Sunday 1 May 2022

When Does Inflation Hit? Bank Holiday Post

Returning from a Bank Hol run on the supermarket, I cannot but notice that the much-heralded inflation (as anticipated by myself, amongst many others) has not yet hit food prices - at least, not the stuff Mrs D and I buy, across a wide range of foodstuffs and drinks.  Not even the stuff coated in sunflower oil.

We are given to believe supply chains are heavily oriented towards just-in-time, which speaks against there being many months of last year's produce stashed in Mr Tesco's warehouse, being steadily run down.  The warehouses of his suppliers?  Some of what's in our trolley is fresh produce.

And everything requires transportation: do supply-chain players buy their fuel many months forward?  I'd believe they fixed their electricity and gas prices around this time last year, which was when every energy professional knew the price crisis was coming, Ukraine or no Ukraine.  But diesel?  Ships' bunkers?  Maybe.

Or is everyone determined to take the hit in their P&L?  Is it even a "passive price war"?

All in all, I'm surprised.  When does the absence of wheat (& sunflower) exports from Ukraine - and Russia - make itself felt?  When do supply-chain players run out of forward-purchased energy?  

When does food inflation hit?


PS:  Food aside, I'm not sure I've encountered the full out-working of >6% CPI generally, either ...

PPS:  Food price inflation has gone through the roof in, errrr, Russia ...  One of our new trolls can now assert this is CIA propaganda if they like, but, hey-ho, it's true. 


dearieme said...

"When does the absence of wheat (& sunflower) exports from Ukraine - and Russia - make itself felt?"

A little before the time when the harvest would normally be available. And that's assuming that nobody else in the Northen Hemisphere manages to get unusually large harvests of w & s. Which depends, I expect, on sowing decisions, fertiliser prices, the weather, and perhaps the availability of water for irrigation.

dearieme said...

P.S. Our favourite loaf now costs £1.35 rather than £1. But I think the price went up a couple of months before the war started.

Anonymous said...

In the company I work for we do try to hedge as much as we can, even down to diesel that our distributor uses.
Some items like produce we'll have fixed pricing for 3 years. Others like beef where pricing can't be agreed for more than a quarter or two at a time, we are are just about to pass on a 25% increase (which in itself is subsidised, actual increase is larger than this).

Food inflation is definitely on it's way. Any restaurant you visit take a note of today's prices and look again in 6 months and I'm certain you'll see an increase.

Anonymous said...

Understand that your local - Fortnum & Masons - are keeping prices low due to the lack of demand from impecunious oligarchs.

Meanwhile here in Croydon's Tesco, they are blocking the aisles with their Louis Vuitton shopping bags looking for the best deals.

Sanctions are working.

Timbo614 said...

Try going to your local fish & Chip shop! Six months ago our standard buy of two regular cod and one large chips was £12.40 a month ago £15.70 Now it is £18.50! So instead of once a fortnight we have decided on once a month (if the chippy is still there).
We use Tesco for a weekly shop, admittedly the bulk of the spend is, ermm, "alcohol related". For the other bits bread/milk/the usual stuff prices are definitely on the up, it doesn't seem like much but it is 10p here & there on sub £1 items 20p on others. An example Yazoo, we have a badly autistic grandson and this is literally all he drinks, so we buy their max of 16 at a time when "on offer" until recently they were 50p each (on offer) now they are 75p that's 50%! So I reckon this represents a minimum 5-8% overall and as ND says it hasn't really started yet.

Don Cox said...

The big increase is in gas and electricity. I will have to turn the thermostat down to 12 degrees next winter.


jim said...

In about 6 months. We are still eating last year's harvest - next year's harvest will be a bit smaller.

Fertiliser, diesel and labour all up and wheat (was) not a high margin crop - all those Ukranians turning it out by the tonne. A sensible farmer will wait a while, till the subsidies come on stream from politicians who can see the tumbrils coming.

The FT had an article claiming 4 in 10 were having difficulty paying bills - the comments column reckoned this did not pass the smell test. But then the FT demographic will not be at the back of the breadline. But to be sure the weekly bill at chateau Jim is definitely going up. Something will have to give eventually.

DJK said...

