Pull up a seat and join me in my local Cafe Rouge. I have ordered what I always order in my favourite French restaurant. A Full English breakfast. Et pourquoi pas? A good meal, cooked properly. In theory. While I wait, I will have a browse through the paper – I subscribe to the digital edition of The Times. It tells me each day what type of doom awaits me tomorrow, so I can be properly prepared.
Gas prices are rocketing. Each day the wholesale price of the stuff reaches new highs. I’m on a cheap fixed deal till the end of the year, then my bills will shoot up by £20 to £30 a month. But that’s ok. Our internet service is currently on a super fast fibre plan that we really don’t need, and I’ll save £20 to £30 a month by signing up for a more appropriate deal.
Petrol prices are soaring as well. But that’s ok, because Mrs P works from home two days a week, saving me at least half a dozen trips. On top of that, lockdowns over the last year and a bit meant fewer car crashes, and my annual car insurance dropped in price by over a hundred pounds as a result. So I’m quids in there.
Rishi Sunak’s budget wasn’t kind to me. Higher taxes are on the way. But that’s ok, because I’m going to cancel my television license after Christmas. That should cover the extra cash I’m paying out to HM Treasury. Inflation is on the up too. But that’s also ok, because I pay nearly £20 subs to my union each month, to ensure they beat inflation busting pay rises out of my employer.
We all do what we need to do to get by. Cafe Rouge has been hugely impacted by the coronavirus restrictions and by Brexit, in what was already a very challenging sector of the hospitality industry. My breakfast arrived at my table a bit slower than used to be the case, a bit smaller than it used to be, not quite as well cooked as it once was and yet a bit more expensive.
I have rumbled Cafe Rouge’s plan on how they are intend to get by. Less for more. It’s a popular ruse. But I like the occasional treat of a Full English here, so I’ll continue to bite.