Pocket money was always a single coin back then when I was old enough to get it and young enough to squander it. With a pal, I'd take it to Ma Penman's shop round the corner. We'd spend careful time considering our choices Ma Penman hovered, watching. She wore a floral cross-over apron and a red felt hat and she thought Mars Bars were for adults only and always refused to sell us one. Sometimes, then, we'd leave the shop, saddle up our imaginary horses and trot up to the bigger shop at the other end of the road. Our plan had been to buy a Mars Bar and ride out to the Plains where we'd meed the Sioux Nation and trade the chocolate fro buffalo hides. Usually though, the Sioux Nation lost out as we'd eat the goods for sustenance on our journey.
Often, though, I'd save my money and take it to Woolworth's (long gone now) and stand coins pressed in small sweaty palms looking longingly at the stationery - jotters with shiny red covers, pencils with a rubber at one end, multi-coloured biros, pencil sharpeners in the shape of television sets. I loved stationery. Still do. Can't resist it.
Money back then was different. Threepenny bits, sixpences, half crowns - I miss that currency. It had character. I used it to buy the cheap notebook I filled with little stories about lost dogs and savage Indians that crept round my childhood bungalow as I slept. My pocket money funded the passion that was the beginning of me.