I’ve just noticed that Charity Shop Tourism is celebrating its first blogday this week. To celebrate, I’ve posted a top ten of the best charity shops I’ve visited this year, and tomorrow I’ll do a top ten of the best towns I’ve been to: that covers the Charity Shop and the Tourism bit, then. Do read, stop by and say hello, add your own recommendations and the like.
I had a massive hike in visits to Charity Shop Tourism yesterday, and following the link I came across the reason why: a forum post on an Amazon sellers forum. Because these are sellers, I think the idea was that it was posted as maybe a useful resource for people who like to scour charity shops for things to sell – not really why I do it, but an interesting angle nonetheless, one I might pursue in the future (I actually have a bucketload of stuff to sell off, I just haven’t found the time to do it yet).
If you write on the internet, you have to be a little thick-skinned, I suppose. After a first reply about how the blog seemed to be about designer clothes (?!), affairs rapidly descend into some sort of reverse class snobbery debate, in which I was variously described as naive, middle-class, trendy, and worst of all, not an ordinary bloke. If I recall correctly, this is the first time that I’ve been slated directly (although off in a random forum, not that it’s much better for me to respond in kind, in private), so I don’t really take it personally, it’s just interesting.
I think the denizens of this forum were expecting something different. I blog about charity shops because that’s what I like doing – I like to go to a new town and have a look around, get a cup of coffee, see what’s there, visit the charity shops. The tourism part is just as important as the charity shops, but it’s all part of what makes a day out for me. I don’t get why it would be worth a class, financial, or geographical snobbery which presumes to know about me because of what I write in a very niche blog.
I suppose in writing a response, I’m revealing myself to be a touch offended. Maybe so. I’m withholding the impassioned response to the forum at large, at least. I’m not going to change what I enjoy, or how I write, for the benefit of a handful of internet weirdos, but it’s an interesting commentary on life, don’t you think? Why respond at all when something comes up that you don’t like? Just leave it alone – in life in general I find this to be a wise maxim, and particularly on the world wide interweb.
I got Lou Reed’s Perfect Day stuck in my head this afternoon when I realised that I’d spent a day pretty much exactly as I’d choose, and it was wonderful. A simple day – nothing fancy at all, just a road trip, some charity shops, some English towns… Lovely.
Heading out this morning, first call was the petrol station. Inconvenience? Not a bit of it, when leaving with Munchies and Fruit Pastilles. Then away! On to Oxford, or rather the outskirts thereof, for a touch of Charity Shop Tourism in Summerstown and Headington. Students were gawped at, jacket potato was eaten, the air smelt strangely of seaside and bargains were negotiated. A new coffee machine and a Muji draw-on-able globe? What a day.
Then onwards to the very English country town of Abingdon to peruse its gardens and shops, and not least the famous town hall. It has stilts, you know. While we still had time left for shops, a brief diversion to Didcot. Didcot is an ugly town overshadowed by a powerstation and an eponymous train station, and an odd half-high street. We made a quick run in and out and I find – as always – that seeing new places, even ugly, weird ones, is fun. Human life is curious.
A day of local tourism finished – as the best days do – with a drive around to see where to go the next time we’re in the vicinity. Wallingford, Henley, possibly Maidenhead: we’ll be seeing you soon. Then back to very local tourism, and a fish/sausage/chip supper from Seashell so big it’ll knock us off our feet. Happy times.