Money is tight, even for frugal souls like Mrs S and I. However, we’ve surfed the latest set of price fluctuations by halving our electricity bill. Not that this hasn’t had a cost. We’ve spent six figures on gutting our new home and insulating properly, said insulation keeping our energy use within sensible limits. So we haven’t been hit that hard by the sudden rises in energy prices.

Looking at our energy use before the building works and afterward, the difference is quite startling. We currently use one third of the electricity and fuel that we used to before the upgrade. That’s over a sixty percent reduction. Which ain’t too shabby. Our overall cost of living hasn’t risen as much as it has for far too many others during the Government-created crises of COVID and Ukraine.

Given that our joint income has dropped significantly, this is no bad thing. We’re on top of the finances, and watching the next move by the banks like hawks. Three down in the US, with serious ripples running through Europe, Credit Suisse being a case in point. Then there’s another potential 2008 scale property crash on it’s way from the US as two major investors are having serious difficulties. Fortunately we have no exposure in the two mainly affected market sectors, those being property and tech. We’ve even maintained a modest keeping-up-with-inflation growth in our investments.

However, to do this we rely on accurate and timely information. Something which is at a premium nowadays. We shifted our investment portfolio in advance of the Ukraine business, and have long since divested our portfolios of anything pharmacologically related. Because those affected sectors will be the next to take a big hit.

If you listen to the mainstream those naughty Russki’s are taking a pasting. If you find a way of tapping into less available information, you will find statements from the front line where Russians are sending out small ‘sacrificial’ patrols, presumably of the most unpopular squaddies, to locate actively manned Ukrainian positions, and when they are fired upon by the Ukrainians, the Russian heavy mortar teams hand out a lesson on how not to be seen.

Then there is a widely discussed possibility of the Russki’s waiting for the Ukrainians to attack in Spring when the ground dries, before making them pay for every inch in Ukrainian blood and the West’s weaponry in a Verdun-scale set piece of attritional butchery. My sources? Well, Redacted on Rumble do some, then there is the Kyiv Independent, ostensibly an independent English language outlet. This article by retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor might prove eye opening as an informed opinion piece.

Like I’ve said on several occasions, ICC arrest warrants or no, neither the Russkies, the US and their aligned powers, nor the Ukrainians are ‘good’ guys. It’s atrocities all round. Even if over three hundred of the forcibly relocated children have already been returned to Ukraine by the Russians.

And even if the Russians have said they want to talk peace, the current US administration aren’t interested, so the war will go on until there are no more Ukrainians left but those in western asylum accommodation.

That’s a hell of a bill to pay.