- John Copeland -



Sunflower in the garden. Along with the rose, the sunflower is my favourite flower.

"Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate".

J..K. .Chesterton. There is certainly a need for hope with our present Government.


The avenue of oaks at the bottom of our garden in August.

It seems incredible that there are 3 houses in the village of 75 properties that are now undergoing extensive changes, the accompanying nearby noise being quite unpleasant, spoiling the peace 'n' quiet of the area. Then there are those "Red Arrows" roaring over our house Monday-to-Friday in close formation, going round and round for hour after hour, low and dangerous flying over populated areas, not to mention the other raucous noise of lawnmowers. It has become far quieter to live in the city.

Everywhere you go in Lincolnshire these days you see extensive housing developments. According to a grim report on Google news on the 15th, a massive estate of 3,500 houses is being proposed south of Lincoln, yet there is no work in Lincoln or district for the foreseeable future, meaning the creation of veritable slums. The doctors and schools can no longer cope, and transport facilities are probably not much better than in the Turnpike days.

It makes me so thankful, as I have commented so many times before, that I do not have another 40 years in this horribly overcrowded country in which we have lost our former Englishness as the immigrants flood in unchecked. I really did live in the best of all possible worlds for much of my life - days of splendid little village schools and grammar schools, a pleasure to drive on the empty roads, and when the family was a valued institution.

What is so upsetting is that under new planning rules brought forward by this ghastly Government, developers can now build what they like, where they like, swamping many villages with totally unsuitable and undesirable mean-looking housing. Matters are not helped by planning officers in our local District Council having largely taken over from the Planning Committee in making decisions, anything and everything seeming to be allowed, including an utterly horrible new 3-storey house in our village..


A popular house today. Young couples want a large house with every facility, but only require a small garden as they are both working.

Regrettably we have been having trouble with an elderly neighbouring couple that has a garrulous wife and a husband with an uncontrollable violent temper, trouble arising when I cannot accept the behaviour of the wife. This month saw an angry scene between me and the husband that almost saw us coming to blows before the women wisely stopped the belligerent encounter. We live in an area of four houses grouped around a cobbled courtyard, two of the other houses having charming widows, well educated and cultured, one of them having a degree in English and Music, and we all get on well with one another, enjoying birthday celebrations and wine in the garden on summer days.

Fortunately, the difficult couple, never really having been accepted in the community, mainly keep to themselves, having hardly anything to do with the rest of us, never joining us on social occasions, never going to the Club or the church, They mercifully do not play loud music, do not have a barking dog or an ugly caravan in the garden so, as Mrs. Copeland keeps telling me, we could have far worse neighbours, there always being somebody, as the old saying has it, who upsets the apple cart.

Indeed, one of our daughters has far worse neighbours having a screaming baby all day, and playing loud music in the garden, refusing to turn it down. Things have become so bad that Caroline and her husband are seeking to move to the Lincolnshire Wolds, wanting to buy an isolated cottage, far away from the hell of other people. But now that the aforesaid developers can build anything anywhere, how safe are the Wolds as people from the South, attracted by the cheaper house prices, come swarming into the county?


Our conservatory. An oasis in a troubled world.

To nobody's surprise, the pandemic pantomime saw the rules being changed every third Tuesday. Now you can go on holiday to France, now you must quarantine for 14 days when you return - a measure that is crippling the tourist industry. Then you could have 30 at a wedding; now it is only four. However, our clowning around Boris cannot be fully blamed for the fine mess, especially as the medicine men have not a clue what they are saying or doing. This is not surprising, as ten medical advisers will each have a different diagnosis and remedy, medicine being a hit 'n' miss art rather than a science.

It seems utterly amazing and irresponsible that the Government has allowed any holidays abroad, despite knowing the immense dangers. But then holidays are so vitally important to people today that they would far rather risk catching the virus than miss an essential vacation in the sun, sitting on a beach all day, fighting off the Germans. Thank heavens at my age I will never go abroad again, my passport expired, never to be renewed. At least we travelled abroad long ago before the riffraff started travelling on cheap holidays. Nowadays the very mention of "holidays" upsets me.

