Tag Archives: boredom

Doughnuts and Dad’s Army

It’s been a positive end to the day, in a number of ways. My finger, for instance, has continued to improve and the pain has gone. It’s still stiff but that’s just the penalty you pay for growing old. 

We had a couple of customers in who I have known for years, and it was good to catch up, even though I have seen them both in the last week. Let’s be honest, I was just chatting rather than working. 

On the other side of the day, I’ve still done enough of the boring stuff to ensure that I’m seeing coin sets when I close my eyes.

We sold four of them overnight, so it’s paying off.

Dragonfly in Norfolk

The rest of the day, I fear, would be very boring if described in detail. We packed parcels, sold coins, bought nothing and ate doughnuts (provided by one of the customers). I don’t mind a boring day if it includes doughnuts.

Finally, as I sit and write, I note that the new editor, whilst having no automatic word count, does allow me to access all my photos. The cynic in me suggests that the previous trouble may well have been linked to the preparations for the “improvements”.

And so, as the day draws to an end, with a couple of interesting rugby results and a classic black and white episode of Dad’s Army, it’s time to reflect on the way that an unpromising start can often lead to better things.

In this case it leads to some archive photos.

Doughnuts at Hunstanton

Coins, coins, coins…

Yesterday, we had quite a few people in the shop and I spent a lot of the day in the front of the shop talking rather than working. Today was the opposite and I spent most of the time sitting in the back room typing a seemingly endless list of coins into eBay. 

These aren’t just ordinary coins, these are tedious modern coins mounted on First Day Covers commemorating things like the Queen Mother’s birthday, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and a Royal Visit to the Isle of Man. They are badly made, dull, uninspired and bring out the worst in me.

I’m generally in favour of tradition and  resistant to change. However, after a couple of hours of this I’m prepared to put the entire Royal Family up against a wall and shoot them (normally I only feel like this about Prince Andrew and Fergie and their unpleasant offspring). A couple of hours later I’m also prepared to undermine the entire capitalist system which makes the successful marketing of such trash possible.

Just a short post for now, though the new editor seems to lack the capacity to count my words. I’m off to polish my hammer and sickle and raise a red flag.

Meanwhile I still haven’t worked out the benefits of the new editor, in any, compared to the old one. I may well go back to the old one.

Royal Family 1937

Dull Day, Declining…

The morning was grey and the journey to work was uneventful. There were just three parcels to pack, and I had them done before the others turned up. One modern silver coin, one 1990’s proof set and one modern medallion – hardly the stuff that gets my pulse racing.

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Then I started sorting brass threepenny bits from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The oldest ones (1953) are only a few years older than I am and the newest (1967) are considerably younger. To make things worse, the dates aren’t very easy to read. We currently have 87 complete year sets and a sorting tray full of coins – apart from 1958. We’re short of them. When making up year sets there’s always at least one year that slows things down.

After that I had a few coins and medallions to list on eBay and that was that.

You know when you have a day that makes your heart sing and makes the whole world look brighter? This was the opposite.

Fortunately it means that tomorrow is likely to be an improvement.

 

 

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.

 

 

Boredom, what Boredom?

Yes, I’ve been doing cards again. I’ve done Star Trek, The Beatles and yet more A&BC football cards (the orange and red backs from 1972-3). Thanks to an informative website I’m now in possession of much more knowledge than I really need on this subject.

I think my brain may be grinding to a halt, but I think I’ve isolated the point when the rot set into football. The 1970 set shows footballers with serviceable haircuts and quite a few broken noses. The 1972-3 set shows straighter noses and shocking haircuts. That three year window was the thin end of the wedge, and look where we ended up – diving, spray foam and perms.

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Look at that haircut…

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…and that moustache.

I grew my first moustache in 1975. It wasn’t a success. In truth they rarely are. Some things from the past should be left there – moustaches, I feel, are one of those things. As are rickets, platform soles and The King’s Evil.

For those of you interested in why one photo is upside down I have to confess that I don’t know. I struggled with a glitchy internet last night and had problems with a lot of photographs being upside down on the photo card. Eventually I just used two that seemed to be cooperative.

