Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Price of Eggs

Time for another roundup of random photos from my iPhone. We start with a view of the Thames at night, taken from a riverboat that Dave and I used to get back to Westminster from Canary Wharf when we went out to dinner last week. This is the London Eye and a building known as County Hall. It used to be the headquarters of the Greater London Council, but the seat of London's government is now located in a contemporary building farther down the Thames near Tower Bridge.

I came across this mailbox on my way home from work last night. Looks like it got hit by a car? Someone is making darn sure we don't use it by mistake!

We've been talking a lot in blogland about the price of eggs. Because Dave does all the shopping I wasn't sure how much eggs cost here, so I stopped at a Sainsbury's on my way home from work to check it out. This particular store actually had only a few packages left, along with this sign, but Dave says he hasn't seen shortages in the Waitrose where he usually shops. (By the way, on the sign, note the excellent example of a comma splice.)

The prices varied. According to the shelf signs, a package of six mixed-weight Italian eggs costs £1.35 (or $1.65), but there were none available. Six free range eggs were £2.30 ($2.65), and six Burford brown eggs were £3.85 ($4.71), but they were out too. Eggs are usually sold here by the half-dozen; doubling those prices would give a rough cost per dozen.

Apparently the avian flu is partly to blame, but according to at least one Welsh farmer, there are also problems with production costs and how much some supermarkets are willing to pay to stock their shelves.

These rain boots in the school Lost & Found reminded me of the socks worn by the Wicked Witch of the East in "The Wizard of Oz."

Just a rainy street scene, taken on my way to the post office in St. John's Wood.

Several weeks ago our school library got a letter from a student in Tennessee, who sent us a "Flat Stanley" with the request to take pictures with him around town and e-mail them back. I took this one on the banks of the Thames with the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich across the river.

A sticker I found at Fortune Green, encouraging support for the recent Iran protests.

And finally, I found this interesting piece of pottery on the banks of the Thames during my recent Thames Path walk around the Isle of Dogs. I added it to my little collection. It looks like a shard from an old ceramic bottle.


Rachel Phillips said...

It should have been a semi-colon. I have not heard of comma splice in Britain. Yes, egg production costs are up because of chicken food costs and energy prices but the supermarkets never want to pay the farmer a fair price for anything. Avian flu is also a contributory factor.

Frances said...

I had never heard of a comma splice either!

Moving with Mitchell said...

That comma would have annoyed me, too. No reason to change the rules there.

Beautiful photos. If those rain boots are a UK 10.5 or 11, I'll claim them... and your little dog, too.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Oh! Be still my beating heart! A delicious comma splice! Mind you as it says in Wikipedia - most use of comma splices is down to inexperienced writers. I like that Flat Stanley idea from the "student" in Tennessee but what the hell happened to Stanley's ears? Could you photograph him with the king inside Buckingham Palace? Charles III has impressive ears in my humble opinion.

Andrew said...

I've never heard the term comma splice, but it is useful, it denotes where a new sentence should begin and a comma not used. I don't think I am guilty of it too often.

It is hard to imagine how someone could lose such boots, they are quite distinctive.

Flat Stanley is funny, it must be great for the student to receive email replies.

Sorry but comma splicing amused me, ain't English just grand to play with.

Andrew said...

Sorry Rachel; for me it is a new sentence.

Ursula said...

Those wellies were, possibly, "lost" on purpose. What may be one's mother's idea of fun has potential to collide with your inner existentialist.

I did the maths on eggs (in absence of my own hens I only buy organic - at a push free range; soon I'll lay my own!); a Spanish omelette no longer so much a cheap and cheerful tapas as a Faberge minus the tassel.

That piece of crockery intriguing. Kudos to you that you give it house room. Instinctively, I don't keep anything, not even the most expensive piece of crockery, when it's damaged. But where would we be without exceptions to our very own rules? A few years ago I took some stuff to the local recycling tip and came across someone's discarded vase. It had a chip at the top rim. Hmm. However, the design was so ridiculous, so over the top (think Rococo), it captured my heart and has had a place of pride on one of my shelves ever since (the chip facing the wall). Not that I do put flowers into it. That would be overkill.


Bob said...

Eggs here, we buy Free Range Eggs, are roughly $5.50 a dozen. Not so bad since we don't eat that many ... it's 45-cents an egg.
i usually go right to the Wizard of Oz when I see a photo like those boots, but this time I went 'Beetlejuice'.

Marcia LaRue said...

