Dot writes: I meant to post this evening, but I feel too depleted and unhappy to write what I planned to. Nothing special wrong, just the further vast wave of gloom washing over us about the economy, and the commentators who can’t see why university lecturers are paid so much (yes, so much that we do all our grocery shopping at Lidl), and the fact that we still haven’t heard back from AIB about the mortgage, and the related fact that we need to negotiate down on the price we agreed for the house but I’m crap at that sort of thing, and the fear of more cuts and more taxes and more charges and not knowing how bad it will get or how much further we can tighten our belts. And loving my job but feeling I’m not very successful in it and I couldn’t get another job if we wanted to leave, so we’re stuck here. And maybe we should just pull out of the house thing, but the rent on our current house is more than the mortgage on the new one would be and we might have to move anyway, only to another place that we didn’t own and couldn’t expect to stay in. I know lots of people are worse off than us. I know we have a car and broadband and health insurance (downgraded at the start of this year) and Hugh in a Montessori school in the mornings, all of which are valuable to us but not essential. It’s just getting to me. The anxiety. The steady grinding down, the shrinking. The light at the end of the tunnel always getting further away. The feeling of being a narrow person without resources, without skills up my sleeve that I could bring out with a flourish to see us through – “ta-da!” – what do I have? Well, reasonable Old English and just-about-workable Latin. Basic maths. Experience of working in a record shop. Sorry for this flood of self-pity, but this particular consumer ain’t feeling that confident right now.