Meanwhile our worthless Prime Minister - such an incredible disappointment as I thought he would be so good - went off with his wife and baby camping in Scotland, a more miserable experience being hard to think of. Still, at least we had a brief break from his chaos before security concerns brought him quickly back to the chaos of Downing Street. At least we haven't got Comrade Corbyn with his communist state, Chequers becoming a residence for the homeless and the idle.

Understandably, the COVID-19 virus [Chinese Official Virus Identified Disease - 19] continues to have severe social and economic consequences. People on furlough, known as the "Dodger's Delight", mostly offer no kind of service, many firms making the excuse that they have only a few staff available, so don't dare get in touch with us while the restrictions are in force. Now that there are restrictions on going abroad, there have subsequently been numerous hotel bookings in this country, and far more traffic on the roads. One of our daughters was planning again to rent the cottage right by the sea in Scotland, mercifully not a soul in sight, but it was booked up all this year and all next year as well.

According to one report, it seems that the thousands of immigrants in this country are the most vulnerable to contracting the virus, additionally responsible for its contagion. Then matters are not helped by the police having to break up scores of youngsters assembling in large groups, irresponsibly taking no heed of social distancing. They all ought to be fined heavily, not that most of them will have any money Oh, to bring back National Service, giving them the discipline that they lack.

Matters have not been helped by the foolish and irresponsible behavious of the young, a 3,000 rave gathering in South Wales having to be broken up by the police, How stupid can these youngsters become, apparently not having a brain in their head. Fortunateky, the organisers were fined 10,000. A pity it was not more.


Summertime flowers in the garden

To nobody's surprise, the pandemic pantomime saw the rules being changed every third Tuesday. Now you can go on holiday to France, now you must quarantine for 14 days when you return - a measure that is crippling the tourist industry. Then you could have 30 at a wedding; now it is only four. However, our clowning around Boris cannot be fully blamed for the fine mess, especially as the medicine men have not a clue what they are saying or doing. This is not surprising, as ten medical advisers will each have a different diagnosis and remedy, medicine being a hit 'n' miss art rather than a science.

It seems utterly amazing and irresponsible that the Government has allowed any holidays abroad, despite knowing the immense dangers. But then holidays are so vitally important to people today that they would far rather risk catching the virus than miss an essential vacation in the sun, sitting on a beach all day, fighting off the Germans. Thank heavens at my age I will never go abroad again, my passport expired, never to be renewed. At least we travelled abroad long ago before the riffraff started travelling on cheap holidays. Nowadays the very mention of "holidays" upsets me.

Meanwhile our worthless Prime Minister - such an incredible disappointment as I thought he would be so good - went off with his wife and baby camping in Scotland, a more miserable experience being hard to think of. Still, at least we had a brief break from his chaos before security concerns brought him quickly back to the chaos of Downing Street. At least we haven't got Comrade Corbyn with his communist state, Chequers becoming a residence for the homeless and the idle.

Understandably, the COVID-19 virus [Chinese Official Virus Identified Disease - 19] continues to have severe social and economic consequences. People on furlough, known as the "Dodger's Delight", mostly offer no kind of service, many firms making the excuse that they have only a few staff available, so don't dare get in touch with us while the restrictions are in force. Now that there are restrictions on going abroad, there have subsequently been numerous hotel bookings in this country, and far more traffic on the roads. One of our daughters was planning again to rent the cottage right by the sea in Scotland, mercifully not a soul in sight, but it was booked up all this year and all next year as well.

According to one report, it seems that the thousands of immigrants in this country are the most vulnerable to contracting the virus, additionally responsible for its contagion. Then matters are not helped by the police having to break up scores of youngsters assembling in large groups, irresponsibly taking no heed of social distancing. They all ought to be fined heavily, not that most of them will have any money Oh, to bring back National Service, giving them the discipline that they lack.

