Friday, 30 May 2014

A moan and a mountain


I am sorry I haven't been about for a while. Things have gone a little crazy round here. As usual I have taken on too much, but in my defense, that is not the only problem. You see in their infinite wisdom, the roads people have decided to resurface the road out of the village where we live. Now, this is the ONLY road out of the village where we live. So in order for the chaps to be able to get on with the job in hand, they have decided to close the road completely from 9.30-12.00 and 1.00-3.00. This means that if I want or need to spend some of the day in town, I have to spend a lot of the day in town. No longer can I nip home after taking the kids to school, potter about straightening things up, write a blog post and then go to town, oh no, it is all or nothing. The upshot is that I have wasted many hours over the last few weeks waiting for the road to open, or waiting for the thing I am hours too early for. Hours that I could have spent productively doing many many other things.

Five weeks down and one to go... I have been trying not to be scowly-cross about it. I have been very restrained and haven't stormed into the office of the head of the roads department to explain the concept of traffic lights to him, but my patience is rapidly running out...

Anyway, rant over. I want to tell you about one of the things I have been doing whilst stuck in town, something very worthwhile, fun and productive.

Jamestown, indeed, St Helena has one charity shop. Just the one, run by the Salvation Army. It is very popular and much needed. The aim is not to raise money, but to provide good quality clothing for very little money. Everything in it is 50p and if you can't afford that then they will give you whatever you need for nothing. They also do a great line in cups of tea, slices of cake, smiles, hugs and friendly chat. If you can give a donation in return then great, if not then have another cuppa.

Unfortunately the shop has been closed for the last six months. The building needed a new roof and the only option was to empty everything out and get the roofers in. With some new electrics too and a coat of paint into the bargain, the building is now looking tip top. Unfortunately the stock is not.

Lots and lots of donations wing their way here from the UK thanks to the generosity of one of the shipping companies who will fill empty spaces in their shipping containers with boxes of clothes. Unfortunately not every one is as generous as they might be. About 1/4 of the contents of every box is only fit for rags. It is stained, torn or so outdated that no one wants it. Another 1/2 is functional - just. The shop gives these clothes away at 'sales' every few months. The remaining 1/4 is good quality, good condition and fit to sell.  In order to re-stock the shop from scratch we are having to sort through mountains of clothes.

This pile is as tall as me.

So, a small team of us have been popping in when ever we can spare an hour or two, and our weekly craft group have spent two evenings at it. It took ten of us about four hours to sort through this lot.

There are a few surprises in there.

It's ok, it is plastic and we put
it in the box for the drama group.

Of course when you are sorting clothes, it is hard to resist the temptation to try on the choicest items...

Yes, that would be matching jump suits. There was a third one in blue, but unfortunately none of the rest of us were slim enough to get into it!

I think another giggle-filled evening of sorting should just about get through it, then we'll have a massive 'sale' before getting on with the really fun part: stocking the rails for the Grand Reopening.

Back soon to show you some other bits an bobs that I have been up to.



  1. Oh how annoying about the road closure - but the sorting stuff sounds like you all had a good giggle as well as being productive!
    Happy weekend, xx

  2. The road closure must be so annoying, but hopefully, it will be open again soon. I think your charity shop sounds just what charity shops should be like. I'm amazed at the prices they charge here for things these days. I buy lots of books from there, but there are certain ones which charge more than I could buy the book for new.