I was talking to a farmer about petrol prices (high) and food prices (rising). He said, “And the fertiliser prices aren’t helping.” Did you know that there is a fertiliser crisis? He said that his father-in-law who only does tillage spent €70,000 on fertiliser last year and €140,000 this year. I can’t see that not having an influence on food prices more generally.
I was telling this to an acquaintance and we wondered whether we could conceivably have petrol or food rationing. I reminisced about how my mother used to talk about the problem getting tea during the war (or the Emergency as it was know locally). They had plenty of food but they had to keep and re-use the tea leaves. “Perhaps we should panic buy tea,” I suggested. Her mother, who we discovered was born the same year as mine, had a slightly different experience, although they were farmers and alright for food, they couldn’t get toys . So, in a slightly bizarre twist, her grandparents told their children that Santa was dead. A neighbour came in and told them that he had had a glass of whiskey at Santa’s funeral. Notwithstanding this they hung up their stockings but on Christmas morning there was nothing in them. Honestly, would it not have been better to say that Santa was sick? That seems a particularly permanent solution to what was ultimately a temporary problem.