May 2019, car hire for a week: £182.66
May 2021, car hire for a week: £303.86
May 2022, car hire for a week: £593.79

Looks like inflation to me.

DJK said...

>Food price inflation has gone through the roof in, errrr, Russia...
For an on the spot report comparing food prices in St. Petersburg to Brussels, see Gilbert Doctorow.

E-K said...

This war is no good for ANYONE.

Maybe America. Maybe China.

Certainly NOT Ukraine who should have stayed neutral. I wonder how much food is costing there.

Nick Drew said...

Those car hire data are odd.

www easily confirms £593 p.w. for London 2022 - but equally easily, we find the same cars can be had for £190 p.w. in Hull 2022.

Apples & oranges there???

andrew said...

The cost of bread has definitely gone up.
As has the cost of car hire in crete.

However the price of chicken has been pretty static since 2007
But the price of lamb ribs seems to have quadrupled over the same period.

I suspect some people are raising prices where they can.

E-K said...

£600 per week 'round 'ere to hire the smallest car. I'm a bit shocked really.

I bought my laddo a great little runner for £2500 a couple of weeks ago.

Right enough, it's 17 years old but very tidy. I reckon you could buy one of those and sell it for the same price a month later.

visc said...

Things creeping up here and there - Butter gone up 25% within the last 2 months - that is as likely general economic tightening including the effects of governmental covid authoritarianist economic dyspraxia as much as Ukrainian wars.

BlokeInBrum said...

Here in Brum, this mornings shop in Lidl was notable for the complete absence of oil and flour in the aisles. Now this could be down to those shopping for Eid, but maybe not.

Was in Scotland over Easter visiting a relative who used to work for a company supplying feed and fertiliser to farmers. Her comment was that a lot of farmers will be going bust in the near future.

The smarter ones are already diversifying into agri-tourism now as a way to make ends meet. Others are trying to earn money by turning over their land to be used as wind farms.

Anybody who has come across shopping bills from as recently as a couple of years ago will have noticed the increase in price of the average shop, as well as the shrinkflation used to try and disguise it.

The Covid pandemic showed all too clearly how quickly our modern supply lines can be disrupted. To their credit, the supermarkets adapted quickly and were able to get on top of the situation. How they will cope with a sustained bout of inflation is something that we will see. Will the UK market be able to sustain as many big supermarket players as it has in the face of high inflation and the havoc it will wreak? I suspect competition will be even more cuthroat as they fight for customers who are being forced to tighten their purse-strings.

Inflation is the silent killer and unless you are vigilant, it sneaks up and does a lot of damage before you realise it. How many people near retirement (who are not blessed with a civil service level pension) will be looking at the return on their money in Sipps or ISAs and wondering whether they can afford it, especially with the rise in costs that we are experiencing at the moment.

Hard to know if the people predicting a market crash are right, but I certainly think that many companies are overvalued and it's hard to see sunny uplands from here.

There are a lot of second-order effects from higher energy costs that haven't worked their way through the system yet. We are experiencing a slight post-covid bounce, helped by some decent weather and the start of Spring, as well as the relaxing of international travel restrictions.

Towards the end of the year is when reality will start to bite. Lots of businesses will have had a look at how higher costs are affecting their bottom line. Some won't make it.
Those who do will in all likeliness have to be more parsimonious.

Jim will be able to explain better than me, but I think farmers will start to struggle as their cashflow takes a big hit. Higher fuel costs, for tractors, combines and other farm equipment. Much higher costs for fertilisers and feed. All of which has to be payed for up front out of revenue that they are getting from this years harvest.

Then there's the risk of lockdown returning if Covid rears its ugly head again. Likely in a virus that will probably end up like the Flu-a seasonal virus that preys on the weak and elderly.

I really hope that I am wrong, but I think that we are in for an almighty sh*t storm and this is just the calm beforehand.

*as for the dig about Russia - I have no idea how that's going to pan out.
But Russians are far more used to hardship than we are. I think a substantial proportion of our society will struggle with dealing with genuine poverty (as opposed to the relative stuff) compared to them.
Anyway I don't think living in such a vast country, rich in natural resources is such a bad deal. If they can't, or won't take advantage of that, then that's down to them and their problem.

