Another year

My son asked me whether I had any plans when he wished me a happy birthday yesterday. Survive another year was my initial response and then answered his question, “yes, a birthday meal this evening at home”. My friends surprised me and took me out for a meal. I had a lovely time with good company, good food and felt throughly spoilt.

The initial response was probably fairly accurate. Survive another year. Everything seems to be in a state of flux. A couple of hours before writing this Russian missiles have landed “accidentally” in Poland a NATO country. Of course the official Russian channels are saying this is nothing to do with them, that it is Western propaganda. How will NATO view this? Deliberate provocation which needs a response? Accept this first transgression as an accident and give stern warnings that this must not happen again? It feels as if the chances of a nuclear confrontation have increased by this incident maybe significantly. It seems, if what we hear is to be believed, that Russia is beginning to lose the conflict. This might provoke President Putin into taking desperate measures in some twisted face saving exercise. The thought is too awful to contemplate.

So if Armageddon is avoided and we do have another year we face so many challenges with the energy crisis, the cost of living crisis, total chaos within our political system with no obvious plans of dealing with these problems as well as frankly an almost total loss of integrity at Westminster. There is to be a financial statement shortly from the Chancellor who has already said “he is screwed” and can only do his best to regain some stability for our economy. It seems to have been widely trailed that we should expect “austerity two”, there will have to be cuts in all areas including the NHS already in a desperate state struggling to survive. There are strikes looming it would seem across the board, rail strikes, nurses, teachers, barristers……every sector is feeling the pinch with inflation rising. So surviving another year seems likely to be quite challenging.

What to do? Take steps to curb your energy bills, manage your expenditure, if possible support those who are really struggling and in difficulty. It worries me that people do not take any precautionary steps to curb their expenditure seemingly blindly carrying on regardless expecting that there will be some magical solution a bailout from this ever more bankrupt government. At the end of the day you that you can only be responsible for your own actions and take steps to protect what you do to deal with these challenging times.

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