I generally leave them lying around on the desk until I’m feeling energetic enough to gather them into a little jar which I then don’t ever get round to emptying. Whoever moved into my house in Madrid was in for quite a windfall if they could be bothered to count and then transport several hundred bits of shrapnel to the bank. But Someone Very Close To Me shocked me the other day by leaving a small collection of unused shiny silver coins uncollected on the table, which is not something I’d ever be inclined to do. She can’t be the only one with such a cavalier attitude attitude to 5p pieces, though; in the last couple of months I’ve been finding the things scattered around absolutelyfuckingeverywhere. Generally I pick them up, and I reckon I must have so far raised about £2.35 towards my Holiday Spending Fund (yippee!). £2.35 in euros is about €3.50 of course, and in Chinese yuan (as opposed to Welsh fucking yuan obviously) it makes about 35. In China that’s more than enough for a quite tasteful long-sleeved top which will set you back about £10 in the world’s official clothes suppliers, H & M (or ‘Hennes’, as my Slightly Irrational Ex-girlfriend used to insist on calling it in an ongoing attempt to demonstrate to me and the world just exactly how much she used to live in Finland) and which could last you anything up to a week and a half.
When I wander into a clothes shop these days I can’t help multiplying all the prices by fifteen, in order to get a more accurate sense of their actual worth in global terms. 5p means next to fuck all to most people here, but it means a fuck of a lot to most people in the country where most of what we wear is (fucking) made.