Monday, November 29, 2010

No one was more happy to see him than I

Lovely things happened while I was in the Buddhist op shop on the weekend.

First, while I was idly inching my way through the frock rack, a man in his forties came in, looking for his sister who works in the shop.

"She's just gone up the road," the lady behind the counter advised. The man was with their mum, an elderly lady leaning on a walking stick, gracious and calm in a navy blue frock. Mum and brother agreed they'd go looking for the sister.

As the search party set out, I found a silk floral Laura Ashley frock.
Pretty fabric, silk and fully lined. Things looked hopeful but not for long. My potential new frock was cut on the bias and while it gave me an hourglass figure like I had previously thought I could only covet on other women, it was too long and a bit big around my narrow shoulders.

Meanwhile the sister came back. "Your brother and mum were looking for you!" the assistant told her. "They've gone up the street to find you!" The sister went rushing back up the street to find them.

And then I found the Von Troska.

I've explained before how much I love this Australian label - beautiful tailoring, great fabrics and designed with due reverence to working women, the Australian climate and the boho spirit. The dress, I hope my photo illustrates, wraps around, and is cream with black and two shades of brown forming a grid. It was a light but practical rayon-cotton mix.

I'd just tied the wrap, and was making a sulky face in the mirror at the poor fit, when mum and the brother came back, still looking for their sister. "She's just gone to find you!" the shop assistant told them. Mother and son wisely decided to wait; I sadly took off the dress that was cut for a much taller woman and decided to try my luck for the third time at the dress rack. Also, I wanted to hear the greetings when the little family finally managed to meet up.

I got very lucky indeed for there was a silk knit cardigan and a blue silk blouse that had just made it on the rack. While I tried on the blue blouse the sister came back and there was much excitement. So much in fact I was too busy enjoying their talk to remember to photograph the blue blouse (which was great and is now in my wardrobe).

While I was trying on the silk cardi, Uncle Peter turned up. The brother was overjoyed - there was much happy hugging and slapping of shoulders. It transpired they had not seen each other for nearly thirty years.

I liked my cardigan.
I believe I liked it better when I saw Uncle Peter and overheard him telling his nephew (in the smoothest and most perfect received English) that he had just scored a large Collins dictionary for nine dollars. Here he is in the background.

And yes, I bought the cardi. I thought it would be great with light tops and flowery dresses. It is already known as the Uncle Peter cardi. I also scored two books - the lyric poems of Keats and Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer.

I always have fine times and kind experiences in the Buddhist op shop. They get some great donations, are very reasonably priced and all the proceeds from the shop go to women and children's charities in India and South East Asia.

The brother and sister and mum and Uncle Peter comprised the nicest family. Their happiness followed me around Newtown, on the streets and over a very late breakfast, all Saturday.

There were baby sitting duties to attend to on Saturday evening. I hope in thirty years' time we will be as loved by our nephews as Uncle Peter is by his.


  1. What an amusing anecdote. I'd like to hear more stories like this.

  2. Baxter, you hit the jackpot not only with your clothing finds but in your story about Uncle Peter's Return. It reminds me of something out of Janet Frame's autobiography--when everyone is at sixes and sevens. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Thank you Shybiker - I'll see what I can do! Charlotte, you pay me a great compliment - I appreciate that and am glad you enjoyed the yarn.