"Credit crunch" I don't want to talk about it in pubs and while having dinner, even if the - admittedly tabloid - press is to be believed, we're all doomed and the money well is running dry. I grant you, the fall-out from the Northern Rock debacle has been quite spectacular and, in hindsight, was just the tip of the iceberg, but to us 'normal' folk how deeply has it all been felt?
I think part of the problem (and the sensationalism certainly doesn't help matters) is that we live in a society that has generally been spoilt over the past 10, 15 even 20 years - certainly for as long as I can remember, at any rate. So, our £15,000 brand new car, may have to be a second-hand £8,000 motor (if you've got £7,000 lying about, I'd imagine you're not exactly fretting at the moment); the three week cruise of the Caribbean is cut to a mere 10 days in Nice and the iPod you were going to get can only hold 3,000 songs - not 20,000. There's only so much bloody Rihanna and Kylie anyone can listen to, surely?
My point - albeit in a roundabout way - is that we've got it easy when you compare it to the start of the last century when the world was at war and, post-war, the population in the UK was living off rations. Then, people learned the value of things and weren't witness to the splurges of debt-ridden WAG-wannabes that now fill up our papers.
I know there will be those who say I'm living in the past, but surely the whole point is that we learn from our mistakes and the good lessons learnt. The majority of the population have just got to accept the notion of tightening the purse strings. Yes, those unfortunate souls stuck with negative equity are lodged in an almighty 'pickle', but for most other debtors the solution is simple - cut back.
Personally, I've had quite enough of reading and hearing about it all. I've cut back on my CD purchases and wasting copius amounts on uneaten veg (I'm not healthy, I never will be - I've come to accept it), whcih actually leaves me with a little bit more to forget about it all on a Friday night with an increasingly overpriced premium lager.
Cut to last Friday night:
"£3.50 for a pint? You're kidding! You know why that is? the bloody credit crunch...."