Country mouse on small change

I’ve never been very good at using up small change. Coins build up in my pockets until they look like saddle bags-I’m then forced to empty them into glass jars, which I eventually give to my godchildren.

Mrs Hedges thinks all men-well, me certainly-are useless at paying for things with small change. I can’t disagree, but would bravely counter that I’m always amazed that, when women come to the moment of paying in a supermarket, they seem genuinely shocked that the process will involve delving into the depths of their handbag for their purse.

I’ve noticed my glass jars changing colour. They’re becoming more silvery as the penny and two-penny coins get fewer and seem to be disappearing. This is a product, I suppose, of inflation, but also of some shops becoming less inclined to price everything in frustrating variations of £X.99. The Monster Raving Loony Party once had the brilliant suggestion in its manifesto of introducing a new 99p coin to save the pockets of men from becoming weighed down with pennies. Soon, even I’ll miss those small coins.

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