Posted by: Janet | May 15, 2009

Trips to Oxfam

Getting ready for our move to Seattle, we are doing a big sorting of our accumulated belongings. I have made numerous trips to Oxfam. Each time I go to hand things in, I end up buying a few things. The latest temptation has been jigsaw puzzles. Someone is donating some lovely old-fashioned jigsaws and I am snapping them up with a view to doing them in Seattle. For Mother’s Day, Ian gave me a PortaPuzzle so that we could continue doing jigsaws here and get them out of the way easily when someone was coming to view the house. But now the packing is all-consuming and we have had to put our passion for doing jigsaws aside. We like to do the 1000 piece size.

Today in Oxfam I saw a 1500 piece puzzle that we did in Kenya almost 20 years ago. It was One of the Family, a painting by P. O’Connor. It’s a picture of a horse leaning in the window toward a family seated round the dinner table. The woman of the house is holding out her hand to feed something to the horse. This couldn’t be our copy of the puzzle because we gave all ours away to the Kenya Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. While we were doing this puzzle one of our dogs stole a few of the pieces and chewed them up. Our gardner, Thomas, rescued 1 or 2 of the remains. The dog, Coco, had good taste.

My other indulgence at Oxfam is books – again books I probably won’t read until they are unpacked in Seattle. So I hand in books and then end up buying a few. Today they had very good copies of two of Larry McMurtry’s books. Unusual to see them here – those are books that I buy in America. I already have copies of almost all his books so I resisted the temptation to buy those today, even though the ones today were nicer editions than the ones I have in my collection.

Today I was rather incensed. I made a special trip to Oxfam to deliver my son James’s old motorcycle jacket and trousers. Now admittedly they weren’t brand new but there was plenty of wear in them yet. I was dumbfounded when the woman rejected them and said they weren’t in good enough condition. She was sneeringly dismissive. Now this jacket and the trousers are heavy – that’s why we drove down to Dundrum with them. Ian carried them in and left me to present this offering. What was I to do – no way was I going to walk back home with them. I reacted strongly and told the woman they were in perfectly good condition. Thankfully she called a younger girl over and that girl quite sensibly told her to accept them. Phew. But the incident was annoying, particularly when I’d made a special trip and I’d given Oxfam so much and also been a good customer. The good side of the trip was finding the puzzles and the books and seeing that a number of items I had delivered on another trip were currently for sale – very good book tapes and some kitchen mugs.

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