Friday, 7 January 2011

Oh, How Times Change!

I have a confession. I am a charity shop addict and I want to stand up and be counted. After a mystery shop this afternoon (that I was forced to abandon half-way through, but that's another, highly embarrassing story) I had a quick skeg in the nearby charity shops. As part of the 'New Frugality' that has hit Keshling Towers I'd made a vague resolution to avoid buying unneccesary items from charity shops but I saw this item and at 25p it was just too good and useful a bargain to pass up.

Sam Costa was a singer back in the day, wartime years I guess, who became a radio presenter on Luxemburg and Radio 2, latterly with a kind of 'Housewives Choice' show. This book is full of hints (587 of 'em) from his listeners. It was published in 1970 and it really shows how times have changed. Some of them are timeless;
340. Gas Burners..Never light the front burners on the gas stove before the back ones, or your sleeve or blouse may catch alight.
279. Carpets..Coffee stains can be removed from carpets by using a solution of sodium bicarbonate in warm water.
Others are slightly less relevant, shall we say;
416. Unwanted Woollens..Unwanted woollen jumpers and cardigans can be cut down for children, providing the cut edges are then crocheted or blanket-stitched.
Hmmmm....and there's this one;
565. Notes for Tradesmen..Notes for tradesmen, kept in an old photo frame hung on the outside wall, will not get wet or blow away. That'll be notes like 'collect my rubbish you lazy sods' would it?
My favourite, and the one which caused Mr Charming some degree of puzzlement, was;
386. Darning Socks..Use an old electric lightbulb for darning socks. 'What's darning?' asked Mr Charming (18 yrs 9 mths). Before too long we'll be saying 'What's an electric bulb?'
Oh, how times change!

PS. I see eBay has a copy of 'Sam Costa's Handy Hints' priced at £6.27....


  1. Isn't it thrilling when you find something like that in the charity shop, and then find it priced much higher on eBay? I love that.

  2. Yes, I wonder if these sellers actually get what they're asking for? Do they know something I don't or are they just taking a wild guess!?


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