DJK said...

Re. car hire rates. The numbers are what I have actually paid with my hard-earned, after searching around for the best deal for a car hired in Edinburgh. I have a record of what I paid in previous years. (No 2020 hire due to the pandemic.) And yes, £600 for a small car is pretty shocking, but I'd already booked the rest of the trip. Incidentally, a small van is quite a bit cheaper.

>But Russians are far more used to hardship than we are...
Russians remember the chaos and poverty of the Yeltsin years, when middle class savings and pensions were wiped out. That is what they fear will happen if Russia again submits to the US.

Nick Drew said...

BiB - Russians are far more used to hardship than we are

yes, a point we've made here: traditionally, an awesome capacity for suffering, along with a dreadful fatalism

But as you suggest, DJK, the issue might cut both ways - the Yeltsin-years experience, plus several subsequent years of relative comfort & access to 'western' facilities, may engender "not again!" reactions. Even though I've lived there, it's hard to guess from this distance. And www-based observations right now are ultra-likely to be distorted by the heavy-duty cyber-propaganda wars that are raging

incidentally I can tell you the blogger-stats show we are getting a lot of Russian traffic. Whether this is ordinary punters via VPN, or massive surveillance by troll-factories, blogger does not discern ...

Timbo614 said...

@BIB - Inflation will affect the near to and just retired like me. High prolonged inflation is currently my biggest worry. We are not skint but we are not rich either calculations including approx 3% inflation were made three or four years ago projecting enough income and cash to last for 25 years (not including having to sell our house!), so enough to last us until we're 91/92 - I should be so lucky after 50 years of drink & smokes. At 8% inflation prices double in 9 years, that will make a serious dent in our discretionary spending amount.

Our money is: 2 x full state pension, part private pension, part shares ISA, part (much too much) cash. It's double bad news if one of dies earlier than expected (The mid-sized house would be too expensive to run for just one) and the cash bias will have to change.

With all the uncertainty caused by covid and now the UKR war I have no idea what to invest the cash in to protect its value! :(

dearieme said...

"That is what they fear will happen if Russia again submits to the US."

It was ingenious of the US to loot the joint by sending in the Hahvahd Light Horse.

dearieme said...

@Timbo. "2 x full state pension ... part part (much too much) cash."

You could consider each of you deferring your State Pension for a couple of years and replacing it by spending some of your cash pile. It's not the wonderful deal it was with the old-style state pension but it is one way of buying, effectively, an index-linked annuity with money that is outside a private pension.

You might like to compare it with buying, say, index-linked gilts: which would be more attractive? The interest on the ILGs could be set against your savings allowance (and, if relevant, your starting rate for savings).

N.B. This is not ADVICE - I am not qualified to give ADVICE. This is mere musing.

dearieme said...

@Timbo: any use?

dearieme said...

Aren't calculators fun? I've put in 20 years more life and interest rate of (-5%) - i.e. 1% nominal interest less 6% inflation. It suggests you defer for 5 years.

With 15 years more life instead of 20 the recommended deferral falls to 1 year 8 months.

With 15 years and interest rates of (-9%) it recommends deferring for 3 years 4 months.

Realistically you might want to make your own adjustments for income tax: if one of you has an income so small that there's a bit of Personal Allowance unused it would (I suggest) be tempting to defer State Pension at least for long enough to use up the balance of the Personal Allowance.

I suppose you could look upon it as one way of diversifying your assets. A bit of extra state pension, a bit of ILGs, a bit of gold sovereigns, a bit of shares in oil and gas and coal companies ..., a wind turbine (only joking).

Jim said...

"Jim will be able to explain better than me, but I think farmers will start to struggle as their cashflow takes a big hit. Higher fuel costs, for tractors, combines and other farm equipment. Much higher costs for fertilisers and feed. All of which has to be payed for up front out of revenue that they are getting from this years harvest."

