I'm afraid I've been a naughty boy. Last night friends invited us to eat at their house with several others. We arrived at the appointed time and started drinking Prosseco without any nibbles and as this went on for two hours before any food was served. By the time we got to the table, I was bubbled up, although I wasn't the most talkative there and that person wasn't even drinking alcohol.
The trouble with the dreaded drink is that the first glass is taken with caution, but, especially if there's no food to catch the stuff, the next is consumed as if it has no sting. And of course, chatting with people for two hours and having your glass continually refilled, by the time your food arrives, you are as kerry as a mite, or to write that as it ought to be, as merry as a kite. Who knows why kites are considered merry, but in this case they certainly were.
Much of the conversation was about how locals are being forced from their attractive villages because the rich-retired come down from places like London, a short drive up a fast road and buy up all the attractive houses. Then others not so rich, but with more money than most locals, arrive and buy up the next tier of houses. Prices inevitably increase as we've noticed since returning from France and searching for a home. The end story is that families who've lived here for centuries are forced to move to the nearest towns.
Of course another factor is the lack of jobs, for farming is highly mechanised these days. The only farm remaining in the village out of four, is run by three men and it has lots of land. They draw in labour and skills when these are most needed. That means youngsters must go elsewhere to find work. But if house prices were affordable in their villages they'd drive to work.
Our village is considering developing a currently farmed field, and I don't have the details, however what I do know is that locals who've asked for there to be affordable housing built were shouted down, politely and eloquently, of course this being England, by those who don't have that problem because they have money.
Anyway, you might be able to tell that today as I write I have a hangover due to the many glasses of hooch I let slip down my gullet as the energetic evening continued into the wee hours. The good thing is that the alcohol fuelled me and I got through the fun evening without colasing, oops, that should have been collapsing.
Oh, Haps New Year! Yes, that ought to have been Happi, I think.