Charity shopping at Crisis in London


Hello from London!

I love that saying, "Every cloud has a silver lining". Last weekend my silver lining took the form of a visit to stay with my dear friend in London. Ben used to be a Gallery assistant of mine (about 10 years ago I think) and our friendship has continued over the years. He's now a mature student studying for a degree in Japanese at SOAS in London. Although he's only just started his course I have every faith in his ability to achieve his goal. When he worked with me he was an absolute power horse, with not just a huge capacity for work, but he had a real flair for selling. Bright as a button and utterly focussed, this guy was always gonna go far! I'd come away to the mainland to have minor surgery on the skin cancer on my back, but rather than the starkness of a trip for that alone, I decided to tag on his offer to stay and have a tour of his local charity shops.


I'd forgotten my Oyster card, but Ben told me I could just use my contactless card to get around on the tube. I loved that I could keep the card safely inside the palm of my glove as I swiped my way around the underground! How exciting these wee things are for an island lass.


My wonderful shaggy leather bag was a gift from Ben many months ago. He bought it in Stanley Market in Hong Kong on his last trip there. Coat is by Covent Garden, two piece is by Zara as are these most comfortable of boots. Handbag is by Carvella. 


But first, was breakfast. Of course. You can't go shopping without a decent breakfast and Duck and Waffle serve a pretty mean breakfast it has to be said.  


The view from this 40th floor restaurant isn't too shabby either.


Ben went for the house special, Duck Benedict whereas I opted for something more simple, but equally delicious. We toasted the day over a glass of Mimosa. For a moment I was worried that we'd peaked too early. 


But no, things were just about to get a whole lot better. Ben took me to his favourite curated charity shop, Crisis at the bottom of Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park. The shop does away with that endless searching for a gem which can be so time consuming. Instead the staff pride themselves with sifting through the donations to steam and display designer wear along with more funky pieces that can command a good price. 



Coming from our tiny island community, one of the shocking truths about London for me is the amount of homeless people you see as you travel around the city. Ben told me that the number of deaths of the homeless is already over 140 this winter. It's a chilling thought that we're barely into winter and this figure is set to rise when the first cold snap hits. Crisis aims to help in the long term as well as over Christmas by bringing those in need off the streets into a caring community where they can not only eat and shower, but access all kinds of medical support and practical help too. My shopping was going to make a real difference to lots of lives. 


The haul!



When we returned to base Ben kindly modelled one of my most sparkly finds. This (H&M) cardigan will surely come into its own over the festive period.


The spree was mostly from the Crisis shop with a few other finds from the Cancer Research shop in Muswell Hill. Exhaustion soon set in, resulting in us beating an early retreat home. Ben cooked dinner while I had a soak in the bath, but not before I spread the loot out for us to admire. Not the best photo, I'm afraid, but you'll see more of these pieces over the next few weeks I'm sure.


All shopped out!


Truro was suitably festive by the time I arrived on Monday. I had time to do some Christmas shopping before going to the hospital for my appointment. In keeping with the island-girl-goes-shopping tradition, I packed up a box of presents, putting them in the post before coming home. Ben had sent a box of clothes home for me too. 


By Tuesday I had reduced my luggage to this amount. That day I had a frustrated trip to Land's End airport as the weather or rather cross-winds, put paid to my flight home. En masse we weary-from-going-nowhere travellers were sent away to return the next day. I took this opportunity to deposit my suitcase at the docks to be shipped home to me, hence avoiding excess baggage charges.


24 hours later and hurrah! Here she comes!


Farewell to the mainland! See you again next year.

Anna x

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Midweek fun


Welcome to my midweek burst of fun! After the other evening of glitz and glam (see here), I really couldn't top that look and have gone all playful and practical with this everyday work outfit. 


Polly and I refer to these as our Children's TV Presenter looks for very obvious reasons. Playful suits me fine on a summer's day when life is fabulous and work is a joy. I can nip up and down ladders without flashing anything I oughtn't and the all-in-one is lightweight and airy too which is perfect as the mercury rises. These Birkenstock type sandals (the brand is Autenti by Penta) are comfy and cool for the scorching temperatures. I bought my sandals in TK Maxx when I was in London recently and they're perfect as a flat runabout pair of sandals that still look stylish thanks to the pop of orange.



The seersucker gingham dungarees were also a purchase from my London trip (see here if you missed that little adventure) and were in the Topshop sale. I found these along with a nude coloured boiler suit in the racks downstairs. I'll let you see those in another post soon. The white long sleeved tee is by M&S, second hand via Oxfam. 




Polly was impressed that my shadow managed to keep up with my antics this morning!





Orange had to be the colour for my accessories don't you agree? The bangle and rings are all pre-loved and the resin necklace is very old indeed. My sunglasses tie in with the black and white theme too and are by my favourite brand Quay Australia





How's your summer unfolding? Are you jumping for joy or dancing in the streets? Do drop me a line - I'd love to hear what you're getting up to. I'll be back on Sunday with my next offering at the second summer exhibition. Do swing by if you have a moment!

                                                                                                  Anna x

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