Posts Tagged ‘money’

Investments..ha !

January 30, 2009


This pretty much sums up the state of our real estate investments right now.


Spend, Spend, Spend…

December 21, 2008

I don’t know about you but when money gets a bit tight I cut back on my spending and try to make economies wherever I can. I’ll do without things and even try to save something so that I have a reserve.
Apparently this is all wrong. According to the government we should spend our way out of our financial situation. Something about this seems completely wrong to me. Isn’t that part of the reason we are in this mess right now?

It occurs to me that much of our government simply does not want to accept that we ALL have less money to spend. Instead, their solution to budget shortfalls is to simply increase taxes and fees.
Wow, it must be nice to be able to do that.

Brit Money. A Culture Lost…

December 17, 2008

My recent post about the old pre decimal British currency made me realize just how much culture was lost by that apparently innocuous change.

This is the stuff of Dickens, wonderful stuff that connects you to your history. The change to the decimal system caused all this great history to be lost.

Take the humble pound or ‘quid’ as it’s known (at least it was, it may still be). Now they have pound coins instead of notes. It just doesn’t seem the same.
The pound of course was split into 20 shillings with each shilling consisting of twelve pennies. However the shilling was referred to a ‘bob’, resulting in usage such as ‘Give me a couple of bob.’ which is far more colorful than ‘Give me a couple of shillings.’ Just rolls off the tongue so much more smoothly.

There was also a ten shilling note, referred to of course as a ten bob note which in turn led to the term ‘Bent as a nine bob note’. Since there was no nine shilling note, the ‘bent’ referred to the subject of the phrase as being fake.

Pennies were great. They had been in circulation for years and coins from Queen Victoria’s reign were still in use so it was quite common when I was a kid to see coins dated 1890.

We still half half pennies too, although the half was abbreviated to ha’ so that you go ha’penny or three ha’pence (one and a half pennies).

Farthings (a quarter of a penny) had gone out of use by the time I was around although we did still find the odd one or two from time to time.

Next up the food chain was the three penny bit or “thripn’y bit” as we referred to it. It was also referred to as ‘thrupence’ (with the the up pronounced as in up). An absolutely wonderful 12 sided coin about the size of an adult thumbnail with a portcullis or thrift plant on the reverse side. As kids these were great for stacking up edge on edge to see how high you could make the pile.

threepenny bit

threepenny bit

Then came the sixpence or’ tanner’ as it was known. I have no idea why it was caller a tanner but it was small silver coin about the size of an adult middle finger fingernail.

As kids we would go to the sweet shop (Mr Baxter’s as I recal) which was across the corner from my grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) to get six pence worth of dolly mixtures, a mix of small soft candies.

Then came the two shilling coin (aka two ‘bob’). It was also referred to as a florin but that word usage had pretty much died out when we were kids although the coin itself was in plentiful supply.

Next up was the ‘half crown’ which was worth two shillings and sixpence. For some strange reason we (or at least those I knew) referred to it as ‘half a dollar’. Technically there was also a ‘crown’ or five shilling (since there was a half crown that made sense) although I never saw one and I don’t think they were in circulation.

I can also remember as a kid, some things (mostly furniture) being priced in Guineas (Sounds like ‘ginny’). A Guinea’ was twenty one shillings or one pound and one shilling. Thus, that 299 pound sofa actually cost 313 pounds and 19 shillings (299 pounds + 299 shillings. With 20 shillings to the pound that 299 pounds + 14 pounds and 19 shillings). See, it’s dead easy, beats me why they did away with it.