I know I’ve mentioned this once or twice already, but I’m a mother of two very young daughters (aged one and three), and while I wouldn’t have it any other way I get very, very little time to myself. Equally, me and Mr SHS have precisely zero time together when it’s just the two of us, when we’re not either working or in a zombie-type state on the sofa after a 6am start and a day of work and looking after our infants.
So last week we decided to introduce a date morning to our monthly routine. Now, the self help articles all recommend that if you have children you make yourselves at least one night a month where you leave your offspring with a trusted babysitter and head off for some romantic, candlelit experience where you rekindle your love. Well, we make a valiant attempt to do that at home most weekends when the children are asleep, where we force ourselves to stay awake, cook posh food and so on.
But when it comes to proper date time… well, this may strike some as less than romantic, but we’ve now instituted a monthly joint thrifting session! Believe me, to us this is the stuff of dreams. We’re going to choose a new town each time, whiz round the charity shops then collapse into a café and look at our finds. It needs to be fairly speedy – the ladies only go to nursery for three mornings a week and we pick them up at 1.30, but as any parent will tell you, you can achieve ten times more in those few hours than you did before… It’s weird how that works, but it just does.
So, date session one was in Urmston, a town in the same borough as us (Trafford in Manchester) and 20 minutes away on the bus. Urmston is fantastic for charity shopping: I wrote about it here. It’s a small but densely-populated town with about six or seven charity shops within a five minute walk, some affluent rural types use it (and presumably donate) and the prices still haven’t been Mary Portas-ed. This particular trip wasn’t amazing from a finds point of view: just a baby hat, some paints, a tie and a great book about 50s style, but it was really good fun, and we felt a genuine sense of satisfaction with a nice morning spent as we shared a pot of tea in an Urmston café. Truly, we are Darby and Joan these days. Well, we’re not always by any means, but this conjures up an image of contentment, which is what that morning felt like.
A few days later I went on a solo trip which was hugely successful from a stuff point of view, which I’ll write about next time, but for this time around I suppose the moral is that secondhand shopping makes for a good day out, whether you’re successful or not.
Does anyone else do this kind of thing, with friends or nearest and dearest? I’m interested to know whether you usually shop solo or hunt in packs!