"When did everyone suddenly decide to ditch quality in favour of cheapness and convenience?" I ask thoughtfully, wandering home in the last of the daylight. My question, largely a rhetorical one, might be directed at any one of society's myriad ills (I often wonder if I am life's youngest grumpy old man, until I think of my younger brother), but in this case I am referring to the declining amount of bakeries in Ireland.
She decides to grant me a considered response to my gripe, anyway: "In the 70s and 80s when no-one here had any fucking money. That's when supermarkets opened."
"Kinda like now, then..."
I have become concerned.
We have just moved into a new place that shares a street with a Jewish bakery. It appealed to me so much that I felt the need to sample their wares before we'd even viewed the flat. Half a muffin later I was on board, whether the place boasted goat's blood-spattered walls and neighbours with a penchant for speed metal or not.
Turns out it didn't. It's lovely, it's warm and it's affordable. But I'm now worried that the recession might take my new baker friends away from me. "They must be struggling with the way things are right now. I think it's important that we buy more stuff there." She just grins at me, and no doubt feels glad that they aren't open right now to receive the full financial benefit of my goodwill.
The issue arises again in the morning. "I think I'll go get us some bread for breakfast, will I?"
She laughs. "Are you now determined to save all bakeries from the recession, as well as the taxi-drivers?" That's been my thing for the last six months - a grim determination to take taxis for even the most menial of trips, as those guys must really be feeling the pinch right now too. I take stock of this for a moment: somewhere, at critical stages of this ever-wilting current economic climate, it appears to have occurred to me that the way to alleviate everyone's suffering is for me to eat more baked goods and to never walk anywhere, whilst dramatically gnawing away at my own dwindling funds.
I'm not sure if this makes me the greatest guy in history or a complete fucking idiot.
But I'm plumping, in every sense of the word, for the latter.