DIARY OF AN OCTOGENARIAN

- John Copeland -


Friday 16th September - Thursday 22nd September, 2016


Avenue

The avenue of oaks beyond our garden at the end of summer.


"Mr. Juncker and the EU hierarchy remain viscerally hostile to democracy. Anyone who doubts the wisdom of Brexit should read Mr. Juncker's speech - and thank God we're getting out".

The Daily Mail editorial this week, comments with which I fully agree, so thankful we have left that crumbling circus.


FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER

Mrs. Copeland went off in her car about 10 o'clock to stay with her 99-year-old mother down in Essex until Sunday afternoon, leaving me alone at home. Nowadays I go down to Essex on alternate months, which means that Mrs. C. has more time to spend with her mother, not having to tiresomely bother about me. In many ways I believe it is good for couples to have a break from one another, a time to recharge batteries. I therefore always pity those couples who appear to be joined at the hip, always being together wherever and whatever the occasion. How I would hate that.

I braved the rain and went in to Lincoln on the scooter during the morning to buy some slices of ham and bread rolls for lunch, and with a half bottle of wine this was a good enough lunch, especially as I cannot abide cooking, and will never do any even if, God forbid, I am left alone in life, much preferring to go to the pub each day. To spend ages cooking and then sit down and eat the food on your own seems like the utmost misery.

Brayford

A proposal to build another "floating" restaurant on the Brayford Pool has mercifully unanimously been turned by the Lincoln City Council, obviously showing an environmenal concern for a unique area that could have been a Little Venice. Although the British eat all the time, there are already far too many restaurants in the area; that as another one opens up, one closes down


I was delighted to learn that a plan to develop yet another dominant and intrusive "floating restaurant" on the Brayford Pool in Lincoln had been unanimously rejected by the Lincoln City Council, the councillors obviously having shown an environmental concern for this unique area. As might be expected, the proposed plan was enthusiastically supported by an organisation calling itself "Investors in Lincoln", yet it would seem that although the British nowadays eat all the time, a bottle of water ever ready, there are already far too many restaurants along the Brayford area; that as a new one opens, another closes, hardly suggesting economic progress or investment viability.

The unwanted and unnecessary, misnamed restaurant (it doesn't float - it would have been on stilts in the Roman-made Pool) would have blocked the view of an existing restaurant, just as the substantial Japanese "Wagamama" (now up foe sale, so I believe) blocks the view of several restaurants. All credit and praise, then, to the Council for preventing further harm to the Pool, but there is the very real worry that the excessively large and inappropriate development could be allowed on appeal, everything going to appeal being allowed these days, as we saw with the unbelievably horrible eco house in our community that we call "The Shed", now looking even worse in its weathering, the site so incredibly untidy, a cross between a builder's yard and a jungle.

In today's "i" there is an account of Roger Bootle's latest book - "The Real Sterling Crisis: Why the UK Needs a Policy to Keep the Exchange Rate Down", in which he argues that it is a Good Thing that the grossly overvalued has fallen sharply following Brexitsuccess, the point being made that "Because the pound was overvalued for so long, the country cannot pay its way and has not done so for years. The balance of payments deficit is a bigger proportion of GDP than at any time since 1948.

"We do not export enough and we import too much, We do not earn enough on our assets abroad. We borrow vast amounts from overseas every year to maintain our standard of living. Even then, we can only make ends meet by selling off assets - from Heathrow to Cadbury - which we do with wanton disregard for long-term consequences that simply does not exist anywhere else in the world. If we continue much longer on this path, half the country will be in foreign hands. A lower exchange rate would ease these pressures."

These are the very points that I have made so often in this diary, convincing me that the economics that I studied at the London School of Economics way back in the 1950s is still very valid. I tried to order the book on Amazon, but it was not available, at least not yet.

There was not such good news that the unbelievably weak and spineless President Obama, the Americans thankfully only having a few more months of his disastrous administration, has signed a "historic $38bn military aid to Israel", presumably meaning that the pariah country, serving as a brutal and cruel occupying power, will be able to make life even worse for the Palestinians, while encroaching on other lands under the excuse of defending itself from its countless surrounding enemies.

