DIARY OF AN OCTOGENARIAN
- John Copeland -
Friday 2nd December - Thursday 8th December, 2016
Home sweet home - the place to be during the feigned jollity of the season of goodwill, which thankfully must end on the 6th January, 2017. The model Lancaster bomber, upside down and now nearing completion, is shown to the right in the foreground.
"The enormous legal fees being wasted on trying to thwart Brexit would be better spent on the NHS, schools or social housing."
Letter in the "i" 7th December, 2016
FRIDAY 2 DECEMBER
While watching episodes of "House of Cards" and "Till Death Us Do Part" yesterday evening with a neighbour, he was commenting on how wonderful it was to see a living fire, and how utterly awful it must be living in an austere eco house, comfort having been sacrificed to efficiency. Sitting around a radiator must be so awful.
When listening to the 6 o'clock news bulletin yesterday evening on BBC Radio 4 - a bulletin that I now listen to rather the dumbed down "News at Ten" (even the headlines are broken up with comments) I heard that the Government may pay money to the European Union in order to have access to the Single Market, wanting an opt out on the associated free movement of labour. In other words, our lame-duck Prime Minister, the Mrs. Maynot who was a convinced Remoaner when serving as an awful Home Secretary, is gradually whittling down the provisions of Brexit, her heart not being in leaving the circus, proving yet again that women are no good in the political arena, not that many men are much better either.
With the Establishment and its support for big business wanting the cheap immigrant labour, controlling the Judiciary, and having its base in an unelected House of Lords, there is no chance that I will see us leaving the undemocratic and erratic Union during my lifetime, and I assume I may live another 5 years if I take no exercise, avoid those killer diets, and keep away from doctors, the referendum having been a complete waste of time, the will of the people ignored.
We needed to be far more firm with those hateful people in the Union, including that Mrs. Merkel who has made a complete mess of immigration in Germany, and that dreadful man Hollande, neither of whom have ever been friendly with this country. I suppose this is understandable. As the supreme country, we twice had to defeat the Germans in the last century, and in another century we had to subdue the French, often seen as our natural enemies.
Consequently in their humiliation, they will cheat and do us down at every opportunity, knowing that we are mugs in being amongst the biggest contributors to their wasteful funds, bailing out countries such as Greece and probably soon Italy. We need a strong man at the helm, not a woman who seems to be getting her knickers in more and more of a twist.
If we have to pay for access to the Single Market, then let us put tariffs on the items the member countries of the EU export to us, including 10% on BMW cars and 20% on that French wine that isn't a patch on the offerings from the New World. Quid pro quo, as they say.
We come down to the realisation that we have about as much democracy in this country as the average banana republic, for let us not forget the fiddling of Parliamentary expenses not so long ago. We saw this lack of democracy when one Inspector in Bristol can allow the appeal for "The Shed" in our community, going against the opposition of all the neighbouring houseowners. the rejection by the Parish Council, and the unanimous throwing out of the plans by the Planning Committee of the local District Council. It was a shameful decision that we now have to live with, everybody who comes to visit us wondering how on earth such an out-of-character house was ever allowed.
So we must forget about Brexit, though at least the referendum got rid of the weak and spineless Cameron and the highly unpopular, sneering Osborne who gave the impression of having little understanding of economics, both former members of the Bullingdon Club. Nevertheless, like matter, the Establishment can never be destroyed, for although the political careers of Cameron and Osborne are thankfully at an end, they will wheedle their way into many lucrative directorships, firms wanting them for their connections.
On the morning's news I heard that the Liberals had won the Richmond by-election (yet another woman!) the successful candidate being opposed to Brexit and presumably wanting to defy the will of the people. Quite rightly, Brexit-supporting Conservative MP James Cleverly accused the successful woman "of starting her political career by telling the British people they can 'get stuffed'. Even so, what on earth is the point of electing a Liberal, for the pathetic party is dead in the water, only 8 of them in Parliament, having no power and even less influence It was obviously not much of a contest as neither the Conservatives nor Ukip put up a candidate, the result thereby having no national significance.
My neighbour, with whom I watch DVDs of "House of Cards" and who accurately forecast the American Presidential result, for which we are still giving thanks for that country having been so blessed, predicts that the EU will be gone within 2 years. I am sure that the hateful Union will be gone within 10 years, but I would have thought that 2 years is a bit too soon. However, we can but hope that he will be right.
As might be expected at this time of year, we are being inundated with charity appeals, all of which go straight into the recycling bin. As Scrooge so wisely asked, having been told that he should "make some slight provision foe the poor and destitute who suffer greatly at this time of year", before having counselling from those mollycoddling ghosts: "And the union workhouses? Are they still in operation?" It would not surprise me in the least if Mrs. Maynot brings back workhouses, which seems to be a splendid idea, locking up the workshy and illegal immigrants, making them work to make nice things for us.
