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December 2018

I saw an advert for the product 'Soylent', a healthy ready-to-drink meal.  Well, in 1974 there was a film called 'Soylent Green' where old people went off to spend their last few hours in peace and serenity at the Soylent Green factory, but, the world was overpopulated and short of food - need I say more!

Another product with an interesting name 'Smart water', one of the many bottles of water you can buy - I thought 'Smart water' was the powerful crime deterrent security coloured ink used in helping to prevent robberies.

And I love these hotels that go on about sustainability and saving the planet, but, the soap comes in a cardboard box encased in plastic!

Well, that's enough ranting and raving from me.  We shall be busy over the holidays loading the site with a swathe of Provincial banknotes, Scottish Old Banks, National Bank and Commercial Bank of Scotland, White notes, Errors, new stock and generally trying to catch up - a never ending story.

We wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a Happy Collecting New Year.

November 2018

So much has happened, I almost don't know where to begin.

We just had 'Black Friday' - an event more aligned with the USA as it is the day following their Thanksgiving.  As I walked a short journey locally I noticed that a dentist was offering teeth whitening at £150 instead of £550, so, I wondered what sort of service you might receive at £400 off?

We visited Suffolk and stayed at the lovely Swan hotel in Lavenham. There are hundreds of historic old buildings in Lavenham, some quite quirky and a couple of crooked houses.  We dined in the hotel - the restaurant was in an old style (1600?) oak beamed hall - 400 tons of oak, I almost felt like I should have had a leg of mutton just to throw the bone over my shoulder.

I almost did not want to mention to anyone that I was having root canal treatment as everyone tells you their nightmare stories, but, I always managed to say how my dentist is great and I was looking to be over the pain!

Then, Pete and I popped over to Oz.  We started in Sydney, popping into the fabulous QVB (Queen Victoria Building), which has been renovated and houses some interesting shops and many cafes and restaurants.  We had a day trip where we saw wild Kangaroos and heard many varied birds singing, including a close encounter with a Kookaburra.  We even visited an antiques centre.

Flew off to Tasmania, visiting Launceston, Swansea and finally Hobart.  Driving around was easy enough and everything was nice and relaxed - no speeding.  We stopped to have a cup of tea as the building said it was a cafe, however, you could taste and buy gin and whisky at the same time as having a 'Devonshire tea' - could be served with alcohol!

Finally we arrived at the Melbourne convention centre where, on the Friday, we visited NPA - Note Printing Australia - a rare occurence for general public these days.  Saturday and Sunday were taken up with presentations and displays.  If ever you want to visit Australia, try to take in a convention, which is held annually - each year moving to a different chapter, so, in 2019 it will be in Sydney, 2020 Perth, then when the IBNS celebrates its 60th anniversary it will be back in Melbourne.  Well done to the three Chapters for a great weekend. 


October 2018

Recently there was a furore about the potential loss of our one penny coin.  As much as we might hate it, we also love it.  Often times I put the penny change in the charity box as millions of us do, so, why was I upset to be shortchanged a penny?  I used the self service machine in my local supermarket, the three machines beside it were out of order. It would not accept the coupon, so, I asked for help, that sorted, I selected to not receive a receipt and waited for my 3 pence change to arrive, but, only 2 pence arrived, so I asked for help again.  Why bother for 1 penny?  Well if the machine can short change me for a penny, can it decide to do it for a pound?  Then, so pleased I had my penny, I put all three in the charity box!

September 2018

Thank you for your emails about our trip and the Kelpie Maquettes in Falkirk - I am saving the Kelpies in Helix park for our next trip.

We popped up to Birmingham for a show and I (as a passenger) was looking at other drivers - one chap was brushing his teeth - where on earth was he going to spit anything out?

We enjoyed a lovely curry at Balti Kings just a few metres away from our hotel. I did post a review on Trip Advisor - it seems some people read my reviews.

I also posted on our British Notes Facebook page an interview by a Canadian Journalist with Dr. Dennis Lutz, President of the IBNS about IBNS Bank Note of the Year. 

Could it be that I am stuck for words?  We are busily preparing new stock for the upcoming shows - Valkenburg (referred to as the Maastricht show) next week, followed by the World Paper Money Fair at the Bloomsbury Doyle Hotel on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October - organised by the London IBNS branch.

Just walking back from the Post Office, I only have to dodge a few phone zombies. It is quite surprising that humans have not really lost their sense of awareness of their space bubble (the space we like to leave between us and an unknown person).  We just need the same awareness on the roads!

