Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Loose change

I spring cleaned the bedroom today. Out went bin liners filled with rubbish clothes that no longer fit or are made of fabrics I can't wear. I found two pairs of linen trousers so ragged they could only be described as crotch-less. I also kept finding rounders bats... Bit odd!

At about lunchtime I decided to go through my loose change pot, which became the mother of all tasks due to the large amounts of foreign coinage I'd managed to lump in with the English currency over the years. The U.S. nickel looks like our 10p, the dime is similar to the five pence piece, a one cent coin looks like the British penny and the euro is the same size as a pound. There were a load of Romanian coins in there as well which looked like nothing on earth. Still, I persisted, and when I took it all into the bank I had almost £30, which made me very happy. The woman behind the counter, however, didn't seem to share my joy when she saw me taking the huge carrier bags of change out of my pocket.

I realised that I'd seen that look before...

In my teenaged years, I busked around the Midlands as part of a string trio with Ted and Fiona. We became well-accustomed to the sensation of having pockets full of loose change. Our favourite busking haunt was Coventry, largely because the bakers we busked outside (friends of my Grannie's) used to bring us free buns and soup, and chase other buskers off the pitch if they knew we were about!

On one occasion we decided to pay for parking with our earnings. We put our ticket into the machine just as another driver appeared and started queuing behind us. I think the fee was £5, so we pulled out our bag of 2 pence pieces. The man behind us saw the bag and uttered the immortal words, "Jesus Christ." It got considerably worse for him because it took us so long to get the money into the machine, we kept timing out and all the coins would be ejected onto the ground!

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