beach gear …

Here are my 2015 essential beach items. I think they are a nice mix of used and new.

1. Backpack.  I am using that great Marimekko one I got from the North Fitzroy Primary School fete. I am loving this bag, because in addition to my own gear I inevitably end up hauling towels, buckets, spades, rashies and boards down to the beach for the kids. I can load this up with my own stuff and easily carry the extra things separately in my red fold up Kathmandu bag (also second hand). And even though it is a backpack it looks nice.


2. Beach chair.  I had a swankier new one with a matching towel that Clive bought me for Christmas two years ago. But I spent too long sitting on it in the shallows at Rosebud reading and the material rotted and the joints rusted and I had to chuck it out. They just don’t make beach chairs like they used to … Back to the old op shop number … It’s just a pity it’s not red or black to match the rest of my beach stuff …


3. Hat and thongs. New.  This hat might be THE BEST HAT EVER!  It really keeps the sun out of my eyes.  Maybe I wouldn’t have so many squinting wrinkles if I owned a hat like this before now.  I got it from the Roxy outlet shop on Smith Street. And India and I bought new thongs at Ghanda in Lorne. 2 pairs for $15.


4.  Book(s). Second hand. Week 2 of the beach holidays and I now have 3 books finished and 3 on the go. I am trying to read grown-up serious and meaningful books that would be worth discussing with people – but as ever am getting distracted by lighter fiction (what I really want is for Susan Elizabeth Phillips to publish a new book or 10). That’s alright isn’t it? I think at some point in time one (that’s me I mean) has to accept one’s failings.

5. Bathers and top.  I bought these Esther Williams bathers down at Kiss Me Too, the clothes/hairdressing place at the Aireys bottom shops 3 years ago. They also sell them at Scally and Trombone on Brunswick Street. Or you can buy them online. I love them. And when I bought them the lady in the shop suggested this beach shirt to match. I tried it on and liked it, but didn’t buy it. But I kept thinking about it for the whole summer. And then … it just jumped out at me in the op shop a year later. Perfect. Coordinated beach outfit sorted.


Now all I need is a thin cotton (not terry towelling) towel. Elise has one that she bought in Robe. She says it’s super. And since she showed me hers I am noticing them everywhere … ALL the mums on the beach have them. And I just know that I NEED one too …

unexpected perks …

You’ve gotta pat yourself on the back when you do a good deed right?  Clive had to go to Cabrini on Wednesday afternoon (not for anything interesting). And I said I’d take him. I am just not into people going off to hospitals by themselves, for any reason.

But I had to hang around for 2-3 hours in Malvern.  Bummer.  I was going to go to the cafeteria and have lunch  – I’d packed some sewing that I could do, and then I thought no, it’ll drive me nuts sitting around for that long.  So I considered going to Malvern Central.  Maybe they’d have a sushi shop for lunch and I could go to Target or DJs.

But then I thought, no I really should go … op shopping.

As I headed back to the car after leaving Clive with a medical type, I googled ‘op shops Malvern’ and at least four came up.  I chose two close to each other.  On Glenferrie Road.

So, hello Malvern Salvos, hello Malvern Vinnies.

In terms of op shop experiences you couldn’t get much different than these two stores.

The Salvos was SOOO organised.  Sizes, colours, beautifully decorated, ace change rooms (I love wooden louvred saloon doors … so … well, Malvern).  Music in the background that I couldn’t help but sing along with, and a gorgeous older volunteer (who was also singing to the tunes and maybe even dancing a bit) and who followed me around discretely tidying up after I’d touched things.  I have this dreadful thing, that is so unintentional, where I find that everything I touch in a shop falls off it’s hanger. It happens everywhere.  And the more I try not to do it the more it happens.  Is it just me?

And …when I was about to drop the 20 items I hauling around over my arm to take to the change rooms she offered me a basket … and … took the clothes I didn’t want to buy and hung them back up after I’d tried them on … ‘It gives me something to do love’.

And … Scarlett (who was having a ‘sick’ day  – she said she had a headache but I suspect she was just needing a day with her mum) was indulged as she loaded the soft toys into a plastic kids shopping trolley (that was for sale) and wheeled it around the shop behind me begging to buy it and everything in it.

Nice.  But sorry Scarlett.  It was just shoes for you.  However I got some great stuff for me!  All, as you can see, in the range of ‘grey’.  My most favourite, that I washed and wore the very next day is the singlety-top dress thing (short at the front, long at the back, looks fab. over a pair of pants) that is the very top picture in this post.  It looks great on.

And then we went to Vinnies.  It was one of those vast, dark warehouse op shops, where nothing is really sorted and where finding something good is super hit and miss.


I am sure I missed lots of stuff, but yep … I had some hits.  Like this little Billabong rashie for Mietta.  How cute.  Perfect for a 2 year old who still needs nappy bathers.

And when the hospital called   – only 2 hours after we left Clive – we weren’t really done … and I still hadn’t actually gotten around to lunch.

hello moonee ponds

I think I need to branch out a little and start exploring some second hand shops a little further from home. For some reason Moonee Ponds seemed like a great start. I did a Google search for op shops there and found a recommendation for The Brotherhood op shop at 24 Margaret Street. It was in someone’s top 5 op shops in Melbourne!  You can read the review I read here.

Promising … so off I headed. Just west along Glenlyon Road, over Sydney Road past Moonee Valley racecourse and over Mt Alexander Road, continuing into Puckle Street and then turning right into Margaret Street before the train line. Easy.

And it was worth the drive.


This op shop has loads of clothes. And some large furniture items (dining settings and lounge suits), a smallish bric a brac section and a book corner.

I bought a few things including these great Country Road pants for me ($5) and this nice Gumboots t-shirt for India ($2).



I will definitely go back … It really would be a super op shop day to combine this one with Savers on Sydney Road …