Apart from doing some household cleaning, it was a relaxing and quiet, lonely day at home, the relentless rain that did not stop until about 3 p.m. preventing any outside work, meaning that my productivity was almost as low as that of a British worker - well, not quite. A siesta in the afternoon, and in the evening I read some more of the excellent novel "The Constant Soldier" - a splendid book. Bed about midnight, the house feeling strangely silent.

SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER

I was hearing today that lawyers negotiating us leaving the circus of the European Union - a Union that, according to Mr. Juncker, is in a hopeless muddle and mess, are being paid 5,000 a day (or was it an hour?) for their services, whereas most of them are probably not worth that amount in a month. How we are ripped off by lawyers, reminding me of the excellent suggestion of Dick in "Henry VI, part 2": "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

How much better life would be without these vultures, especially the ambulance-chasers, those horrible, utterly ruthless spivs preying on other people's misfortunes, causing further problems to the NHS. The excessive and unreasonable charges for house conveyancing is another instance of the rip-off of this nasty, greedy mob. Conveyancing is a couple of hours job on a computer in most cases, yet the transactions are dragged out for weeks to justify the enormous fees. Why doesn't the Government stop this abuse, merely having a logbook, as with cars?

Mrs. C.

Photograph of Mrs. Copeland with a neighbour. Mrs. C. is today down in Essex with her 99-year-old mother.


As Mrs. Copeland is far away, I had a late start to the day, not rising until about 9 a.m., whereas I am nearly always up and about, if not particularly active, at 8.15 a.m. at the latest. After breakfast I rode in to town to buy a "Times" - principally for the book reviews, and also bought rump steak from our excellent butcher for Sunday's dinner, Mrs. C. returning home from Essex about 3.30 p.m. on Sunday.

While waiting to be served by the butcher, I heard him speaking to a woman who said she was Jeremy Corbyn's first wife. Not wanting to miss out on this political opportunity, I joined in the conversation, hearing her saying that she was originally much higher up in the Labour Party hierarchy than Jeremy, but subsequently, when he became more left-wing, she left him. I cannot, though, believe that political apostasy was the only reason for parting. Indeed, in the terrible event of Mrs. Copeland becoming left-wing I would certainly not leave her, though I suppose it might affect the housekeeping.

Back home I cleaned the conservatory, getting off all the fly-droppings on the blinds and window cills. Flies are the curse of conservatories, their droppings going everywhere, and on account of my poor productivity, aforesaid being lower than a British worker, it is going to take me several days to clear up all the mess, but at least it will be something to do in the idle days in the season of superannuation.

In "The Times" I saw that a well-known legal firm was no longer writing letters with the salutation "Dear Sirs". Instead, presumably in terms of political correctness and the careful avoidance of charges of sexism, it would henceforth be using the term "Dear Sir or Madam". What a nonsense. In all the letters that I now write, including e-mails, I no longer use the title "Dear", only giving the person's name. To say "Dear Sir", especially in an angry letter, seems a nonsense, and should be dropped.

After a light lunch of soup and a bread roll and a banana (plus the compulsory wine, of course), feeling quite exhausted after my morning's labours, I had a siesta, and then at 8 p.m went to the local Club for a Fish & Chip Evening. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the event all that much, feeling like the proverbial fish out of the water. The couple who had kindly invited me to join them were all very pleasant, but they obviously found it hard going with me, which I can understand, there being nobody present of my age present.

To make matters worse, at the next table there was a really unpleasant, loudmouthed and uneducated and uncouth group, but then I suppose it can be argued that they were at least supporting the Club, which is not solely for grumpy geriatric gentlemen such as myself. Maybe I also have to accept and understand that younger generations have different manners and mores, not accepting the old-fashioned values of my days.

Maybe I would have enjoyed the evening if I had been in the company of Mrs. Copeland and some friends of my own age, but having had quite enough, seeing several women playing on their ubiquitous telephone toys, I went back to the civilisation of home at 9.45 p.m., spending a couple of hours reading some more of "The Constant Soldier", which at least offered some recompense for a rather disappointing evening.

