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'Have a couple of cocktails'


Down the Garden Path

Beverley Nichols bought his cottage and garden in 1929, "when Wall Street. . .had been giving one of its celebrated impersonations of the fall of Jericho".

He sent a wireless to Timbuctoo from the Mauretania, at midnight, with a fierce storm lashing the decks, after noticing that Mr. So-and-So had died, leaving his cottage and beautiful garden to someone Nichols knew.

On arrival the garden had almost vanished under neglect, but Nichols went about restoring and planting. His gardening advice, at least in this book, runs to the 'have a couple of cocktails' before you go to the nursery to buy plants as you’ll be much more relaxed.

That might be good advice this weekend, rather than listening to "this is the end of the market and my portfolio". I'm no expert, as I do not have to tell you, but economies not labouring under excessive taxes and not distorted by government interventions and corporate bail-outs will probably do just fine because millions of small owner-operated companies continue to be the real source of prosperity.

If financial disaster strikes, we are going to follow Beverely's advice and make the long-term investment of planting a tree.