Thats about the size of it. A 500 acre arable farm has seen its fertiliser bill go from £25k to nearly 100k. That on top of fuel doubling and other inputs such as seed and agro-chemicals going up 40-50% as well. All of which has to be paid for 6 months before you get a grain harvested, and no real way of knowing what the grain price will be when it comes to be sold. Chuck in the UK's decision post Brexit to abolish farm subsidies (they are currently being slowly phased out) and you will rapidly find this autumn that many farmers don't have the cash to finance next years crops. All Defra want to do is push more eco-bollocks, while the price of every food stuff goes through the roof. Its not going to end well for anyone, producers or consumers.

Nick Drew said...

Jim, this is a serious qn, I know nothing abt farming (but quite a lot about energy & en derivatives)

the textbooks always say futures contracts were invented for farmers with fixed up-front costs, to hedge against unknown crop realisations. Do farmers not avail themselves of agri hedges? & fuel?

not sufficient credit to do so?

Sackerson said...

@Nick Drew: a stout tent, an Arctic sleeping bag, Swiss Army knife with tin opener. Free camping allowed on Dartmoor and in Scotland.

jim said...

This Jim was brought up on farms and has an interest but am not in that trade. Bigger farmers do use puts/calls/options see Farmers Weekly for an article. Fairly sophisticated.

Locally we have small scale farmers who up till now made their day to day living from (fruit/veg/lamb) farming and rely on the subsidies to buy new machinery/car/van. Not rich!

The tricky bit is that wheat is usually sown in autumn - a bit pre the Ukraine problems. Possible to sow in springtime but access to seed/machinery etc and the gamble is how long the Ukraine thing goes on. So no chance now until this autumn when there may - or not - be a big push to sow. Cue glut in autumn 2023 or not. FW shows futures prices climbing then dipping. Never predict - especially the future.

Nick Drew said...

Jim - cardinal thing to know about futures prices: they are categorically NOT any type of forecast of what spot prices will be at the date of delivery

(many ignorant folk think they are - but they're the ones the bookies make their money from)

Timbo614 said...

@ dearieme

Thanks for the suggestions on State pension - too late we are both drawing it (I'm 69 in a few months and the wife 68).
Gilts - I've taken a quick look at some data, BoE tables of issues, RPI Data Series, prices etc... slightly confusing to say the least. And would not seem to keep so I must be missing something :( Seems to me you have to pay ~£150 per £100 to get some decent ones which seriously affects the rate. No free lunch!

Don Cox said...

I always assumed that futures are just a form of gambling, like betting on which horse will (in the future) win a race.


Nick Drew said...

Futures can certainly be used for gambling, Don; and gamblers are a great source of liquidity

(and liquidity is a Public Good)

but they can, and are, also be used for hedging, which is their primary function

since it shouldn't be necessary for people to speculate in order to participate in a basic industry, it's important that there should indeed be the opportunity for them to hedge, if that fits best with their business model. Why would a specialist manufacturer, for example (or a farmer!) be forced also to be a commodity speculator in order to engage in business?

Jim said...

I don't think many farmers get involved in futures that much, arable farmers might sell forward as a hedge strategy, but thats about it. There certainly isn't any mechanism for livestock farmers to hedge their output prices. There really isn't a process for forward fixing of inputs either, other than (for example) if you have storage capacity for tens of thousands of litres of diesel and you take physical delivery of it when prices are low. Farmers main issue is that they are private individuals and they deal with large corporate entities. The latter don't want to deal with the former on a level playing field. I couldn't ring up my fuel supplier and demand a forward hedge of my fuel costs, they'd tell me to f*ck off. My annual fuel purchases wouldn't even register on their radar. Farmers are (as someone famously pointed out) the only industry that buys retail and sells wholesale. At every turn we are faced with large multinational entities as both our suppliers and our customers. We get the shaft from both ends.

dearieme said...

"too late we are both drawing it": oh no it isn't.

'State pension deferral means that you delay claiming, or stop your state pension, until a time that suits you.'

In particular, does your wife get the old-style State Pension? The terms for deferring it were absurdly generous - to the pensioner, not to the taxpayer who had to subsidise it.

jim said...

A look at world wheat production gives a hint as to who uses the futures markets. The top 10 producers are (in giga tons):

China 134
India 107
Russia 86
USA 50
Canada 35
France 30
Pak 25
Ukraine 25
Germany 22
Turkey 20

The UK sits at just under 10. The players are likely not farmers - except perhaps USA & Canada.

