Sitting in the charity shop I manage (Birthlink), surrounded by spurious amounts of stuff. There is a set of false teeth that sit next to an old record player, some golf clubs, a large blue and white vase, playing cards, hundreds of books, a foot-spa below an African mask that has a little tuff of hair erupting out the top of its large fore head, copious amounts of stuff! Stuff that people buy, and buy lots of.

Old Miss Robertson bought all manor of stuff, the stuff that wouldn't sell for months, she would sweep it up, 5p to £5 and it was in her basket. We were grateful she was taking it as it meant we could get more stuff out. That's how the charity shop rolls.

Just as I closed up on Monday past, I got the news from a small fat guy, that Miss Robertson (his Mum) had fallen down the stairs and broke her neck…but that wasn't what killed her it was the heart attack at the hospital that did it.

I was a bit saddened by this, more so for the son. "This all happened Sunday last week" he said…I didn't know what to say, her lack of visits hadn't aroused any real concern.

That's when he tells me, my charity shop was her favourite place and points to his Volvo estate, its boot open, filled to the brim with boxes "she wanted you to have it".

30th July 2011