I will gladly contribute to somebody locally in trouble,, but I will never contribute so much as a penny to those bloated charities with chief executives on six-figure salaries, or to any charity that sends money abroad that inevitably ends up in the pockets of corrupt politicians and bandits.
The skills of thugby, some of the players looking like Neanderthal man. It amazes me that this brutal and barbaric game, having about as much skill as Snakes & Ladders, is not banned in schools on account of the lifelong injuries the hateful sport causes.
Hardly ever having won a Premium Bond prize in December, I was pleased and amazed to see that I have won £25 this month. For the entire year I am £10 better off than the highest interest rate return on a building society, so they have been a reasonable investment, bearing in mind Calamity Carney's appalling low interest rate policy.
Although so many roads are closed in Lincoln for the jamboree of the Christmas Market, while other roads are blocked with traffic, I was at least able to purchase a newspaper from a garage on the outskirts of the city. The rest of the day was spent at home, doing some leaf clearance, cleaning the scooter, and then having a deserved siesta in the afternoon. The evening was spent by the fireside, reading some more of "All Out War", an account of the referendum having destroyed the old political class.
During the evening I thought of all those lost souls traipsing around the Christmas Market in Lincoln, probably frozen with cold. How lucky I am to escape that misery. Indeed, how wonderful it is that I will not have to leave the house again until Monday morning. There are times when I feel that I have led a charmed life, having refused to play thugby at school, managing to get out of National Service (though Mrs. C. said it would have done me good), and having enjoyed a splendid job sacking teachers, and having a happy marriage, ending up with a splendid pension that gave me 10 years of enhancement.
Alas, my life is now all falling apart, just like the Brexit arrangements, but at least I can look back on splendid times. I fear that children today will never enjoy such benefits in their adult lives, never knowing security of employment and finances.
SATURDAY 3 DECEMBER
A correspondent has sent me an e-mail correcting the trade figures between this country and the EU that I presented last week, saying that we did not import five times more than we exported to the European Union. I looked up the figures on the Internet, seeing that the ONS reported the figures as EU Exports for September 2016 were £13.0 billion. This was a increase of £1.9 billion (17 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £1.5 billion (13 per cent) compared with September 2015. Imports for September 2016 were £21.9 billion. This was a increase of £3.2 billion (17 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £2.8 billion (15 per cent) compared with September 2015. In EU trade the UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £8.9 billion.
Another reader has asked for a definition of the European Single Market. This refers to the EU as one territory without any internal borders or other regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods, services and labour. A functioning Single Market is said to stimulate competition and trade, improves efficiency, raises quality, and helps cut prices. It is this Single Market that we may now have to pay to join in terms of Brexit, though "hopefully" with not the associated free movement of labour, which is the sticking point, not that we are ever likely to come out of the Union.
Mrs. Copeland went for the week's provision to Waitrose this morning, going early in order to avoid the pre-Christmas rush and the Christmas Market traffic. Over the next few weeks it will be absolute hell. I stayed in all day, thereby avoiding the misery and scrum of the Christmas Market. There was an expectation of 250,000 coming to the event, no doubt making for hateful overcrowding. In the early days of the Market, when it was principally for the local residents, it was most enjoyable, and I attended, but over the years it has been expanded to ridiculous proportions, quite spoiling the former ambience.
I can just imagine how awful it must be for somebody coming by coach from, say Leicester, leaving at 9 a.m. and not returning from Lincoln until 5 p.m., with little to do after the two-hour walk round the Market. Still, the women and children enjoy the event, and as Mrs. Copeland tells me, I must not be the sole arbiter of the good life.
In September 2016 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £25.5 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £45.6 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £20.0 billion. EU Exports for September 2016 were £13.0 billion. EU Imports for September 2016 were £21.9 billion.
On the BBC news website I saw that "A vegetarian cafe is refusing to accept the new £5 note after it emerged the currency contains animal products." I have always thought of vegetarianism, and especially the vegan nonsense, as a form of mental instability, an unhealthy obsession with food, and reading such stupidity convinces me of this diagnosis when reason loses touch with reality. Presumably these silly Billies are not going to eat the notes, though you never know with those obsessed and funny eaters. All very sad. Presumably the cafe proprietor could be prosecuted for an infringement of human rights.
The wisdom of Americans appointing Mr. Trump as President becomes more obvious and significant as each week passes. According to the news today, "China's foreign ministry says it has lodged a complaint with the US after President-elect Donald Trump spoke to Taiwan's leader in a phone call." Good for Mr. Trump: it is time that the aggression of China, having hundreds of missiles pointing towards Taiwan (most of which probably won't work or blow up on site), and has threatened to use force if it seeks independence, was suppressed. His next step should be to place tariffs on the rubbish that China sends to America. We could do likewise.
On Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing the government's appeal against the High Court's Brexit ruling in October. Today's "Daily Mail", while not questioning judges' integrity or intelligence, makes the point that "we find it disturbing that no fewer than five Supreme Court judges have publicly expressed views which appear to be sympathetic to the EU, while six have close links with people who have publicly attacked the Leave campaign."
Charles Moore, writing in the newspaper comments: ""It will be a great shame if this battle is not properly fought. We shall have reached a dangerous moment in our constitutional history.
Our decisions about our collective future, made at the ballot box, will have been unpicked by judges."
Further evidence that Mrs. Maynot's heart is not in Brexit came with news in today's "Times" that she has been agreeing with Remoaners that there will not be such a hard landing. As I remarked yesterday, we can forget about coming out of that hateful Union. Our only hope is that the circus will soon fall apart, possibly seeing Italy leave and then France, sounding the death knoll of the undemocratic Union that wastes our money..
In "The Times" I read that "A Chief Constable said last night that he would refuse to give in to pressure to abandon a £700,000 investigation into whether Edward Heath was a child molester". When I read earlier that vegetarians are complaining about animal fat in the new £5 note, and then this nonsense, I begin to think that this country has gone barking mad, there being no hope for us any more.
Are they going to dig up Mr Heath and give him a resounding smack? Even were he still alive he would never be able to defend himself from these prevailing witch-hunts, certainly as there is never any evidence of a happening some 30 years or more ago. We used to persecute witches in the 16th and 17th centuries; now we chase supposed sex offenders, especially if they are so-called celebrities, and even in the rare instances when the charges are thrown out, a certain amount of mud still sticks "There's no fire without smoke," the interfering goodies chant.
At 11.50 this morning I had yet another telephone scam. They now put 0800 (the free number) in front of a false number, so today I saw on the caller display that it was 08005955455. I gave the Indian-sounding caller, who said he was Anthony and asked if I was having a nice day, the buzzer treatment, which soon brings such scams to an end.
During the evening I sat by the fireside reading some more of "All Out War". In one of the chapters there is a mention of three Remoaning women who were set up to oppose Boris Johnson in one of the debates. Apparently, they went on and on about his sexual shenanigans, which I suppose you might expect from female politicians. As long as I live, I will never accept that female politicians are any good. It is only necessary to see the incredible muddle Mrs. May is making of her premiership, not knowing whether she is coming or going.
As I sat by the blazing log fire, I thought of what I would least like to do this evening: (a) go to the Christmas Market scrum, or (b) go to a crowded and noisy restaurant with office parties in progress, hearing screeching women sounding like the parrot house of the London zoo. On balance, I would chose the noisy restaurant. At least it would be in the warm, and I could wear earplugs.
SUNDAY 4 DECEMBER
During the morning I repaired a half-step that Mrs. C. bought from a mail-order catalogue about a year ago. The first step to our front door is too high, so this step makes a difference. Alas, the cover has broken away, the connecting lunges far too small to make for a firm grip on the cover. As you might expect, it was made in China, where all the other rubbish comes from. I glued the cover onto the base, and this seems to have made it safer, not likely to slip off again. It is a design fault, as it usually is with all the badly made products we unwisely import from China. How I wish we could impose a 10% tariff on all their products.
Mrs. Copeland wanted to go with daughter Kate to the Christmas Market in Lincoln, so I drove Mrs. C to the boundary of the City at 1.50 p.m., where she met our daughter for a tour of the stalls. I went home after the transportation, spending the time doing some more building of the model Lancaster, putting on a second coat of paint, nearly finishing the model. I do this on a Sunday afternoon rather than going to our local Club where, rather like Oscar Wilde's Selfish Giant, I soon run out of conversation.
Unfortunately, during the early stages of making the Lancaster I totally ruined the cockpit canopy with glue, meaning that the pilot would not have been be able to see out. I also somehow lost a major part, so rather than discard the model, I bought another one to use for the replacement parts. Now, having nearly finished the first model, I am trying to build the replacement model by making substitutes for the missing parts.
Mrs. Copeland was telling me this morning that a statue of the Virgin Mary has to be removed from a French public park because religious objects are not now allowed in public places. It seems that in the Western world we are facing a new kind of tyranny, based on intolerance and narrow-mindedness, supported by the nonsense of political correctness and racism. It is a form of dictatorship, demanding full adherence and co-operation with the new values, such as they are.
I finished building the Lancaster this afternoon. On starting to make the bomber I made several mistakes, and instead of discarding my failed attempt, I bought another kit, cannibalising the parts. However, I have now started to make the second model, improvising for various missing parts,.
