Sunday, December 21

Reeds and Recession

Yesterday I take the Shakespeares to Richmond Park at Madeleine's request to pick reeds and grass for home-made Christmas wreaths - you know, a Martha Stewart projé and same as last year. Armed with bags and scooters, we head into the park's middle where it is agreed the best picking may be had. Sonnet uses her afternoon to attend last minute manicures and a shopping or two. The sun sets early giving us long-shadows and we reward our hard work with hot chocolate by the car-park.

The retailers are in for it this season and 375 high street brands are reported to be on the tip. This includes ten or so of the "iconic" shops which have been around forever and nobody would imagine life without. The sales, which usually begin Boxing Day have started early and many stores offer 75% mark-downs. Ouch. With the recession we will eventually lose many services held dear and shopping is only the beginning I fear. Invevitably there will be cut backs in recycling, schools maybe policing and other local council dependent activities. Britain's unemployment reached 1.87 million active-seekers last week it was announced, which excludes those who have given up looking. Radio 4 presents a spirited debate regarding students and drinking - apparently, on average, three study nights a week - given these times, Radio 4 asks, should our youngsters rather get a job or defer their studies given a family's financial duress? Yes, these are hard times with worse to come but much to be grateful for too - kids, art, and being alive. Praise Jesus, life is good.