I spent a couple of hours at the Sacred Plot this morning, doing my horny-handed son of toil routine, digging out nettles, cutting back brambles, and generally tidying things up. There's a distinct possibility that the allotment rents are going to increase significantly in the next couple of years, as Norwich City Council has to find a way of cutting back on services and making savings right across the board. At the minute, we pay £40 a year, and the proposed increase is to £70, a 75% rise. I don't really blame the Council for this at all - their hands are tied, and £70 is still quite inexpensive - but if you're a pensioner, as a lot of the allotment holders are, it may make a considerable dent in your budget, and make you decide that it just isn't worth it. It just feels as though those who are on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are being hit hardest for the complete screw-up that those at the top made.
Yesterday, a score of so-called economic experts urged George Osborne to get rid of the 50% tax level for those earning more than a hundred and fifty grand a year - in order, they said, to boost the economy by encouraging enterprise. I wonder if these are the same experts that never saw the economic collapse coming, turning a blind eye as their wallets grew fatter, and their mates in the City ran amok with our money?
In the meantime, we'll be down the Plot, grumbling about the state of the world, stoically accepting that we're all in this together, and that we're going to have to tighten our belts so that the bankers and brokers don't have to tighten theirs.
The tomatoes are over, but the sweetcorn is nearly ready.