SHORTAGES: Shelves stripped bare.

WITH some reports that UK supermarkets are encouraging people to start their Christmas shopping immediately as some products may be rationed to stop panic buying, we read elsewhere that some supermarket aisles are stripped bare of meat, fruit and frozen goods with customers already panic buying.

McDonald’s earlier reported running out of milkshakes, Greggs and Nando’s gaps in their menus and Tesco warning about ‘shortages’ at Christmas. Some of the many businesses contending with supply chain disruption compounded in the UK by acute labour shortages affecting the services sector.

But yet, with empty supermarket shelves, dry fuel pumps, warnings about rapidly increasing inflation and a winter of discontent, miniskirts, weirdly, are making a comeback. Experts theorise that skirts are the economy’s bellwether. Since 1926 the ‘Hemline Index’ predicts that when the economy is in good shape women wear shorter skirts; when it falls they resort to 1970s-style maxis. The Hipster Beard Index, anyone?

Maybe designers reckon women are sick of lockdown leggings or those whimsical Little House on the Prairie flouncy, ruffled confections that did the rounds this summer. Let’s face it, because of all the rain you couldn’t wear most of those dresses in the UK except for one or two weeks in July!

This comes as news that half of Marks & Spencer clothes shops have stopped selling men’s suits, preferring to shift jogging bottoms. Personally, I think most men over the age of 30 look better in a suit than in anything else. Slimmer, too. Far preferable to the sight of a pot belly in a too tight t-shirt hanging over the low slung waistband of a pair of baggy track suit bottoms.

But all this talk of food shortages reminds me of that old gag about the mess sergeant in the French Foreign Legion who comes to his general in the desert with some good news and some bad news.

“What’s the bad news?” asks the general. “There’s nothing left to eat but camel dung,” replies the guy. “And the good news?” “There’s lots of it.”

Nuff said.

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.