As I mentioned yesterday, the house seems very quiet with my spouse away, and although I quite enjoy the parting for a few days, the loneliness is a cogent reminder of what my life would be like if I am ever left on my own. It is a grim prospect, making me hope so much that I go first, women being far better than men in coping with life when left on their own. Most men soon re-marry, presumably for lunch provision.

Looking back on the week it seem so utterly awful that Mrs. May gave in so easily to the Chinese in the financing of the unwanted nuclear station in Somerset. The financing is a hateful reminder of our lost status in the world, now having to go crawling for money to a hateful Communist country that has no regard for human rights. Decline and fall, indeed.

In today's "i" there was a significant letter saying: "Effectively, we are paying the French Government's (EDF's) development costs, and giving one of the most aggressive regimes on the planet access to our power generation system." Another letter, commenting that Mrs May was "frit", to use the condemnation of Thatcher the Terrible, said that: "Despite her steady-eyed persona, the episode has shown May in her true colours. She has let our country down badly." At least she is bringing back grammar schools, and we must just hope that she doesn't also wobble on that very necessary issue that will do wonders for our schools.

I was amazed to read that Mark Carney, the disappointing and politically active Governor of the Bank of England, receives a remuneration of 800,000 a year. Nice money when all you have to do is to fiddle impotently around with interest rates and handing out quantitative easing to speculators, , the fellow still stupidly saying he wants to reduce rates to almost zero, which will be a disaster, as it was recently in Japan. Will he never learn? However, he has expressed the good idea of abolishing the one-penny coin, thereby stopping the nonsense of 16.99 and the like - something that always annoys me, especially when I see books costing that silly price.

SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER

During the morning after a late start, still on my own as Mrs. C. aforesaid was not coming back from Essex until about 3.30 p.m, I continued cleaning the conservatory, finding it a wearisome job. We will be staying in the conservatory in the evenings until the clocks change next month, then moving into the parlour, enjoying the living fire. Thank heavens we do not live in one of those horribly soulless and ugly eco house, where comfort takes second place to the rigours of economy and efficiency.

Lancaster

Model of a Lancaster bomber that I acquired recently. The plane was the most successful bomber during the Second World War, having a maximum speed of 287 mph at a ceiling of 24,500 feet. It seems incredible that brave men went all the way to Berlin and back, risking ack-ack and German fighters, 55,000 aircrew being lost during the war.


Lord Kinnock, the old Welsh windbag who is obviously still around, has insisted that the Labour Party must not vote for Jeremy Corbyn. If they unwisely do so, he argues that he will not see another Labour government in his lifetime. Oh, dear: can anybody really want to vote for Owen Smith with his near Communist views, wanting to "soak the rich"; have another referendum; and re-nationalise the railways?

In other words, a return to failed Old Labour, which the electorate would never accept. The Party is in a hopeless mess, deeply divided, but at least Corbyn, pipe-dreamer though he may be, is sincere, which might be more than can be said of his firebrand and foolish opponent ho would kill the Labour Party for all time.

Much to my relief, Mrs. Copeland returned safely from Essex about 3.10 p.m, having had a reasonable journey home, there not being much traffic on the road. She was telling me that she only had to face the misery of watching television on one evening while down in Essex with her mother, so that was a relief, the dreadful programmes on the lantern nowadays being a form of punishment, there being no comedy programmes any more, so I understand.

At 4 o'clock we went to the local Club, which proved to be a pleasant session sitting outside in the garden in the wonderfully warm sunshine. As in all the gatherings, there is a marked division in the Club, principally according to age, the elderly around one table, and the younger fraternity at another. It enables us oldies to talk about serious issues, rather than playing on those horrible telephone toys. A couple of years ago we were very fortunate in being able to vote out a proposal to have broadband installed. How awful that would have been, nobody speaking to one another any more.

To my utter amazement, one of the members at our table bet me a bottle of good quality white wine (not French, of course) that Mrs. Clinton would become President. Foolishly, I had entered into another wager some months ago in which a neighbour bet me that Mr. Trump would win. At that time Mrs. Clinton was more than 10 points ahead in the polls, and I therefore thought that I was onto a winner - the first political bet I would have ever won.