Charlie said...

You obviously buy premium brands with margins that can be eroded to absorb inflation... for now.

Charlie said...

Timbob, we're moving into an economic cycle where people will have to sell assets to fund living expenses. That includes houses, if that's where most of your wealth is.

Elby the Beserk said...

If like us, you buy almost all your food from local and locally sourced butchers*, you will have seen NO food price inflation. 90% plus of what we eat has next to no food miles, also keeping the price down. Even better, it's "real" food and the most nutritional food there is.

When we go shopping, we go to the butchers. Only regular food we buy from the supermarket is butter (have a fondness for President butter), coffee and tea.

By the way, seed oils are really not good for you, causing inflammation of the gut. And seed oils are also in almost all processed food. No wonder we are one sick nation.

Wot inflation?

*We are carnivores and eat and cook only animal products. I treat myself to a bowl of porridge now and again, but that's it for direct carbs.

Anonymous said...

Cheapskate here - Lidl/Aldi type. Stuff is going up. Spreadable butter £1.79-> £1.99, what's that, 12%?

In a Yorkshire seaside resort yesterday, cold grey day but nonetheless a lot emptier than I expected - it's a long drive from Leeds/Sheffield and I wonder if people are looking at the weather plus petrol price and saying "skip it" when they'd have gone last year.

Very cold and dry spring, this, not much rain since early March. Yorkshire Moors need some rain. "Global heating" works in mysterious ways.

"Self-defence is a universal right. The Ukrainians are engaged in it against Russia, while the Russians are engaged in it against the USA."


E-K said...

So that'll be a roast lamb *without* all the trimmings for Elby and Lilith.

Have you ever wondered why they called the pub chain that based its menu around meat The Harvester ?

My Wife and I swear by the Joe Wicks diet plan. Plus a dose of daily compound resistance exercises.

We need two-way TV in every household with PT every morning from a state approved instructor correcting our form.

dearieme said...


There are no universal rights. It's just a notion concocted to justify doing what you want to do.

Anonymous said...

Exactly so. Prince Charles tried to go vegan and it didn't do him any good at all. Each to his/her own, but mono-diets aren't generally a great idea.

Elby the Beserk said...

E-K said...
So that'll be a roast lamb *without* all the trimmings for Elby and Lilith.

We need two-way TV in every household with PT every morning from a state approved instructor correcting our form

1:20 pm

Yup, tho' we'll oft have chips with a restaurant steak. As for two way TV, I recall waking on Sochi beach with a school trip (we slept on the beach overnight contrary to instructions), at 6.30am we were awoken by gym clad Soviets bounding on to the beach to do their PA to the tannoy.

We didn't join in.

Both loving our carnivore diet. Makes life so much easier.


Heat slab of metal very hot
Slap piece of meat on it
Turn at appropriate point
Take off

When stepdaughter is home doing her Vegan thing, it takes them an hour to chop up the veg for whatever. Apart from the odd chip, I eat grilled toms with a full English (Nick will testify to my full English) else haven't eaten any veg in 18 months or more.

No scurvy :-) Fit as a bloody fiddle in fact and dropped 20 lbs in two months without trying. You dump all your visceral fat when you go off the government approved early death diet. Even dumping pasta, spuds and bread will help you hugely.

CityUnslicker said...

Nick - really no inflation? have you filled your car up since, err. March?

The main impact of the 6.5% inflation is in energy costs for now. mY home leccy and gas is up a mere 350% in 3 months. Nice.

Car 100% increase in running costs. Nice.

This alone is the vast impact of inflation. But as everyone says, given energy feedcosts for everything, it is only a matter of time.

In a spirit of happiness, lets not forget China, whilst laughing hard at their doomed to fail zero covid, It will be hugely inflationary as the world's workshop is on strike. long-term this is bloody excellent news for the non-autocratic world. In 2022, not so much. Inflation will be double digits and raising interest rates will have no impact. I may even do a post on it!

E-K said...

I'm having jacket spuds and tuna tonight.

That's my weekly dose of mercury and starch ... I'll make a stiff corpse by the sound of it.

DJK said...

