Tag Archives: Bhutan

Forty Two Posts to Go

Forty two posts to go until I hit 3,000. The sad thing is that when i go back over them, I lead a life that is a lot less interesting than it was five years ago, and have also managed to forget a lot of the good bits. By the time I hit 4,000 what will life be like?

Will I just get up, moan for 250 words, eat some sort of dietary grade swill and hurl abuse at the TV? That is, to be fair, a direction I can see life taking.

Or will I spring from my bed after a miraculous change in lifestyle, pen a witty 250 words and attend to my latest sparkling poetry whilst turning down an invitation to yet another awards dinner?

You can never tell. Life, so far, has been a succession of constant surprises. Mainly, these days, the surprise is that I wake up without feeling that something else has worn out, but summer is coming and that is usually good for a few months of relative happiness. Talking of which, we sold a coin from Bhutan this morning.

I was going to go into a couple of hundred words about happiness, but I looked for a link, read the results, found out that Bhutan isn’t as happy as it is generally said to be, and decided to give it a miss. This just goes to show that too much information can lead to unhappiness. A few minutes ago I was quite upbeat and well on my way to a joke about having a clown as Prime Minister (Boris, not the current one). Now it seems that I have been massively misinformed and Bhutan isn’t really a happy place (actually being 95th out of 156 countries in the 2019 survey). Now I’m sad, as it seems my faith in Bhutan may be misplaced.

The header picture is Julia, if you look closely. She is one of life’s constant surprises, as nobody who knows me can understand why she puts up with me. I can’t either. She probably ranks higher in the world happiness rankings than Bhutan too.

Banknotes, banknotes, banknotes…

We have, as I noted in the last post, been putting banknotes on eBay.

There are a lot of notes in the shops, ranging from serious notes for collectors to cheap and cheerful bulk lots.


Austro-Hungarian Empire – early 20th entury

I work with two keen banknote collectors. I always admire enthusiasts, and respect their immense knowledge on the subject, but really can’t get enthused by talk of serial numbers, replacements and security printing. If I was going to collect notes I’d probably collect them by theme, such as notes with pictures of birds on them. I like birds.

However, I prefer burgers, and that would be a very small collecting field.

Republic of Biafra 1967-70 - a short and tragic story

Republic of Biafra 1967-70 – a short and tragic story

Some notes are spectacular, either because of the quality of design, or the history of the note or country. Others are very dull. You will probably see several of each sort in the pictures, though it has to be said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s a very simple way of touring the world and it has one advantage over many other forms of collecting in that you can, when handling circulated notes, get a fairly strong whiff of foreign bazaars and sweaty hands.



Years ago I had a delivery of foreign notes in an antique centre and as soon as the wrapping paper came off several neighbouring dealers turned green and ran off spluttering.


Atmospheric selection of notes from Ghana

So, for atmosphere , circulated notes are the thing to collect. But if you are looking for beauty, collect uncirculated notes.

Bhutan - nice and clean, with dragons

Bhutan – nice and clean, with dragons