The Quality of Coins…

We had an unusual start to the day.

On Saturday we have a lie in.  It’s the one day of the week when we aren’t pressed for time so we sleep in until 8.00. It’s only an hour but it breaks up the week, and prepares us for Sunday. I was in that stage of waking where you know the alarm is about to go off, but you don’t actually want to open your eyes and confirm it. It’s a comfortable place to be and I quite enjoy it.

Then Julia’s mobile went off.

It was work.

According to my alarm it was 7.58.

The Council had organised a special event for employees in one of their departments (and family members) after they won a national award. They had realised, somewhere between opening at 6.00 and ringing us, that they would need extra staff, hence the phone call.

Julia has a particular tone of voice she uses when she wants to express disapproval without actually saying she disapproves. I have heard it more than once. The crackling voice on the other end of the phone become gradually more apologetic.

Fortunately the rest of the day was better. We had customers in for most of the day and managed to get a few things on eBay too. It’s strange to think that six hours of work can be condensed into a couple of lines.

I’ll load some pictures now as they are a slightly more interesting way of  showing how industrious I’ve been.

For starters, I’ll start with a marketing master class. If you are thinking of marketing a coin by using a well-known entertainer, make it a rule to check if he’s likely to be at liberty to help with the promotional work. Rolf Harris was not a good choice to promote the Australian silver Kangaroo coin. Eddie refuses to put them on eBay but I have no problem with them. The coin didn’t actually commit any crime and besides that, it gives me a chance to say “Can you see what it is yet?” (American readers may need to refer to the link to see what I’m talking about, just replace the name with Bill Cosby).

The next selection are from the well known nation of Tristan da Cunha. It’s so proud of itself it even uses the abbreviation TDC instead of its name. I doubt if any of the coins ever see the place, though according to this link they do provide a source of revenue for the island. They seem to be jumping on the Great War bandwagon, and though the designs aren’t bad on the reverses, the badly done bust of the Queen is almost criminal.

Contrast that with the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy used on our current coins, and the coins of many other nations, and the TDC one looks even worse. You can see the IRB effigy on this poppy-shaped coin from Jersey. You can also get them with red colouration applied. I will say no more.

It’s not what I thought I’d be dealing with when I went to work in a coin shop.

While the Cat is away…

It was all going so well…

I dropped Julia off at work, parked right outside the shop, found all the stock for eBay parcels on my first attempt and had everything ready for the post by the time Eddie turned up. The Boss was at the York Coin Fair today so I was then able to relax.

I wrote a reply to an email that had arrived overnight, and then kept my fingers crossed.  Then I wrote another email, demanding action from someone who was being slow with a parcel.

Finally, I composed a message to KFC in my head. I had to administer a touch of firmness to them earlier in the week after a rather disorganised meal on Sunday. We ordered four things – they were only able to supply one. Not good enough,  I told them.

Their, reasonably quick, reply agreed with me, told me that training would be administered and told me they looked forward to seeing me again soon.

Why would I go back soon after the meal I just had (a very different one from the one we had ordered)? The staff were disorganised, the manager was ranting and the bins were overflowing. And it was not as if they were busy. It was a far cry from the last meal I enjoyed there.

After reading their reply, I was left with the distinct impression that they were taking the mickey.

The last laugh is with me, of course. I will stop eating KFC, will save money, lose weight and, in all probability, be better off without them.

As I was savouring my imaginary victory my mobile rang with the reply from the first email. It was a positive reply, which was good.

I then put some things on eBay, served customers, unwillingly stayed an hour late to serve another customer, went back at 7.00 the see another customer (by arrangement  – he’s a market trader who needed stock but had been unable to get down sooner).

Now, after refreshment, I’m off to pick up Number Two son from work. It’s cheaper than paying for the bus.

 

 

 

Upcycling

Julia had an old bike abandoned by the gardens. It lacked a few bits, but she’s a resourceful woman. With the addition of pallets, stakes, flower baskets and the remains of a bird feeder pole she has managed to produce a talking point. You might even call it a garden feature.

This upcycling is certainly the only cycling we’ve done in the last thirty years.

