Thursday, 15 May 2014


"Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck.
Give the penny to a friend, and then your luck will never end".

OK, so superstitious nonsense perhaps, but how many of us do this I wonder? After a little bit of research I discovered that the saying has it's origins in ancient cultures, who believed that metal was a gift from the gods given to man to protect him against evil.

There are many sayings connected to the humble penny, the lowest denomination of coin:
A penny pincher is someone who is fanatical about savings tactics;
Penny wise and foolish implies that one's efforts to manage money are a bit careless;
A pretty penny is used to describe that something you paid for was expensive;
A penny saved is a penny earned, refers to the fact that saving is just as important as earning;
Without two pennies to rub together tends to refer to people who never have any money in their pocket;
And finally, in for a penny in for a pound, means when an opportunity comes along you dive in with maximum effort.

As a complete aside to this blog, my best friend Pauline has well and truly lived up to this last saying: on Tuesday this week she clocked up just shy of 2,600 miles on her bicycle, having cycled from Edinburgh to the North Cape in Norway, Europe's most northerly point.  If you'd like to catch up with her exploits just follow this link.

On the same day as Pauline was battling snow and ice in the Arctic Circle, I too was out on my bicycle, but in far better weather, scooting about all over Edinburgh for four hours, delivering leaflets promoting one of my businesses. When I stopped to chain up my bicycle at strategic points and went on foot for a while, I found five individual pennies over the course of the day.

This got me to thinking.

Imagine if only three-quarters of the people in the world, roughly the adult population, found just one penny, once every two weeks. Over the course of just one year that comes to a whopping 1 billion pounds, or 1.5 billion US dollars!!

Think I'll start keeping those pennies to myself!

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