Elby: Sounds like the Atkins diet. You'll remember that Atkins himself dropped dead at a comparatively early age, still fit as a fiddle. Still, congrats if it works for you. NHS says that it takes at least three months without vitamin C to develop scurvy so if you've managed 18 months without veg, and without your teeth falling out then you're doing pretty well.

visc said...

Going down off topic boulevard: (iirc)

Didn't Atkins die from a bash to the head?
Keto/Atkins/Paleo - tend to be more cutting out carbs than necessarily no veg at all.
Bit like the food combining diet which has been around for yonks - no pots with protein;
Several of the more extreme Paleo types round here swear by raw liver and cream;
Veganism is an ok cleansing diet but tends towards long term health problems due to lack of correct amino acids. I will await the rabid vegan horde to descend...

E-K said...

Raw liver and cream...

Hannibal Lecter could slurp on that all day long.

dearieme said...

Eat a mixed diet. Let it contain plenty of fish.

Have a glass of wine or beer with dinner.

That was my father's view and he lived to a ripe old 64.

Anonymous said...

Timbob, we're moving into an economic cycle where people will have to sell assets to fund living expenses. That includes houses, if that's where most of your wealth is.

Off to do my stint at a local debt charity. Fully expect a couple of calls from distressed home owners who "can's sell my house and the costs are crippling us". When I ask, have they considered putting the property into an auction as homes always sell there, the phone either goes down or the give some lame excuse why it can't happen.

Homes are the last thing people will get rid of. Availability will simply drop and prices will rise slightly or stagnate until matters get better.

Anonymous said...

It was all fun and games until ETB said “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”
A reference perhaps he had stopped taking his meds (MAOIs) around 18 months ago.

lilith said...

I went carnivore and literally stopped taking my meds....I may be dying at a slightly slower rate than I would be if I had all that inflammation that carbs give me. Impossible to know. Owsley (The Bear) of Grateful Dead sound man fame was carnivore for 50 years. He died young but only because he was run over.

lilith said...

We should have had a crash by now. At least by 2018. I don't know how people are going to pay their bills/keep warm/travel. They are probably not going to afford it. If I was a farmer I would be going as up market with my produce as possible and selling it direct... there's a lot of that around here, more since Covid.

Nick Drew said...

Yes, I can endorse Elby's breakfast (+:

CU - in my personal circs, London, low car mileage ... +40p/l on petrol = maybe £200/yr. Gas and elec fixed until this time next year, the longest fix I could get 12 months ago.

It's only when all this works through to everything else I buy that it means serious inflation for me. Obvs, my circs are not representative for very many. Hence my qn for more BTL inputs. I've been predicting catastrophic inflation here since Feb 2021 ! Eventually ...

lilith said...

EK My osteopath also endorses Joe Wicks, as his exercise plans keep her in clients...He's pretty and enthusiastic though and probably fine for bendy folk :)

Elby the Beserk said...

lilith said...
I went carnivore and literally stopped taking my meds....I may be dying at a slightly slower rate than I would be if I had all that inflammation that carbs give me. Impossible to know. Owsley (The Bear) of Grateful Dead sound man fame was carnivore for 50 years. He died young but only because he was run over.

8:54 am
Bear was the Dead's sound man. Most modern sound systems are based on his work, as he was a genius. For example, he introduced monitors (which allow band members to hear what they are playing!), very sophisticated microphones that got rid of all sorts of problems, and most extraordinarily, the largest sound system know to humanity, the legendary "Wall of Sound" which I was lucky enough to experience at the Ally Pally in 1975.

Add to that, Bear was the Dead's in house Alchemist, producing huge amounts of the finest LSD (known to humanity) which the Dead used to power their extraordinary shows of their early years. "Not just the fines at what they do", said Bill Graham, who put on many of their shows in SF & NY "but the ONLY ones who do what they do".

Amen to that.

Happy days. God Bless Bear...

"I have been eating the natural human dietary regime for over 47 years now. I do not eat anything whatsoever from vegetable sources. The only things veggie I use are spices. My diet is usually 60% fat and 40% protein by calories. I used to eat 80% fat and 20% protein when younger, and about twice as much quantity of meat also, but that seems too much energy at my age – which is 71 – even though I am very active.

