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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, October 12, 2008
    Keep it under your floorboards
    With wisdom formed through lifetimes spent very close to economic necessity, people around here have never trusted the banks or insurers, preferring to keep their cash reserves in notes stuffed into mattresses or in plastic bags under floorboards. I was reminded of this today in conversations where (a) with characteristic frankness, people told me where they hid their money, and (b) it became clear that no-one knew anyone directly affected by the plunging financial markets (though some were worried about the charities).

    So with that wisdom formed through lifetimes spent very close to economic necessity our conversation in the 'sermon slot' this morning got onto the practical issue of what food you cook when there's little money around (answer: Scouse, or - for the uninitiated - a stew, because you can keep adding to it and importantly you can easily share it around). And I was particularly struck by the insight that an essential ingredient of cooking is that you do it with other people in mind - eating is best when it's eating together, and that is the purpose of cooking. Whatever hard times are ahead, these folks will get through ok.

    Meanwhile in other significant financial transactions today I:

    - pledged a small amount to help a valued musician replace a broken guitar;

    - pledged a slightly larger amount to try to help a community to which I belong to sustain its generous, but financially eccentric activities on two Hebridean islands and in one Scottish city;

    - ordered another batch of my book as demand (the lady who runs the toddler group and an ex-Boys Brigade veteran) is currently far exceeding supply (stock sold out at Greenbelt).

    I'm not sure how much these activities will stimulate the paretic money markets, but you can't say I'm not doing my bit to help.