As we had that long journey to France yesterday and a lot of excitement finding lost treasure, I thought we would have a gentler trip today, maybe just a journey on the London Underground to the British Museum. I have recently become interested in coins, quite modern ones in fact. Fifty Pence Coins to be precise. I started collecting these a couple of years ago as interesting Paddington Bears appeared on them. Then I found Beatrix Potter characters, Mrs.Twiggy Winkle, Jeremy Fisher, Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten, Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tittlemouse, and on a more serious note, coins commemorating the Battle of Britain, the Victoria Cross, Roger Bannister’s 4 minute mile, Johnson’s Dictionary, the Battle of Hastings, Sherlock Holmes and so on. How I miss shopping these days, when the highlight of my trips would be finding one of these special 50p coins in my change.
So my scarf today is from the British Museum, silk of course, with hand rolled edges! It shows coins and other means of payment. How money has changed, shells to coins, coins to banknotes and now to mobile phone payment, contactless cards, even new ways I know nothing of, shut away in my ivory tower. My kind neighbours shop for me, and I am sure they don’t like my dirty money which passes in envelopes at a distance.
Coins have been around for a long time and shells even longer. Cowry shells have been used as decoration and also as tender from China, Australia, Africa to the Americas and in the Solomon Islands were still in use in the late 19th Century.
Now, I have a big collection of shells given to me mostly by Tahitians who greet guests with a lei, their fragrant flower garland and say goodbye with shell necklaces.
I wonder if I can take a step back in time and pay for my groceries with shells or a step forward and barter with toilet rolls, of which I have a good supply!
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!