Change, Small


With the current state pension a pittance, collecting small change has become a necessity for many pensioners.

Any suitably sized receptacle, such as a wheelie bin or witch’s cauldron, can be used, though you may wish to start with a jam jar or novelty piggy bank, which will fill more quickly and take up less space on your sideboard.

The real joy of collecting small change is taking it to your bank, which should provide bags for the purpose, clearly marked with the acceptable number of coins of each denomination. These guidelines should always be ignored, since counting coins by hand causes lengthy queues to form, and highlights, in a subtle but satisfyingly subversive way, the short-sighted folly of the High Street banks closing branches and sacking staff.

At least one foreign coin should be included in each bag and when challenged on its legality, you should insist on taking the cashier through every shopping trip of the previous three months in order to ascertain when, where and by whom the offending coin was passed to you.

Small change can also be collected in a sock, which can then be used to deter itinerant tree fellers with a sharp whack on the shins.