my favourite things #10, 11 and 12

I couldn’t hardly believe it when I was confronted by blue skies today. But it was still way too cold for a month called March. And so I was left feeling emotionally conflicted. Were my spirits uplifted to joy on high? Or was I still resentful of the cold and all of us millions of losers that are insisting on living in it?

My confused heart knew there was no other option: I would have to blog about multiple favourite things. Plus, I was carrying the shame around of being a terrible blogger. Imagine being terrible at a dying (dead) art form. It’s like having your last pack of Polaroid film that you had to source on the black market and taking one last perfectly candid off-center shot, knowing it will be the pièce de résistance in a lifetime’s collection of heart-wrenchingly nostalgic shots of your loved ones- to capture a time before time, a time when you could manufacture nostalgia photos on a brilliant iPhone app that Kodachromes your photo, but knowing instead you were doing it semi-legitimately. And then the Polaroid comes out and it’s blurry. Because that’s what happens to expired Polaroid film. It actually expires. That’s what being a terrible blogger feels like. I know you are with me and you’re in my head and you understand exactly what I’m saying. That’s why I like you so much.

In order of my day’s stream of consciousness, I love

the pound sterling £1 coin

for all the reasons many people love it and love the €1 coin and on. And for all the reasons we will never understand the failure in American currency to have a successful $1 coin. So the pound… Currency is psychological. People talk in terms of “Monopoly money” when they travel, as though money that is unfamiliar isn’t real and therefore happily spent. Well, pounds are real to me at this point, but pound coins never will be. Because they’re coins. And that is the brilliant psychology of it. I think nothing of tipping a street busker the equivalent of $1.50, something I would never do in the U.S. Because it’s a coin, not paper. I love the weight of them in the hand, the way even 4 of them together feels like a pittance. When it’s not. It’s a fair amount of money. I like putting them on a bar or handing them to a taxi driver and not feeling ashamed to hand over coins. There is no shame on this island and continent in paying in coins. They just make more sense than a 1 note.

It also makes me so happy the British practice of

calling “corn” “sweetcorn”.

I mean, I am sure there is a good argument that the delicious kernels in a Shepherd’s Pie or atop a Cobb salad are appropriately called “sweetcorn” to differentiate from corn that isn’t sweet. But then, in Britain when corn is used in other forms (like a puffed snack or to pop), it is called “maize”. So what gives? I don’t know. But the local sandwich shop will definitely have a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich with your name on it.

And I have not given enough credit to the genius move once upon a time by Transport for London to give out free

pins/badges for pregnant women that say “Baby on Board”.

It’s how you get a seat on the tube. Even before you’re showing. An American tourist was once so taken with it, he photographed mine. He told me I was so clever to think it up. Imagine if that was my big idea. I wouldn’t be commuting via underground anymore, let’s put it that way.

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7 Comments

Filed under culture i guess, exchange rate, fiscal responsibility, food, london, prego-land, product placement, travel, weather

7 responses to “my favourite things #10, 11 and 12

  1. Teresa

    Do you have to pee on a stick to get one of those buttons? Is there a public office that hands out these buttons? I think it is very clever that a button gets you priority seating. So, if someone is sitting can you flash your button and demand they get up? I mean, what if they are in a particularly rank mood and just decide to just say no to the pregnant lady? Is there a black market for this button? I need more info please.

    • yael

      All good questions. I do wonder if people wear them illegally. But since we can’t give everyone an ultrasound right there on the speeding train…

      People definitely refuse to get up all the time. But they do it by pretending they never made eye contact with you.

  2. sun

    i had forgotten how much i loved pound coins! i love the weight of them and how you can pay for a sandwich and a cup of tea with 5 of them! i’m so glad the uk never switched over to the euro…

    i never knew about the baby on board pins! totally brilliant!

  3. I love your ‘my favorite things’ blog posts. The pound coin is one of my favorite things too.

  4. yael

    Sun and Kristy, so glad we share the coin love!

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