The rest of the story


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The rest of the story
— Read on

The rest of the story

Now that my six months “shopping free” has come to a natural end and Christmas is almost upon us it seems only right and proper that I should hit the shops of Inverness once again.

Therefore yesterday after my visit to the jewellers in the Victorian Market I decided to have a wander around the shops once again.

First stop one of my favourite shop for a ‘rake’ to find a bargain the elusive TK Max and rake I did almost an hour in store trying on jumpers galore which even meant two trips to the changing room. Fabulous winter green jumper to match my Christmas nails, mustard that would match a beautiful Joules scarf and autumnal orange just because I loved the colour.

I know what you’re all thinking after my six month shopping exile I would end up buying all three and some.. Alas no, I tried on all three closed my eyes and pictured me with some exciting new rig outs to incorporate the jumpers but all I kept thinking was I have plenty more at home that could easily be justified instead to make up new and exciting outfits.

Therefore on both occasions I left the changing rooms purchaseless and to be honest by this stage had lost all interest in continuing my shopping trip.

So after an hour of ‘shopping’ I retired to meet hubby who had been happily ensconced in a local hostelry people watching and treated him to a G& T and a nice Americano for me whilst I took time to compose my Christmas gift list.

Next Saturday will be my ‘Christmas present buying day’ so it looks like it could be a pretty quick affair as I had taken the opportunity to window shop yesterday in my local favourites to secure unique Christmas gifts that family and friends will really appreciate.

Tune in to my blog once again over the weekend to find out if I stay committed to shopping differently..

A days shopping

After six months of shopping free today I finally ventured into town with shopping in mind. Firstly to spend a gift voucher for the quirky jewellery shop in the old Victorian Market that I had received as a leaving gift when I changed jobs last month.

My first real attempt at jewellery shopping in over six months this little shop felt like an Aladdins cave with some amazing one off pieces of jewellery. I carefully viewed a mixture of pieces, researching the jeweller and the styles. Those who know me appreciate my individual style is quite elective with lots of individuals pieces that I wear in my own distinctive way. I eventually opted for a rose gold set in a heart design securing earrings and a beautiful long necklace, sadly no available bracelet but the owner of the shop kindly agreed to research this for me. I left the shop content with my purchase and still with vouchers to spend at a later date.

This shopping trip was great fun and I appreciated the chance to really study the many amazing pieces on display, the chance to try them on and time to consider what I was really looking for.

In times gone by I would have been drawn to reduced pieces, always think a bargain much more justifiable than a classic piece of jewellery that is really me.

Not today after changing my shopping habits over the past six months it’s was satisfying just to take the time to really see and consider exactly what I was looking for and I can truly say I am really happy with my purchase and excited to see the matching bracelet when it is eventually sourced..

Shop local at Christmas

Today we are being encouraged to shop locally for Christmas. With limited time and budgets I appreciate for many of us it is so much easier to revert to online companies who after all deliver not only right to our own doors but to the doors of loved ones too saving us from even having to wrap or personally deliver gifts at this time of the year.

So let’s take time to really think this through

  • Firstly taking time to visit local shops is fun it allows us time to catch up with local people, to have a chat and most importantly and see and feel quirky gifts that really are original to our loved ones
  • Buying locally sustains our communities not only by investing in the shops where we buy the gifts but also in other local businesses where we end up having coffee or lunch or just pop in as we see something we ‘really must have’ in the window
  • Today is Inverness Farmers market so while doing the gift shopping there is the opportunity to purchase locally sourced produce meaning you are also buying into reducing the carbon footprint of goods and lets face it there’s nothing better than locally grown tatties or carrots.

I’m taking time this mornings over a cuppa to draw up my Santa list reflecting on conversations with friends and family over the last few weeks to ensure there is true meaning in the gifts I purchase and more importantly the gifts don’t become future raffle prizes or are recycled and I receive them as birthday gifts next year (it has happened in the past). I am also taking time to consider appropriate second hand books for our Christmas Eve book giving borrowed from the Iceland tradition of Jolabokaflod. I have also taken time recently to make some gifts too.

