In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Mine however turn to eating in the garden, so I inveigle my student son into digging out weeds while I do more strategic things with the secateurs. The garden furniture is swabbed down with sudsy chemicals, and the green plastic wheelie-bin is full of grass cuttings, dandelions, brambles and assorted braches.
Chemical Rites of Spring
Only three hours later, the former haven for wildlife, mostly slugs and cats, has been transformed into a harmonious hazard-free outdoor space suitable for an 80th birthday party, and welcoming to both octogenarians and manic six year-olds.
Since returning from NPRA last week with no shopping whatsoever, I have splashed out on two new dresses on the pretext of this family event – both totally synthetic: 71% viscose, 26% polyamide, 3% elastane. (Talk the talk, walk the walk.) In doing so, I am unwittingly part of an international movement to spend money in the first week of April, inspired by the warmer weather and as a backlash to the frustrations of living with a devalued currency.
According to various clutching-at-straws articles in recent days, consumers everywhere have been returning to the shops to buy fashion, food and even property, although a bleaker article in today’s online Wall Street Journal warns that our new frugality has the potential to outlast the recession.
About Barbara Ortner
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