Lost and found 2

I could have asked for something at any time and would have been given it, or the money to buy it, but I never did. I was an undemanding child. Books were regularly bought, of course and I was uninterested in clothes whereas my mother loved them, so she tended to choose my clothes anyway. Sweets didn’t get bought, though ice cream did in the summer, so being given sweets or chocolate was a huge treat. I made them last a long time. As I had no money, occasional gifts of it were spent carefully, usually on presents, as were book tokens when I was of an age to buy presents for my family instead. It puzzles me now that no one seemed to notice that I produced a bought present when I had no money to buy it with. No one, rightly, would ever have thought I’d have stolen it.

Looking back, my sense of honour did become blurred once a year. It started when Pearson and I found a few coins down the back of an armchair. It would have been pennies, a thrupenny bit at most. If I’d told my mother we’d found it, she would have told us to keep it, there’s no question of that. But somehow, the secrecy became the point.

Pearson was my mother’s godson and he lived with his parents and sister Lyndal – I’m not sure how it was spelt – in Basingstoke. He was about my age and he came for several years to spend the summer holidays with us. I got on with him well. I didn’t play with dolls, which I thought were girly – the funny thing was that when any boys came round, they loved a dolls’ tea party and we had to make do with cuddly toys. I liked going to their houses because they had cars and trains.

Anyway, we found some money and then we found more pennies in a drawer of odds and ends. There was no question we’d look in a handbag, pocket or purse. It had to be lost money because that didn’t have an owner, and we’d go down to the village and spend it on sweets and biscuits on the day before Pearson was due to leave and we’d have a private feast. The fact that we bought that sort of food was the reason for the secrecy, of course, because it would have been met with disapproval.

By about the third year, we were running out of places to find the coins, but I suppose we were growing out of it by then anyway. I was about 12 the last time he came to stay.

My mother tended not to use cash anyway, because they had accounts at all the shops they used regularly. And if I was sent shopping, I just asked for it to be put on the account and breezed out with the goods. One could phone and the order would be delivered the same day.

Funnily enough, I just broke off from writing this a minute ago to answer the phone. It was the deli in Yagnub, where I emailed my order a couple of hours ago. I’ve emailed my greengrocer order too and I’ll pick both up tomorrow. I’ve gone back 50 years. The fishmonger called this morning and we bought crabs (Eloise cat was very pleased) and halibut. And I’ve ordered a case of wine and another case turned up the other day from our local vineyard as our annual benefit as members of their supporters’ club.

There are changes coming up at the Zedery, which I’ll tell you about in a week or so. In the meantime, C and I are going to spend a couple of hours painting the fence.

6 comments on “Lost and found 2

    1. Z Post author

      She’s quite well in herself, Glenda, but it’s going to be a long, dull time while she recovers after her operation.

      Reply
  1. Ponita

    Growing up in a relatively poor family, I rarely had cash until I was around seven, and then I would get my weekly allowance of 10 cents. A few years later, it was increased to 25 cents. In the day of multiple candies for a penny, I felt positively wealthy! And going to a movie on Saturday was a dime, so having 15 cents left over for treats was the cat’s pajamas.

    I have taken to ordering my groceries online, paying with debit (rather than credit), and picking then up in the time slot I have selected. Only one of the four grocery stores in my small city do online orders but it works for almost everything I need. Cat supplies I can order on the phone and then pick up. The store is on the way to work so easy to pop in. Our set up for local shops is not like yours, I don’t think.

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      My father had so much money, when I was a small child, that he didn’t need to carry any. “Send me the bill” was enough. Amazingly, I didn’t grow up with a sense of entitlement and I was unaware that we had more than most people. It all went in tax, in the end.

      We are unusual and lucky in having local independent shops. “Click and collect,” which is what we call what you describe, is popular and so are online grocery deliveries from the big supermarkets. Tim called in the local small supermarket for beer and gin (let’s face it) this morning and I have cat food delivered and get chicken food from a local supplier.

      Reply
  2. allotmentqueen

    Quite frankly I can’t remember the time I last paid in cash. Everyone wants card payments now, preferably contactless. I think I’ve got a fiver in my purse which is looking quite lonely. It’s handy when the unwashed ask for spare change for a bed for tonight as I can say I don’t carry cash these days as no-one wants it. The council provided them all with ‘a bed for the night’ the moment we went into lockdown so I know they just want the money for drugs which I’ve never been up for giving. A year ago I might have bought them a sausage roll or a can of coke (no, not that kind).

    The other day one approached me and asked for money because his girlfriend needed sanitary products. He tried to get me to get some cash out of a machine but I refused but said I would get something for her, and what did she use? He didn’t know (unsurprisingly). I went into the supermarket (just local one, not megastore) and picked up some stuff for her but when I approached the till area I could see him outside hoping to con someone else and when he saw me inside about to pay, he scarpered. I told the assistant that no, I didn’t want those items, I was far too old for them!! Can’t they see I wasn’t born yesterday?

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      I usually just give them a quid to get rid of them, but it’s rare I’m asked. Funnily enough, not having needed much cash for ages, I went to the wholefood shop for some seeds to go in my bread mix yesterday. I just took my phone with a card tucked in the holder, but their internet has been down for several days and they could only take cash. They wrote it in a book and I paid later, when I went in for my greengrocer order. I used to pay my fishmonger cash but now I pay into his bank account, which I’ve done all bills for ages. So much easier.

      Reply

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