This morning I found that the post hadn’t actually loaded and one of the photos was upside down again.

So I gave up and loaded the post again with extra lines to explain the upside down photograph.

For those of you more arty types it’s an ironic take on the topsy-turvey nature of modern sport.

For the others, it’s what happens when you hand modern technology to a man who is barely past the crayon stage of artistic evolution.

 

Struggling for Words

Oh dear, what should I talk about?

Julia has put an end to talk of funerals for the moment. She thinks it’s morbid.

She’s also put an end to posts about how she bosses me around. That is tricky, because if I do what she tells me I sort of prove my point. And if I don’t do what she says I might have to develop early-rising habits and cook my own breakfast.

I also don’t want to talk about work too much, as I admit that many people will find it less than fascinating. Not everyone is blessed with my capacity for loving ancient rubbish.

Nor will everyone be fascinated to hear how we reset the credit card machine after it stopped working.

Nor will the news that we’ve increased the stock of our on-line shop by 10% this week be greeted with much more than the thought of raising an eyebrow.

We have been shown some interesting things this week – including a George Medal that required a new ribbon, a medieval lead token someone found whilst digging the garden and a box of World War Two medals which included King Haakon VII’s Freedom Medal. I would have liked to have known the story behind the last one, but they didn’t even know which member of the family they had belonged to. Needless to say, as soon as I showed interest they decided to keep them.

The big news is that the shillings are all done. On Monday they will be delivered and, hopefully, out of my life forever. The same goes for the 1,000 crowns we’re also sending. However, don’t worry, we’ve already bought more. It seems like everyone who comes in has cupro-nickel crowns.

Shillings of Elizabeth II - English and Scottish varieties

Shillings of Elizabeth II – English and Scottish varieties

I have some. I bought them in 1968 after reading about how they would be a good investment. My Mum got them from the bank for me – four at face value of five shillings each. (This was before we went decimal and they became worth 25 pence). They are still worth that. Allowing for inflation this is a bit of a disaster.

Things could be, as I often say, worse. There’s a website you can use for selling things and they offer 19 pence each. I won’t send you a link as I don’t want to encourage them.

There would be more photographs but for the last few days I’ve been having trouble with my media contents – scroll down a few weeks looking for a suitable library shot and the whole thing freezes, making me shut down to get going again.

Looks like I may have to email WordPress.

It rained this afternoon. I’m hoping this isn’t a sign that summer is over.

We also had to evict another wasp queen. That is two in the last three days. Opinion in the shop is divided between gently showing them the door and killing them. At the moment I’m with Eddie on gently showing them the door. However, I’m wondering if I might change my mind shortly as the suspicion of a wasp invasion builds up.

As lives go, this is not cutting edge…

 

Shillings, always Shillings…

We had fourteen parcels to pack and post this morning, which we managed in reasonable time. I was happily photographing and loading medallions on eBay when the boss arrived and hobbled through the door.

He has a bad back and stick that is too short for him – a recipe for disaster, as I know to my cost.

Then we had cake.

After that the other two went home, one to a pre-planned afternoon off and the other to an afternoon of stretching out with painkillers and hot water bottles.

That left me alone in charge of the shop. Just me and several thousand shillings.

Two hours later there were still several thousand shillings, but they were arranged differently.

Shillings of Elizabeth II - English and Scottish varieties

Shillings of Elizabeth II – English and Scottish varieties

When I write the chapter called My Working  Life – The Shilling Years for my autobiography it’s going to need some work. I may have to tell the story of how Kylie Minogue came in to buy Australian coins for her father’s collection.

She spent several hours picking over our fine stock of antipodean numismatic gems before noting the time and wondering if she had time to stay.

I should be so lucky

 

Disclaimer: Shillings, always Shillings… is a lazily written work of fiction and the author would be glad not to be sued by Miss Minogue, who has never actually been to the shop. Though she would be welcome to pop in if she’s ever passing.

Other pop stars are available, though their songs probably wouldn’t have fitted so well and, frankly, if S Club Seven, Blue or Little Mix came to the shop I probably wouldn’t recognise them.