To update you on our furnishing odyssey, modesty precludes me from telling you just how successful we have been. We could now write a book on Florida junk shops, sorry, thrift stores.Among other emporia, we've scoured Divine Consign, Goodwill, Rags to Riches, The Elephant's Trunk, Blessings and the Treasure Chest, we've supported Dog Adoption, Habitat for Humanity, the Unemployed, Abandoned Cats, Abandoned Horses, the Humane Society, the Salvation Army and the Episcopalian Church. (noting in passing that the Church and the animal charities get all the best stuff. )
Of course it's easy to get obsessed and to curse the fact that the lamp you just bought for a song in one place showed up again in another at half that price. Oh well, can't win 'em all. Not only have we got some seriously classy furniture for our house but we've also met some truly delightful people. Like the chap in Divine Consign who rooted around in the dusty warehouse to find enough bolts for our bed frames. He got all of them bar one and then the next time we were in, he remembered us and produced another. And after all that, he turned out to be a Brit from Derby. Then there was the man from whom we bought the beds - virtually brand new - who offered to lend us his own SUV for any other furniture we might want to shift, seemingly undeterred by the fact that we were complete strangers. Another couple, from whom we bought a pristine set of patio furniture, turned out to be from Buffalo. Florida is like one huge refugee camp, after all and everyone seems to be willing to help everyone else. But it's a revelation too, to see the length of the queues on half price clothes day at Goodwill. They stretch all round the shop. It's not all affluence here by any means.