Today's "Sunday Times" had a front-page item saying "Brexit falls from hard to soft to grey". By the end of the year they will need to add "to be killed stone dead." As I have remarked earlier, we can forget about leaving the circus of the EU. There were too many vested interests among the Establishment, and we will therefore remain in for all time, being regularly fleeced off; receiving nothing in return for our money; and being under the domination of Germany as the leader in the undemocratic fudged Union.
The evening was again spent by the fireside, reading some more of "All Out War", a history of the referendum. I am not sure why I am bothering to read the book now that it becomes almost certain that we are never going to leave the European Union, but it is an interesting book, showing that the odious and ridiculous warnings, especially from Osborne on economic ruin if we left the Union, were among the reasons for the leave vote. The other factor was immigration that had the Remoaners losing. I certainly voted to leave on these issues, especially immigration, not wanting Englishness to be totally destroyed.
I collected Mrs. C. about 7.30 p.m (she had been to a pub with daughter Kate after the Christmas Market), and she told me the Market was organised far better this year, there not being such a scrum, so that was helpful and beneficial. Even so, I am so thankful that I was sitting by a blazing log fire rather than trudging around the stalls on a cold and frosty night.
MONDAY 5 DECEMBER
I was pleased to hear on the news at 8 o'clock this morning that President-elect Trump is starting to sort out those hateful Chinese, reprimanding them for devaluing their currency and their belligerent militarism. I just hope that he carries out his threat to impose tariffs on Chinese products, all of which are total rubbish. Were it not for the communist country's cribbing and copying of American technology, which somehow they never quite manage to get right (pace the recent spacecraft that failed so abysmally), the Chinese would revert to a peasant economy. They should have kept to making crackers.
It is so very encouraging that America will soon have a powerful President with majorities in both houses, a President who will stand up for America against the evil ones around the world, not allowing the country to be knocked around all over the ring as happened under the lame quack-a-duck Obama - a man with the gift of the gab, but as the old saying has it, "fine words butter no parsnips." And thank heavens the Americans have a man at the helm, obviously realising what happened to us under Mrs. Thatcher and is now happening under Mrs. May and the maniacs.
On the news I also heard that it will take 4 days for the Supreme Court to decide on the Government's appeal on the referendum, and that the result will not be announced until the New Year. I gather that in all there will be 55 lawyers involved, no doubt all on at least £1,000 on hour, probably bringing the total cost to the taxpayer. plus extras, to about £2m.
However, I think the Court is right to delay its verdict until the New Year. By the time of the announcement we will have forgotten all about Brexit, knowing that we will never leave the European Union, certainly not while the muddled Mrs. Maynot is Prime Minister - and it seems that there is nobody to take her place. I must just stop mentioning the issue in this diary as Brexit is only of academic interest.
One of my correspondents, who frequently puts me right on various issues, pointing out the manifold mistakes I make in this diary (such as saying the EU exports 5 times more than we export to them) has said in his latest e-mail that America is in decline, and will eventually be taken over by China. I disagree with this, for I believe that 50 years from now China will have fallen apart (just like its products) by political revolution. I have great faith in America, a wonderful country. whereas I have no respect or liking for a hateful country that does not respect human rights and has to depend upon America for technological advance. America would certainly win any trade war with the Chinese.
At 9.20 when I was having breakfast, a somewhat late start to the day as we were up drinking wine until 1 o'clock this morning, we had our first telephone scam, involving an Indian sounding woman who asked to speak to the householder. Unfortunately, being in the kitchen I did not have the buzzer, so I just put down the phone. It still makes me laugh when some months ago I had a similar call from an Indian chappie who asked me if I was the householder, to which I replied: "No, I'm a burglar." To which he said: "Good morning, Mr. Burglar. How are you today?" I responded by saying I was trying to remove a bloody big television, and couldn't speak to him now.
What fun you can have with these scammers, most of them seeming to come from India. There is the buzzer treatment; then there is pretending to be on the computer while they try to put a virus on it; and giving totally wrong information, as we all do to pollsters. I suppose the sadness is, though, that a lot of people are caught, in some instances losing thousands of pounds in carelessly giving their passwords.
As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, many of the scam callers ask if I am Mr. Salmond - the false name I gave on a product registration card, knowing that the information would be sold on, which is the main purpose of those cards that ask for all manner of personal details. Nasty stuff, but the registration cards now seem to have been dropped, possibly because people gave wrong information or refused to give the personal details.
While "on" the computer I had trouble with my eyes. Suddenly, I found that I could only see part of the screen, and my eyes had large floaters looking like sharks' jaws. I seem to have this trouble every six months or so, and although it only lasts for about 15-20 minutes, I find it very upsetting. I dread anything going wrong with my eyes, luckily not having to wear glasses for reading or distance (one of my few healthy attributes), for I would not be able to read or see the lovely Christmas decorations.