However, in recent weeks, when the lame-duck woman collapsed on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump's ratings have shot up, always assuming he does not make some enormous gaffe during the next few weeks. Undoubtedly, his policy of stopping Muslims from entering the country, something we should have done here, will prove to be a winning policy. So belatedly I have managed to "cover" the earlier bet, meaning I cannot win but cannot lose. Not really the way to bet, but never mind.

Back home we had a delightful dinner of rump steak (how I pity those vegetarians who have to have rabbit-style food), and then the rest of the evening was spent in the conservatory, finishing reading "The Constant Soldier", which I greatly enjoyed. A really fine novel. How on earth can intelligent people watch the idiot's lantern all the evening? It is amazing when there are such good books to be read.

I have now made a start on "Hitler's Soldiers - The German Army in the Third Reich", a 635-pages book with close print by Ben. H. Shepherd, published this year by Yale University Press at 30.

MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

On a grim drizzling and chilly day I briefly went in to town to purchase an "i", spending the rest of the time at home, the morning being spent in the further cleaning of the conservatory

On the BBC news website I read that Mr. Corbyn has "come out fighting" in the Labour leadership contest. In the same way that the great country of America has two third-rate contenders for the office of President, one frightening and the other a lame duck, the Labour Party here can only put forward two unimpressive candidates for the party leadership.

Opponents

The two faces of the Labour leadership contest. Mercifully, it looks as if Corbyn will romp home, party members realising that the electorate does not a man who expresses near Communist views, wanting to "soak the rich". He also wants to have another referendum and re-nationalise the railways.


I was not surprised to read in today's "i" that Mrs. May is proposing to have a free vote on whether to repeal the law that now bans that hatefully cruel foxhunting. Apparently, a few Tory Members of Parliament, the last remnants of feudalism, believing as the Countryside Alliance argues that chasing after foxes and having them torn apart by hounds is a rural right, want the Act repealed.

Fortunately, as the news item points out, there is little chance of repeal as Labour and the SNP, plus a few of the more intelligent Tory MPs, will ensure that the very necessary law, said to be supported by 75% of the population, remains in force, thereby stopping these sadistic sods from undertaking their hateful bloodsport. How easily these redcoated rascals could form a latterday Schutzstaffer.

I was pleased to see that Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party had suffered historic losses in the Berlin state elections. Here party has been ousted from the state governing coalition by the centre-left Social Democrats. Meanwhile the right-wing anti-migrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) made gains and will enter the state parliament for the first time, principally because of Mrs. Merkel's thoroughly muddled immigration policy.

It backs up my frequently uttered contention that women, although wonderful in the caring professions, are no good in politics. Admittedly there are some awful male politicians, but in the past hundred years there has never been a successful woman politician. Ah: that's because they never got the chance of high office, I hear you say. Even so, we have already started to become disappointed with our wavering Mrs. May who, as mentioned earlier, is allowing a hateful communist county with no regard for human rights to provide us with a nuclear power station that will probably blow up half of Somerset. Presumably she will soon give up on grammar schools, becoming known as Mrs. Maynot.

Although the FTSE was up by 92 points at 10 o'clock this morning, seeing further gains during the day, there were frightening warnings in the press last Saturday that there is soon going to be an almighty crash on the stock markets around the world, principally due to worries that there is a real possibility of a Chinese banking crisis. Since Brexitsuccess the FTSE has risen by some 700 points, suggesting that the market is now grossly overvalued.

We have decided to make a decisive change in our eating habits, principally because I am finding in old age that I do not want to eat so much, not feeling at all hungry for our main meal at 1 o'clock. So as from today we are intending to have our main meal at 6 o'clock. I will have just a sandwich and a half bottle wine at lunchtime, finishing the bottle in the evening A bottle a day keeps the doctor away.

After a quiet afternoon the evening was spend in the thoroughly clean conservatory, reading 71 pages of "Hitler's Soldiers." The author has extensive criticism of the British Army, arguing that they were poorly led; had insufficient armaments; and did not allow their frontline troops any discretion or initiatives during the battles, the Army being hidebound by rigid social divisions. Even more criticism is devoted to the perfidious French who ran away from the Germans in so many instances.

TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER

Granddaughter Chloe has been telling me that a young couple who have taken up residence next door have been playing their music at an absurdly loud level at night, preventing her from getting to sleep. She went round to the house to ask them to turn down the music, but they could not hear the call because of the music's distorted volume. I have told her to make a complaint to the Environment Health Services of the City Council, who will investigate the matter.

Long ago we had a continuously barking dog nearby, the owners making no effort to control the animal which was left tied up outside all day while they were working, the animal obviously very distressed. After getting nowhere with the owners, I complained to the Environmental Health Services of our district council, who quickly dealt with the issue. Peace, perfect peace.

What always amazes me with the so-called musical appreciation of youngsters is that they want their moronic musak on a deafening volume, almost as if loudness makes up for the lack of artistic achievement. We also find this problem when the local Club has a "live" band playing, the noise being deafening, preventing any discussion on American foreign policy or anything else for that matter.

I was reading that the man behind the recent explosion and subsequent shoot-out in New York with the police was an Afghan immigrant, having links to Islam, no doubt further helping Mr. Trump's policy in wanting to keep Muslims out of America, whereas lame-duck Clinton has no policy at all on immigration, other than probably letting everybody in, waiting to see what happens. There therefore seems to be no doubt now that our Donald will be the next American President, at last somebody who will stand up for the country, something that the spineless Obama has abysmally failed to do..

I can nevertheless well understand that many Americans will be worried about Trump becoming President - a loose cannon that could go off at any time causing massive damage, possibly nuking North Korea. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the lame-duck Clinton does not have a clue about foreign policy, having made a balls-up both in Libya and in Syria, having back the wrong horses. Hobson's choice, indeed.

At 11 o'clock I attended a second session of physiotherapy at the County Hospital. The hip pain that was treated last week has completely gone, and there is some hope that, given a further request from my doctor, the physiotherapist will be able to work on the arthritis in both knees. That would be wonderful, for I am frequently in so much pain.

I found it somewhat annoying that the doctor had earlier given the wrong diagnosis; that the trouble, I was told, was with the present arthritis in my left hip that was causing the pain, whereas sciatica, which I have had long years ago, was readily identified by the excellent female physiotherapist. Don't you just love doctors!

Back home I did yet more work on cleaning the conservatory, clearing the ledges of a great accumulation of flies and spiders - a horrible mess. As mentioned earlier, it will not be long now before we move into the parlour for the winter, sitting by a blazing log fire with a book and a bottle of wine, the world shut out and the idiot's lantern switched firmly off - surely the height of all earthly felicity.

Joke

Have you heard the joke about some Labour Party members wanting Owen Smith as the leader? Photograph by granddaughter Chloe.


In today's "Times" there was a headline saying that doctors have been told to declare all their private earnings, which will make for some interesting reading, no doubt showing that some of them are making a fortune by dodging between the NHS and the awfulness of private hospitals. We used to think of doctors as a worthy and honest profession, dedicated to patient care, but in far too many instances this is not the case any more, some of them being as greedy as small-town solicitors and dentists.

For its part, the "Daily Express" had a headline on the front page saying: "May: We'll get good EU departure deal and unlimited migration will end." We will just have to hope that she doesn't wobble on these important and necessary measures, as she did with the Chinese financed nuclear power station.

There were also reports in the press that the Labour Party continues to tear itself apart as the loony left try to take over the party, presumably to ensure that it never again forms a government. Fortunately, these troublemakers are easily identified as they all seem to wear large black rimmed glasses, presumably known as "Trotskys" in the ophthalmic trade, making them look so ugly. Still, we do not have to worry about them as they are of no significance, the weasels of the Labour Party who will never be in office.

A quiet afternoon, and then in the evening I read some more of the massive book on "Hitler's Soldiers". In my old age I do not seem to read so quickly, so this book will take me some 9 or 10 days to complete. The problem is confounded by not taking into account my Compulsive Book-buying Syndrome, now having a great pile of books waiting to be read.

