Tag Archives: shop

Seventeen Minutes…

Seventeen minutes until midnight and I have successfully loafed an entire night away. If I’m to keep up my target of blogging every day I need to get a move on.

Fifteen minutes to go and I can’t think of anything…

I will now settle and go about this in an orderly manner.

Here are some pictures of Painted Ladies from the front garden. There were four of them yesterday, a new record for a small front garden attached to a semi-detached suburban house. Not only that, but three of them were looking quite fresh. We also had a quick stop from the cleanest Red Admiral I’ve ever seen. It may well just have emerged – it was positively velvety and the colours glowed. If only it had been slower.

Trade was slow in the shop, though we did buy several lots of worn out pennies.

The internet had been a little slow overnight too, but three people ordered during the day, which helped things along.

For tea we had meatballs (bought in because I can’t enthuse myself to cook my own, despite them being so simple) cooked up with onions (from the garden), mushrooms and a tin of tomatoes. Roast potatoes and carrots on the side. Not a sophisticated meal, but it was OK. We finished with fruit crumble which featured apples and blackberries from the garden.

That’s it for now. Day off tomorrow and the excitement is mounting as we decide where to go. Too late for Puffins and too soon for Seals, so it’s looking like we will be out hunting scones.

Moaning – a Skill for Modern Men

This afternoon I had a call from the hospital. It was slightly confused as I thought he said he was from Haematology and I thought it was about the blood test last week. It seems he said Rheumatology and he was ringing to tell me that my GP would be in touch. Why? Because my naughty GP hadn’t filled the form in correctly and they had refused me a consultation until the form was filled in properly.

I should have asked why they had staff to ring and tell me that but no staff to ring and get the information directly.

What I actually said was – “All you need to know is that my hand is virtually useless and I’d like it fixing.”

He said: “Oh.”

I think he was expecting me to simper with gratitude.

I let them off lightly last time they screwed me over. It isn’t going to happen a second time. I’m making notes and I’m going to use them this time.

Most of the rest of my day was devoted to struggling with School Attendance Medals. There are basically two types of these – interesting ones and one given out in London. There’s a whole website devoted to London medals here. Read it and tell me you retain the will to live.

I was given the London ones to do.

Don’t get me wrong – they are an interesting piece of social history, but as a subject for multiple listing on eBay. I have entered the date, metal, clasp detail, name, grade of medal and catalogue numbers for approximately 40 medals, with prices, conditions and at least three photographs for each one. I have struggled, made mistakes and accidentally lost the data on a whole batch. I say “lost”, but I actually managed to delete it by carelessness. Twice.

That’s enough for now. I really don’t want to dwell on it.

The standard catalogue on School Attendance Medals is School Attendance Medals of England, Scotland and Wales by Cedric Dry (Whitmore 1992). 

I will leave you with that thought.

 

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That’s right, MORE London School Attendance Medals

Crossing Off Another Day

I have packed parcels, as usual. I have drunk coffee, despite my preference for tea (because I am offered coffee and am too lazy to make my own drinks). And I have eaten my sandwiches.
It has not been a day of high excitement or great drama. We have been using the internet as a displacement activity, and to inform ourselves so we now know that Doctor Ferdinand Porsche was chauffeur to Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his National Service. This reminds me that although I know the names of the Archduke and the assassin, the name of the 1914 chauffeur seems to be absent from the records.
I also now know that Nickola Tesla was a Serbian, liked pigeons, liked walking and didn’t like paying his bills.
I then moved on to eBay, selling gold-plated coins with pictures stuck on the back.
They are not quality coins, but if you buy them from us they are reasonably priced. Buy them from the manufacturer and they will cost you a lot more.
I’m seriously thinking of  applying for a job copywriting for the manufacturers, using words like sumptuous and avoiding words like value for money. Today I managed to get the word “skullduggery” in, so sumptuous should be easy.
That’s why I’m going to be nice about the makers of crap coins. Well, maybe not nice, but possibly neutral. If they find the blog I don’t want to put them off by being honest about the expensive tawdry garbage they market so aggressively.
I finished off the day with coins which have been made into jewellery. The best bit is this 1676 Half Crown.
Half crown of Charles II

Half crown of Charles II

It’s not the prettiest coin, it’s been made into a brooch, and someone has started to make a hole at the top, but it has seen some history in its life.

When it was minted Charles had only been back on the throne 16 years and Cromwell’s head was still on a spike above Westminster Hall. It probably circulated during some of the wars with Holland, Monmouth’s Rebellion and the South Sea Bubble. It might have been handled by Prince Rupert, Sir Isaac Newton or Sir Henry Morgan.