An American friend, telling me that I was not the only person to have a horrible house built in my community, sent this photograph of a new house being erected near a friend's property.
An American friend has sent me the above photograph of a dreadful house being built near a an acquaintance's property - a disgracefully ugly construction that looks like a warehouse, and which will totally spoil the environment, just as the wooden, flat-roofed eco house at the entrance to our community is so totally out of place and character within our historic community. What is so continually upsetting is that although the owners have been in residence for a year, the garden has been described as looking like a bombsite, piles of wood and items covered with garish tarpaulins everywhere, the area looking like a jungle.
As one of our visitors said recently: "How can anybody live in such a mess?" Perhaps there will be a clearance during the coming year when the house is finally finished. In the meantime we can but hope. Some months ago I contacted our local District Council to see whether the authority had any powers to enforce a tidying up of the site, but was told that although there were powers in the past, these were removed by a Conservative government, so nothing could be done. It is all so upsetting, seeing our environment being spoilt in this untidy manner.
I have run out of printer inks, so this morning I had to go to PCWorld to obtain some more. Mercifully, the dreaded Christmas Market is over, so I can go into Lincoln again without some officious little marshal telling me the road is closed. I seem to spend a fortune on these cartridges, but they have to be bought if I am to continue using the computer. I save this diary each week on paper, so I suppose that takes a lot of ink. However, when I discontinue the diary at the end of next June I should save about £45 a month, which will be helpful in view of the rising inflation that Calamity Carney predicts.
I rather imagined the city centre would be relatively quiet early on a Monday morning, but to my horror there were long lines of gridlocked cars everywhere. Most of them I was able to pass on the outside on the scooter, but it some parts there was complete chaos, and I had to wait for ages before the traffic moved again, making me late home to lunch, much to Mrs. Copeland's annoyance. lunchtime being our main meal of the day - the healthiest time to eat. Fortunately, I will only have to go to a petrol station on the outskirts of Lincoln for the newspaper each day for the weeks before Christmas, so I will be able to avoid the monstrous mayhem.
Part of the trouble is that the Highways Department have decided to undertake extensive road improvements and repairs at the busiest time of the year, closing several roads within the city. No doubt we should welcome this work, but it all takes so long, usually six or more weeks, whereas in Germany and America the work would probably be done in a fortnight.
Although we are not leaving the EU, the present debate having become merely academic, there is certainly the worry that we are such an indolent and lazy country that we would have found it difficult to manage on our own. That is a very real worry, certainly one of the dangers of leaving the circus.
I collected my monthly medical prescriptions from Boots during the visit to town, being told that the Electronic Prescription Service, whereby my doctors' surgery sends the prescription to the chemists each month, is to be stopped as a result of many medicines being made up and never collected, resulting understandably in a lot of waste. Henceforth I have to contact the doctors' surgery each month for the required medicines, and the prescription will then be sent to the chemist. It is a fine example of the riffraff not knowing how to behave, ruining the service for the rest of us.
There are times, though, when I think we would all be a lot healthier and live longer if we gave up all the pills and tablets completely, most of them either not working or having diabolical side-effects, though making a fortune for the pharmaceutical industry. Sometimes I believe that jungle witch doctors were a good deal better and more beneficial than the medicine men today, so much of restorative medicine depending on faith.
These traffic jams in towns and cities are one of the nastiest elements of Christmas in this country, indicating how incredibly overpopulated we have become, yet we still allowed 224,000 immigrants to come in last year and 330,00 in 2014, presumably principally for the welfare benefits we pay out so liberally to the newcomers. Not surprisingly, there was a report today that "Segregation and social exclusion are at worrying levels and are fuelling inequality in some areas of Britain, a report has found. Women in some communities are denied even their basic rights as British residents, the Casey Review said."
So whose fault is that? So far as so many of the immigrants are concerned, especially the Muslim contingent, they want to have nothing to do with their new community, never joining in any of the social life. They even want their own schools and laws, making us wonder why they came to this country in the first place.
The rest of the day was spent at home, spending some time on the computer, setting up the web editor for this week' tedious entries. Mrs. Copeland says I boringly say the same things every week, so presumably I could just have the one issue, endlessly repeated. I suppose the problem is that, in my old age, becoming increasingly curmudgeonly as I see my country being swamped with immigrants, our Englishness being steadily lost, I do not have a very exciting life, other than worrying if the dustmen are late. As Dr. Johnson said during one of his dog-days: "One day contains the whole of my life." Still, only another 20 issues to go of the diary before I announce, Andy Pandy style, that it is time to go home.
The evening was spent by the fireside, reading some more of the 650-page book on the referendum. The book is now only of historical interest, for as mentioned earlier we are never going to come out of the circus of the European Union, there being far too many vested interests to remain. Still, it was an interesting episode, showing how the will of the people can be put aside by the Establishment. The sadness is that Mrs. Maynot is proving to be a hopeless Prime Minister in a bitterly divided Government. We can but hope that America, having a tough man at the helm, will prove to be a lot better, as I am sure it will.
