Thursday, 12 June 2008

The crunch

You know what I miss? That kind of writing that begins: ‘I believe it was Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote …', or, ‘As I think Solzhenitsyn once said …’ Let’s be honest, you’re probably writing on a computer, just get online and look stuff up. Maybe these days we should begin: ‘I Google it was Kierkegaard who first posited …’ Having said all that, I do believe it was ee cummings who wrote, ‘I’m living so far beyond my means that we may be said to be living apart.’ I do hope it was him, I’ve been bandying this around for years now and I can’t remember for the life of me where I first heard it. No doubt it will turn out to be Dorothy Parker after all.

I digress. My means and I have been at odds for as long I’ve had them. And now a recession is on the horizon. Well, not so much on the horizon as lying in your bed, picking at your breakfast, pointing at your worn out shoes and laughing. On the news last night was a downhearted woman in Newcastle who has knocked ten grand off her house and still can’t shift it. Being a terminal renter myself I feel, ironically, some sense of security that a poor property market and ruthless interest rates won’t have me on the street. Many aren’t so lucky though, with their foolhardy 100% mortgages taken on in the heady days of boom. How far away they seem already.

Another woman lamented the downturn in ‘lifestyle’ she was having to endure. ‘We’re only using one car now, and as for groceries we’re cutting back on virtually everything. All luxuries. Even organic.’ ‘Are you fucking serious darlin’?’ said the interviewer. ‘Give me a fucking break.’ No he didn’t say that actually, but he, I and the nation were thinking it.

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