Avian Flu is the prime cause of high egg prices here in the States. The affected flocks have to be destroyed by fire!
Wicked Witch boots for sure!
The punctuation, or lack thereof, in blogs makes me crazy! The same goes for proofreading ... it must be a lost art!

Sabine said...

A comma splice gets short shrift in my work as a language editor. But worse is the Oxford comma, a real show off.

NewRobin13 said...

I remember during my days of editing having to deal with the very common comma splice mistake.
Love that Flat Stanley request. Your photo is wonderful.
There's been lots of talk and articles about egg shortages here, but I haven't noticed it... yet.

Red said...

You've got me curious about egg prices and supply. I know the price has gone up.

Ms. Moon said...

As a true admirer of the hen and the eggs she lays, I wonder if perhaps the eggs we buy haven't always been priced rather low. An egg is a beautiful example of perfect protein and has been a food that has sustained human life for eons and yet, we expect them to be cheap and plentiful which they generally have been. If we had always paid a little more for them, perhaps farmers could have provided better alternatives for their chickens than huge horrible evil factory farms.
That last part could have used a few commas, right?
Anyway, just a thought.

ellen abbott said...

I have never heard the term 'comma splice'. How does that differ from just putting in a comma where needed? I knew eggs in the US are horribly expensive because of the avian flu that killed off millions of hens but I didn't realize it was a problem in the UK too. I get eggs from a woman at yoga. She sells them for $2 a dozen. It still just amazes me that in the UK and Europe in general I guess, that houses are built right there on the edge of the street. You walk out the door and practically in the street!

Ellen D. said...

Flat Stanley! I am so glad you participated in Flat Stanley's journey. I wonder where else that Tennessee student sent him. It would be fun if he shared the results with you.

Linda Sue said...

commas, I love them, they are cute, and dashes I love those as well- it is how we speak. Dashes and commas and sometimes without any sort of punctuation we just ramble and i like that free flowing creek rushing into a lake paragraph. Unless verbiage indicates something not meant, like "We ate Gramma", then punctuation is arbitrary. I am not a teacher nor and editor, obviously.
The rainy day street house looks like where you should live, you know, if you had millions of pounds to spare! Such a lovely place!

Sharon said...

The egg situation is similar to here and reports say it's caused by a breakout of avian flu. However, the prices don't seem to be quite that expensive. I think I paid a little over $4 for a dozen the last time I bought some.
What a fun idea for "flat Stanley".
I didn't even noticed the comma situation. I've never been any good at the rules of punctuation. I'm pretty sure I misplace my commas quite often. At least I'm not making signs to read by everyone.

The Bug said...

A lovely photo roundup! I love that first shot, and I actually love the rain boots.

I have an egg man at work & can get 18 eggs for $6 which is definitely a steal these days. Plus the eggs come from his very pampered chickens.

Margaret said...

Comma splices are very common; I love semi-colons and use them too much. (but at least I'm not a splicer) I'll probably jinx things by saying that eggs cost $2.99 per dozen at my local Albertsons and that I haven't had any issues getting them. Now I'll wait for karma to bite me in the butt.

Allison said...

This is a comment I left on another blog, whose author was polling on the price of eggs. Prices are up!

Tucson, AZ went months without any eggs available. A local blogger reported that. We're in Tucson now, and have seen the price range between $7 and $10 for a dozen. Since we're in a rented condo with ruined non-stick skillets, we will not be eating eggs at all. Oddly enough when we left Spokane, WA, eggs were $2 a dozen.

Boud said...

Nice of you to cooperate with Flat Stanley. And I suspect some kid deliberately lost those boots. I doubt if they were their choice.

You and Dave have a great division of labor: from each according to his talent!

Ed said...

I am unaware of our egg prices as well. We mostly get ours from a local hobbyist that raises chickens and I'm sure have always paid more than grocery store prices. But just the color difference alone between her eggs and those bought in the grocery store are enough, a partially blind person could probably tell. They almost look alien because they look so difference. My wife says she can tell a taste difference too but I cannot. So if our egg supply drops off, as it usually does every winter, I tend to eat the store bought ones and let my wife have the farm ones. But I still never look at prices until I get the total bill from the cashier.

Rachel Phillips said...

I'd have left that piece of pottery exactly where I found it, in the mud.

Boud said...

I forgot to say that pillar box doesn't look suspended to me.

Kelly said...

I prefer a semicolon to a comma splice.

I'm glad you got an interesting photo of Flat Stanley! Projects like that are such fun, and not just for kids!

