Saturday, July 19, 2008

loose change

Confession: I'm absolutely hopeless with loose-change. Or rather, I'm brilliant at collecting it, but utterly hopeless at spending it. A couple of years ago, despairing of the little piles of coins all over my flat, I started depositing them in a mug - and this is not just one and two pence pieces, but smaller silver coins too. Before long the mug was full and I switched receptacles, moving on to a milk bottle, a better size for my burgeoning collection. Not that long ago I despairingly poured its overflowing contents into the lid of a bumper spool of DVDs, about the size of a small waste-basket. Things were clearly getting out of hand.

So today I loaded my rucksack with coins and headed over to Sainsbury's, having realised that they have a machine which automatically sorts and logs your coins before presenting you with a beautiful slip of semi-translucent paper, which can be traded for notes (or a deduction from your shopping bill). The machine is amazing, a large contraption with a big coin tray which resembles a basket from a deep fat fryer. One simply pours the money in and watches the sums totting up on screen, several years worth of coppers being stacked and itemised. The noise is tremendous, a great wall of noise comprising the clangs and whirrs of the mechanism and the sound of a thousand coins bouncing off each other. I was, naturally, dementedly excited, and pouring in coins at such a rate that the machine eventually, desperately, pleaded with me to stop, its display changing to a screen which read "My, you have a lot of coins. Please give the machine a moment to catch up". I love the use of that 'my'.

Eventually I was shocked and slightly appalled to discover that I had fifty quid's worth of money lying around my flat!! Far more than I anticipated, although I admit that when it got to the mid forties I started feeding in a few pound coins from my pocket, too, desperate to get over the half-century, and reluctant for the fun to stop.

So the net result is that a food shop amounting to fifty seven quid actually cost me six pounds and forty pence. And although I am ashamed of the extent of my ridiculous hoarding, I'm secretly yearning for the day when I've built up enough coins to go back and see if I can break the record...

4 comments:

jimmy said...

Wow, I had no idea that so much money just lies around you, well I have a small table full of them. Will be taking a trip to sainsburys for sure

Will said...

I wait for a year or more taking my hoard of coins to Sainburys. Maybe i sound pompous but my record is £93.27. However, i think my latest hoard will break this record. I hope to remember to inform you.

jonathan said...

Ha ha, Will, that's amazingly good. I thought I had done well. I'm impressed :-)

Will said...

£173.63p
Problem is the machine had 8% of it. Very annoying but hey it saved me counting it!