Freelance Book Designer


It’s been a while since I’ve trolled through Op shops or junk markets. When SNH and I were first dating we would jump in his HG Premier (or my ’72 Triumph 2000 – both sadly now gone to the junkyard in the sky) and drive down the coast to Wollongong. Stopping at every Vinnies, Sally Anne’s (Salvos), Lifeline, Anglicare, Junky shop we came across. We would plot our courses according to the thrift shops and would come home with so many treasures.

These days Op shops are so picked through by dealers and others. And sometimes the good stuff doesn’t even make it to the floor – you gotta be in the know I guess. So Op shopping fell by the wayside for us, as it was no longer enjoyable. Plus we started to become very specific about the things we collected – you get that once your house is filled up with collectables and stuff – and it was rare that we found anything that we wanted.

But the other day, while driving around and around aimlessly while the bub was sleeping – sometimes you just gotta go with the naps they take and not disturb them – I weaved in and out of the streets of Rockdale looking at the council chuck out piles and scored two concrete pots (tree stump and faux brick wall designs).

Invigorated by my trash diving I drove past Rockdale Vinnies and thought ‘why not?’ So when bub awoke, I carried him in unsure as to whether he would pitch a fit (he gets over shopping very quickly) and much to my surprise he loved it! So much to look at, all the colours and stuff! I walked away with nothing except a sense of buoyancy that possibly, maybe I could entertain myself and the bub for a few hours every now and then trolling through charity shops in the future.

And have we ever! We’ve hit up a few old faithfuls from my uni days and a few new little junk shops and have scored lovely treasure every time. The best score was a 1960s Fisher and Price barn toy complete with silo and farm animals for $20 – the barn door even moo’s when you open it. Lovely. Other bits and pieces were 4 yards of barkcloth fabric ($10!!), Ship biscuit tin (filled with buttons) and early 60s clothing pattern catalogues – $2 each (such sweet illustrations, dig those hair dos!), a yellow breadbin to match our yellow/black/grey kitchen, and 2 x 60s floral scarfs – $1.50 each (to hide my grey hair – eep!).

I guess you could say I’ve caught the thrift bug again. To heck with collectables fairs and fancy shops. It’s time to push up my sleeves and start wading through the odds and sods for a real bargain again!