Friday, 27 May 2022

Owning books. Receiving a rebate. Another Brexit benefit!

I have just had a curious conversation via messenger with my two eldest granddaughters, all about the ownership and whereabouts of Louisa May Alcott’s books, Little Women, Good Wives and Jo’s Boys. After some back and forth, and presumably my daughter joining in with a hunt for books in her house, we established that in her house there are my childhood copies of the books as well as copies bought secondhand by or for granddaughter number one from the museum at Uppermill back when she was about eleven. Goodness! What hoarders we all are! I don’t need my copies returning to me. We have more than enough books here. So granddaughter number two is making a bid to own those for herself. 

She is a true hoarder of book and loves hardback copies, something she inherited from Phil who has been known to buy hardback copies of books we already own in paperback, because the hardback copies are so beautiful! Granddaughter number two recently bought two copies of the same novel, each decorated in a different style to reflect one or other of the protagonists, just because she could not decide which she preferred. This is what happens when a 19 year old gets a decently paid job and starts to save money. At some point she will need to move out of the parental home just in order to be able to house her book collection. 

The Louisa May Alcott books will be restored to granddaughter number one as soon as possible: a small step in decluttering for my daughter. 

Incidentally, coincidentally, the writer Esther Freud said this in an interview about her reading habits: 

 “My favourite book growing up
I was living in a stepfamily of five girls when I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I adored it, identified with each of the sisters and couldn’t wait to read the sequel – my disappointment was extreme!”

Sequels often are a disappointment! In my experience you come across them more with TV series or films than with books. Sometimes prequels are even worse!

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been defending some things about his plan for helping out families in the cost of living crisis. It turns out that people with second homes, and presumably third and fourth homes,  will receive the £400 energy bill rebate twice , or three or four times. Apparently doing it differently could lead to some people not getting the help they need. Some people are saying it’s the consequence of making a sudden and quick decision without proper planning! Mr Sunak also said that, as he did not need the £400 payment, he would be donating the money to charity, and he urged other wealthy people to do the same. Addressing the Sky presenter Niall Paterson, he said:

I am sure, like me, you can also give that money to charity if you don’t need it.

The Sunaks own several properties, not to mention having a lot of money, and so his charity donations are likely to be more than £400, commenetd one reporter. 

Along with prices going up, we’re hearing of more things going into short supply. Some of this is a consequence of the Ukraine situation but we can’t blame that for produce that is waiting to be harvested on British farms while the farmers are desperately afraid they’ll rot in the fields for lack of workers. 

This article  tells us that “seasonal labour shortages in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic have forced the government to look beyond Europe. Its seasonal worker scheme, which offers short-term visas for farm work, is now recruiting from more than 50 countries – as far afield as Barbados, Tajikistan and Nigeria, as well as Nepal. The scheme began with about 2,500 workers in 2019 and may recruit as many as 40,000 this year.”

Another Brexit benefit! It’s worth reading the article. You couldn’t make it up!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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