Tag Archives: Elvis

Tea and Cake – British Penicillin

I’m feeling creative again. Sloth and low temperatures put me out of the game for a bit, but an extra layer of clothing, a little heat and some reading has put me back in there. Mainly the reading. After a lazy month and a few weeks of experiments with hibernation I opened up Blithe Spirit when it arrived yesterday and felt something happen. Sparks danced from synapse to synapse and ideas seeped from cell to cell. Ideas appeared and if my life was an early Disney cartoon, bluebirds would have flown around my head.

It wasn’t just the reading of course. I have a couple of tanka and a haibun in there. They will appear here in due course. There’s nothing like seeing yourself in print for getting you going again.

We had a delivery from a charity shop yesterday and one of the lots is around 250 envelopes addressed to the Elvis Presley Fan Club. The main Presley man in the UK in the 60s was a man called Albert Hand. He only lived about ten miles outside Nottingham and this was a selection of empty envelopes he must have either kept or given to a local stamp collector. It’s an interesting lot and it enabled me to open the sales by asking “Are you lonesome tonight and wondering what to bid on eBay?”

Botham’s Whitby

It’s not quite ready for going live yet, but if say I managed to get another half dozen song titles in you will get the idea of the good humour, not to mention puerile glee, that filled the shop this afternoon. Unfortunately, none of the envelopes have been marked “Return to Sender”.

Meanwhile, customers continue to be irritating. One has refused to collect a package from his local post office in the US and it will soon becoming back to us. eBay will, of course, take his side because they always side with the customer, and we will lose the £15 postage fee. Another is claiming that his parcel hasn’t been delivered, despite the fact it was delivered and paid for a month ago. We will win that case as we have proof of delivery, but why should we have to spend time proving it? Time is money and in the case of a £20 sale the profit probably isn’t worth the time we spend on it.

To lift my mood I will post more pictures of tea and cake. Tea and cake can be very uplifting.

Tea and Eccles Cakes at Bempton Cliffs


Saturday Report Written on Sunday

We started the day with parking spaces, which is unusual for a Saturday. I packed the parcels while the owner sorted the Large Trade Order (LTO). I have decided that as it will be with us for a while it justifies its own set of initials. “Pack the Parcel” sounds like a party game doesn’t it? My life is one long round of hobbies and party games. I may use that as a title for a post one day.

Elvis on a silver dollar – note the coin design underneath and the Elvis Presley Enterprises copyright notice. He is till a big earner in death.

We had no customers booked in but several rang or just turned up and we ended up with a reasonably busy day.  I also had a big telephone order to pack, a couple of late eBay orders and  some things to post on eBay. I finished off and loaded several things I’d prepared during the week and started on another – a drop-down menu with 38 items. A lot of photographs. Oh, and there was a listing that needed alteration, and coins which had been put in the medallion cupboard (which meant they took a bit of finding). When you have three people, thirteen hundred items on eBay, limited space and a lot of other stock, things do go adrift.

We sold this a few months ago, and sold the bronze version yesterday.

We have passed words on this several times recently. My personal gripe is that three months ago I knew where everything was but the boss decided to have a tidy and things are now in different boxes or different cupboards, and it makes tracking them down very time-consuming. Yes, they are usually moved due to a logical reason, but that doesn’t really help. It’s like cupboard stacking. I stack cupboards so that I can see what is there and get to it with minimal fuss. When you have arthritis you tend to want ease of access.

A Half Puffin coin – see Coins of Lundy

He stacks cupboards like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle s that half of it has to be removed to get access and then put back in exactly the right way. It looks nice and it’s an efficient use of space. Unfortunately it misses the point of stock control, which is, to me, about knowing where things are and being able to get to them easily.

