As news today reveals that the British government recently considered dropping the 1p and 2p coins from circulation, I am reminded that I grew up in a world where money came in half pennies as well as pennies. Money came in fractions.
Until cash machines started blossoming during the 1980s, getting your hands on actual cash was a procedure. You’d have to go into the actual bank just to check whether you had any money you could take out.
If you don’t know what a hospital corner is, it’s because you’ve grown up since the revolution in British bedding. Today we mostly use duvets (also called comforters) on our beds but, back in the day, we insisted on sheets and blankets. And how you tucked in those sheets mattered.
You could put these on the till in your shop to show that you accepted the daringly modern devices known as credit cards. Today, it’s more usual for merchants to put out signs when they don’t take them.
Around this time of year, it was once traditional on Stir-up Sunday to put a sixpence in your Christmas pudding as you stirred it. Whoever found the coin in their serving would have good luck for the coming year.
Try doing that now. Unless you have a family heirloom Christmas sixpence.
Last weekend, the last of the 164 British Home Stores branches that were still in operation closed their doors. The administrators rolled down the shutters on the remains of the cut-price stock and the futures of the staff still working, who, by the end, were selling off the fixtures and fittings.