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I love fossils, and when I was walking through the market in Stratford a few months ago, and saw a man selling some on a stall, I couldn’t resist going to have a quick rummage. This is a goniatite, which is an extinct cephalopod; as you can see, it’s pretty small, being roughly the same diameter as one of the two pound coins it cost me to buy it. Two pounds for a polished fragment of the natural history of the planet seemed to me to be an absolute bargain.

I tried for quite a while to get the upright coin to spin – I’m not sure why, but it seemed important at the time. Out of maybe thirty attempts, I only succeeded twice – once it span out of the frame on its way to falling over, and this time it performed a very slow and lazy turn that was just enough to give a slight sense of movement to the shot. I should probably have asked my glamorous studio assistant for help – I suspect that spinning coins may be one of the things you learn if you go to a posh school, like what he did, and I didn’t.