Friday Links: Yes, we have no tomatoes

Happy Friday!

‘We have to pay more for food’: Britain’s biggest tomato farmer on the runaway costs of growing. It’s really hard to hear in the midst of a cost of living crisis but it’s true. We pay too little for food and too much for houses. But who eat fresh tomatoes in February?

There is a surefire way for the English to correctly pronounce Irish names. Just ask us. I am hopeless with languages, however I grew up Catholic in the 80’s so Niamh and Siobhan are names I know how to pronounce. (Yes, I did have two Irish grandparents but they both died before I was born and none of the Irish side of my family that I know about speak Irish at home). Having said that, I do the same thing I always do when unsure of someone’s name, I ask and make best efforts to get it right. It’s not hard to do. Although, the pronunciation of Cathal did take me by surprise recently!

Thérèse Coffey brings farmers’ union plenty of chaff and no wheat. If the Tories had a soundtrack, it would Madness ‘You’re an embarrassment’. But James Rebanks summed it up this week….

Chancellor urged to reform childcare and stop urging over-50s to unretire. Hunt thinks it’s over 50’s retiring because it’s happening amongst the people he knows, who are well off. I’m nearly fifty and I know three people who have retired ‘early’ two were made redundant during the pandemic and one is retired due to ill health. I don’t know anyone else who can afford to retire early. I’d love too but I’ll probably be working past my current retirement age (67 but it’ll probably go up to 68)

The Lost Children of the Nazi Nurseries.

Rishi Sunak can’t compromise his protocol deal. He must face down the DUP. Ma and I have pretty much been shouting this at the radio all week.

Four-day week: ‘major breakthrough’ as most UK firms in trial extend changes. I’m a huge fan of this idea, which means that as a nation we’ll get around to adopting this just as I retire!

It’s not a darning tool, it’s a very naughty toy: Roman dildo found

Biden Just Destroyed Putin’s Last Hope. I’m not sure I agree at all. And America would probably be feeling as cautious as the European states if the Russians were as close to them!

My husband and I are at war over the radio. Will peace and quiet ever be possible? I’m a hardcore R4 listener but I would suggest Radio 3, which is where Ma goes, when she gets fed up with R4 or maybe R4 extra.

Cruel ‘scam of mum and dad’ sparks a regulatory crackdown. I don’t get it. When I’m not living in her house, I talk to my mum every day (even my brother calls her every other day), in this situation, I would call her and that’s pretty much the answer. If you got texts or whatsapp messages like this asking for help, “sure, give me a shout and we’ll talk about it”. Problem solved, because if it is your kid and they need help, they will call. If it’s not, they won’t!

It’s time to get seed supplies organised, always a task full of hope. I’m itching to get back to the plot.

War, drought, staff shortages: why the price of milk has soared in the UK. I buy organic milk from Yeo Valley, which is good but it’s also £3 for 2 litres, that works for me, I drink 200mls a day with my collagen. I might also take a litre of it for yoghurt and that it pretty much it. That doesn’t really work for a family where everyone has milk in their tea and coffee or doesn’t have much money and relies of it extra nutrition. See also eggs…

Whatever happened to middle age? The mysterious case of the disappearing life stage. I have embraced the middle age label. I am middle aged and quite frankly, it’s great. I’m much clearer about the things I want in my life. If I had lots of money, I might think about retraining to do something more interesting, although I do like both my job and the company I work for, which hasn’t always been the case. There is something very freeing about this age which I’m really enjoying. I know that as someone without a partner and children, my mid life will look very different from others but I think as with anything else, it’s what you make it, it doesn’t make you!

In praise of the ‘15-minute city’ – the mundane planning theory terrifying conspiracists

The energy sector isn’t ‘broken’, it’s cooking on gas – if you’re a profit-hungry shareholder. My very old fashioned theory is that everything that is a national resource (energy, trains, water) should be owned by the nation. Nationalise the lot of it.

Rats, mould, damp: one woman’s story reveals the ugly truth about the UK’s biggest housing association. I’ve been saying it for a while and a lot this month, if you rent, in the public or the private sector, you’re not viewed as being a valuable part of society and your only job is to give your money to those that are. Cash cows for the asset holders.

About nicdempsey

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