Hello everyone!  This week I’m pleased to introduce you to my great friend, Olivia, who lives in St. Lucia in the West Indies.  We trained as psychiatric nurses together at a well-known London hospital and have remained in contact ever since.  A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter from her telling me about charity shop shopping in St. Lucia and Scotland.  I thought it so good I’ve put it up for all to see!

Here’s a photo of Olivia taken all those years ago in the grounds of our hospital.


Ollie“Charity shops aren’t common in St. Lucia but there is one in the small town of Vieux Fort. It’s a charity for kids and some of the key players have British origins and connections – so that probably made them set up the shop. It sells everything including clothes although St. Lucians don’t seem to favour 2nd hand apparel preferring to buy cheap new clothing.

But me, well, twelve years ago when I retired I decided to go to my favourite country, Scotland, to work there for a ‘wee’ while.   I packed up and got rid of my entire Caribbean wardrobe. But I didn’t like the job and had to return to St. Lucia after 4 months. It was then, before I left, that I discovered charity shops. I must have ‘done’ every single one in Edinburgh. Not only did I find knick-knacks for souvenirs I was also able to refurbish my entire Caribbean closet with good quality items and, at the same time, helped a variety of causes from cardiac to cats.

Five months later a cruise to the Antarctic required a slightly different wardrobe. Flying from the UK I managed to pop up to Scotland and several items of ‘layers’ were obtained from, once more, the Edinburgh charity shops.

My lifestyle is a simple one as is my dress – shorts of all descriptions and tops. Unlike Penny I don’t empty the wardrobe frequently. But if weight change occurs, or if I’ve not worn an item for an age, I do de-clutter. Ironically, a lot of my UK charity shop items went to – guess – the Vieux Fort charity shop!

My philosophy is quite straightforward – waste not, want not – after all, one woman’s wardrobe is another woman’s opportunity. And I’m not what you would call fashion conscious, as I’m always floored when looking through glossy magazines; the price of a cotton skirt and plastic earrings is something I can’t get my head around, but at 67, I find myself looking forward to Penny’s blog. Long may the blog and charity shops, last! Amen!”

Well, thank you, Olivia!  I’ll certainly be writing the blog for some time to come and as for charity shops – they’re here to stay, as they are just such a good way of raising money!

Two more photos.  Here’s the two of us on a skiing holiday with me wearing really pale lipstick – hmm!



And another taken when I visited St. Lucia in 1999.

St Lucia 1999

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, The Frugal Fashion Shopper

P.S I’ve still got that dress Olivia, which is worn in hot places.  Put it on a couple of times this year whilst in the UK as it’s heating up here as elsewhere.  Apparently we’ve just had the warmest and driest September since records began – in 1910.  And although everyone is loving this weather, not sure about it to be honest – feels unnaturally warm for the UK for the time of year.

Tagged on:         

2 thoughts on “Charity shop shopping in St. Lucia & beyond!

  • 30th September 2014 at 9:15 am

    It is one of modern life’s great pleasures- aka-the internet, that friendships can keep going from across the globe. Lovely to see you both now and in the past, and that clothes and shopping still feel fun and relevant.

  • 3rd October 2014 at 7:23 am

    Hi there! And thanks for the comment. Yes, it’s been great that we’ve kept in touch but it’s only a year, I think, since Olivia got access to the internet and we are able to contact each other more often than the once-a-year letter. I like both mediums – was good to contact her quickly just now to ask for permission, but every now and then both of us write a long letter to each other and that’s been our pattern for years. But it was good that we visited St Lucia as I can picture her writing from her home 🙂

Comments are closed.