Decimal 50th

Blue butterfly 84

Malaysia 1986 (C) PJ Croft 2016

Crumbs, 50 years today since decimal currency was introduced in Australia. I remember it pretty well, especially the date and the song. And the fact that that bloody obsequious monarchist Bob ‘Ming’ Menzies, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports fer gawsakes, wanted our currency called Royals. Bloody hell! He was shouted down then and thank goodness for it.

I really regret that we lost our distinctive names for our currency. Many of them came from the UK, of course. Most people younger than 50 wouldn’t remember:

  • quids (pounds)
  • bobs (shillings, and no, nothing to do with Bob Menzies)
  • zacs (sixpences)
  • treys (threepences, pronounced thrippences)
  • deeners (pennies)

I don’t know why we dropped these without a backward glance. I reckon they were part of our heritage. But immediately, we started using bucks and grands. I must admit, although I tried to keep the old names, I soon forgot.

The original 50c piece was round and contained more than its face value worth of silver, so they say. I’ve got one of those in my souvenir tin. But the price of silver has fallen so far that I doubt it applies today. I’ve also got several other multi-edged 50c pieces, some tarnished as if they were silver.

I’ve got one of each of the old coins, a halfpenny (pronounced ha’penny), a penny, a thrippence, a sixpence, a shilling and a two shillings (a florin) mounted on a wooden board I made back in the sixties. No notes, I’m afraid, as they were too valuable then to keep aside as souvenirs, but I’ve got a key ring with plastic replicas.

I’ve also been keeping some decimal currency notes for historic purposes. I’ve got a couple of one dollar notes, a two dollar note and a couple of the early five dollar notes before the current plastic note. I’ve also got a couple of the first plastic $10 notes from the late 1980s. We were the first in the world, I think, to use plastic notes. We did away with the copper one and two cents years ago (I’ve got a plastic bag full of those somewhere) and now they’re talking of dropping the five cent piece as well.


Two weeks to go to Bali 2016 I and I’m trying to think of how to save weight in my suitcase. Laptop with power supply and ext DVD drive 3Kg. CPAP machine 2.5KG. Medications at least 1.5Kg. Bandages, dressings, Dermeze, at least 1KG.  Insulin pens in their cold pack, about 1Kg. Camera gear apart from the camera, about 1.5Kg minimum. Plus the weight of the case, about 3.5Kg I think. And so on.

I’ve been thinking, since I’m already booked to go back to the same hotel in May, I wonder if I could leave my big suitcase up there, in storage? But I’d need another smaller suitcase that I could check in, as the weight of my essentials as above would exceed cabin baggage weight. Hmmm…

That reminds me, I used the plastic film wrap for the first time when I came back in January. I had a small shoulder bag so I wrapped my carry-on bag and checked it in. It worked well. It cost Rp85,000 ($8.50).

But I was surprised when i got home to find a stamp on the luggage strip saying [NO VALUABLE ITEM INSIDE, Baggage Profiling Checked].   I don’t know how that was decided, as there certainly was some valuable stuff inside, including my $1,300 CPAP blower and $300 worth of mask and tube. Odd.


Atlas + Raja 66

Atlas moth and Rajah Brooke butterfly. Malaysia 1986 (C) PJ Croft 2016