I think the body actually becomes more efficient with energy as you age, but I have no way of proving it true. Otherwise, my body today is very like it was at the age of 30. I figure most of what we call ‘aging’ is due to insulin damage to the collagen and other body structures. No carbs = no insulin. I don’t heal quite as fast when injured as I did as a youngster, however. But I have few wrinkles, and my skin is still strong and elastic."

Just off to top up our Black Pudding stocks...

Anonymous said...

More bottom of the range inflation - Kenco coffee at B&M up from 3.99 to 4.50 - a 12.5% increase.

And oil prices up again as EU (bar Hungary and one other - Slovakia?) announce phase out of Russian oil.

German trade balance not good, closing rapidly on deficit - although the UK would kill to have a e3bn surplus, it was 11bn last year.

The US really is going to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, and to help them European economies (incl UK) are happily and rapidly impoverishing their own citizens. Unbelievable short term wins for US foreign policy. Long term? Hmm.

E-K said...

Apparently the Royal Navy are going to use lasers to down Putin's missiles.

I did say so here, several years ago...

What a wild imagination I have.

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...



I am listening to The Grateful Dead right now.

I'm not sure that an Alexa Dot can replace that Wall of Sound but I expect they can hear what I'm listening to as far as Russia with utmost clarity.

Anonymous said...


"Food inflation rose to 3.5% in April – from 3.3% in March"

File alongside "mass immigration has no effect on wages".

Elby the Beserk said...

Blogger E-K said...


I am listening to The Grateful Dead right now.

I'm not sure that an Alexa Dot can replace that Wall of Sound but I expect they can hear what I'm listening to as far as Russia with utmost clarity.

1:21 pm

Good stuff, EK - I've been listening to them since I first stumbled across them in late 1966, and have no intention of stopping; they always make me feel better - even when I'm feeling great!

The 1972 tour which cunningly coincided with my Oxford finals, was perhaps the greatest of all. There's lots about it now on their website, worth a listen if you want to dig deeper into the Dead

Scroll down for earlier episodes. They are fun - not only lots of music, but interviews with band members and many of the family of 50 that travelled over the pond for this tour, roadies, managers, girl friends, babies, and also with Deadheads all over the place.

Single main thread? What a GREAT time everyone had :-)

50 years ago today they played Paris. This is an hour from the previous night...

and more from the same show...a better recording, from the soundboard

In 2011, they released a box set of ALL 22 shows. Sold out in hours.

E-K said...



Why do YOU have an osteopath ?

E-K said...


I'd forgotten that you're and Oxford grad !!!!

lilith said...

For a while I had a crappy back EK. Something to do with being unfit, single parenting and too many veggies :D She's great for tweaks, and I got a frozen shoulder more recently which she sorted out. Magic.

E-K said...

You're meant to eat the potatoes, not lift sacks of them !

Elby the Beserk said...

Seelby the Berk said...
Gone from covid denier and anti vaxxer to carnivores
scarlet begonias

I can’t knock a man and wife for having a passion but youse two are fucked up

10:13 pm

Oh look, our very own in-house troll, Hi! You got up to write that - fair play. You can go back to sleep now...

Elby the Beserk said...

Seelby the Berk said...
Gone from covid denier and anti vaxxer to carnivores
scarlet begonias

10:13 pm



2. I have loads of jabs. I do avoid ones that

a) Haven't finished clinical trials.
b) have done NO long term trials (usually term for a
"new format" medication, such as these jabs, is 10
to 12.5 years
c) Have no fear of Covid, I'm a fit old sod for 70%
d) Having read up BEFORE the jabs started on the major
problems previous Coronavirus jabs encountered,
decided to pass, all the more so with a, b & c.

I guess you are the sort of bloke who just does what he is told to do, regardless. That has caused the species problems before, you know.

Sackerson said...

A denier is a small mediaeval French coin.

Elby the Beserk said...

Sackerson said...
A denier is a small mediaeval French coin.

8:23 am


The use of the term "Covid denier" means that the person is a Covid cultist. Good luck with that, making a cult of a virus is WAY beyond any weirdness I have ever espoused. Hope he's still wearing his mask, 24/7. And doing what he's told, like a good boy.