Thursday, 5 March 2009

Recession, coffins and smelling the roses

Recession is the mood and while it is true that job security has gone for many, people can't borrow money, interest rates on savings are barely existent and shops and pubs are closing in every town in England, it makes me feel fairly angry that there is only negative press. Papers only sell when the headlines scream bad news, no one wants to read good news. We all love to know that we are better off than someone else and few of us want to feel that others might be doing well when we are struggling. Lovely lot we all are.

Recession busting guides have become trendy and it takes me back to the 90s in Japan when there was a huge trend on being 'ketchy' (miserly). Books, magazines and TV shows were all about how to shop, cook, eat and live cheaply. Some channels even ran competitions to see how little people could spend in a month.

People recycled and as a nation, you have to hand it to them for innovative ideas, there were books on how to make storage containers, kids furniture, book cases, you name it from old milk cartons, bread bags, vegetable boxes, anything,

I was caught up in it all. I scrimped and saved and made do and it did us no harm, but when I saw homes featured on the box with all their reused milk cartons, it made me depressed. The best ever, was the elderly couple who made his and hers coffins from used cartons. His is green ones (skimmed-milk) and hers in red....(full cream milk). They were propped up against the living room wall in their modest (cluttered) home, ready for the day in which they would carry the makers out!!

When things went belly up here, it was no hardship to adjust and we have all done well. But I get tired of the 'we have to make do because we have so little' feeling. I much prefer the 'enjoy what we have and anything left over is deserved' outlook.

For Lent this year, my plan is to live within my means, show some self restraint and conserve energy while working to prepare the seeds/seedlings for the vegetable plot.

No coffees from the shop, packed lunch every day, planned shopping trips, and most important, to THINK about the choices we are making. To ENJOY the days.

Recession is good if it makes us slow down and contemplate how we live, it gives us time to smell the roses...


Hong Kong Merretts said...

Dear Liz,
Have I told you how much I love your blog. You sound like quite possibly the most lovely person alive. All this baking and home-spun tales seem a long way from the night out with the gals for your hen night!
But its lovely to hear you all sounding so happy with life.
I'm Europe-bound in May (I think), but it's likely to be a two-city stop only (Stockholm and Brussels) unless I can come up with a fiendish excuse to make it to London.
In the meantime, love to you all,
Becky x

Liz said...

Wow Becky, what a nice thing to say. Truth is that while part of me loves the growing and cooking side of life, another part of me misses nights out with the girls...still to find someone to bond with here. Until I do it will be veg and homelife keeping me busy.
Do try and squeeze a visit in at sometime. Even if we meet in London for a drink. x