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Where have all the cooks gone?

‘Where have all the cooks gone?’I am driven to share these thoughts with you by two recent  events: I like to start my day with ‘the best flat white in London’ prepared by my barista, the lovely Marianna of ‘Rhythm & Brews’. ‘R&B’ is my coffee-shop-of-choice on Turnham Green; it is there that Marianna and other attractive (I’m still allowed to say that, right?) waitresses serve exceptional coffee that gives joy and light to dark mornings. Yesterday though, I was ‘jonesing’ for some scrambled eggs to go with my croissant. Marianna explained that the kitchen was closed ‘for lack of a cook’. The owner, ever-elegant Ann, told me that the job had been advertised for some weeks ‘but we haven’t had one application’. By noon, I was gnawing my knuckles with hunger. I went on several websites, looking for take-away; I battled with website mice-type and the constant errors that is tech’s companion. I gave up and concluded it would be easier for me to walk to ‘Singapore Garden’ on Chiswick High Road. The restaurant is regarded by TIMES columnist Giles Coren as serving ‘the best Malaysian food in London’. That’s good enough for me.The charming hostess, Ping-Ting, explained that part of the difficulty in accessing the website is that ‘We don’t deliver any more, except Sunday evenings.; She shrugged. ‘We cannot get enough cooks.’WTF? Never mind ‘where have all the flowers gone?’ Where have all the cooks gone?The office of national statistics reports that, pre-Covid, there were one million unfilled jobs in the UK. Sixty thousand of these unfilled jobs were in the hospitality sector – before we donned masks and were told to stand six feet apart.If the jobs are there (and now, we presume, there are many more) why do so many people choose to ‘sign on’? Why do two million adults in this country choose to take money from taxes paid by those in work simply because, British citizens find the jobs unappealing. Two hundred thousand European nationals do not think like that; they scuttled home when Brexit told them they weren’t needed to  fix our loos, build our basements, dig our roads… and cook our meals. Perhaps some ‘Brexiteers’ thought that a ‘full English’ could be equally well cooked by a full Englishman? As the Brexit pigeons come home to roost, we are finding that the English who choose to be unemployed would rather live off the English who chose to be employed.Of course, there are thousands who are applying fruitlessly for jobs they are either over- or under-qualified for, and still they fail to secure a position.Our current Prime Minster is famous – among other things – for saying ‘I’m all for having my cake and eating it’.Does he know any good cooks? Alternatively, if he can find cake on the half-empty supermarket shelves, will he please tell us the precise location?© ‘Brian Clewly Johnson.07557407450

Brian Clewly Johnson ● 12d10 Comments ● 11d

533 bus route . Tfll refuses to let it stop  in Chiswick

This bus route  continues to operate but is now prohibited from stopping in Chiswick (A316)despite doing so for months, Representations from Nick Rogers AM our GLA member, local residents, Chiswick House staff and Chiswick School pupils and parents and others have been forwarded to the GLA deputy mayor Transport. Here's the latest communication from Tfl Dear All We have received an update from  TfL ' in relation to their monitoring of the usage of the 533 bus service. 'TfL have advised that in early September, they committed to monitoring usage of the 533 service and to subsequently share any updates on the frequency of the service, in view of this having been an area of great interest. The survey data TfL collected over the past few weeks showed that passenger numbers on the 533 are now considerably lower following the re-opening of the bridge to pedestrians and cycles. TfL have advised that the 533 will therefore continue to run non-stop between Mortlake and Hammersmith, to ensure a quick and reliable connection between Barnes and Hammersmith for those passengers who cannot easily walk or cycle across the bridge. TfL have further advised that they will be  keeping this under close review. Furthermore, they plan to conduct a full review of the network in the Barnes/Mortlake area in the new year based on comprehensive passenger data that is collected annually during November - traditionally one of the busiest periods in the year.' We emphatically do not agree with TfL’s decision to continue to run the 533 service non-stop between Mortlake & Hammersmith. We  will continue to challenge this decision..

John Todd ● 15d10 Comments ● 11d