The depth of Britain's long-running recession and credit crunch is highlighted by its increasing role in popular culture.
The Morrisons supermarket chain has a 'price crunch' rash of cheap specials, sometimes at less than half price.
In Coronation Street, Gail Tilsley has a new boyfriend (when hasn't she?) whose business has just gone bankrupt and he is now secretly working as a labourer for Bill Wenster, while claiming to still have his kitchen business.
Gail's son David Platt is unemployed too, though I have yet to find out why he has left Audrey's hairdressers.
During Christmas, chefs Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver were putting a greater focus on reusing leftovers, as did a chef on the local Calender tv news programme.
Now, supermarket chain Sainsbury's has been telling us to 'put new life into leftovers'.
What with New Year newspaper features telling us that the old ways of spend, spend spend are over and parsimony is 'in' for 2009, the credit crunch seems to be changing the British way of life.
However, despite the gloom, and the new trend for tightfistedness, I thought 'bugger that' and paid $12-13NZ on Friday for a coffee and toasted teacake in Betty's Tea Rooms , an upmarket cafe.
There's enough doom and gloom around and sometimes we need something a little special to cheer us up!
And I wasn't alone. While many stores are empty today, Betty's was booming! No doubt helped by tourists in Bankrupt and increasingly cheap (for them) Britain!