What’s in your average weekly shopping basket?

If it’s anything like mine, there’ll be milk, spuds, eggs, bottle of wine, carrots, washing liquid, wine, cereal, meat, maybe a bit of chocolate...

That’s not good enough to be able to predict that state of the nation’s economy.

Not varied enough. There are no smart speakers telling me what to do, doggy treats, baking trays or popcorn.

They’re all items that have just been added to the mythical shopping basket that the Office for National Statistics uses to calculate the national rate of inflation - on which so many economic decisions are made.

While they are all in, items such as envelopes, hi-fis and crockery sets are out. We’re not buying them any more.

There’s a massive shopping list of 700 different things in all, including clothing, furniture, house rental fees, energy supplies, even canteen meals.

It strikes me that so many economists have got their predictions wrong over so many years and have tried to improve matters by making so many bad decisions that we need to come up with a different shopping basket, or even a different way of looking at inflation and predicting how our economy will behave.

WHAT do you give the man who has everything - well, almost?A man who is royalty, who can travel by private car or jet, who can phone anyone around the world and say: ‘Can I crash at your palace/palazzo/villa/ estate for a few days’ rest?’

A man who doesn’t have to do anything. Any day at any time.

It was Prince Edward’s birthday this week. The Earl of Wessex was 55. You know the one I mean - the one with ears, balding, jowly. Looks very pleased with himself.

Yes, that describes all of them. They’re interchangeable really.

If he’s anything like me, he probably got a pair of socks, or a hankie. His mam, the Queen, raised the bar a bit and gave him a new title. Why not?

He has been granted the new title of Earl of Forfar for when he goes forth as far as Scotland.

Apparently, the Earldom was created in 1661 and became extinct in 1715 following an outbreak of the disease Earlimatosis.

I’m not sure if this new title allows him to herd his cattle over the Forth Bridge at certain ties of the year or if it means he can keep a string of ferrets at Balmoral.

But I’m pretty sure it means that when East Fire play Forfar, he gets to read out the score East Fife 4, Forfar 5.