new onions

From The Mountain Goats, Onions,

the last white slabs of snow melted off seven weeks ago. and the geese are headed north again through the tightening sky, and i can feel my heart in my throat again new onions growing in the ground.

Spring finally seems to be indisputably coming. The pluckiest of the snowdrops I planted appeared, and are starting to fade back to particularly chunky blades of grass, now that they are losing their distinctive white hats. Some daffodils are already up, some just have their flowers all bunched up ready. My lunchtime walks are now possible without a coat, and it is becoming enjoyable to just sit out in my garden.

I was out for the first time proper yesterday, emptying out a big green plastic composter, full of all our winter composting, and transferring it over to another composter. The worms just love old wet newspapers, but they are resilient souls and as long as there is not too much of anything, a big green plastic composter full of discarded fruit and veg peel, tea bags, coffee grounds, tissues, cardboard, newspaper, and weeds, is just a big pile of worm delight, on the way back to being soil. I dug over my vegetable patch, and put in sixty red onion sets. My wife likes to make red onion marmalade each year (it is a chutney, rather than something that you would put on toast) and it can be easier growing red onions than trying to buy them some years.

Last year my onions seemed pretty poor, but on discussing with other folk who grow veg, it seems more likely that the fault was mine in putting them into the soil too late, rather than any fault of the weather. So, they are now in the ground, new onions growing in the ground.

So much nowadays seems to be like the seasons changing. Something too big and inevitable to affect, we just need to change our garb, and our habits accordingly.

I've just finished Paul Krugman's book, The Return of Depression Economics. It is very high level macro economics, not something that I find particularly easy to understand. I did feel lost in points, but it was well worth reading. I feel that I need to get some sort of perspective on things, I'm not used to banks failing. Hence getting a copy of Depression Economics to just try and figure out what is going on.

I am clearly not alone in thinking along these lines, on Amazon Depression Economics is currently 169th in Books, with 5% of those purchasing going on to buy JK Galbraith on The Great Crash 1929 (I'm not so keen on his work with Jamiroquoi). 1929 is next on my shelf to read. Last year sales of The Great Crash 1929 leapt more than twelvefold to 12,642, so clearly I am not alone in my choice of books.

I think that now is a time for consolidation and careful choices, avoiding unnecessary spending, and putting aside money for future challenges.

I just don't ask people about work anymore, if they want to talk about what is going on at their work, then I am happy to listen, but I fully respect that many people won't want to talk about it. I don't think I know anyone that has been made redundant yet, mostly it seems to be a case of reduced hours for reduced pay, or lots of hours for not much pay, depending on whether you are at employee or partner level.

I know Paul Krugman does not think that this is a depression, but the term depression has a clarity of expression, this is more than just a bear market. This is a fundamental shift in the world economy.

At my work, I am just incredibly busy. Basically I took on someone else's entire job, on the basis that it was winding down, but instead it has increased dramatically. However recently it has all been very short term, urgent work, and I've not been able to do the longer term work. It has been a case of working flat out all day, till I'm too tired to think, going home, sleeping, coming back the next day, working flat out until I am too tired to think, ...

I suppose if I worried about it, I would go mad, but I'm just trying to do my best, be positive, and not worry about the stuff I cannot do. At the end of the day it is not my fault that there is only one of me, and it is not up to me to work insane hours either. At the moment it is exhausting, but generally things are busy but enjoyable.

I suppose a big chunk of it has to be not being too much of an asshole. Just because I am busy, does not give me the right to be an asshole in how I deal with other people. From a purely selfish point of view, if I can be courteous, deliver on commitments and respectful of other people, even when I am under pressure, then they are much more likely to treat me with respect and be helpful to me.

There is plenty else going on in the other aspects of my portfolio career. Unfortunately my 9-5 job is the only one that actually brings in any money, but in time that might change. To be honest I am motivated to do work that I think is worthwhile and interesting, rather than by money anyway.

[I will close this blog entry here, but I would like to explain that I use the word asshole advisedly, I don't swear in these blog postings, but I would like to flag up the book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
by Robert I. Sutton

it is about how people behave unacceptably at work, bullies and the like. In short, these people are assholes and should not be tolerated, admired, or excused.]