Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Money money money

I suppose it was thinking about the 50p stamp that turned my mind back to the days when if I had a ten shilling note I thought I was well off.  That would pay for me and my girl friend to catch a bus into town, go to the cinema, have a coffee afterwards and catch the bus back home - and I would still have some money left!

When I started work we were paid monthly and I well remember my take-home pay being about £28 a month.  There were more senior people at the bank who cleared £30 a month and I thought I would feel really rich when I did!  In those days we got a pay rise every year on our birthday up until our 31st birthday egardless of whether or not we were doing a more responsible job.  A bank clerk of 30 would break through that seemingly magic barrier of £1,000 a year salary.  Of course pay rises also went with promotion and it was possible to earn merit rises.  These were usually rises of £15 - a year!  When I got married my monthly salary was £42 clear.  This covered our rent and living expenses for three weeks of the month; the Old Bat's pay covered the rest and provided savings for holidays, Christmas and so on.

Still on the subject of money - or just about - I see that the Duchess of Cambridge is being slated for spending an estimated £35,000 on clothes so far this year.  As it is apparently her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, who is footing the bill and not the taxpayer I don't see that anyone has the right to criticise her for this.  In any case, she frequently wears comparatively cheap clothes from High Street stores and there are times when she really does have to dress up.  And even if it were the taxpayer footing the bill, I would suggest she is cheap at the price.  She must be worth far more than that to the country in invisible exports.

(Picture: Daily Mail)

What a stunner!

And while we are on the subject of money...  National Westminster Bank (NatWest) is one of England's "big four".  It, along with the much smaller Yorkshire Bank, is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland (of Fred Goodwin fame).  On Monday night last week the bank updated part of their accounting software - and everything crashed.  Customers of NatWest were able neither to receive funds such as wages and salaries into their accounts nor to transfer money out of them, so employers trying to pay their staff - who might bank with Barclays, HSBC or Lloyds - were unable to do so.  For those affected the results have ranged from people unable to buy food to those unable to complete on the purchase of a house.  That, of course, would have had knock-on effects both up and down the chain.  There was one man who spent the weekend in prison as he was unable to access his account to pay the bail demanded by the court.  And matters are still not completely settled.  I'm glad I neither bank with nor work for NatWest.


The wild flower meadow in Withdean Park look likely to be somewhat monochrome this year as the only flowers in bloom were ox-eye daisies.  They have now been joined by a yellow flower I am unable to name and there are a very few other coming along.

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