She’s been working me hard tonight, preparing for the Mencap Open Day so this is it for today. As usual, I have plenty of good intentions but have come up short on execution.

Tomorrow I will try harder.

Finally – a New Internet Hub!

I’m now communicating with you via my new internet hub. It’s version 7.0. The one we just removed is version 2.0. This might be one reason we’ve been getting poor service.

It doesn’t seem to be any faster, despite some BT claims about speed, but I wasn’t actually expecting that. I’ll probably need a new computer for that. It should, however, be more reliable and, as we have sorted the bills out, it will actually be cheaper.

Everything was surprisingly easy to connect. Two connectors for the back of the hub, one button to press and a code to put into the computer. Only the three months of hassle that preceded these actions provided any difficulty.

It’s amazing how useless some companies can be whilst staying in business. And at this point I will make my normal comment – BT may be unbelievably bad but Virgin are far worse. Far, far worse.

I’m very tempted to write to BT and complain.

 

Another Day of Mixed Fortunes

The good news is that I had a slightly better day domestically. I’ve nearly been forgiven for the laundry debacle (despite my protestations that, being poorer by two pens, I’m actually the victim here) and after a liberal helping of  bleach we’ve nearly restored the white blouses.

Breakfast demonstrated the folly of buying cheap cereal. It was my own fault for shopping whilst in the grip of an economy drive. However, as I’m keener on saving money than I am on eating expensive hamster food the cheerless breakfast may be a fixture for some time to come. Or I may eat more eggs. Eggs, as I often remarked during my time in the poultry industry are both economical and nutritious.

If I save money on food I can spend more on visiting piers. And replacing Julia’s linen tops.

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View from the end of Southwold Pier

My main project for the day on eBay was to split the English coin section of the on-line shop between decimal and pre-decimal sections. There’s no real instruction book for eBay and it took a couple of tries to find the right method, not helped by a set of instructions that left several things out.

I won’t bore you with the details, but it took four hours in the back of a stuffy shop to get it nearly done. Actually that isn’t quite true – the first two hours were stuffy, but the final two hours, after we opened the back doors, were like working in a wind tunnel. A very boring wind tunnel.

Apart from that I packed parcels, put three Edwardian Love Tokens up for auction and put eight railway medallions up for sale.

The sixpence (above) is actually 20mm in diameter and the threepences are 16mm. I managed to lose the scale when I took the photos. I missed out the obverses from the bottom two as they are the same head as the top one. Once you’ve seen one bald king you’ve seen them all.

It doesn’t sound much of a day but I think it’s seen off a fair number of brain cells as I decline.

 

 

A Disastrous Day

The day started with me waking early and leaping from my bed, full of joy and ready for action. I’m not sure why, and I should have suspected it was too good to be true.

Breakfast was good – cold sausage sandwiches with brown sauce. Not to everyone’s taste, I know, but I like them.

The journey to work was fair and I managed to park outside the shop, though some idiot had parked so badly they had managed to use two spaces. I’ll skate over the next few hours. The shop was hot and airless, we’re having a few problems on eBay and I have a co-worker with the acquisitive habits of a pack rat. If I put anything down on the desk – pen, tape, ruler, stamps or scissors – it mysteriously disappears and reappears in his work space. It’s an annoyingly inefficient way of working.

This all paled into insignificance after the horror that was “doing the laundry”.  I managed to get out of doing it yesterday but Julia cornered me tonight and we ended up in the launderette. It was hot. Someone had three driers going. And the woman who looks after it came in halfway through kept moving us so she could clean.

This was bad enough, but when we started to unload the machine at the end we found we’d ruined two of my pens by putting them through the hot wash.

I was devastated. They cost me 99p each. However, I’m a happy-go-lucky sort of bloke and am trying not to let it upset me too much.

Julia, on the other hand, is taking it quite badly.

It seems that black spots on white work blouses and brown linen tops are Bad Things. Very Bad Things.

I am not popular.

I’ve used a picture of Tim Hunkin’s dog from Southwold Pier – if he had a house we’d be sharing it tonight.