The first rule of shopping in second hand shops is that if you see something you like then buy it straight away as it probably won't be there when you return. I broke that rule yesterday and I so nearly paid for it today.
As I left a charity shop with a friend yesterday I spotted a lovely looking chair in the window. Comments were made about how nice it looked and what a fair price it was being sold for. Ideas were exchanged about how you could put new fabric on the seat and back and then with a pushchair already covered in bags and containing a tired Little Miss C we went our separate ways off home.
Only I found myself thinking about that chair last night whilst watching TV. And again as I lay in bed later on. By this morning I'd convinced myself that the chair should be mine.
Off I headed back to the charity shop only to find (as I dreaded) that it was no longer there in the window. Oh well, I thought, obviously it wasn't meant to be so instead I amused myself with a book I must have overlooked yesterday about Patch Pictures. As I paid for the book I casually asked the old woman serving me if someone had bought the chair. "Oh no" she replied "it's still in the window isn't it". My heart leapt a little and off she went to look. She returned with a puzzled look on her face and another old woman and both of them said how it had still be there when they went home last night.
Two more old women joined the search party at this point (do they breed them in charity shops?) and all four of them searched the shop before deciding to ask the manager (who was out back with another gaggle of old women). At this point I was beginning to wonder if it was really worth all this people searching and then the manager had a brainwave.
The charity are opening up a second shop in a couple of weeks, next door but one to where they are now. This second shop is going to sell furniture and home-wears. The date of it's opening is already in my diary so I can be there as soon as they open the doors. The chair had been moved into the new shop as they thought it might sell once they opened.
Luckily keys were found and the chair brought and and united with it's new owner to be. Now, at this stage I still hadn't actually sat in the chair. I wondered if I dare. What if it was horribly uncomfortable? Could I say that I didn't actually want it after such a mammoth search effort? If I did would all these old women take me hostage for wasting their time.
I sat down carefully. There was a slight creak and a tiny wobble. The cushions curved around my back and bottom. It was, without exception, the most comfortable thing I'd ever sat in. It was even in better condition than I'd remembered. I told them I'd take it. One of the old women even cheered at this point
At this point the manager told me the price. £5 less than the price sticker had said yesterday. So shocked was I that I even pointed this out to her. Apparently they re-priced everything last night as they'd thought some things a bit too expensive. At this point I was quite tempted to go and spend the difference on cream cakes for the army of old women that this shop had – with hindsight I wish I had!
It's not often I manage to get such a bargain, but it looks like my luck was in this morning.