August 2018

Just back from our trip to Scotland. Of course it would be great if there were no great traumas going away, but, just collecting the hire car at Glasgow airport had its own story, but, not wishing to bore you we were finally upgraded and drove off towards Loch Awe for our first stop.  After arriving a tad too early to register we took a walk up the road and came across St. Conan's, where a fragment of bone belonging to Robert the Bruce from his tomb in Dunfermline Abbey resides in this quirky ancient kirk.

The next day saw us in Inverary - away to the Castle followed by the Jail, which are both well worth a visit. Whilst in town we stopped at a lovely cafe called Brambles and dined on a fresh apple and blackberry pie with ice cream sitting outside in the sunshine!

We drove the following day to Elgin via the Cairngorms National Park.  When we arrived at our hotel, the receptionist asked what brought us to Elgin and I replied 'we've come to see the Marbles', probably not the answer she expected. We popped into the town centre, where we found a shop that suited Peter and he purchased a 'jumper'.

As a warm day followed, we went off to the seaside - viewing Lossiemouth, Burghead and Buckie. In the town of Cullen we found a few collector shops.  Although no banknotes were to be found, we chatted pleasantly with Robert Harshaw of Cullen Collectables. We passed though some quaint villages and returned to Lossiemouth for a slap up meal of Lobster at the Salt Cellar restaurant.

Following on with our short tour in Scotland we mosied along, passing many a distillery on the way. I called a friend in London on the day we arrived there and found that it was raining in London, so I sent a couple of photos of the glorious weather in Banchory. Our next stop was Dunfermline where we came across a plaster cast of the skull of King Robert the Bruce 1818 in a local church.  Our final stop was Falkirk where we watched the Falkirk Wheel at work (a boat lift), an amazing technological marvel.

July 2018

I was in London the other day and hopped onto a bus, expecting to go at least four stops, but, the heat in the bus was about 100degrees fahrenheit (old school).  I could not get off and I could not cool down. It actually went out of service after one stop, but, how the passengers cope in our buses without collapsing is amazing.

Everywhere we go/attend now all seem to want feedback - not so sure the last hotel will be happy to publish my views on their tiny shower room - even I had to shuffle into it.  Just hope I don't put on even an inch before we re-visit!

We have 5 frogs. We have no pond, so they live around the garden and in the water feature. We also have two toads. How do we know this? As I sometimes wander into the garden to do some weeding/gardening and move low lying leaves on plants they jump out and frighten the living daylights out of me!

Whilst in a local town the other day I noticed the name of the newsagents as 'Read and Rite', which is wrong - maybe it is to get noticed or maybe they did not know the correct spelling - let alone in Sutton, one (if not) of the oldest shops in the town centre has renamed the back shop 'Projekt shop' - if this is modernism, I prefer the 'old way'.

We look forward to the peace and quiet this weekend.  It will make a nice change from the jack hammers, tile grinding and young people burning up the now 20mph road on their new scooters. Gosh! Do I sound like Victor Meldrew?  Oddly enough my tinnitus is affected by certain noises, almost as if it wants to 'outnoise' the noise outside!

Our car is being mended - a case of the driver behind putting a foot on the accelerator instead of the brake, whilst we were stationary on Battersea Bridge.  All seems to be progressing well, but, a chap phoned me and I thought it was to do with the insurance, however, he tried to get us to say we had been injured and would courier a form round immediately for us to sign in order to obtain £3000 for us.  In the process, perjuring ourselves!  I did not give him my mobile number, so, he must have obtained it from one of the companies we were dealing with legitimately.  Of course, when I went to delete his number, I found it was withheld.  No wonder car insurance is going through the roof!

Went to the London IBNS club meeting last month where we were treated to a talk by Julian Payne, creative director at De La Rue.  Yes, we were shown notes to drool over and ensured all were returned to him.  Cannot discuss as privy to the Official Secrets Act - only joking - join a club, meet collectors and see fab things!


July 2018

We have 5 frogs. We have no pond, so they live around the garden and in the water feature. We also have two toads. How do we know this? As I sometimes wander into the garden to do some weeding/gardening and move low lying leaves on plants they jump out and frighten the living daylights out of me!

Everywhere we go/attend now all seem to want feedback - not so sure the last hotel will be happy to publish my views on their tiny shower room - even I had to shuffle into it.  Just hope I don't put on even an inch before we re-visit!

Whilst in a local town

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