Before going on holiday, I always have a quick shifty on the old t’internetwebnet thingy to see what the resort has on offer.

As I am mainly dressed by those well-known fashion designers Charity Shop and Car Boot I also have a quick look at what local animal charity shops there are in resort as I do like a good rummage and being on hols, doesn’t stop the old killer instinct of rooting out a good bargain whilst helping the local cat or animal charities.

Whilst in Corfu for the day in October on a cruise, I galloped off the ship and into Corfu town for the day. I had seen The Ark animal charity shop listed on the web. As I worked my way down the main street of Corfu town towards The Honda Centre, the shop was signposted with a big yellow sign. I turned off the main street and up the little passage way which veered off at the top to the right.

The Ark is a little shop tucked away and as I entered it was stuffed to the rafters with local donations Oh how my heart sang!! The shop is a little dark and crammed with stuff so it was good to have a rifle through the hangers, books and DVDs.

There was a lovely lady there, sitting on the left in the picture, who said it was her first day; she was really friendly and helpful.

Then I saw it. A huge white handbag stuffed on a shelf at the back of the shop

“How much is the bag?”  I asked

“One Euro she replied”

“I’ll have it” I laughed, without even looking at it. “But I’ll give you more than a Euro, and I’ll also make a donation!” It just looked the right size and style for me and I knew that I’d regret it if I got home and hadn’t bought it as it just had such an elegant look about it.

We took it off the shelf and dusted it down. It was a bit grubby on the inside, nothing a good soak and a squirt of bleach wouldn’t sort out when I got home. It was put in a carrier bag and off I went off a happy tourist with a stylish large handbag which will accommodate all my ‘junk’ when I do radio programmes. A great souvenir of my day in Corfu.

It was only when I started to go back to the ship and stopped for a coffee I took the handbag out of the carrier bag and plonked it on the table that I really looked at what I’d purchased.

It was a white bag, but all over it was embossed the Louis Vuitton logo which wasn’t apparent in the darkness of the shop.

I put it down on the grass and a local stray cat came and inspected it. No doubt after a morsel to feed her hungry tummy. She was rewarded with some bits and bobs I had with me. It was as if she approved the purchase from the charity shop. She was a very vocal little cat!

Back home, the bag washed up really lovely and dried upside down on the radiator in the bathroom, and it is now as good as new.

However I have a deep quandary. It is extremely well made, in fact very well made for a copy, if indeed it is a copy. The zipper, padlock and material inside are all stamped Louis Vuitton and it is very good quality.

So I’m not totally sure what I have actually purchased! If it is a real Louis Vuitton then I shall have no option, and no quibbles, about selling it and donating half the money back to The Ark in Corfu.

But I just don’t know how you tell. And if it is a genuine Louise Vuitton and I sell it, then I shall buy myself a real fake to accommodate all my radio programme junk!!

Either way, when  you are in Corfu town look out for The Ark by the Honda Centre, go say hello and see what treasures you can find whilst helping the local cause!!

Carol Lake

For more details about The Ark, Corfu, click on this website link

The Ark

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)