This week i had a day charity shop shopping with my good friend Becki. I was really looking forward to it as we are both pretty busy and i don't get to see Becki as much as i would like. We did a counselling course together last year and have bonded over a love of crafts, food, counselling/therapies and a shared perverted sense of humour!
So we went into Shirley near Solihull...there were a couple of reasons for the choice of venue:
- Its not too far from where we live
- Being close to Solihull (which likes to think of itself as much posher than Birmingham....not hard i hear some of you cry...!) it usually has a better standard of charity shop items
- All of the charity shops are located along the main Stratford Rd which means you walk up one side , then down the other and visit all the shops on the way....efficient!
I'm pleased with my haul of bargains. Becki was telling me how you can how to turn woollen items into felt and i thought it sounded like something fun to try so, after lots of looking at labels for wool content, i bought 3 jumpers:
I'm not sure what I'm going to make with the black and green jumpers (maybe some felt, padded hearts) but I'm LOVING the grey and white jumper and think I'm going to attempt to make a bag. I think in total they cost me less than a tenner.
I also found a Union Jack beach towel for 99p...I'm either thinking some bunting for the Jubilee celebrations or id really like to try this from Stuff Mummy Makes although that will require finding a suitable stool first!
I found some cute little ceramic ramekin pots (4 for £1.50) which i will use to make container candles as well as a gorgeous stoneware pot for pasta (£2.95 - bargain!) and a small Kilner jar (£1.95 - i love to keep nuts in these as I'm obsessed with having nuts with my porridge in the mornings).
I couldn't resist a gorgeous pink, leopard-print bag with a skull and crossbones on it for £2.99 mainly for the reason that it matches my hair...plus a craft book and a Mensa game (Mr A and i quite like board games and the like).
All in all a good haul!!
In other news I'm in Cruse training all weekend...the training is going really well and i love the other girls on the course. There are 8 of us in total; one had to drop out as there was a sudden bereavement in their family so they couldn't carry on and one has dropped out as she was struggling. We have had a really thought provoking session today on what would happened if we died suddenly today and what practicalities that would leave our loved ones having to perform. This has really made me think about the need to make a will as well as talk to my friends about what i would want them to do - there are diaries that i really wouldn't want my parents to find and read!! Plus all those things like where my bank accounts are, passwords to Facebook, Twitter (@emma_emily), Live Journal...there is so much to think about. Its a useful exercise and one that i would recommend doing as its quite eye-opening. And quite upsetting too.
So as I'm in training tomorrow, and as I'm flying to Istanbul on Monday morning (more on that in a moment!) i was delighted to see Loaf are doing a pop-up pizza takeaway tomorrow night. How cool does this look?? I am MOST excited and have ordered 2 pizzas and then realised that Mr A is unlikely to be around at my delivery slot which means that i will have more pizza than i know what to do with. Am sure it will get eaten somehow though!
Anyway, Istanbul. This is my treat for leaving work. Its been over 4 years since I've been able to afford a holiday abroad, or actually to be fair, I've been able to afford it but the boyfriends I've been with in the past 4 years (only two, its not like I'm a man-magnet or something!!) have been too busy or too skint or a combination of the two. I'm going with one of my best friends, the lovely Vix, who has had the year from hell in 2011 and totally needs a break. We are off for a week and my suitcase is staring at me whilst i write this reminding me that i need to pack tonight. Current plans are visits to the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sofia, the Palace and a boat trip down the river, other than that we are going to wing it and see where our fancy takes us - any suggestions are most welcome. Mostly I'm looking forward to drinking lots of Turkish coffee, eating nommy food and reading....the diet is being put on hold until i get back!
Talking about Istanbul reminds me that i signed on for the first time yesterday (stay with me here, its relevant!). Going to the Job Centre is something that i find quite daunting as its a whole new, strange world for me. Anyway, I told the chap at the Job Centre that i wasn't going to be in the country next week as i realised from reading the documents that they give you that you need to tell them when you are going to be away from home, even for a day (I'm not sure how that works - it seems ridiculous to tell them if i go to Cheshire to see my parents for one day!). He seemed really surprised and said that i wasn't eligible for benefits whilst out of the country and that they would have to close my claim down and id have to re-apply when i get home. Now, i understand this, albeit it seems a very long-winded way of doing things, but it was his look of surprise that got me thinking. I wonder how many people claiming Job Seekers Allowance say when they are going away? Being an ex auditor/fraud investigator/risk manager I'm aware of rules and the importance of following them (or at least assessing the risk of not doing so!) and always think that my bad luck would mean that id be found out if i didn't follow such rules. I get really frustrated when people don't follow the rules and get away with it - i think this may say more about me (i would say that as a trainee counsellor wouldn't i??).
Anyway, I'm signing off for a week now. Happy crafting, cooking and all that jazz!