We are constantly being reprimanded for the amount of food we waste – well, some of us. I wonder exactly how they know, has someone been rummaging in my bin when I put it out for collection? You couldn’t pay someone to do that, so it must be guesswork, or perhaps a new course at Uni. These exhortations made me look back to the days when we had none of the gadgets we need bigger houses to accommodate. Then we had a little, two shelved cupboard with pierced zinc walls for the perishables, and a jar with water and a wet towel to keep the milk bottles cool, all kept in a shady corner of the yard. Then we bought fruit and veg which was seasonal, and mostly relatively locally grown, so they were fresh and ready to be eaten. Not, as to day, when they are only half ripe and rot before they are eatable, or on offer and rotting anyway. We had corner shops which didn’t calculate what they could charge by reckoning what the customer was saving in petrol by adopting them in lieu of the supermarket 4 miles away. The corner shops considered the tastes of their regulars and stocked and priced accordingly. We didn’t do one big buy on Friday night to last a week, on the basis of by guess and by God of what you might need through the week, with fridges and umpteen freezers groaning on the surplus, you bought what you needed and very little was wasted.
What I find, through living through such unbelievably rapid change and development over nearly 90 years, man and boy, is that if life, and especially the ease of life was drawn as the graph of a factor, if one could produce it for comfort, accessibility of desire, and satisfaction, and then plot it against time, I believe we would have something like a parabola where the high point was reached somewhere in the mid eighties.
In recent years to me, sitting happily on the touchline, watching the game and no longer participating, some of the rules have been changed drastically, the game is much faster and more aggressive, with fouls you would never have dreamed of in your most lurid nightmares. There seems to be no half time, for lemons and a chat, and none of the players like or even trust the coach. Now even the flaming pitch is misbehaving, and the grounds-men can’t guess what disaster is going to befall it next.
Have we come all this way, just to find that we are put in prison, where our gadgets can only be used rarely, everything we have worked and paid for and anticipated using or eating with pleasure, is to be taken from us by the warders because it uses energy in some form, and only given back at their whim, not if the reasoning is spurious and unsupportable when taking the problem as a whole. If we over indulge, it is probable the Energy Police will put us in the ‘hole’? I’m sorry, but that is how I see it. Big Brother, 1986, is here in 2007 in spades.