Charity Shop Chic.

As some of you may know, alongside my role as a full-time CSV, I also volunteer once a week at the new Red Cross Charity shop on Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow. I absolutely love being back in a charity shop and, dare I say it, back in retail once more. Although I moaned about it a lot (especially when I spent most of my summer holidays stuck on the shopfloor being moaned at by irate customers), I am essentially a people person and I d enjoy having a wee blether with the nice customers that come up to my till.

Anyway, the other evening our shop held a special late-night shopping event complete with cupcakes, cava, competitions and some excellent new stock straight from the high street. The Red Cross is lucky enough to receive left-over stock etc. straight from the factories of several high street brands – unfortunately I’m not a liberty to say which but they are good ones, I promise!  As I’d been at work all day I was unable to actually help out on the evening but I did make sure to pop down so I could grab myself a wee bargain.

The evening itself was great – the shop was really busy and staff were constantly having to put out new stock to fill the ever increasing gaps in the rails. It was also good to have a chat and catch-up with a few of the other volunteers that I don’t get to see as regularly so that was nice. Plus I got myself a gorgeous new jumper for only £8 which is always a bonus! I also had an armful of dresses which I tried on but thankfully none of them were quite right, otherwise it would have been a very dangerous trip.

001

Nibbles!

002

003

The Shop

005

004

New Jumper

Fingers crossed now this night has been such a success they’ll be a few more similar events to come. I might volunteer next time though, just to try and save my bank balance a bit more!

Advertisements

The Fifth Month.

I have now been in Glasgow for exactly five months – yay! This month has in many ways been a weird one. There have been a lot of changes, most notably the fact that both Eujin and Rosie have now left. It’s really strange not having either of them about and I have to admit, I’m missing both of them loads – things just don’t quite feel the same up here any more and if I’m being totally honest, I’m just not really enjoying myself as much at the moment. Equally, while finding out I’d been accepted onto a postgraduate course at City University in London was undoubtedly the biggest high of the month (if not the whole year!), it’s really affected the way I’m viewing my placement. At first, it was a relief that I’d been accepted as it meant I could just massively throw myself into life in Scotland as a whole, without having to worry about the future. However, the more I research the course and flats and London life, the more I just want to be there now and I find myself sometimes wishing the next six months away which, of course, I know I shouldn’t do –  I can’t seem to help myself that the minute though!

I think the main problem is that I’m a bit bored of Glasgow now. While there’s still so much for me to see and do, in the city and beyond, I’m starting to get a wee bit fed-up. I’m really really missing home at the moment and especially spending time with all my friends, both back in Nottingham and the Lancaster lot. Thankfully, I’m heading to Lancaster next Friday (SO EXCITED!) and then I have a ten-day holiday on the 1st March when I’m finally getting to head home. I actually can’t wait and I’m hoping it’ll do me the world of good and I can come back to Glasgow all refreshed and with a much more positive attitude. However, I am slightly concerned that I just won’t want to head back to Scotland at all but, fingers crossed, it won’t get quite that bad – my mum will force me on the train anyway whether I want to go or not!

In other news, last week I started volunteering at a new charity shop on Byres Road, in the West End of the city. I happened to see that they needed volunteers and, having previously worked in retail for five years and having volunteered in an Oxfam shop, I decided to give it a go – it’ll help keep me busy and I’ll get to meet some new people hopefully. Unfortunately, I never did hear back from the Communication Support Volunteer role I mentioned in a previous post but not to worry, I’m sure this will be good in a different way!

Also, yesterday I attended a special CSV workshop in Edinburgh which was actually really good. Obviously, I never pass up the chance for a free trip to my favourite city and I had a great day. I got to meet some of the new CSV volunteers who have just arrived in Scotland, as well as meeting a few others that I haven’t had chance to see previously because they are based up in Edinburgh. All the newbies seem really nice, if not maybe a little shy at the moment, but I’m hoping that with time (and alcohol) that will pass and we can arrange some more frequent meet-ups.

007Beautiful Sunny Day in Edinburgh

The month ahead looks great, mainly because I’ll spend most of it either at home or at Lancaster (which is practically my second home!). There’s a lot of good stuff planned – it’s my Nephew’s Christening at the beginning of March and Mother’s Day as well so I’ll get to spend lots of quality time with my family which is always good really. Plus I have lots of trips and meals out with my friends planned as well as a few cheeky nights out in Lancaster for me to look forward to – now all I have to do is put some plans in place for Glasgow and I’ll be laughing!

Visitors and Volunteering.

Last weekend, my best friend Sarah braved the 300 mile journey in the snow to come and stay with me which was just lovely 🙂 I hadn’t seen her since I’d left Nottingham so it was so good to finally be reunited and spend some time together. She arrived on the Saturday afternoon and we spent a nice chilled evening in at my flat, catching-up and cringing at Saturday night television. I even managed to rustle up a rather snazzy meal of fresh lemon pepper salmon fillets, garlic potatoes and carrot – SO PROUD.

After a lazy Sunday morning we decided to brave the cold and venture out into the city centre, so I could give Sarah a quick tour of all the sights. We ended up wandering around the Cathedral and Necropolis before heading to The Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan St so we could warm up with a hot chocolate (and a few cheeky shots of Baileys for myself!). Usually I go to the original tea rooms on Sauchiehall St, so I was not expecting to see the crazy Mackintosh chairs they have there – they have ridiculously high backs so the chair was genuinely taller than me (I’m only 4ft 10 but still!)

002 (2)Willow Tea Rooms

003Sarah next to one of the chairs! 

It was so nice to just have a relaxing weekend for a change and just spend some actual quality time with one of my nearest and dearest and I do have to admit I was rather sad to see her go. Of course, seeing people from home makes me realise just how much I miss everyone and does in a way make me long to go back, although only very temporarily! Luckily though, I’m headed back to Nottingham for nine beautiful days at the beginning of March which I simply cannot wait for – my diary is already starting to look pretty full with various plans which is exciting.

Talking of plans, I’ve realised over the past few weeks that I’m definitely someone who needs to be on the go all the time or, at the very least, trying to juggle a few different projects here and there. At university I juggled academic work with a weekend job, being on the exec of a society and a rather hectic social life. At the moment, I only really have work going on so I feel like I have far too much spare time on my hands. Consequently, I’ve decided to apply for some more volunteering opportunities that I can do after work or on my days off as a way of gaining yet more experience to help with my postgraduate plans. I was fortunate enough to stumble across a great opportunity for a communication support volunteer with the Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS Trust which also involves direct training with a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. I’ve been offered an interview but unfortunately I can’t make the date due to work so hopefully we can reschedule and get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. I’m also applying to be a befriender or mentor with the Autism Society as this was something I wanted to do back at home but didn’t get chance to because of me moving up here. I’m considering doing this as an e-bfriender (so over email etc) as I admit I may struggle to fit everything around my shift patterns but hopefully I can still get a good level of involvement in the scheme.  Between all these various things and trying to see as much of Glasgow and Scotland as possible, I have a feeling I’m going to be quite a busy bee over the next few months!