Tag Archives: shillings

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.

 

 

 

Six Thousand Shillings Sitting on a Shelf

We started sorting shillings at 10.00 and finished at 14.30. If we’d started four hours earlier, or spent another hour and a half sorting, it would take the tongue-twisting title to a whole new level.

A sixish start spending six hours sorting six thousand shillings sitting on a sagging shelf is not a sentence to be attempted lightly, or in polite company. Even for an alliteration addict like me, it’s a bit much.

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Silvery sorted shillings sitting in a sorting tray

The sets of  shillings are slowly taking shape. Coincidentally my back is also taking on a new shape, which is much more hunched than it was a couple of days ago. Shilling Sorters Spine is shortly going to be written up in The Lancet.  Or possibly the BMJ. One of my friends was once written up in one of them after the premature detonation of a cannon.

We were re-enacting the English Civil War in the Sealed Knot somewhere in Somerset (that’s not a security measure – I just can’t remember exactly where). The mop for swabbing out the barrel was a bit worn and it allowed a glowing ember to survive the operation. When the powder was rammed home the ember ignited the charge while he was still ramming.

This is clearly a bad thing.

Fortunately, because he was using good technique, the ramrod merely took the skin off his palms as it whistled across the “battlefield”. The blast also blew off his shirt sleeves and peppered his arms with fragments of black powder.

And that, when one of the doctors realised this was a rare chance to write up the hazards of muzzle-loading cannon, was how he appeared in the medical press.

We never did find his shirt sleeves…

Just to give you some idea of what the blast looks like I’ve purloined a photo from the web.

Image result for sealed knot cannon

 

Another of my mates was shot in the small of the back (mere inches above anywhere that would have provided a highly amusing and ribald anecdote) by a cannon at Naseby. But that is another story.

Sitting Sorting Silver Shillings

Guess what I did today?

That’s right, as the title suggests, I had a go at writing tongue-twisters.

In reality I mainly sorted cupro-nickel sixpences, which is not half so good as a basis for a tongue-twister, but in the WordPress universe things aren’t always what they seem. I, for instance, differ greatly from my blogging persona in several respects. In real life I am cynical, jingoistic and given to profanity. I also have a number of bad points.

I’m also disorganised and, after extensive browsing of ebay I have  seven minutes left to post this before midnight.

Shillings, Sorting and Sunset

Julia had a restful day today and, as a result, is feeling better.  She seems surprised by this, despite events proving quite clearly that her bad back is linked to doing too much.

She’s just been reading a report on research done on Mensa members. It seems that the hairier you are, the smarter you are. She then offered the opinion that I should delay the remodelling of my beard, which I have been contemplating for some time. I’m not sure the correlation works quite as clearly as that, but it’s something to think about.

I wouldn’t want to decrease my IQ by cutting my hair, after all, by using ebay I’m already damaging my intelligence quite enough.

You don’t need a great deal of intelligence to sort shillings, lift boxes and organise accessories, which have been my main activities of day.

It was still light when we left the shop at 4.20, which is a good sign, and I took several shots of the sky at that point, before doing a few more in the supermarket car park whilst buying things for tea. I tried for some shots of the tiny sliver of moon but it wasn’t light enough and the long exposure meant that they all ended up shaky.