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Shopping local in Norwood

December 19, 2014

Bored with the same old merchandise in the Big Stores, I spent a day exploring the smaller shops in Norwood yesterday. Accompanying the expedition were my son and his girlfriend. Here is an account of our travels.

We stopped in at Artsy Fartsy craft shop in Francis Road to check out their range of mosaic and other craft supplies. I’m planning on some mosaicking over the holiday so will be back for a collection of their shiny artefacts next week.

I’ve been hunting for dresses for a while (almost extinct in the Big Stores). In Salli C I found a good selection, as well as the kind of personal attention that I have given up expecting. I tried on five dresses and bagged one. The large sofa in the store proved perfect for my son and his girlfriend to lounge on while I was making my selection. The assistants were friendly and threw in a discount.

After weeks of criss-crossing the Big Stores for shoes that were comfortable, but a bit different, I had given up. Endless rows of black, beige and red, in the most boring styles were depressing me. In Shoe Fanatik I discovered a pair of dark brown, fake crocodile-skin, patent court shoes that were just perfect. They were on special for R150. What a find! This store has a really interesting, fun collection of shoes in a range of colours and heel heights.

I unearthed two great old sci-fi novels in Chapter 1, the warren-like bookstore in Grant Avenue.

Tea (for me) and lunch (for them) at Vovo Telo’s proved a great opportunity to reflect on the virtues of shops with small, original collections that reflect the personality of the owners. The difference is like the bland sameness of the sterile shelves in Woolies and the fun that can be had ferreting out fantastical food in the Spar across William road where diversity reigns.

We ended up at Gillian Rose, the vintage clothing shop upstairs at the Factory where we plunged into the racks and found 60’s, 70s and 80s treasures that included a velvet brown smoking jacket with fur trim and a bright pink paisley dress.

Shopping in Norwood takes a sense of adventure. There are derelict service stations and some equally derelict people to be navigated. But armed with that (sense of adventure), there is a lot of fun to be had. I’m going to be shopping local as much as I can in 2015 – so much more exciting!

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