Pixie said...

I want those boots, please.

Jeanie said...

I love your walkabout. I've never seen that view of the Eye and lots of fun and interesting discoveries! Our eggs are pricey too, but I think yours are much more. We were $3.29 US for a dozen (I can't remember if they were large or XL.)

sparklingmerlot said...

I love the boots. But rain boots? Shouldn't they be wellington boots?

I shall leave the grammar conversation to others better qualified. I am now second guessing all my commas.

Our local supermarket has a chicken shortage. Which came first?

Steve Reed said...

Rachel: I was always taught that a comma splice -- using a comma between two independent clauses -- is an error. But that may be an American thing. I see them in Britain quite frequently so maybe here it's not considered a mistake.

Frances: See my comment to Rachel above!

Mitchell: The boots, alas, are quite a bit smaller than that. :)

YP: Perhaps I could mail Stanley to the king and he could take a selfie?

Andrew: If the comma splice is considered an error more in American English than British English, maybe it's not emphasized in Australia either.

Ursula: Ha! Yeah, I can see how some mom thought they were great and the kid might say, "No way." Kudos for saving the vase. I am always a fan of restore, re-use, recycle!

Bob: That doesn't seem too crazy for an egg. I have never seen "Beetlejuice"! I suppose I should watch it one of these days. It was a fairly major cultural moment, after all.

Marcia: Those poor chickens! I wish I could adopt some avian-flu afflicted birds and nurse them back to health, but I'm sure that's not allowed.

Sabine: Yeah, I am not a fan of the Oxford comma. I follow AP style!

Robin: Maybe you don't eat many eggs? I don't eat them often which is also part of why I haven't noticed the price issue.

Red: I'd be curious to know what it is up where you are!

Ms Moon: That's probably true. I think a lot of the things we buy and use are priced artificially low. We should also consider intangible things like environmental impact and animal welfare when setting prices. Gasoline has long been a prime example of a product that is priced artificially low, but maybe less so now that gas prices have risen.

Ellen: A comma splice connects two independent clauses that should be connected by a semicolon, or should stand alone as two separate sentences.

Ellen D: He made the rounds of London with several of us. I hope someone got a shot of him at Buckingham Palace and in some of the more famous touristy areas.

Linda Sue: I like dashes and use them all the time, but some writers (and editors) hate them!

Sharon: Your punctuation seems very good. I don't remember seeing errors on your blog!

Bug: Wow! An egg connection! Is this someone you work with who also keeps chickens?

Margaret: I bet you'll find the price has gone up. I'm a fan of the semicolon too!

Allison: $7 to $10 definitely sounds like the high end of the egg-price spectrum. Maybe there aren't any chicken farms near Tucson?

Boud: Yes! This system works well for us. I do the cleaning and most of the garden and he handles food stuff. I am not a cook. If it were up to me I'd always be eating peanut butter sandwiches.

Ed: Supermarkets make it hard to see prices now, with those tiny signs on the shelves (that are often in the wrong place). I wish they still used price tags!

Rachel: I only pick up stuff that strikes my fancy! I do have a little collection in a bowl.

Boud: LOL! I laughed at that sign too. Good eye!

Kelly: I think a comma splice is actually an error, at least in American English, while the semicolon is correct. A lot of people don't like to use semicolons. They think they look too highfalutin'. :)

Pixie: If they go unclaimed I'll mail them to you! LOL

Jeanie: Yeah, it seems to depend a lot on the egg. The Italian ones are quite cheap. Maybe they don't have the avian flu there?

Caro: Ha! I didn't even think about a chicken shortage, but that would stand to reason, wouldn't it?! Yes, I guess those boots are properly called "Wellies" here in the UK. :)

Rachel Phillips said...

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. A comma splice is definitely wrong but we do not use that expression in Britain. We just call it a punctuation error.

River said...

I do that comma splice thing all the time, didn't know what it was called and didn't know it was wrong. I was taught to use a comma at a place where a person might naturally pause in the conversation, now I'm going to worry about everything I write.
I but free range eggs in jumbo size, they cost me $10.40 per dozen and taste just like the ones my daughter used to bring me from her hens before the foxes got them.

37paddington said...

I sometimes use the comma splice intentionally, to build momentum without the interruption of a period, but I always thought I was taking stylistic liberties, breaking the rules, I didn't know it was actually a thing. So thank you! I learned something today!

The Bug said...

Yes - one of our city engineers has chickens. It's very convenient right now!