I gather that Mr. Trump has been invited to London to meet Mrs. Maynot and Her Gracious Majesty the Queen. Although I have not been to "The Smoke" for over twenty years, and have no real interest in ever going again, I would nevertheless like to go down to the capital to stand in the streets and cheer Mr. Trump when he arrives. I have immense faith in him, believing that he will become one of the finest Presidents for 50 years, not that that is saying much.
TUESDAY 6 DECEMBER
A morning and afternoon not going out at all, Mrs. C. buying the "i" whilst she was out shopping in town. My spouse has been busy the past few days wrapping up Christmas presents, Christmas looming ever nearer. Although I seldom go to our local Club these days, preferring to make model aeroplanes in what might be seen as a second childhood, I was nevertheless surprised and disappointed that there is to be no "Christmas Miscellany" this year, as there has always been in the past, involving songs, recitals and other joyous seasonal events.
Apparently, the Management Committee, certainly not the best one we have ever had, has not organised anything for this month, other than the traditional New Year's Eve celebration when we are deafened by an over-amplified band. A shame, for the Club depends financially upon these monthly events.
I liked the splendid depiction of the Supreme Court hearing in today's "Daily Telegraph". That says it all. I am beginning to think that we will never leave the EU, there being far too many vested interests.
During the day I lit a candle for a dearly departed friend. Over the years I have lost so many of my friends, one of the penalties of living to a great age. Among my departed friends was one who exercised every day, subsequently dying in his sleep at the age of 75. I always warned him about the harm that exercise can do to the elderly body, telling him, as Billy Butlin used to say, that whenever he felt in need of exercise he went to have a lie down until the feeling passed, but he took no notice.
Mrs. Copeland goes every Tuesday afternoon to see an old lady (still having all her marbles) in a retirement home, and on her return home Mrs. C was telling me that the lady had a friend who had 13 children, apparently not believing in birth control, having educated them all at home. One of them had gained a religious degree, intending to go into the Church, and had, presumably as a form of apprenticeship, conducted discussion groups at Lincoln Cathedral.
On one occasion when taking one of these group sessions he mentioned that if he became a vicar he would not marry same-sex couples. Alas, this remark was spitefully reported to the Bishop - Bishop Christopher at the Cathedral, who told the young man that with such views he had no place in the Church.
If this is true, and I am aware that things become distorted in the re-telling, I find it a shameful decision, hardly indicating Christian values. As it is, I understand that the C.of E. clergy have the option whether to "marry" these sexually disorientated people, whereas the Catholic Church, that thankfully still follows Biblical teaching instead of the pick 'n' mix morality of the dear old C. of E., will not accept same sex couplings in any form, just as the Catholics will not allow female priests. Good for them.
If ever I "get religion" I would like to join the Catholic Church, especially as the priests seem to look after their flock. Our parish is still without a vicar following the departure of the lady vicar, and there seems to be no hurry to appoint one, not that many people attend the services. Like so many aspects of modern British life, the C. of E. seems to be on the way out. Presumably we will soon have to go onto the Internet to pray - that is to say if you believe in the concept of prayer, which I do not.
It seems that Calamity Carney had a real dog-day yesterday, sounding all manner of gloomy warnings. According to today's "Daily Mail" he has warned that "Robots to steal 15m of your jobs. Doom-laden Carney warns middle classes will be 'hollowed out' by new technology." What utter nonsense. The middle classes are mainly employed in the service industries that are nearly all labour-intensive, not manufacturing - not that we have much manufacturing anyway. Presumably we are not going to have robot waitresses.
Another warning, reported in"The Daily Telegraph", has Calamity saying that "People are losing trust in globalisation as Italy vote threaten the euro." The response to that is that we should be truly thankful globalisation is no longer trusted, having brought us no benefits in the past. Presumably the Bank Chief is upset that it really does look as if the European Union is in decline, for which we should all give thanks.
Meanwhile, "The Times" reported that " Britain set to be fastest growing economy in G7", proving yet again that Carney's warnings about Britain's economy during the referendum were totally without foundation. The problem with our Mr. Calamity is that he just cannot resist interfering in the political arena. He should have been a politician, not a muddled Governor of a central bank.
There was also a report in one of the newspapers that "86% of police are assaulted by drunks", the awful drink problem we have in this country, not that I am exactly a teetotaller. We are too soft on these drunken hooligans, and ought to bring back the stocks in the high streets. That would soon sober them up. I welcome the right-wing backlash we are seeing in parts of the world (not Austria, apparently, where the far right was defeated this week) for it means that we will at last have some discipline in society.