There are so many splendid books, non-fiction and novels, being published these days, making me wonder why anybody of any intelligence watches the endless rubbish on the idiot's lantern, and let nobody tell me it is not rubbish when I hear that 11 million viewers watched a programme on making cakes that cannot be eaten because of too much sugar and too many carbohydrates. How granny would have laughed!

WEDNESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER

Among the charity appeals we have had in the post this week, all of which go straight into the recycling bin as I have never given so much as a penny to any charity and never will do so, were a number of holiday brochures that Mrs. Copeland normally scans through before they are also thrown out. I looked at some of them earlier in the week, being amazed how expensive the holidays were, obviously suffering from the substantial fall in the overvalued .

Although I greatly enjoyed our holiday in Mijas in Spain last June, when we received 1.23 euros to the (now down to 1.07 at the Post Office), there is no doubt that holidays are a complete and utter waste of money. For the cost of the Mijas holiday I could have had an expensive computer and camera, with still money left over, whereas all I have to show for the almost forgotten holiday is a few photographs, reminding me of a country that had some sunshine.

When in retirement, holidays are really unnecessary, and it is therefore far better to spent the money on home improvements and comforts, knowing that you will not have to endure the unbelievable misery of airports and foreign food. Those cruises, cramped together with thousands of people including estate agents, small-town solicitors and other awful people like that, must be the biggest waste of money, probably ending up with some fearful disease that has swept through the overloaded ship. I will never go abroad again in my lifetime, and will not be renewing my passport when it expires this coming December. Peace, perfect peace.

Flower

Last of the summer flowers in the garden


Fortunately, Mrs. C went in to town shortly after breakfast, buying an "i", and thereby saving me the scooter journey of going in to town. I dearly wish that we had a daily newspaper delivery in the village, as we used to in the good old days. There are a few children in the village, but several of them are in Muslim families, and I suppose they are not allowed to touch an English newspaper. These families keep to themselves and are never seen in the village, never taking any part in its social life, but I believe the children go to state schools, which must be difficult. At least there is a mosque now being built in Lincoln, so that will obviously help their religious requirements. I gather that there has to be a police presence at the site on account of possible vandalism, there having been massive opposition when the City Council amazingly gave approval to the plans.

At 12.30 p.m. I visited a friend in Lincoln who earlier lived in the village. enjoying a baguette and wine, though I could only have one glass as I was driving the Scorpio. I was certainly pleased that the penalties are to be substantially increased for those idiots who use their telephone toys when driving. They ought to be banned for life.

It made me laugh to read that the "Guardian" had a report saying that: "China's Tiangong-1 space station was out of control and will crash to Earth. Chinese authorities confirm the eight-tonne 'Heavenly Palace' lab will re-enter the atmosphere sometime in 2017 with some parts likely to hit Earth". And to think that the Chinese will be financing our nuclear power station in Somerset. I would not want to be living in Somerset. Wherever possible I try to avoid Chinese manufactured products, knowing that they are poorly made and unreliable, "quality control" in that horrible country being a matter of sticking on a label to that effect.

The "i" had a letter commending Lincoln as a fine city, said to be one of the friendliest places in the UK. I would certainly agree with it, for it is a fine place to live in retirement. Lincolnshire is an unknown county, off the beaten track, and nobody knows where it is so that it never features in "The Sunday Tines" best places to live, usually ghastly places in the Cotswolds being selected. Long may the county remain as a backwater, though it has to be admitted that it is not good for employment opportunities, and certainly not the cultural capital of the Disunited Kingdom.

I wanted to check on an item on my latest bank statement, and I therefore tried telephoning the number given for the bank, only to hear a recorded message saying: "Due to high call volumes, you may have to wait 25 minutes." What a disgraceful service, so I therefore wrote to the bank instead. Increasingly I find that it is a waste of time calling a business organisation. Either you have this dreadful waiting announcement, or you have to go through endless options, ending up listening to music, or possibly the call being answered by an Indian who you cannot understand. BT is among the worst offenders.

