Family Travel

Secondhand Spain: Who needs fish when you’ve got fleas?

10 November, 2013

Has it been a bit seriouspants around here lately or what? What with taking on a child beating tome, battling the toddler tamers and accepting the heavy mantle of world change from Gandhi; we need a rest. Let’s have a rinse out with the sweet balm of fancy free second hand thrifting…

We had planned on shooting straight down the middle of Spain to a nature reserve some friends told us about, but on the ferry across the Atlantic we got an email from my distant cousins telling us about a camp their colleagues run on the Costa Blanca. We looked it up on Google Images, seemed pretty nice, we changed our minds and headed to Denia. 4 days, 600 kilometres (er, yeah, we are going quite, quite slow with Betty) and 17 million rounds of Annoying Kid’s Songs Volume 1 and 2 we found it. And it was hot, reeeeeeeally flipping hot.


On the way we passed through the beautiful cities of Bilbao, Longrono, Zaragosa and Valencia. Our first night night traipsing the streets of a city was really baffling. Why on earth were there so many people spilling out all over the streets, kids running wild around the plazas with balloons, dolled up old ladies dipping churros? Was there a carnival happening? A national holiday?

I had an awkward conversation with a stranger; “What is everyone doing? Why are they here?” “Er, well, this is a beautiful town!” “No, but why are they having fun, in this place, is there A Thing happening?” “This is what we do. On ordinary nights. Even when it’s cold and dark. We leave our houses and come to the city and eat some tapas, drink some wine, let the children play, we dance…”

Pffft! What kind of a life is this? They are missing out on the wearing of onesies and the watching of Eastenders while the kids play the X Station in the back room and Granny does her crochet in an old folks home.

Speaking of crochet, let’s cut to the chase. Yeah, it’s lush in Spain. We’ve been swimming in these coves (most of them seem to have NUDISTA signs all over them, who knows what that means) and climbing these old beautiful towers in these majestic basilicas, and eating insane paella, but, BUT the other day we bumped into a FLEA MARKET WOOHOOOOOOO! There we were bustling around Denia trying to find the fish market when, HANG THE HECK ON, what is this? Piles of junk? Stall after stall of dusty old crap? I must have actually died and gone to heaven.

I know that I had a bit of an out of body experience as I came across six tables, each groaning under the weight of mountains of knitted blankets, embroidered table cloths and vintage pinnafores. Something happened because when I came to, 5 Euros lighter, clutching a mound of flea ridden beauty to my chest Tim and the girls were no where to be seen.

I got flashbacks. Tim’s voice. “Going on…. Fish market…Meet you… At the… In about…”


I was lost. In a massive flea market. With no clue what we had arranged and with no way of contacting Tim or being contacted. Completely alone.

It was perfect.

He found me, of course, a bit later, knee high in a box of rusty Spanish doorknobs, a crazed look on my face; the unique, agonised expression of someone surrounded by super cheap cool old Spanish crap but with no home to put it in.

I try, however – look at Betty’s latest makeover:


Cushion- €1
Blanket- €1
Rug- Oh, that animal hide? We found that on the street in Germany
Hey, what are those things on the side board?!

Ah, well, this dude is an actual nut cracking nut cracker… €10

And these are just some old Spanish vintage tins, y’know? €3

20131110-175424.jpgMe and My Shadow– celebrating all things second hand!

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  • Model mummy 10 November, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I love your life! Spain is sounding great so far and your detour was a bonus! Great makeover and like the pics.
    Did you go on the beach in the nod? Looks warm enough. It’s icy cold here in the uk!

  • ThaliaKR 10 November, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Sick toddler on my lap. I’m trying to pretend that we’re looking at photos when I’m reading blogs. So thanks for the superCUTE photos of you guys!

    ‘More Juno. More Ramoma. More Juno.’

    So there you have it, give us more!

  • Crystal 10 November, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Love Spain. The ability to go out and socialise with your children sounds amazing, I hope you took full advantage of the wonders of it!

  • Katie 10 November, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    ONE EURO for that amazing blanket?! I think I need to have a sit down. *fans face* *Googles how long it would take to drive to Denia xxx

  • Jenny F 11 November, 2013 at 10:03 am

    My school blazer was orange, navy and grey stripes if you really want to look good…

  • Laura Dogsmom 12 November, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    OK, loved this post but now I MUST investigate the rest of the blog.

  • jenny paulin 12 November, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    wow i am loving your finds for Betty – that rug is lovely and those tins so cute. sounds like you are having a wonderful time in Spain and how lovely to have such warm weather 🙂 and that family pic of you is lovely x

  • Mary Keynko 13 November, 2013 at 7:37 am

    So glad I’m not the only one who gets all excited about junk shops and flea markets. People look strangely at me as I stand there sniffing old books and clapping my hands at broken kitchen scales! Viva second hand I say!

  • Molly 28 November, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I’d be awful in that flea market. Even if we only had a tent I’d find somewhere for lots of stuff. BUY ALL THE THINGS! That’s my motto when it comes to charity shops, vintage markets and car boot sales. Oops.