Tag Archives: gold

Seals, Solstices and Slimming

First, and last, day back at work after Christmas. I’ve been given Monday and Tuesday off, so I don’t return to work until next year.

I just had a look at the weekly seal update from Donna Nook, as we have failed to get there so far this year, and the news is not good. Numbers decreased by 90% over the previous week, so I suspect they will all be gone by now. With various things, we just couldn’t get to the coast this year. This included being asked to change days at work, meetings for Julia, and floods. It seems like everything stacked up to prevent us going.

I will use some of last year’s pictures with this post to give a flavour of what might have been.

The day was hectic, with 16 parcels to get to the Post Office before it closed at 12.30 and a constant stream of customers and phone calls. Most of the calls were about selling gold or silver but a few were about the perennial favourites – “rare” coins and “valuable” minting errors. They mainly occurred when I was already using both hands for wrapping packages.

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Last year’s seal at Donna Nook

We just got everything packed in time. Saturdays are always a bit of a rush, due to the Post Office closing at 12.30.

All the people who rang about selling gold and silver came in and sold us the stuff, as did a couple of other people who turned up on spec. We also had a group of regulars in, so things got quite busy.

Just one more Bank Holiday to work round then we can get on with work again.

Finally, after returning home in what appeared to be almost daylight compared to recent weeks (it’s the solstice effect – day length is actually only two minutes and eighteen seconds longer than it was a week ago) I found a leaflet from Slimmers World through the letter box. I’m sure it wasn’t meant personally but I do have a growing feeling that the whole world is having a laugh at my expense.

Starting with Teeth…

The good news is that I have no more dental work for a while. Having spent the last two weeks with a temporary cap I’m now pleased to record that I’ve just had my new crowns fitted.

I have kept the old ones, because one is gold. I’m thinking, as with the previous one that I kept, that they will be useful if the world banking system collapses. I’m also wondering about the idea of melting them down and using them to make a piece of jewellery for Julia.

Dental gold, I’m told, is about 60% pure, which makes it close to 15 carat gold. This was a standard used by the Victorians and I’ve always liked it. This probably seems strange, but there are some nice items made in 15 carat. It went out of use in 1932. Unfortunately, it’s quite close to 14 carat gold, a tawdry American standard that has been popularised in the UK by TV shopping channels. They have also popularised chocolate diamonds. Brown jewellery, whatever next?

And here is another place where American and English diverge as languages. We have the word carat, which describes the weight of a diamond and the fineness of gold. In America they have carat for the weight of diamonds and karat for the fineness of gold. It is both an example of American logic and the capacity of the English language for absorbing ambiguity.

You only need to think of a metal cleaning solution made in Eastern Europe. That would be Polish polish, and I’m sure most of you instinctively read it as that.

Further to the story of the skip – Julia finally tracked the company down and on being told that they couldn’t do anything, informed them in steely tones that she was sure they could.

They could, she said, either provide us with a skip or refund us for the one they had taken away early.

They are sending us a new skip tomorrow.

Then I left the AA. That for American readers, is like the AAA, but not based in America. My breakdown cover was due to cost me £312. I looked at it and decided I can’t afford it. So I looked at reducing cover, and got it to £171.

At that point I turned to the internet. I could, if I was joining the AA for the first time, get the reduced cover for £25 less. I’ve had this argument with them before and, after 38 years of continuous membership, it finally annoyed me so much I decided to do something about it.

I now have breakdown cover with Green Flag. It has cost me £58 and offers, on paper, the all the important elements of the AA cover.

Of course, I’ll only know if I’ve done the right thing when I’m stranded on a dark road in the middle of a rainy winter night. That’s what always worries me when changing insurance, have I done the right thing or have I sacrificed security for a few quid?

Featured image is a Razorbill. I was just wondering about sticking some lipstick on it and calling it a Puffin.

 

A Hectic Day

I’ve agreed a course of action with the dentist (who tried to avoid doing the work). I’ve had this before with dentists – I don’t think the National Health payment scheme encourages them to do too much.

I’m back in a few weeks to start the treatment and am hoping to keep the old crowns. It will be useful to have some gold when the western banking industry collapses.

It was a case of grabbing a quick breakfast after that (I don’t like eating before dental work as the job must be bad enough without seeing the remains of my breakfast stuck in the gaps.

We had a full, possibly over-full, day in the shop and I found my abandoned half cup of coffee still in the cupholder. The day was so warm that, if anything, the coffee was hotter at 4.30 this afternoon than it had been when I’d left it at just after 10.00 this morning. I may have discovered a new way of cooking.

We’re off to drop Number Two Son at Manchester  airport tonight. He’s staying over overnight as he has to be at the airport for 6am tomorrow.

Number One Son is leaving tomorrow – he’s flying on Saturday. By Monday both kids will be thousands of miles away.

Julia is a bit subdued about the whole empty nest thing so I’m trying to be supportive,

I’m not sure it’s working as she just told me to stop smiling so much.

 

A Thing of Beauty

No, it’s not another picture of Julia, though if she’s reading this I would like to point out that the title would fit.

This is an item I saw in a collectors’ shop in Nottingham last week. It’s the badge of an ex-Lady Mayoress of Nottingham from 1951-2. The workmanship, including the enamelling, is top quality, and it really is a thing of beauty. It is also a piece of Nottingham history.

Ruth Wigman, the recipient, would probably to be the wife of Alderman George H. Wigman who was Lord Mayor at that time. I’ve tried various searches but the internet seems to be empty of information on the Wigmans. I had hoped that Wigman Road might be something to do with them, but it just seems to complicate the search.

It is made from 9 carat gold and manufactured by Vaughtons of Birmingham. It appears that it was assembled after the engraving was done, as one of the fixings has obscured part of the inscription.

One of the more notable Vaughton family members was Oliver Howard Vaughton. He played football for England and Aston Villa, won the All England Skating Championship, cycled, swam, played county cricket for Warwickshire and was a County hockey player. He’s a bit more famous than the Wigmans, though, to be fair, neither of them scored five goals in an international football match or won the FA Cup.