Post box

The wrong collection times on our village post-box. Letters that I and the Parish Council sent to Royal Mail asking for the correction of the times have been ignored

An example of the present widespread inertia and chaos is seen in the wrong collection times having been put on the village post-box (see photograph above) ,the correct times being 4.30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. on Saturday. I wrote to the mail office in Lincoln to point out the confusing error, but received no reply. The Parish Council then wrote, but again received no response, the staff presumably working from home. Consequently I put a message on the Parish Council notice board indicating the correct times, but hardly anybody looks at the board - the best way to keep a secret.

The doctors have certainly had an easy time, no longer seeing patients face-to-face in the surgery. Instead, my doctors (and Mrs. Copeland's) have an on-line system called "AskmyGP" in which you have to set out your problem, to which there is a response by e-mail or telephone - hopefully within an hour if you are very lucky. It would not surprise me if doctors never go back to seeing people in their surgeries, their working lives having become so much easy and relaxed during the work-at-home pandemic.

Not that it matters, for as mentioned earlier most doctors do not seem to have a clue what they are doing, while your chances of seeing a caring English doctor are about as likely as the English football team winning the World Cup. My grandfather used to say that, by way of maintaining a reasonable life, you should keep well away from bank managers, lawyers and doctors. It is excellent advice, even more relevant and appropriate today.

Albeit long ago, when I was at the London School of Economics back in the 1950s, the University of London authorities did a review of the average intelligence of students in the various faculties, the medical students coming at the very bottom - something that did not surprise me at the time, and would surprise me even less today.

Nevertheless, on the 3rd August, wearing a mask, I did at least manage to have a blood test for diabetes, amazingly being seen by a splendidly cheerful and helpful English nurse, probably in her early 50s. Although I cowardly dread these blood tests, not having been to a public school, the nurse was so incredibly gentle that I hardly felt the prick in the elbow of my right arm - the best test I have ever had. Unfortunately, there seemed to have been some trouble with her blood pressure appliance, for the horrific readings came out at 220/110, which could mean I would soon be as dead as Old Marley, or as unwell as Sleepy Old Joe Biden.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure chart showing that I am on pre-hypertension

When I returned to the surgery with a required urine sample on the 6th August I took my own Omron blood pressure monitor, measuring it against the surgery's appliance that had mercifully been re-calibrated. The surgery monitor showed that my blood pressure was still too high, whereas my own monitor showed a much lower reading, obviously indicating the monitor was faulty, some 20 points under-estimating,, needing replacement. I have had the monitor for about 8 years, , never having been calibrated, so it is due for replacement.

I therefore ordered a replacement Omron from Amazon costing 30.98 with postage, which arrived the next day by the splendid service. Subsequently, the readings came out at average of 138/90, indicating that I was in the "Prehypertension"level, needing to get lower down the scale, but at least at my advanced age the present measurement is nothing much to worry about.

So far as the blood test was concerned the nurse told me that the report said "no further action", which she said was good news, my diabetes not have become any worse, so that was a great relief, especially as I could never accept the recommended horrible rabbit-style diet - no sirloin steaks, no alcohol. Obviously, I was somewhat worried that the diabetes could have worsened not having followed the recommended diet. As for the urine test, I had an e-mailed response on the aforementioned on-line "AskmyGP" app. saying that the test was "satisfactory" So trebles all round..

Much to my annoyance I later received a letter from the surgery saying: "Please contact the surgery to arrange a repeat blood check". To hell with that. Presumably they cannot believe that the test was so good. I therefore wrote back saying that on account of the satisfactory reports, I did not want to have a further blood test, and presumably that will be the end of the matter. Don't let the medicine men dominate you all the time.


