4 March 2010

Why do I feel so guilty?


I don't mind admitting that I'm on a tight budget these days. The four holidays a year to foreign climes are long gone. This years holiday is courtesy of my tesco vouchers, hoarded over the last two years for the day I knew would come. I don't buy clothes for myself except with birthday and Christmas money or when something nice and decent catches my eye in one of the three local charity shops. Although the recession has something to do with this situation, in that valued clients of many years standing have gone out of business, the main reason is the departure of the Ex and his utter failure to appreciate just how much is spent on the children plus who would look after my Mom if I didn't? However I'm not complaining. I'm luckier than most. My house is owned outright so at least I don't have a mortgage and if push comes to shove it can always be sold in a downsizing exercise. I grow a lot of my own for consumption in summer and autumn months. I make my own greetings cards and have taken to making presents now too. If I can't afford to buy it cash I don't have it. I still have a good existence and can honestly say that I lack for nothing essential.

This evening a knock on the door revealed the caller to be from the local dairy touting for business for the local self employed milkman. I used this dairy for doorstep deliveries until a few years ago because Mick the Milkman had been a family friend forever but when he left, after being badly treated by said dairy, I waved them goodbye. Dairyman asked me where I purchased my milk. Simple says I, 4 pints for a £1 from Iceland. I felt the intake of breath rather than saw it and knew I was in for a grave look and a lecture on how dairy farmers were going out of business because of this sort of loss leading pricing and had I seen the channel 4 documentary? My expectation didn't go unrewarded and I let him speak without interruption. My response was that I would love to be able to afford the luxury of supporting dairy farmers and also other suppliers of say fair trade products but I can't. It's a struggle on a daily basis and a 70 pence saving multiplied by 4 and again by 52 buys the school uniforms and shoes for a year. He shook his head, thanked me for my time and walked away.

So why do I feel so damn guilty? I used have the luxury of being able to chose carefully what suppliers and products I purchased but now, value for money is the key factor and all these, what appear to be insignificant amounts do add up. Perhaps I should cut down on the few pounds a week I allow myself for my own gratification such as a couple of pints of cider or a bottle of wine? My pleasures are simple and not expensive but now I feel guilty for being part of the mass that are causing the downfall of dairy farming in the UK!

Sometimes a conscience is a burden.

2 comments:

  1. You feel guilty, you mad old thing, because you know that the dairy farmers are not your fault but the fault of the system that we have allowed to be created in all our names. And like most people, you have been either dissuaded from doing something about it or you are just too busy scraping by. You know it isn't working so what are we going to do about it?

    It may not make things better but it just might make us think better of ourselves.

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  2. You're right of course. You usually are.

    Perhaps I should buy a cow? Grass cutter and milk provider in one. On second thoughts a goat would be a better bet!

    Glad you agree that I'm a mad old thing ;-)

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