The Village: "Lady with the twenty pound note"

Posted August 17, 2010

The Village: "Lady with the twenty pound note"

I’d just sprinted down the road to catch the No 5 bus and was out of breath by the time I mounted the steps. I fumbled around in my purse looking for loose change to pay my fare and silently cursed when I realised that I didn’t have any. I sheepishly offered twenty pounds and apologised that it was the smallest note I had. By the look on the bus driver’s face you’d think I’d just slapped him with a wet fish.

We negotiated briefly (I petulantly offered to get off and wait for another bus, he reluctantly allowed me on board). Half way through my journey the driver pulled over and called out, “LADY WITH THE TWENTY POUND NOTE”. This was my summons to sort out my fare. Small children swivelled their heads to get a better view of the flustered, red-faced woman making her way to the front of the bus.  

As I returned to my seat I made a mental note to always carry a shed load of pound coins. I do actually try to do this but, as I use the bus a lot, it means I’m usually lugging around the equivalent of a stone of potatoes in coins.

Anyway, hope may soon be at hand. I’ve read that a company is launching cash machines that will only dispense fivers.  It’s meant to help people with their budgeting - apparently you spend less if you withdraw cash in small amounts. This may not be good news for our shopkeepers but it should thrill the bus company.

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