Cockroaches and Balls

The other day seemed to be one of those when the strangest donations come to light in the Oxfam bookshop.

A lot of our donations are repetitive and can I say, just sometimes a little boring, but now and then you find something interesting and odd in many senses of the word.

I am sure there is a book about any and every subject out there somewhere and many seem to find a (hopefully, temporary) home in Deepest Sussex.

Before now, I have found a book on making your own horse-riding equipment and one on how to chop and stack wood the Norwegian way.

So, the other day I found a coffee table book on Anatolian Vernacular Architecture. Not a usual find and one that is, perhaps surprisingly, worth a bit and now is listed, should your heart be beating a little faster, on Oxfam Online.

And then I came across a collection of old Spurs books. I am not a football fan but I was rather taken with the delightful History of Tottenham Hotspur FC 1882 – 1946. Spurs was referred to as the Hotspur Athletic Club – how charming is that?

And then, my cup runneth over when I found this:



Now isn’t that splendid?

And if that wasn’t enough, I found this book which was the answer any anyone’s Christmas book present dilemma. It is the book, I thought, that anyone would want in their stocking. This is it:


I tweeted to that effect and it got a few likes and re-tweeted gently around the Oxfam network, and it made me laugh.

Low and behold, I was at home this afternoon when my Oxfam manager rang me and said, ‘I’ve had someone on the phone – something about social media and cockroaches – is that anything to do with you? ‘

Someone wanted the buy the book! So over the phone, I directed my manager to various alternative possible places where I could have  stashed it.

( You should go behind the scenes at an Oxfam bookshop one day to understand that things are run on stashes, piles, boxes, shelves, bags and things stuffed into all sorts of places.

Every now and then I get round to sorting out an area and find all sorts – the skeleton of a forgotten volunteer, for example.)

Anyway, he found it, we put the price up a bit, and I wait to hear who bought it. If I’d been there with the customer I would have asked for the whole story about who was going to be so delighted on Christmas Day but I guess, I will never know.





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