This year I feel I am avoiding the consumerism that has enveloped Christmas of late and really trying to get back to the older more personalised and most importantly localised approach to Christmas. I might not be shopping locally today (as not quite ready to do my Christmas shopping) but in the run up to Christmas I will be popping into The Victorian Market, Leckies Bookshop, Graham’s the Fishing Tackle shop, Mackenzies the Gentleman’s outfitter and many more local businesses to offer my support and to ensure I purchase unique gifts for my loved ones to open on Christmas Eve (books) and on Christmas Day when we get together for the traditional family Christmas dinner.

So as many of you take time today to draw up your Christmas shopping plans why not as far as possible move away from the online approach and drop into the local shops and really notice what there is around you because if you don’t it might be the the local shops are not there this time next year when it will be really fashionable to shop locally. So please take a leaf out of my book and try and do some of your Christmas shopping locally after all there’s nothing like seeing the town Christmas tree, embracing the crowds and finishing your shopping with a wonderful hot chocolate and mince pie from Girvans if you are lucky enough to be doing your shopping in Inverness.

If through reading my blog I influence just a couple of folks to do more shopping locally I will be happy so please let me know if I’ve convinced you and Happy ‘shop local’ day……

What now?

Now that my six months of clothes shopping free have now officially come to and end I have been asking myself what now? Particularly as my blog following has significantly increased and my regular blogging followers have been asking me my future plans.

Today I have taken some time to consider the way forward and ably encouraged by fellow members of my ‘Writing for Purpose’ group know that I need to develop this blog into something more. I believe that the ethos behind my six months free from clothes shopping has been worth doing and has encouraged many likeminded people to take stock of their current shopping habits and therefore over the next few weeks I will develop this blog into a ethical approach to Christmas shopping complete with ideas and hopefully suggestions developed from feedback to my blog.

I will be journalling my Christmas shopping plans and how I can adapt the principles of my six months clothes free to a much more ethical approach to buying less by creating and making more for loved ones at Christmas.

Why are so many of us tied up in the need to buy mindless presents regularly online for friends and family with a need to match pound for pound often with guilt that has been festering from the gifts received last year. We all appear tied up in the commercialism of Christmas losing the ethos and reason behind Christmas as a time to say ‘thank you’ in a meaningful way.

At times like this I would dearly love to develop a pact with friends and family that sees a much more creative approach to Christmas one where time and creativity trump ready packed gifts that cost an arm and a leg and are more about the packaging than the actual gift .

For many of my creative friends this blog will resonate well and I can hear them screaming at me ‘we’ve been doing this for years, planning, sorting and making individual bespoke gifts ( you all know who you are).

With this in mind I have just had a conversation with my son who is currently paying back outstanding debts after returning from a summer travelling I’ve been encouraging him to consider Christmas in a more ethical and personal way. I think I’ve given him some food for thought and will really appreciate a more personalised gift from him this year on Christmas Day even if it’s just a card with an IOU for a meal or show sometime next year when he is back on his feet once again or better still a commitment to do the ironing or housework for a specified period of time in 2020..

Final day

So for those of you following my six month shopping free blog today is the final day-183 days without buying any clothes, shoes, jewellery, scarves or handbags a major achievement and one I am truly proud of

Today saw yet another wardrobe reshuffle with all holiday clothes resigned back to the loft and another focused wardrobe of ‘winter’ clothes that should see me through at least until Christmas

Once again it made me realise the volume of clothing that I currently have and has made me take time to consider what happens now that the six months is over

I believe I require a new pair of quality blue boots to enhance my wardrobe. But rather than an automatic trip to the shops tomorrow I have listed two pairs of boots on E-bay and will wait patiently until they are sold and then put the proceeds of the sale towards my first major purchase in over six months

The past six months really have been quite liberating, I have clearly adjusted my previous shopping habits, lots my desire to shop for bargains at every opportunity and have fully utilised this time in a much more meaningful way

As we move into December tomorrow and my six months come to an end I won’t be rushing out to make rash purchases neither will I be embracing Christmas present buying with the usual gusto. Moving forward I will be much more mindful of my Christmas shopping purchases and won’t be going mad around January sale purchases and am motivated in the meantime around putting the crazy shopping purchases on hold and plan to continue with these principles at least until my planned holiday in India at the end of January