I like new coins.
Some time in June 1982, I got change from a shop that included shiny new 20p coins.
The design was like nothing I’d ever seen before in British money – heptagonal like a 50p piece but much smaller and lighter (the new light 5p and 10p coins were not to appear for another 10 years, and the lighter 50p coins not for five years after that).
I recognised it instantly as a British coin, but a new coin for a different value. I liked it. (I had a similar feeling when the £2 coins first appeared in 1998.) And in 1982, I had had no idea that 20p coins were about to be a thing.
Today, 28th March, new £1 coins appear: dodecagons. We haven’t had dodecagon currency since the thruppeny bit was discontinued in 1971.
My dad met death like an unwelcome guest
who had come to his door unasked: and he
must ask death in, give even death’s request
a fair hearing: offer to make some tea.
My mum meets death with her eyes closed: asleep,
her heart enlarged strives one more beat, her breath
rattles her chest, her legs kick, her words keep
putting away her own belief in death.
Twenty-fifteen the year I saw my dad
meet death open-eyed, going away from us
quietly as if he had his own work, had
to go away alone: naught to discuss.
Twenty-fifteen the year I saw my mum
follow her husband, whatever may come.
Good thing we won the Battle of Britain.
Otherwise, people might be forced to join in singing patriotic songs to prove their loyalty to the regime.
Yesterday, on Saturday 5th September, I took a train from Waverley to Tweedbank: today you can too, for £11.20: the whole trip from the centre of Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Borders will take you 57 minutes.
A few months ago I was sitting on a bus and an advert popped up on my tablet: 35 Golden Ticket winners and their guests could win a Golden Ticket and be the first passengers to travel from Edinburgh to the Borders by the new Scottish Borders railway: just say why you want to go, in 50 words or less.
For about five years – I think from when I was about six to sometime before my 12th birthday – my parents rented a cottage in the Borders from the Buccleuch Estates. The rent was £5 a year, and the cottage had running water (which had to be turned off in the autumn, before the first frost led to burst pipes) but the only means of heating the water was to have a fire in the hearth in the living-room.
I mentioned on 27th June that blogging would be light in July, and this is why:
I’ve news – good or bad?
Awhile ago, I decided that for personal reasons, I was going to have to make July 2014 a light blogging month. Mostly for personal reasons, which I’m sorry not to be able to share with you.