When Things Go Wrong…

Have you ever noticed that when something goes wrong, more problems follow? Say, for instance, that you fall asleep in front of the TV and wake up with just thirty posting minutes before midnight, the computer seems to slow down and photos refuse to load.

Well, that’s the sort of night I’m currently having.

I’m posting now, then I’m going back to write the rest of the post and add photos, so if you’ve read so far and there is nothing more to read you may want to come back in twenty minutes.

I started off with a blood test, arriving at 7.20 to find a longer queue than usual and a notive on the wall telling me that the average wait last month was 12 minutes. This is three minutes (or 25%) longer than the nine minutes claimed last time. Or 33% depending which number you start with – I’ve never quite understood which is the right way round. It didn’t matter, because the actual wait was over twenty minutes.

It seemed longer because I’d forgotten my glasses. I’ve broken two sets recently and the situation regarding spares is getting tricky. As in, I have no spares. The current position is that I have misplaced two sets and broken two, which just leaves me with one set – the ones that make me look like Clark Kent.

OK, I look like Clark Kent in an alternative universe where he looks like a well-worn version of Santa Claus, but the glasses are similar.

I’m now waiting for the results.

We had a reasonably active day, with twelve parcels after which I visited friends and went home early to do a few jobs. These included drinking tea, watching Pointless and doing a little light snoozing.

I also started listing my collection of Peace and Tribute medals from the Great War as I’m doing a talk on them for the Numismatic Society next year. Yes, 2020, a year after the centenary of the Peace Celebrations in 2019. I have a gift for timing.


Huddersfield Peace Medal.

I’m gathering information at the moment, which is where I’ve been all night – head stuck in the internet looking for interesting anecdotes about Peace Medals. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait for next year as I don’t want to use all my material in advance of the big day.

Did I mention that I don’t like public speaking? My aversion to public speaking is greater than my combined aversion to working, spending money or eating salad. Yes, I’d rather work as a buyer in a salad factory than give a talk. The only thing that outweighs this is my vanity.

There are basically two types of medal that come under the Peace Medal banner – the cheap white metal ones given out to children as part of the Peace Day Celebration and the better quality ones given to returning servicemen to thank them for their service.

I mentioned in a previous post that things did not go well at all Peace Day Celebrations. The ones in Luton, for instance, went spectacularly wrong.

Here are two examples of the different sorts of medal.. They are all larger than life size.

Plymouth Peace Medal for School children.


Washington & Barmston Tribute Medal

Washington & Barmston Tribute Medal in silver and enamel. Note that the town gave rise to a famous surname, and the coat of arms was used, according to informed conjecture, to have been used in the design of the Stars and Stripes.

17 thoughts on “When Things Go Wrong…

    1. quercuscommunity

      I know that Salford bought theirs for 2d each, and ordered just under 50,000. Luton set aside £150 for 9,000 medals (4d each if my maths is right). Now, bearing in mind that the population in 1914 was roughly 40 million and approximately one eighth of the population would be school age ( I’ve counted that as 5-14) that would be five million kids. If only half the councils gave out medals that would be 2.5 million medals. Call the average cost 3d, divide 2,500,000 by 80 and you end up with £31,250 Only a guesstimate of course…

      That’s just over £2,100,000 in modern money according to an on-line calculator I just used.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’m now down for November because a number of speakers have asked for February and March next year. I suppose it won’t make a lot of difference either way. 🙂

    2. jodierichelle

      I’m no fan of public speaking, either. I can only do it if I am enthusiastic about the subject AND I feel I am well-informed on the subject. Both of those things help me to get over my insecurities. I wish you great success with your presentation, Simon! And I look forward to a recap afterwards.

  1. Clare Pooley

    I’ll come back tomorrow. I’ve already fallen asleep at the kitchen table with my head hanging over the back of the kitchen chair so I’d better go to bed.


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