Thanks to all the nonsense pedalled by psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and professors of education, we have become an undisciplined, soft society in this country, do-gooding magistrates giving out lenient punishments, and too concerned about so-called sex crimes committed nearly a half century ago. It is time for the pendulum to turn back to law 'n' order.
In the evening, after not a very energetic day, Mrs. C and I went to the local Odeon to see the film "Sully", dealing with the plane with both engines knocked out by a bird strike that was landed by a very skilled pilot on the Hudson River - an incredible achievement. A fine film. Before the film we saw the most awful trailers of films coming shortly, dreadfully violent American films that would probably only appeal to an audience having a mental age of about 9-and-a-half.
No wonder America is such a violent society if youngsters are shown this rubbish. Afterwards we went to have a drink at the nearby first-rate "Royal William IV" pub. Mrs. C. had orange juice and drove home, thereby enabling me to have a couple of pints of "Adnams" in superb condition.
WEDNESDAY 7 DECEMBER
I have now finished the splendid novel "Nutshell" by Ian McEwen, a book I enjoyed immensely, making me wonder why on earth people watch the rubbish on the idiot's lantern, presumably an instance of panem et crcenses., all to keep the lower orders quiet, stopping them from revolting over the increasing social equality in this country. . I have now made a start this morning on the novel "Nightmare in Berlin" by Hans Fallada, published this year by Scribe at £15.99. I am not sure I am going to enjoy the novel, dealing with the state of Germany immediately after the ending of the Second World War.
We had a load of coal delivered this morning (8 cwt). With the closure of the Yorkshire mine where previous supplies came from, the coal now comes from Poland. Reluctantly I have to admit that it is better than the coal we had in the good old days, but it burns quicker, meaning that we use far more during a week. Not surprisingly the price has gone up, from £14 a hundredweight to £14.50. The next oil supply will, following the fall in the £ (though it is beginning to recover somewhat) cost me another £110, all adding to household expenditure, and all due to Brexit, of course.
Another excellent cartoon from "The Daily Telegraph" for yesterday. It is good that there are some newspapers that stand up for this country.
To town in the morning to purchase an "i" and withdraw some money from the bank. To use a rather vulgar saying, I seem to be going through money just now like shit through a goose (a term originally attributed to General Patton , the finest general during World War II). I also went to Primark to purchase two white long-sleeved shirts, costing £5 each and splendid value. Maybe they do not last a long time, but they are very comfortable, fitting extremely well, so why pay £30 or more for a shirt? I only ever wear long-sleeved white shirts, and obviously always wear a tie, whatever the occasion.
Back home I did some more leaf clearance, which I regard as good exercise, far better than working out on a treadmill at one of those ghastly Health Centres with their fetid atmosphere. I wouldn't want to be seen dead in one of those places, but then I suppose that's not the idea.
In the "i" I saw that the woman who brought the case to the three judges on whether Parliament had to give approval for EU negotiations, is now at the Supreme Court with her legal team, trying to subvert the will of the people. I gather that following her earlier court appearance she has shamefully received all manner of life-threatening abuse on various social media, and is now frightened to leave her house alone. This is dreadful for however a person is misguided, they should not have to face abuse from trolls. At times it makes you ashamed of this country.
When looking at the BBC news website this morning, I saw that there was a facility for looking at the Supreme Court's hearing live, so I duly switched it on, hearing the wonderful fruity voices of the Judges - real Establishment deep 'n' powerful upper class voices that were heard so prominently during empire days when we ruled the waves and were not slaves of the EU. Good old days, yet the Establishment is obviously still alive and kicking - kicking us back into the EU.
A relaxed afternoon, my productivity almost as low as a British worker, and in the evening I saw by the log-burning fire reading some more of "All Out War". The point is repeatedly made by the author that during her dreadful time as Home Secretary, Mrs. May was a firm Remoaner, but switched sides to further her leadership campaign. Presumably this explains why she is now dragging her feet on taking us out of the misery and rip-off of the EU.
THURSDAY 8 DECEMBER
During the past fortnight Mrs. Copeland has had two very unpleasant scams on her mobile telephone. One of them last week said that she owed £90 to a company for parking on private land, yet no place or car registration number were given. She was told to go onto a website to make the payment, giving her bank account details. Yesterday she had a scam purporting to come from the Manchester Police saying she had a parking fine, again no car number or place being given. She has obviously ignored both scams, but it is all very unpleasant, indicating that these scammers now have her mobile telephone number, no doubt sold on from some organisation.
Although I regularly receive scams on my computer, I have yet to receive any on my mobile telephone, but then I seldom use the mobile, possibly only twice a week. Indeed, when the contract ends in a year's time I think I will give it up, saving me £21 a month. I have another, old mobile on a pay-as-you-go arrangement, so I will use that if there is an emergency. Everything else I can do and receive on the computer, not having to peer at a small screen.
