Excuse me while I have a little rant. I know the point of jumble sales is to raise money for certain causes – usually village hall funds, the local Scout or Brownie group, the cricket club, that sort of thing. And I fully accept that, over the years, some degree of inflation is inevitable, and I don’t mind paying a little bit more for good items. However, £1 an thing – including for T-shirts which would have barely more than that at Primark or Asda new – is inflation too far. The point of a jumble sale is that the stuff is supposed to be cheap. £1 is too much for buying things on spec to give away to friends, or because you liked the fabric, or to experiment with a different ‘look’ or style, or because you thought you might be able to alter/cut/adapt something in some way, or you might be able to mend it, or remove that stain, or because it simply caught your eye. I don’t like complaining – being English and all that – but I have to admit to having had a little strop at a jumble in Cooksbridge the other week and putting half of my gatherings back on the table and walking out.
Anyway, I did come back with a few bits and pieces nonetheless: pretty pinny (given to Katherine); equally pretty as-new White Stuff bag with wooden handles (a recipient in mind for this: hoping she doesn’t read this post in the near future ‘cos it’s going in with her birthday presents); white linen shirt (given to Michi); retro 1980s grey Dorothy Perkins shirt with black embroidery (not quite right on me; to be claimed); a selection of men’s dress shirts for the boys in my bands (some with striped and patterned backs and sleeves); plus another cricket jumper, sleeveless this time, for Deacon.
It was rather adding insult to injury, having paid out on all this lot, to realise that several of the white shirts were (once viewed away from the glare of the village hall’s strip-lighting) stained beyond redemption and fit only for chucking away/cutting up. Just one find for myself which was worthwhile, though I have indeed worn it most days since, and that is the green roll-necked M&S jumper.