After listening to all the doom and gloom on the news I was left wondering what proportion of the general public will be directly affected by the financial crisis. How many people are worrying needlessly and how much of it is self-purpetuating from panic. Do you remember the classic film, “It’s a wonderful Life”? How the lovely James Stewart narrowly averted the panic run on his bank. That was the first thing I thought of when we saw the queues outside Northern Rock.

I am a naive grandmother who does not understand why the money men are suddenly selling shares in solid profit making businesses. What are they doing with the money? They are not putting into other banks, buying shares or property. Do they owe it all to some one else, in which case someone at the end of the line is getting very rich or there are some very well stuffed mattresses!

Houseowners who view their houses as homes rather than investments still have the bricks and mortar even if the value has gone down and unless they have to sell now for family or business relocation reasons, they can wait until there is more movement in the market and, even if the value is still down, the next house will also be cheaper thus keeping on the same rung of the housing ladder.

I would guess that the proportion of the “ordinary savers” (much referred to by the media and politicians), who have more than the guaranteed £35,000 in UK banks  is much smaller than we are led to believe.

It is reported that oil and commodity prices are coming down, but even if they are not , we can still shop more carefully. We don’t have to buy the expensive cuts of meat, cheaper cuts of meat are just as nutritious. My mother kept us well fed during the war when she had to cope with not only cost but rationing. Of course we did not throw away vast amounts of food causing landfill problems.

We had no central heating for most of my youth, but we did put on a thicker jumper when it was cold and put an extra blanket on the beds in our unheated bedrooms (we frequently woke up to find frost patterns on the inside of the bedroom windows, but we didn’t come to any harm from it.) Maybe we could now heat just the rooms we use and put on another layer before we turn up the thermostat.

One of the many notices which went up during the war said “Is your journey really necessary?” Perhaps we could think of this before we jump in our cars for short journeys. Weather permitting, it might be healthier and more climate friendly to walk.

My daughter- Jenniesworld – has done an excellent blog on council investments. Can any one explain to me why they need such a large proportion of OUR rates for a contingency fund. What contingency are they contemplating? They do  not have to send armies to war, build hospitals or provide for their futures etc and presumably the money they have put into foreign banks is not needed immediately and they will be getting another tranch of our money next April anyway.

I hope all this does not sound too smug but I realise we are very fortunate. We moved house a year ago, have no shares, bank balances nowhere near the guaranteed £35,000, we are pensioners and Mr Darling pays our pensions regularly every week. We have bus passes and a regular bus service so only use the car once or twice a week (this in sharp contrast to our previous house in the country where we had a once a week bus, which had to be booked 24hours in advance! The nearest hourly service was 4 miles away down a very steep hill, so we had little choice but to use the car).

It seems my untutored mind that much of the crisis has been exacerbated by the media, who within hours of the “rescue packages” were announcing that it had not worked. The other thought I had was, where are these mind numbing sums coming from? Is it real money or is it all virtual money, provided by creative accounting?