something so special about books that have come down over the years – passing through many loving hands, cherished and remembered, opening vistas of possibility, hope, and emotional release, stimulating the imagination, as well as introducing one to the famous, the infamous, and the ordinary people of the years that have passed. From classic to contemporary, science fiction to romance, historical to mystery, poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction, they were all there – and far more of them than I would have imagined. One was a volume of Shelley’s poems, lovingly inscribed by Eleanor to a special friend in 1911. Who was Eleanor, and who the special and fortunate friend? It reminded me of finding a tiny posy and a small card, tucked into the corner of Field Marshall Slim’s memorial, in the crypt of St Pauls in London. It couldn’t be ignored, so I took it up and gently opened the card which read, “To Slim, from a little girl who knew him in Singapore in 1943.” I replaced it with respect. Who was she and what was the significance? Up till then I had known nothing of Slim but, a few years later, on a book table in Perth, Western Australia, I came across a biography which I devoured on the flight home. Its reading that does it!

Hospice is a very, very special organisation, who live out their philosophy that ‘You matter until the very last moment of your life.’ They focus on people with a terminal illness and aim, through palliative care, to help them make the most of life. There are so many people and families who have cause to bless them for their love and care. One of the ways in which they raise money to support this ministry is through their Charity Shops. There is a large group of such shops in Orange Grove, which also include

  • Bric a Brac and Bargain shop – wonderful for finding jewellery, homeware and collectables or the one lid you need for your casserole dish, etc.
  • Children’s shop – stocking good quality clothes, toys, prams cots, everything you need from birth to 15 years old.
  • Boutique style shop – excellent quality clothes
  • Furniture shop – diverse items.
  • Linen shop – various types of linen
  • Tearing myself away from the books I investigated the Bargain Shop – isn’t it amazing how one can want to buy something just because it is unusual or because it brings back memories! However, there were a lot of small things there that might ‘just come in useful’ one day. The Bric a Brac Shop was fascinating, full of small ornaments, tableware and different collectables. If you are short of a knitting needle the chances are that they will have one too. The clothing that I saw looked in good condition, and there was a wide selection of ladies and children’s outfits.

    It was an absorbing place in which to browse, and to look for something a bit different. What will keep me going back, however, are the books and the collectables. I ‘luv em’ both.

    Even if there is nothing there that you wish to purchase, you can support the Hospice Association, and their wonderful work, by
    ‘de-cluttering’ your home and your life. They would love to have the things that you no longer need, but which someone else would enjoy.

    You matter until the very last moment of your life – so do others.

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