Lincolnshire windmill. Photograph by Deborah Lisseman

A friend sent me an e-mail in which there are comments from the John Hopkins Hospital, on the Chinese virus, including the following:-

"This virus is not a living organism It is a protein molecule (RNA or DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular (eyes), nasal (nose) or buccal mucosa (mouth), changes its genetic (mutates) and converts into aggressor and multiplier cells.

"Since the virus is a protein molecule and not a living organism, it cannot be killed. It Has to decay on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

"The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat and that's the reason why soap or detergent is the best weapon. The foam cuts the fat (that's why you have to scrub for 20 seconds or more, to create lots of foam) .By dissolving the fat layer, the protein disperses and the molecule breaks down. Heat melts fat; this is why it is necessary to use water above 77 degrees for hand washing, laundry and cleaning surfaces.

"In Addition, hot water makes more foam, making it more effective. Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% dissolves all fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus. Any solution with one part bleach and five parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaking it down.

"NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC WILL WORK because the virus is not living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive. The virus molecules remain very stable at colder temperatures, including air conditioning in houses and cars. They also need moisture and darkness to stay stable. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade the virus faster.
A useful test to see whether you have the virus was also sent to me:-

"An easy self-test for the horrors of Covid-19 is making the rounds and is proving surprisingly efficient in offering the testee positive or negative results. It's really very simple, extremely quick and will provide almost instantaneous positive or negative results:
"First, take a glass and pour a decent dram of your favourite whisky into it; then see if you can smell it. If you can, then you are halfway there.
"Then drink it. If you can taste it then it is reasonable to assume you are currently free of the virus because the loss of the sense of smell and taste is a common symptom.
"I tested myself 7 times last night and was virus free every time thank goodness. I will have to test myself again today because I have developed a throbbing headache which can also be one of the symptoms. I'll report my results."


Homegrown runner beans. Not such a good crop this year, probably on account of the lack of sunshine.

As was expected, our politicians who manage to bugger up everything they deal with and touch, have managed to make a right pig's ear of the "A" level examination results, using a complicated initial teacher assessment that gave an estimated grade and a marking compared with every other pupil at the school within that same estimated grade. This was then put through an algorithm, a mathematical procedure, by the exams regulator Ofqual, using the school's performance in each subject over the previous three years.

The subsequent results showed that students in private schools had their assessments substantially upgraded, whereas those in state schools, especially in poorer areas, were downgraded in many instances, resulting in a massive outcry that, not surprisingly, had this spineless Government that cannot say boo to a goose, doing yet another U-turn, going back to teacher assessments. Not surprisingly, the new results showed that everybody had done extremely well - trebles all round, but the examinations are totally worthless for university and employer reference.

The worry about teacher assessment is that it is so often biased, especially relating to difficult and troublesome students. I found this when I was Divisional Education Officer for Lincoln and district serving as Chairman of the 11+ panel for selection to grammar schools. The procedure involved students taking two apart examinations, plus teacher assessment, but we found that the assessments were invariably totally wrong, usually overestimating the child's ability. We therefore had to rely far more regard on the scores in the two examinations.

Nowadays there has to be a preference given to students from poor home backgrounds for university entrance, which I regard as being totally wrong, a university is concerned principally with academic concern, not social adjustment. All too often students from poorer homes do not have the necessary parental back-up, unfortunately living in areas not motivated by or associated with university education. Coming from a middle class family, I nevertheless had to work damned hard to gain admission to the London School of Economics back in the 1950s.

Having left school at 16, I was in full-time employment, working in an office, thereby studying as an external student with a friend, the two of us working in the local library in the evenings, and then in a pub afterwards. Why on earth should a student from a poor home have an advantage over me?

I will certainly not bother to vote at the next general election, taking the view that the decline in this country has overtaken a political solution, and it therefore matters not a jot who is in power, everything getting buggered up, the Conservatives ruining the public services, and the Socialists going bankrupt with welfare benefits all round. Take your choice.


