Op Shopping- my favourite pastime

Ok. So here goes. My first blog. The new age Dear Diary for the modern narcissist.

So a couple of days ago I drove my mother in law to the doctors. But saying doctors, I mean skin specialist from Sydney who journeys down the the Southern Highlands one day a week for his “country clients”. By saying drove, I mean an all day expedition, across dirt roads, road works, high ways and through 5 towns. That’s what life in the country means when you go to the “doctors”.

So whilst MIL was getting face injections and flesh burnt, I had half an hour to kill. Not long enough at all for shopping, lets be real. So I walked into the shop next door. Father Reilly’s Op Shop for Youth off The Streets. For anyone who knows me, knows that I love an Op Shop. This does drive my husband insane. Anytime we go past one, I am craning my neck and using my best Superman magnification vision to detect its worthiness and intrigue. My husband (Henry) is pointing his finger in exactly the opposite direction saying “What’s that over there?”. One of Henry’s favourite “my crazy wife” anecdotes that you start to tell about each other after 13 years together is the tale of the first shop we visited on our honeymoon in Hawaii. It was in Hilo, on the Big Island. Yes, on Op Shop. But an Op Shop in another country! The world of possibilities! So long story short, I bought one of those old fashioned hand beaters. You know the ones that your grandma had. But this one even has gears! Although Henry tells this story to seemingly have a laugh at me, I know that he actually thinks this quirk is pretty great. The beater is actually used by him every Saturday morning when he makes pancakes. And he would rather a wife in an Op Shop buying antique kitchen accessories that in the Louis Vuitton shop buying handbags.

Anyway, back to Father Reilly’s- this place was great. Well, know you, there was a LOT of crap in there, but a few small gems hidden amongst the walls. I think that’s the great thing- its like a competition. Anyone can walk into a beautiful boutique or homewares store. With its Bright lights, scented candles and calming music. But this is like panning for gold. Like digging for truffles. You have to get your hands dirty. You are not always going to find that jackpot, but its the possibility that keeps you going (as well as the hand sanitizer stashed in your handbag). Using your X-Ray vision to sort through the piles of warped and discoloured Tupperware lids and mothball laden dresses with stained necklines to find an antique brass vase for $5.

Caveat; I am a competitive person. Come to think of it, this is all starting to make more sense…

So the total booty comprised of the aforementioned antique brass vase. When I say antique, I actually have no idea about what age constitutes antique. More like the vague term of “Collectable”. I did however find it stuffed with old papers from the 1980’s and at the very bottom a suspicious amount of grey dust that I am hoping are not human remains. Three cookbooks- Anna Gare (pictures looked nice), Country Style (anything Country Style means I am in heaven) and Pete Evans (I was told it had just come in a half an hour before. I’m assuming thrown out in disgust after his TV interview about all things Paleo the previous evening). Also an Interior Design text book that was on my list of suggested readings when I did my Diploma. Obviously “suggested” to me means “are you kidding?”. And I am loving pottery at the moment and found a cute little hand made piece. All for the grand sum of $14.

So all in all a successful trip Op Shopping. Some cookbooks that will invariably never get used, pottery that will collect dust and a new resting place for old Aunt Mable. What’s not to love?

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