An evening reading "Hitler's Soldiers", showing how they easily the Germans overcame the poorly led and provisioned British Army when in equal facing numbers, while the French just dropped their guns and ran off - what a dreadful country. I have never liked the French, making sure we never buy any of their wine.

THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER

Much to my alarm, I was told by the friend whom I visited yesterday that the Scorpio had left an oil slick on the drive that belongs to a neighbour. Oh dear: that's the trouble with old people and their old cars. As the leak could be serious, blowing up like one of those new iPhones, I took it to the garage this morning to see what was wrong. It's one thing after another these days, one woe following upon another's heal, as the Bard said. The trouble today is that we have so many things that can go wrong, though I suppose in the old days the horse could drop down dead.

At the garage the trouble was quickly identified as a coolant gasket leak, which was duly replaced at a cost of 54.45, including new coolant, so that was a relief. If it had been an oil leak it would have been extremely serious possibly meaning the end of the car.

At least there was splendid news that the UK is booming, the OECD (which is not often right) saying that it was increasing its forecast of UK economic growth to 1.8% for this year. So the disappointing Governor of the Bank of England, who politically warned about all gloom and terrible doom if we left the EU, now has egg all over his face, having been shown to be so incredibly wrong. Nevertheless, he remains in office, obviously having no shame. Mind you, were I earning 800,000 for doing very little all day I would not mind a bit of shame.

I just hope that all the Remoaners will now at last see the error of their ways and stop being such bad losers. The British electorate substantially voted to leave the EU circus, a 4% victory being quite good in political terms, so we can but hope that the doom-mongers will now help the country, instead of making all manner of daft predictions.

For the first time in a long time. Mrs. Copeland watched a programme on the idiot's lantern called "A National Treasure." She was telling me today that the programme was interrupted every ten minutes with 5 minutes of advertising, all of which she said were so awful, likely to put you off buying the item. How can anybody watch a programme when it is interrupted like that? I could never accept it, but then I never watch the rubbish, and mercifully have a free television licence being over 75.

If ever this benefit is taken away, and it is quite likely under Mrs. May's Government, I will give the television set to a charity shop and buy a home cinema device so that I can still show DVDs. I will never pay 146, or whatever the fee is, for watching that rubbish on the lantern, most of it intended for a working class audience.

As intended and promised, I have reduced the length of the diary this week, down to 5861 words, whereas last week's amounted to 9,084. I think it will benefit from being reduced yet again next week. It reminded of the comment: "Sorry I am writing you a long letter. I did not have time to write a short one." The diary could do with a good editor, providing he agreed with my ascorbic views on lame-duck Clinton and working mothers.
Cutting the diary down to size should help me in my old age, especially as I find it increasingly difficult to type, thereby enabling me to reach the target of the 1,000th edition, which would take place at the end of April next year. It would then be the longest running (and dreariest) diary on the Internet.
The real worry is my relentless decline, falling apart even faster than the Labour Party, and the 8-year-old laptop is looking as poorly, making me wonder which of us goes first.

Car

The good old days, when you could move along the roads. Photograph sent to me by a reader whose contributions help to liven up this lugubrious diary, the hits falling faster than the opinion poll ratings for the Labour Party.


With Mrs. Copeland's cousin, Jean, and her retired vicar husband Peter, we had an excellent meal at the French restaurant "Cotes", in Lincoln. I greatly enjoyed talking to the husband about religion - a topic that greatly interests me as I believe in a Creator of some kind, but not in a caring God. Neither do I believe in prayer, unless it is an occasion for people to come together to hope for better things.

This evening I will be watching with a neighbour two further episodes of "House of Cards", having given up watching "Game of Thrones" as we could no longer understand it any more. Yet I gather that the "Thrones" programme came first in a recent film ranking. Amazing. The "Thrones" seemed to be so muddled - at least it muddled us up, not knowing who was on whose side. If they weren't putting swords in one another, they were romping in bed, there presumably not being much to do during the dark candlelit nights. "House of Cards", illustrating the corruption and dishonesty of American politics today is so much better.
Beer

E-mail: johncopeland@clara.net
Comments welcomed
Lincolnshire 22nd September, 2016
No. 969




Diary of an Octogenarian<BR>



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