Finders keepers

Day 1
Schemes active/complete: 5
Money made: £0.11

I’ve coincidentally done quite a lot of walking today. I was at my Mum’s in Reading for the weekend and so this afternoon walked to the train station to travel back to Branksome station in Dorset and then from there to my flat (consider it a sign of my dislike of exercise that I quantify that brief amble as “quite a lot of walking”.)

Everywhere I’ve walked today I must have seemed either autistic or ashamed of myself or both as rather than looking ahead and making eye contact with people like a regular human I’ve been staring resolutely down at the ground. This is a stance I need to grow used to as, and this is a genuine idea offered on more than a couple serious money-making idea sites, around a quarter of the way down my list sits Scheme #61: Look down when you walk.

Yes, allegedly trudging along with your neck at an acute angle to your chest is now a get-rich-quick scheme. There’s actually a surprising amount of online material to do with scoping out pennies on the pavement, including not one but two wikiHow pages with tips on finding even more fox piss-streaked currency. At some point during this project I will spend one day religiously following the advice of these two pages but above and beyond then I aim to stare at the ground more than usual for the duration of this entire quest to see just how much free money I’ve been otherwise walking on this whole time.

Already, less than two dozen hours into this enterprise, I’m sensing how awkward it is to walk without looking where you’re going – I’ve only narrowly avoided crashing twice into lampposts and once almost stepped into a homeless bloke’s lap. You’ve also no idea until you’re scanning the ground constantly like I’ve been how many wads of gum caulked onto the street are perfect coin facsimiles. A frustrating amount, I will exclusively reveal.

The upside is that it offers a welcome distraction whilst waiting for a delayed train on a cold station platform, and just this evening at Bournemouth station awaiting my Branksome connection, BOOM:


What you might see as just a suspect 10 pence piece, for me that’s a 1000% increase in my current project accumulation, found simply from scouring the ground beneath my feet! The prospect of kerbside gold prospecting was playing so strongly on my mind that when I got off the train at Branksome and saw a chap in front of me bend down to tie his shoelaces my stomach shamefully lurched at the thoughts he was harvesting fortunes rather than me.

The only other news since my earlier post is that on the train I finished the third of my three books on money making which sees my list of ideas grow from 227 to 231, with new schemes including selling a story to the national papers (#228) and working through a publisher’s catalogue of received novels – a “slush pile” I’ve learned it’s called – for worthwhile submissions (#230). It’s naturally a little disheartening to have wiped 4 schemes off my list earlier in the day only to promptly stick an additional 4 straight back on but that’s the nature of this project I suppose.


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