A comfortable dysfunction

I don’t usually agree with Jeremy Clarkson, although I always liked him on Top Gear and he brings a bit of sass to Who Wants to be a Millionaire? But his Sunday Times column is sometimes another episode of Middle Aged Man Whines About…

However, this week, he was a source of comfort. He was discussing the various countries and saying how, despite their dysfunctional governments (Brazil and the USA, to name just two), the people there are generally happy and seem fairly settled with their lot. Or they’re not, but they’re still eating well and enjoying the sunshine (or battening down the hatches as yet another category-5 hurricane approaches, as in the case of my sibling, who is still going to the beach down in Florida anyway – they had a beach picnic last night). He mentions that France and Italy manage to combine reasonably functional economies with their idiot political situations. They’ve been doing that for years. And the food and wine is fantastic. Basically, why can’t we do that here in the UK?

As I am busy trading my veggies from the allotment with other green-fingered friends, I listen to the radio, think of his column and feel better about it all. We can stockpile and perhaps follow Pepys’ example of burying our Parmigiano Reggiano wheel in the back garden to weather the emergency. I can pickle some of the courgettes. (Recipes welcome.)

It may not be the government you want or need, and I for one am dreading Hallowe’en this year, but the sun is shining, we have our health and more than enough courgettes right now. Let’s try and follow the examples of our European neighbours and make the best of it. Thanks Jeremy.

  • Suzanne Christiansen, editor, Dairy Industries International. Keep in touch via [email protected]

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