24 March 2012


Last night we had a lovely meal at the nearby "Kitchen" restaurant on Ecclesall Road. It was Shirley's fifty somethingth birthday and Frances managed to get back from Leeds to join us. One of the waitresses goes to Shirley's "Zumba" exercise-dance classes and the other was in Frances's class at primary school. I hadn't seen her since she was eleven years old. 

"Kitchen" is a snug little establishment but the food is delightful. I had chicken liver terrine with various tasty accompaniments, a medley of fresh fish with garlic potatoes and fresh greens followed by a tower of meringue, cream and soft fruit. Mmmm...

Later in the local pub I was given this twenty pence piece in my change. Please note - the image is magnified. British people don't stumble around with their pockets weighed down by massive coins. As you can see, it is a Falkland Islands twenty pence piece with our beloved monarch on one side and my pet sheep Beau on the reverse. Seems that the Falkland islanders revere Beau like a goddess.
Roger, the pub's landlord, thought it might be interesting if all coins had chips in them and we could follow their movement on the internet. If this particular coin could speak, its journey might be worth hearing about. Was it brought back to England by a soldier? Had it crossed the counter of  "The Capstan Gift Shop" in Stanley, the small capital of the islands. Was it tossed to settle a dispute? I don't remember ever being given a Falklands coin in change before. 

This little outpost of our former empire is 8,000 miles from England and, by the way, over four hundred miles from envious Argentina which mischievously likes to call these islands The Malvinas. They were in British possession long before Argentina was even a country and they were never inhabited by Argentinians. Apart from soldiers and other military personnel on tours of duty, the Falklands has a permanent population of only around 3,000 people. They can't have many twenty pence coins in circulation can they? Perhaps I should send it back and I guess I might do were it not for the image of Beau.


  1. I used to live on Eccleshall Road many years ago. It wasn't a bon-viveur's paradise back then. Ward's brewery still existed. There was a great little Indian place on the corner of Cemetery Avenue.

  2. I love chicken-livers too! Yum.
    And I liked your ponderings on the travels of your coin. But you have it wrong. What really happened was; my cousin (who is a spy) has been to the Falklands. He brought it back to England with him and given it to his wife who has had it for some years in her jewellery box. But a month or so back she took it out and absent-mindedly put it in her purse, and spent it on chicken-liver terrine at the "Kitchen" when she was up in Sheffield doing a spinning course. It's a small world, see?

  3. MORNING AJ Of course I remember Wards with the red neon sign and steam rising - now designer flats for "young professionals". I know Cemetery Avenue but don't recall an Indian restaurant on the corner. Mind you, I might have had my mind on other things.
    KATHERINE Clearly the twenty pence piece would not have appreciated being hidden in a dark casket with cheap trinkets and beads for all those years. You're right - it is a small world - 24901.5 miles round the waistline.

  4. Thank you so much dear friend for all your kind wishes. Things here have greatly improved and Dad has bounced back amazingly well. I'm sure there is more ahead as he is 90 after all but for now all is well.
    Loved the story about the coin. Perhaps a few more of them will find their way into circulation as your soldiers return from duty over there.
    Happy birthday to Shirley. She doesn't look a day over 30 and zumba ..? I'm very impressed!!


  5. I've been to the Falklands and loved every minute! Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and we were called back to the ship almost immediately -- rough seas and a lot of wind. But the little street I did venture onto had lots of flowers and picket fences and a very nice bakery. The landscape (and the weather) is a bit like Flamborough Head up in Yorkshire. Sadly we couldn't have done much roaming on the island because there are still many landmines there.

  6. HELEN Thanks. I have passed your birthday greeting on to Shirley. And so glad to hear your father has confounded your worst fears.
    CHRIS J Thanks for dropping by. This blog doesn't get many visitors who have been to the Falklands. Were you there on a professional basis or was it leisure?

  7. Hi Yorkshire Pudding! Thanks for visiting my blog. I was on a wonderful cruise from Rio around the Cape to Valparaiso, with a stop off to Iguazu Falls at the junction of Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Cape Horn was as calm as it had ever been in 40 years. It was magnificent. THE MOST exciting vacation of my life!
    But if you want to talk Flamborough then you'd better free up a few hours or so. I lived there for ten years as a teenager. Been back quite a few times. It's part of my soul. Don't think I will get back again. Too much flying
    As for Sheffield, I attended Thornbridge Hall Teacher Training College near Bakewell, but we were under the jurisdiction of Sheffield University and I did my teaching practice in Sheffield one of them was at Totley Hall elementary school.(Not real sure I've remembered the name accurately)

  8. Freshly minted in an Eccleshall back street would be my guess. Have you looked at the image of the queen? She's on this counterfeit.


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