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Wear I'm at - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Wear I'm at
On Sunday addedentry and I sold lots of junk at a car boot sale, and made about £40 profit after the cost of the pitch. Usually the problem with car boot sales is that if they're any good I'll buy as much junk as we sell, but this time I resisted and only bought two skirts (total cost: £1.50). Short skirts, so they don't take up too much space. I nearly bought an earrings-and-necklace set from the wild-haired man with the enormous grin, as much because he was nice as because the earrings were rather cool, but I forgot in all the hustle and bustle of haggling. I grinned back a lot, though, from across the tables. About five minutes before the end I went and sold an enormous wooden ornamental salad-fork to a man who was selling various other enormous wooden things, for 50p. "It'll go better with your stuff," I said. There are some things you just can't cart around with you any longer than absolutely necessary, and two-foot wooden forks are definitely one of those things.

I'm always surprised that clothes sell so badly at car boot sales, probably because I've bought so many of my clothes at carboots and flea-markets -- not quite every time I'm down in the dumps, but close, and yes, I know it shows. (At least in the winter I've got the excuse that I am getting dressed in the dark, but now the clocks have gone forward I'll have to either smarten up my act or think of a better excuse.) The scarlet crushed-velvet skirt-suit that I wore for my second Oxford interview (the successful one) came from Loughborough's bric-à-brac market; I remember seeing it hanging there in the corner with £9 written on a white label, and I knew I had to buy it. It didn't bring me luck, but it brought me confidence, which was probably more useful.

Poll #699059 The end of the clothes line

What should I do with the clothes that didn't sell at the car boot sale?

Give them all to charity shops
1(4.3%)
Sell the expensive/BNWT (l@@k!) ones on eBay, give the rest to charity
15(65.2%)
Have an LJ bring-and-swap clothes party when the weather's a bit warmer and the house is a bit tidier
7(30.4%)
Something else (which I will suggest in comments)
0(0.0%)


Today I got dressed twice, once in trousers to cycle to the bike shop, and then (when I'd walked home, leaving the bike to be fixed) into a skirt before driving to work. It's so much more awkward to wear a skirt if I'm cycling, but I like to wear them occasionally, just for the hell of it. It doesn't feel so much like 'dressing up' as a girl, any more. (I've been re-reading Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet, and wondering if there have been any stories about boys who dressed as girls to go and seek their fortune. Perhaps I should write one.)

I've just remembered, though, I forgot to ring the shoe-shop to see if they can fix the shoes I took in on Saturday. Nobody seems to sell black lace-up ankle-boots any more, so if they can't fix them, I'll have to pretend to be fashionable instead. Or just wear shoes that let the rain in. Most of my clothes let something in somewhere around the seams: rain, or air, or ways I used to think I wanted to look.

Time to get my flat-soled trainers on (slipping them on and off under the desk is probably a bad habit, but only a mild one) and go home. The sky's dark and bright all at once, and I'm dressed for winter, but even thick grey tights can't stop it being spring.
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Comments
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: March 27th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
The "bring-and-swap clothes party" sounds like it involves rather a lot of nudity.

...

Hey, how do I change my vote?
mair_aw From: mair_aw Date: March 27th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 28th, 2006 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Not nudity, just, you know, girls trying on clothes together. Nothing dodgy about that. Just a lot of giggling, and skirts being hastily zipped and unzipped, and girls helping to lace and button one another into tight-fitting clothes, and warm bodies pressed close together in small communal changing rooms...

... excuse me a minute.
From: rmc28 Date: March 27th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
My inclination would be to give them all to charity shops, but that's because of my relative valuing of time/effort in eBaying things and likely income received.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: March 27th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cash is always useful, and if, on reflection, you want to give THAT to charity, you can.

Clean rags, clothes you know nobody would buy even from a charity, honestly, can be black-bagged and dropped off to most charities, who will sell them on for 90 p each.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 28th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Do charities have outlets for rags other than their shops, then? Only two of the charity shops round here sell any clothes for under a pound (both the Cats' Protection League shop and the Sally Ann have 50p bins), and they all only sell decent-ish clothes.

There's a 'fabric recycling' bin at the supermarket which is where I usually put the rags and socks and so on, but I don't actually know where that goes, or even who to ask. I'm sure it used to be an Oxfam thing, but it isn't now (Oxfam probably think it would damage their image if they were seen to be handling rags).

A bit of googling suggests that there are places who can use scraps of fabric and other stuff for community arts/crafts (playgroups etc), but all the ones round here that I can find any info for (there's a couple listed on this page, one of which - Restore - has its own website) seem only to take donations from businesses. I suspect it's not economically viable for them to collect from individuals, but I wonder if they'd take stuff if it was offered? I have mountains of fabric offcuts and no real use for them...
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 28th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely contact the children's scrapstore. You can always say you are closing out your home business and have a viable amount of material to donate, which you've kept in good order! It's likely that they'll be happy to take it - what they're keen to avoid is the 6 cm by 7 cm by 13 cm by 52.5 cm scrap which someone balled up in the back of a drawer in 1992 next to a cracked vinyl belt and one laddered stocking.

(Not that this description reminds me of any drawer of mine, you understand. ;-> )

Sobell House, Age Concern, and Mind all sell their old rags to the modern equivalent of the rag-and-bone men. I pretty regularly collect from the people on our street and drop off black bin bags at our local Sobell House; the price they get is 90 p each. The ragmen then sort and shred them and they get used for things like stuffing sofas, making industrial cleaning cloths, and the like.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 28th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah! There is a Mind shop I can get to quite easily, so I will contact the scrapstore, sort the rags from the arty-crafty stuff, and redistribute appropriately soon. (Or soonish. When I have enough time and space to sort anything out. *sigh*)
ali_in_london From: ali_in_london Date: March 27th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
wondering if there have been any stories about boys who dressed as girls to go and seek their fortune

It's possible, if the story is about a boy dressing as a girl in the theatre in a period where women's parts were played by men, and seeking his fortune by acting.

But what you meant was a boy dressing as a girl full-time and no-one knowing that he wasn't actually female. I suspect that it'd be historically unlikely, as there'd be nothing gained in the fortune-seeking department (unless you have very specific ideas about where you're going to seek your fortune) from appearing to be female.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 28th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect that it'd be historically unlikely

Yes, obviously, but there's no reason why it couldn't occur in a speculative/fantasy context. I'm sure there are fantasy universes where only women are trained in certain branches of magic, for example, and if the hero's world-conquering ambitions required that kind of magic, he'd have to masquerade as a girl to get that training. Or perhaps our hypothetical hero's ambition could be to win the love of a handsome prince...?
ali_in_london From: ali_in_london Date: March 30th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure there are fantasy universes where only women are trained in certain branches of magic

The Bene Gesserit are women-only, right? Having only seen the film version of Dune, I'm not the best person to answer that one.

My cynical suspicion is that in a lot of cases, male writers dealing with that kind of situation would just leave the character as male and have the women teach him anyway because boys (including the author) are just that cool. Also in a lot of cases the female writers would just start off with a female character because girls (including the author) are just that cool. This doesn't mean that an actually imaginative writer couldn't tackle the story, though.

Offhand, I can't think of a good SF writer who does good female and good male characters. Any ideas?

Or perhaps our hypothetical hero's ambition could be to win the love of a handsome prince...?

Now dearie, that's what we have slash for.
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