London School Attendance Medals 1890s

Nine times out of ten, we go to the right box and find the item. But if we don’t, I am always reminded of the words “time is money”. This is often the trigger for a rant, but today I am going to smile and pas on the chance. Anyway, it’s not my money, so why should I worry? I’m doing my best and being thwarted by someone squandering his own cash. Not my problem. Stock control is not one of those subjects that tends to crop up in poetry or creative writing classes. May be I should start, it can go with my funicular and Martin van Buren poems.

I now have another poem in mind and need to do that, so will close this and post.

Not all the stock is tasteful . . .

A Few More Coins

As the header picture show, I can’t always prevent myself using unsuitable camera effects. Sometimes I get bored and that’s what happens. I also did a listing for some Elvis Presley commemorative coins a couple of days ago, and the first draft included text to the effect that the experience had left me all shook up and that even hours later I found it was always on my mind. You’d have to have a wooden heart not to feel some emotion at the sight of all those coins being disfigured by cheap stickers with pictures of Elvis on them. The trouble is that most American coins are quite distinctive, and reasonably well made, so they aren’t improved by adding pictures. Nor is Elvis improved when you see the outline of a Walking Liberty, JFK or George Washington underneath, making strange shadows. Look at them and tell me you don’t think the man behind them is the devil in disguise. They make my pink neon picture look quite artistic.

Can you see what I mean- it covers the coin design and does Elvis no favours.

I’ve decided that no depths of taste are too low for the marketing departments of he coin marketing companies, and this probably applies to executives of Elvis Presley Enterprises too.

The next two are pictures of a Tennessee State Quarter from two different angles – one showing the Elvis picture and one showing the George Washington  profile. It’s lightly

State Quarter with Elvis picture

Same coin, different angle.

The saving grace of the Tennessee State Quarter is that it does feature musical heritage on the reverse, celebrating the sate’s many links to music, which include Elvis.

Reverse of the Tennessee State Quarter

And finally, an example of what happens if you apply a grey filter to a neon pink coin. Things are not always as bad as they seem.

George II, but this time in grey.

Last Week’s Photos

I took 425 photos last week, according to the count I just did. Exactly 200 were personal and 225 for work. I’m not surprised by the number of photos but I am surprised that they worked out to such tidy figures.


Cook Islands $1 – gold-plated copper with coloured detail

Of those, about half a dozen are blurred (as I delete obviously faulty ones at the time of taking, if I can) but many are poorly composed, badly lit or simply duplicates to make sure I get a decent shot.Many of the work shots are poorly lit because the subjects, particularly coin sets in boxes, and the lights (a couple of badly placed fluorescent tubes) aren’t really designed for good photography.


Guernsey 50p – much the same as the previous photo – they never circulate and are really just medallions for people who want lots of bright shiny stuff

And again!

And again!

It was a dull week at work – just coins. medallions and the cards that go with them. The “house style” so far as we have such a thing, is also dull, as the shop owner doesn’t like shots which might be more interesting than average. That’s a shame, as I like to look for slightly more interesting angles. Apart from taking pride in my work, it breaks up the tedium of taking 225 photos of shiny, round things.

The other problem I have with him is that he doesn’t use a camera himself. This means he doesn’t understand lighting, or the way the camera sees the shot, particularly the colour rendition. He can’t see why we can’t replicate the picture his eye sees. Most of the time we get decent shots, but with a good camera, good lighting and with some decent equipment such as tripods and diffusers, we could do a lot better.

This is a medallion to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Spitfire’s First Flight.

A lot of them have to be photographed inside plastic capsules, which doesn’t help.You can’t win with that one. If you take a proof coin out of a capsule you get criticism for taking it out and, in the view of the critic, putting finger marks on the coin. If you leave it in you get questions about whether a scratch is on the coin or the capsule.


Crowns – from the Festival of Britain 1951 to Wedding of Charles & Diana 1981

So here are a few of last week’s coin and medallion photos. Not really much of a challenge, apart from the poor equipment, and not much of a feeling of a job well done either. It’s fortunate I have a blog to keep me going.