The extensive wrapping for a small tray. An example of the West's waste of the earth's resources that continues, despite the campaigning of the Extinction Rebellion fraternity

The "Extinction Rebellion" brigade, well meaning but pathetic latterday little Canutes, plastered fuel stations on the 28th August, with warning banners calling for "greater transparency about the damage caused to health caused by fossil fuels." Alas, the muddled campaigners probably travelled by car to put up the large banners, the irony never occurring to them. How you have to laugh. But what purpose is there in putting up these banners: what will be done to prevent climate change when there are millions of cars on the roads, and aeroplanes roaring around the world? Do the Silly Billies really believe that people will stop using their cars, the petrol stations closing down? Surely not!

The real problem is the excessive use of the world's resources, especially by the Western World. I thought of this when I saw all the unnecessary packaging for a small, unbreakable tray that was delivered to us during the month (see photograph above). There is also the consideration that China, America and Poland take not a blind bit of notice in preventing pollution, so what hope to these pitiful campaigners have? As with all campaigns, the subject can become an excitable obsession, all reason and logic being lost, a classic example being those vacuous vegans with advanced anthropomorphism who daub butchers' windows with offensive slogans. In many ways the campaigners harm their cause, being seen by the public as cranks.

Not surprisingly the only successful campaign since 1945 has been CAMRA, forcing the greedy brewers to provide some decent beer. The Ban-the-Bomb campaign ended in total failure; the misguided anti-Brexeters who marched in London completely lost out; and a petition signed by thousands of people to stop the closure of the excellent Lincoln medical walk-in centre was totally ignored. more pressures being put on the A & E department. So why do they bother?

On Monday, when Mrs. C. went again to Waitrose for some additional items, she qualified to have "The Times" for free again. Much to my horror, the front page was dominated by a photograph of a 15-year old lass who had died during a boating accent - "see p5 for further details." It was yet another example of the media glorifying in other people's misfortunes. I do not want to read such grim details, especially as I can well understand the grief of the parents, their lives destroyed for ever, dying with the immense sadness. Apart from the book reviews, I do not want to read a newspaper ever again, all of them as untrustworthy as the BBC..

This delight in other people's misfortunes is seen during a traffic accident, people rushing with their mobile telephones to take photographs of the injured party - the more badly hurt the better. Ghouls, the lot of them.

Our village Retired Gentlemen's Club had a luncheon at the local pub/restaurant "The Woodcocks", on the 18th August, sitting outside but under cover at a large table to allow the social distancing Fortunately, the weather forecast was wrong yet again, the temperature being 22 C instead of the predicted 17 C.. On the other hand the food was not all that good, one member having to send back his unacceptable steak, but with reasonable fish & chips and a pint of Courage beer, I only paid 7.20 under the arrangement of two for the price of one, despite prices having risen substantially. Not the most successful of meetings so far as the food was concerned, but it was good to meet up again after such a long absence.


A sound card, sent to me for my birthday last month. A splendid imitation of the President's voice

As expected, the American Presidential election is becoming extremely vicious, the Democrats under that odious Nasty Nancy Peolosi (don't you just love women in politics!) doing everything possible to discredit Donald Trump. According to the left-wing "Independent", more biased towards Labour than the hateful "Guardian", "Obama is now in a head-on collision with Trump to save the 2020 election." Poor old Obama could not save his pet cat, let alone Creepie Old Joe .

The Republican press are having a field day in arguing that Biden is "losing his memory and getting senile", there even being inferences that he could be on the verge of dementia.
In the unlikely event of him winning the election, his ailing health will probably prevent him for remaining more than 6 months in the extensive pressures of the White House, meaning that his coloured female running mate would take over, finishing off America for all time.

An American correspondent, a former Marine who served in Vietnam, whose e-mails I greatly enjoy, recently wrote about the election: "As for Trump winning that is unfortunately not in the hands of the wiser Americans: a vote from a stupid , uninformed youth counts just as much as one from an educated, experienced older person, and the universities are busily turning out the former. When you consider how many votes an evil woman like Hillary garnered, then a win for Uncle Joe is not out of the question., especially given media bias and voter fraud (both hallmarks of the Democratic Party)".