I was pleased to see the headline in today's "Daily Mail" - a newspaper that really stands up for this country and its Englishness, exclaiming: "Day M.Ps stood up for Britain." According to the BBC's political correspondent: ."Within minutes of the vote, one dedicated Brexiteer had labelled it an historic moment. Iain Duncan Smith said for the first time the majority of parliamentarians had voted to leave the EU.
"Technically MPs have only backed the government's plan to start the process of leaving by the end of March next year. Nonetheless it is a statement of Parliament's intent. Some have accused pro-Remain MPs of wanting to backtrack on Brexit, but tonight's result shows most parliamentarians are willing to respect the result of the referendum."
So maybe there is still a ray of hope that we will avoid being dominated by Mrs Merkel and that awful man Juncker, no longer having to endure all manner of senseless legislation from Brussels that make our life increasingly difficult, but I would not bank on it.
A meal recommended in one of the supermarket house magazines. Just imagine the horror if you were invited to a friend's house to be served with this dog's dinner. You would not be able to eat it.
Despite trying to avoid the Christmas shopping scrum in Lincoln, I nevertheless had to go in to the city this morning to purchase some more glue from the model shop, having completely run out of the stuff. I also bought an "i".
According to the BBC's news website, the "ongoing" sexual witch-hunt has now spread to the police, an accusation having been made that "More than 300 police officers have been accused of using their position to sexually exploit people, including victims of crime, a report has said." It seems that we always need some kind of witch-hunt to keep us amused. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries they burnt witches and ducked them in the water. Then in the last century we had the sagas of social workers dragging babies away from their mothers in dawn raids because of alleged child-abuse, and now we have this sexual outcry.
It makes you wonder whether anybody is safe. I am so thankful that I behaved myself in the Young Conservatives, for any infringement could now be dragged up, even if it is 60 or so years ago, anybody being able and encouraged to make all kinds of made-up allegations, there being no defence against this miserable outcry.
At least it made me laugh when Mrs. C. showed me an item in yesterday's "i" involving a recipe provided by a fitness club. "This warming, low-calorie meal is highly nutritious. Aubergines are a great source of dietary fibre and offer a nice mix of vitamins B2, B3, B6, and K. Courgettes is also an under-appreciated ingredient. It is a good source of magnesium , which is needed for 300 biochemical reactions in the body - not least muscle functionality." (It made me wonder who had counted the reactions).
Have you ever heard such nonsense, other than the case for staying in the EU? When I think of the starving people in Africa and other countries who are probably not too bothered about 300 biochemical reactions in the body, these food fanatics with their dog-dinners always upset me, the freakish people obviously not having enough to do with their life.
To my mind, English food is by far the best for the body - roast beef and Yorkshire pudding; juicy steaks; and eggs, sausages and beans being unbeatable. I have had this food for all my life and have so far reached 82-and-a-half years, and my father, who had similar food throughout his life, lived until he was 95. But those were the days before the doctors learnt how to spell cholesterol, before all those endless food frighteners that make the list of harmful food ever larger; indeed, the time will come when all food is said to be bad for us, probably having to live on monkey nuts.
These food fanatics are presumably evidence of the hateful neurosis I Western countries, whose natives have too much money; too much choice; and too much leisure to worry themselves silly about all this food nonsense.
At 2.50 p.m. I had an appointment with my doctor - an Indian lady - regarding the results of the recent ultrasound scan on my swollen right leg. I had earlier been given the results at the hospital, , showing no blood clot or fluid retention in the leg, but there was a further review today, in which I was given a copy of the report , which said that "there is no evidence of thrombosis in the femoral or popiteal veins. No evidence of a Baker's cyst", whatever that is.
I was told that I should continue with the physiotherapy, so presumably I will do that, though I cannot see a lot of point. I had to wait over half an hour before being seen by the doctor, the surgery being full of immigrants, mainly Indians, one with two children. I state this as a fact, making no comment. Following the retirement of the English doctor I had for many years, the practice is now run entirely by foreigners and I was seen by an Indian lady. Presumably this makes the immigrants feel at home, though presumably it illustrates the immense pressures now on the NHS as the immigrants continue to flood in.
This evening I will be watching two further episodes of "House of Cards" with a neighbour. We have enjoyed this series far more than "Game of Thrones" which we found boring, eventually giving up the series. We will also be viewing some further episodes of Alf Garnett's homespun philosophy, most of which I agree with, presumably because I am, like all old people, becoming increasingly right-wing in my political views, knowing that Socialism is so much pie-in-the-sky.
Lincolnshire 8th December, 2016
Only 20 to go to the 1,000th edition, after which I will end the diary.
Diary of an Octogenarian
This diary has been accessed