The short article that follows was going, originally to be much, much longer! Once I got going, however, I found that the number of words needed to do justice to the stories arising from the individual items would have meant it becoming several times longer than anything else I’ve ever posted here.
Taking into account the presumed boredom threshold of my readership I decided to chop this bit down and use it as an introduction, while the items that were to follow become small vignettes in their own right.
So, off we go:-
Recently, in another of those overwhelmingly exciting interludes that keep my life from becoming unbearably boring, I decided to sort out the drawer of my bedside table.
The drawer in question has, over the years, become something of a “glory hole” for all sorts of unlikely items and may one day turn out to be worthy of another of these articles.
As an example it contains, amongst many other odd bits and pieces, a baseball embossed with the words “Saturday Night Live, NYC” and an ‘official’ printout of the words AND music of my old school song!
Much more important than those, however, was the item that I found at the bottom of a small tin underneath a wad of foreign postage stamps bearing postmarks from the early 1980s.
It was a key!
It is always exciting to find a key, especially if you cannot work out what it is meant to open but it only took me a couple of minutes to work out where this one belonged and that actually made things much more interesting on this occasion.
On the top shelf of my wardrobe sits a small metal deed-box; it is about 3 inches deep and probably a bit smaller than a sheet of A4 paper in its other dimensions. It has been sitting there untouched for about 5 years for one simple reason – I HAD LOST THE KEY!
I was well aware that it contained nothing really important – no legal documents or similar – because if it had I would by now have been obliged to break it open with a big screwdriver in the lock or by knocking the hinges off the lid with a hammer and chisel!
Nevertheless I had completely forgotten what was in it and I was rather like a child at Christmas when I turned the key in the lock and lifted the lid.
The box was surprisingly heavy which turned out to be down to the two old tobacco tins containing my coin collection.
Nothing valuable, you understand, just loads of pre-decimal pennies, halfpennies and threepenny bits plus the oddments of small change that the banks won’t let you change back into real money after a foreign holiday. Most of these Centimes, Pfennigs and Drachma can’t now be used anyway having all been replaced by the Euro.
I was quite excited to see some banknotes in there until I looked closely at them! As I recall 4000 Italian Lira were worth somewhere around £1 before it was scrapped for the Euro and the 450,000 old-style Turkish Lira (they knocked SIX zeroes off their notes a few years back to make the numbers more manageable) would have been exchangeable for considerably less than 50p – which is probably why we didn’t bother changing them back.
The other items in the box are all of no intrinsic worth whatsoever but are all interesting to me for one reason or another. That being the case I will (whether you want me to or not) tell you the stories that go with them as separate “sub-postings”.