You never know, it might even have still been in circulation when America declared its independence.

That’s a lot of history for one small coin.

Hoverflies and Broken Dreams

Subtitle: Poppies, Pollinators and Parcels.

I was torn between the two titles, but went for the bleaker one because I’m a shameless attention seeker.

I walked in to work this morning and found we had sixteen parcels to pack, It doesn’t seem much to do in three hours, though it’s probably fair to say that after seeing a couple of customers and queuing at the Post Office we had two and a half hours of packing. Or five hours, seeing as there were two of us.

That’s about twenty minutes per parcel, which seems OK, though when you have 100 loose coins to pack into a non-rattling parcel it can take a bit of time.

Part of the problem is that we have over two thousand items of stock on eBay and not enough storage space. We can locate 95% of the stock with ease, but we have to pack and repack the cupboards each time, which is time consuming, and the system is starting to creak.

To be fair, the cupboards are starting to creak too and I’m beginning to worry about being crushed to death in a cascade of coins and shattered woodwork. And shattered dreams. It was never meant to end like this…

Despite the somewhat gloomy thoughts, I am cheered by the poppy photos – they were absolutely packed with pollinators this morning, which validates our garden choices. They often have pollinators on them but the light and wind often work against me, and the numbers aren’t normally as impressive.

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Poppy with Pollinators

 

More of the same but with Added Doughnuts

Today, in the manner of these things, was rather like yesterday. It was hot, stuffy and windowless. However, I had cold water with me and a new mindset – no more boredom, just a new relaxation technique.

For the second day on the trot we were full of customers until 2 o’clock. This was good as we’ve been short of customers over the last few weeks because they all seem to have gone on holiday.

After a hard day at work (comparatively speaking – sitting down prodding a keyboard and chatting to customers is not exactly onerous) I returned home to find Julia turning the place upside down looking for lost keys. I am forbidden to mention it, as, three hours later, she found them in her purse. Talk about a senior moment. Not that I’m able to say too much after what happened last Monday.

On that subject, I had my blood test results – they are holding steady and I’m not required for another test until September. This is a good thing. It’s particularly good as it took some getting and I didn’t bleed after they took the needle out. That’s usually a bad sign and results in more tests. I’m obviously getting the hang of it now.

Julia bought doughnuts today, because jam, sugar and fat are just what I need in my attempt to lose weight.

However, Julia doesn’t need the calories either and I thought I’d better help her out. It seemed churlish not to. The only problem is that they always come in 5s, which means we are currently having an enquiry about who ate the fifth one while Julia was out of the room.

I’m saying nothing.

Today’s picture is another one from Crosby Beach – the RNLI patrol keeping an eye out for sightseers trapped in quicksand. It’s a tricky beach as this link shows.

The the Rain Started…

Another busy day, another load of parcels, and emails from customers.

We also had a steady flow of customers, two collections to buy and medallions to offer for sale.

I also had tomorrow to plan, which is a bit of a logistics nightmare. I’m picking Number One Son up and we are visiting my Dad as Number One Son is off to New Zealand at the end of the week. Yes, in just one week we will be empty nesters. I’d be inhuman not to feel a slight twinge at the thought. But it is a very small twinge.

The problem is that there is no rail service from Suffolk to Peterborough this weekend and the replacement bus service arrives too early or too late to be useful. So I’m now going to Ely for lunchtime tomorrow.

Then, after a hectic day, it started raining just as I got to the car…

I’ll publish now but may come back to edit and add photos.

Another Busy Day

Yesterday we had end to end customers, and the same was true today. Earlier in the week we had a Guildhall Coronation Medal brought into the shop with a selection of other medals associated with Guildhall dinners and the Freemasons. We weren’t able to buy them, though we did buy the associated coins. The owner has taken them home to talk to their children and decide what to do. This is an example photograph from the internet as I didn’t think to ask if I could take a photograph at the time.

The photographs below are ones I took of an interesting group of medals that came into the shop today. They represent 38 years in the army, with six tours – three in the Balkans (one with the UN and two with NATO) and three in Afghanistan. The last three medals are the Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and the Army Long Service and Good Conduct medal. We tend not to give a lot of medals out. The silver laurel leaves are the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service, which the recipient was awarded for his services in Helmand Province.

Modern Group with QCVS

Modern Group with QCVS

Lots more happened, but that, for me, was the most interesting part. I’m a man who is easily satisfied.