Well, I spent an hour or so watching the Budget coverage yesterday afternoon, but I can’t say I was knocked out with excitement over Alistair Darling’s measures. He tried to make out that it was a Budget to help those struggling in the credit crunch, but then happily hit us all in the wallet by hiking the duty on alcohol, tobacco and petrol. Luckily I don’t smoke, but it’s definitely time to get that home brew lager on again I think…
I appreciate that, as Darling said yesterday, “there are no quick fixes” to the financial mess we’re in, but it’s a worry that as a country we’re borrowing so much, not to mention the still somewhat overoptimistic economic forecasts. Plus, maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t feel there was enough in the Budget to help people who are losing their jobs. OK, so there was extra funding for the Jobcentre Plus system, but really the whole system is in the dark ages and needs to be overhauled. And while there were training subsidies announced for the under 25s and 16 to 17 year olds, there was nothing much for older workers. It was all a bit of a letdown really.
But enough of the unexciting Budget – what I am excited about is my potatoes. They are HUGE! As you can see, I’m growing them in old compost bags so that they don’t take up all the room in my vegetable plot, and I’ve already had to top them up with compost twice in three days. I swear that when I turn my back on them and go indoors for 30 minutes they grow another couple of inches. DJ called them monstrous this morning, which I think was a bit rude of him. My onions are going great guns too, although not quite as dramatically as the potatoes. I caught one of our hens, Lexi, trying to dig one of the red onions up the other day and I was none too impressed.
However, I’ve not had as much luck with all of my flower seeds. While my petunias have pretty much all come up, only one geranium seed has germinated. At least I think it’s a geranium. It’s hard to tell at this stage, but it could be a weed. And only one of my busy lizzies has germinated, which is a bit disappointing. Quite a few of my nasturtiums haven’t come up either. DJ has donated some of his to me, which was very kind but it’s not quite the same. I went to take a peek at the seed packets and discovered, at least, why the geraniums have put in such a poor show. It turns out that the seeds went off in 2007. Oops. But the busy lizzy seeds should still be ok, so I don’t understand why they haven’t germinated. Oh well, I guess you win some and you lose some. DJ’s tomato plants are looking very impressive, but I hope my own ones – Legend and Rainbow mix – will be just as big and strong when they come up. Have been talking to my pumpkin, cucumber and cauliflower seeds since I planted them on Sunday but nothing doing yet!
What did you make of the Budget? Do you think it was a missed opportunity?
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