We had a good service at Church when we heard from Geoff who is involved with Open Doors, a Christian Charity that works in over 60 countries, supplying Bibles, training church leaders, providing practical support and emergency relief, and supporting Christians who suffer for their faith. In the UK and Ireland Open Doors works to raise awareness of global persecution, mobilising prayer, support and action among Christians.  

Geoff’s wife, Irene, came with him and had brought some beautiful items she makes to raise money for the charity.  I bought several things to give to friends and it was good to know that my purchases will help many who are persecuted for their faith.

After the service, Mr. HCB and I drove over to Marlborough, intending to come back along one of the quieter roads to look for dereliction.  However, that didn’t quite work out as planned but it certainly makes life more interesting.

Just as we arrived and parked the car, the heavens opened and we got quite wet walking/running along to our favourite coffee shop, The Food Gallery, at the other end of the High Street.   After we had dried out and had a cup of coffee and some toast, we meandered along the High Street, by which time the sun had come out - when we noticed a sign for the “Zero Waste Shop”.  It sounded very interesting so we walked up into Hughenden Yard and found it tucked away in a corner.  

Their website is Packaging Not Included and you can see all that they do and sell if you click on the link.  I spoke to Hayley, the lady who was serving, and found out she was the owner.  I asked how long the shop had been open, because we hadn’t seen it before, and she said exactly one year today - and that was why there was birthday cake!  She then invited us to have a piece of the coffee and caramel cake - well, it would have been rude not to accept, wouldn’t it?  

We had a good wander round the shop, speaking to a couple who were filling up lots of containers, with various liquids and dry goods - obviously not in the same container (!) - and while the man was filling the containers, the lady looked on - and he seemed to be really enjoying himself.  Whilst chatting, I said to her that I wondered if it was a “man thing” to enjoy filling the containers, much like a man donning an apron and wielding tongs at a barbecue, and she agreed with me that it probably was.

My collage shows some of the beautiful polyanthus in boxes on the wrought iron railings along the edge of the pavement on the High Street, and other shots taken inside the shop.  At the top right, you will see a large container that says “Minty Loo Cleaner” - the man I mentioned above was busy filling his loo cleaner container, so I waited until he had finished before I took this shot.

There was so much in this small shop, and if you live near, it is worth going to have a look - but you can buy all manner of things including herbs and spices, spaghetti, different types of pasta and dried fruits such as apples, and apricots, raisins, currants, sultanas, (and that's Hayley in the bottom left picking up spilt currants and sultanas) tea, coffee, honey, washing-up liquid, loo cleaner, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, bamboo toothbrushes, fresh vegetables and much more -  and you can even grind your own peanut butter!  I haven't used many of the jars I had been saving for my chutney, so asked Hayley if she would like more and she said they were always welcome.

I thought I should mention to Hayley why I had been taking photographs, so it gave me another opportunity to mention Blip, which of course, I did and then I got even braver and asked if she would be interested to come and speak to us on our “Girls About Town” radio programme to tell us about her business.  I explained that Clare, one of the other “girls” was a vegan and Jo, the presenter, was a vegetarian, so I knew they would be very interested.  I gave her the details about the programme when she said she would have to try and sort something out because she was usually in the shop on her own on a Wednesday - she gave me her mobile number and email address, so I will contact her in a few days to see what we can arrange.  I love these “chance” meetings!

So watch this space and listen to the Girls About Town programme - I do hope that Hayley will be able to come in and share with us about how we can become more eco friendly “plastic free” shoppers.

“As Christians we are required to love our enemies 
     even though it is very difficult to do that 
          when they make you suffer, 
                or when they harm or kill your loved ones!” 
Esther, Eritrean Believer

P.S.  Missing our younger son, Jules, today on his birthday - can't believe it was two years ago we were with him in Vietnam and we haven't seen him since then!

Sign in or get an account to comment.