Sunday, 21 July 2013


When the kids were small, they had a set amount of pocket money each week which they could supplement by doing odds and ends of jobs around the house and garden. It didn't include things like 'making your own bed and putting your dirty socks in the wash', but things that were over and above. I seem to remember hoovering came into it, but I can't remember what else.

After church this morning, some of us got into a conversation about how we used to earn extra holiday money. I said that my sister and I used to weed the garden, and I think threepence in old (pre-decimal) money for a wheelbarrow full was the going rate. It was a small wheelbarrow, so I think we came out of it pretty well. Daphne said she used to get threepence for a hundred dandelions, which I think is slave labour and definitely along way below the minimum wage. Then Geoffrey, who goes back a long way, told us a story about somebody from before his time.

Jackie was the youngest of thirteen children. A neighbour who kept rabbits paid him to bring dandelion leaves, so on Saturday mornings Jackie would go off looking for dandelions. The churchyard was a good place to find them, and one morning when he'd picked all he could carry he went home past the chapel.

"And there was me sister coming out," he said. "She'd just got wed that morning, and nobody had told me!"

I don't suppose he minded. Small boy. Wedding, or earning pennies for pulling leaves up?

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