Thrift Story Candy

interior design


The thrift store was somewhere my Auntie found a last gasp of job satisfaction after caring for people one to one for most of her life. Now she was helping people with pain indirectly it seemed to take the weight off her shoulders. She looked younger and wore a lot of pink.

The shop gave profits to help care for people in their last moments of life. It gave my Auntie something to validate her own journey and the shop itself became a joyful muse of hope for all of us in the family and we would visit her there.




The lady who managed the shop had an interest in second hand books and had the quality of a muse, inspiring poetry in some of her customers. So before she accepted your donation, often brought in inside bursting plastic bags, she would look you in the eye over the spine of the used book you were leaving behind and say ‘ah but is it a good read?’

Candy, the shop manger, changed how I saw literature and her movement through the upstairs and downstairs sections of the shop was a cross between an elegant ballet and a well rehearsed military manoeuvre. The busy preparation of donated clothes before their presentation to the public happened upstairs and was separated by a spiral staircase that lead to the downstairs level where the desire to please the customer took place through cheap deals on used luxury fabrics. The ladies ran the cut price shop as a boutique almost. You could look good for a small amount of cash.

Being able to try on a new look an in instant became fascinating to me and Candy who managed the store played her part in the store well. She was direct, to the point and business like. She was keen to solve the problems of the world.


spiral staircase



I admired their work ethic and frankly they made me feel lazy. They had a rhythm to their work and their day so It was easy to write a short poem about how I felt starting at her through the gap in the curtain that divided the staff from the customers or visiting staff.


“Drift of Thrift”

She flaunts

out of season fashion for a reason.

Other people’s history helps

her live and learn

while she volunteers

and under earns.

She grips

a shirt of raw silk tailored with loose stitches she mastered

in prison; she stops

at nothing to gather

funds for world peace and holds

up a paradox in high heels.

Magic Candy speaks

a lot to shock

new visitors who stand

near her bright cerise and wild carnations.

Lost inside a kaftan the world can’t discover

Candy uncovered.

She will not emerge

without arranging

her hair in perfect curls, she punctuates

perfection with a fresh flower refreshed

every hour until it becomes

her signature and then the one true Candy shrieks.

She tells me to drop my outer story

and see myself through inner glory.

For much less cash

she gives me dash.

She reduces overheads with a sneeze.

Lunch is stale bread and grated cheese.

Her afternoon glare makes me think

there is money in pink.

She puts down the till roll

and calls me ‘doll’.

My few coins help, I’m told,

real change take hold

and like the single vintage glove I sport

her charity shop spells love.







When it rained there were two dogs in the corner who had their own fan club. People brought food in for them and gave them bowls of cold water when the shop was hot.

I told her how I thought it was great her team of staff came together as a group but she said it would not matter if they didn’t. She said it would still be ok. The game was to help others. Everyone had their purpose in that shop whenever I visited. I felt lighter and happier and more optimistic and more sure of myself when leaving. It was like a light had opened in my heart.

One day someone came in with a walking frame. They were young and had no need for it themselves. They didn’t need to explain. Whoever used it had passed away. Lines from feeling grief were deep on the face of the chap who handed it in. The shop made me dig deeper into knowing how precious each moment is.


wooden chair



Find more posts inspired by muses here and below



52 thoughts on “Thrift Story Candy

  1. Whoever used it had passed away. Lines from feeling grief were deep on the face of the chap who handed it in. The shop made me dig deeper into knowing how precious each moment is.

    There is so much truth in these final words, sad, nostalgic, pregnant with life expectations – all we aspire to disintegrates eventually… So live and value present, it is the gift bestowed to mortals by Gods. 😉

    Well done, Lita! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. That paragraph meant a lot to me so I was thrilled you liked it too. Great call to live and value the present! We have good weather in the UK so no excuse not to enjoy every moment. All my good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Jo. I agree, I did feel that a small amount of effort was achieving so much in the charity shop. Which is encouraging! I loved the walk through Norwich’s finest. Lovely to see the city with sun shining. Your posts bring the best out in places and remind me how much there is to enjoy without even leaving UK! Sunny days ahead too. Looking forward to the next walk.

      Liked by 1 person

    • So lovely to hear from you Kathy! I read your gripping post about your road trip yesterday and it’s still with me. Can’t wait to hear more about where the road takes you. Happy times ahead for sure. Thank you for your beautiful comment.


    • A pleasure. I love your images Angeline. The way you capture reflection from the art gallery using different angles is so clever. Great to connect and I look forward to enjoying more of your work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the link to CTB 😀
    Thrift stores are such fun… you never know what little gem you may find. In my college days I would go and find a cool piece of clothing. On a tight budget it was a perfect place to shop and get something cool that no one else had at a great price.


    • Good call. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Each item is pretty likely to be a one off. I loved college days too, they meant I could wear what I wanted without anyone caring too much. It’s been amazing following your adventures and I am looking forward to following where your path takes you next.


    • Thank you. It’s funny how some moments stick in the mind like glue! Loved your capture of the war memorials and showing how the older ones can crumble. So poignant.


    • Thank you so much for helping me find another layer and more possibility in my posts. I appreciate your visit and comment. I loved your recent post on mind shifts it has given me a lot of food for thought and yet more exciting possibilities to open up to. All my good wishes to you Shakti.


      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. It’s lovely to have a browse when you don’t actually need anything. It’s such a blast getting a good deal on something interesting. Great to hear from you. We hit a heat wave here in UK and luckily I got a handful blackcurrants from my containers. I enjoyed your post on the new breed of flower you have grown (Liatris I think it is called). Such a beauty. Your garden is inspiring.


  3. Pingback: Muse : The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge - Sylvain LANDRY

    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment and for stopping by. It was so much fun to read your comic book style post, so clever! Great to read about how cultural events are blooming in your neck of the woods. Exciting times!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thrift shop as community, wow! I like roaming these stores and will always see them in the light of your beautiful post. Those circular stairs look scary but you caught the pretty steps. Imagine having to use them every day at work, maybe carrying merchandise. And that empty closet is heartbreaking. I had to wonder why, did the person die or move to a different home? So much to ponder in one post, thanks Lita!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to hear from you and read your perceptive, insightful comment Linda. I felt moved today by your sunset over the skyline of New York. You say so much in one image. It is an honour to read your thoughts on my blog. I’m going to leave the ending open so it can resonate (hopefully!) with how it lands for you. I love thrift stores more and more now as I can get a bag full of clothes for the price of one new item 😉 I guess usually there are lots of ladies working in most thrift stores and so community grows around them. I’m just glad that feeling happens 😉 Sending all my good wishes.


    • Thank you for this beautiful comment! I got inspired to have a closer look at the wildlife in our park today after reading your post showing the wonderful colours of the yellow broom and the foxglove. Looking forward to reading more. Happy Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this kind comment and encouragement. The store has a lot of character for sure. I loved your recent post looking at the distinct yet similar characters in Frozen. It offers a super insight into writing. Wishing you a great Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

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