Although it should not have made me laugh, I nevertheless chuckled when I read that a Murdoch press had shamefully referred to Biden's running mate, the coloured Kamala Harris, as that "little brown girl." Alas, there is such deep rooted racism, especially in America, making you wonder if coloured people will ever be accepted in the white community. As might be expected, President Trump has labelled the woman as "nasty", suggesting there are a lot of nasty female politicians in Congress. Somehow I do not believe he will have a female running mate, not being all that keen on women, possibly except for sex.

The great thing about President Trump is that he does what he says he will do, a rare political stance. He has calmed down the crazy Kim in North Korea; modified what was a most unfair trade deal with China; negotiated a peace between Israel and the Arab Republic, and sorted out Iran in no uncertain terms, keeping America great around the world - something the useless Obama, having interfered in our referendum by threatening that Britain would go to the back of the American trade queue if we left the EU, never managed to do, and something the sleepy and sick Biden will never do either, being far too weak. Nevertheless, Biden has successfully pampered to the out-of-work Black vote, and the young are impressed with welfare benefits all round, not having to work. Therein is the danger to America.

It will be an unmitigated disaster, a real tragedy, if Biden wins on November the 3rd. Too old, too unwell and too weak, America will lose its leading status in the world under his Presidency.. Iran will be uncontrolled; Islam will have a field day with its terror around the world; the situation will worsen in Israel and Russia will grow in strength; and the US economy will fall apart under the advanced Socialism. A once great country that saved our bacon in two World Wars, will be no more, certainly not a friend of ours. I just cannot believe it can happen. Why on earth didn't the Democrats select a younger, stronger, virile man, instead of a sick old man who should be in a retirement home?

Fortunately, the polls were showing a lead of Trump over Sleepy Old Joe at the end of the month. What has really helped Trump is the troublesome Black commiunity, the white people, even Democracts, knowing that Biden will never impose law and order throughout the country, not wanting to upset the Blacks. It therefore seems that my prediction that the Electoral College in November will show 320 for Trump and 218 for Biden. Trebles all round.

As in past years, I kept the 22 or so cards sent to me for my July birthday, and when storing them away at the start of this mouth I played again the sound card of Donald Trump wishing me a happy birthday: "I President Donald J. Trump wish you a spectacular birthday . It's gonna be huge, folks. They say that you've aged so well, so well. Fake news. Hashtag, happy birthday". The voice is that of Darren Altman, the splendid voice-over and celebrity impressionist, the card coming from a collection at "Really Wild Cards" at www.reallywild cards. com, well worth looking at the superb collection - and made in this country instead of the loathsome PRC


Late flowering honeysuckle in the garden.

Sadly, the poor, sunless and rain-swept summer seems to being going so fast, and this year it has not been all that good, there being precious little evidence of global warming. As Shakespeare said long ago: "Summer's lease hath all too short a date." Soon, all too soon, the gentlemanly game of cricket will be over, replaced by the loutish game of football and the unskilled thugby - and then it will be Christmas. Why does time go so fast when you are old, even when you are doing so very little?

I think of William Wordsworth's "Ode to a butterfly:

" Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now"


Another lily in the garden

The obsession with dieting, our Prime Minister telling us we must all lose weight, continued unabated during the month. For example, a fellow aged 84 years, who looked well over 100, explained in a Saturday "Times" that "he eats about 1,800 calories a day and never ever snacks between meals. He has porridge for breakfast, a slice of wholemeal bread and a piece of cheese for lunch, then something home-made featuring chicken, fish and organic vegetables for dinner. He does not like pudding or alcohol. He goes to the gym three or four times a week, as well as cycling, and starts every day with corset exercises designed to strengthen his back. and stomach and stopping him getting a stoop."

Oh, dear, oh dear: what an unbelievable miserable life. obsessed with health beyond all reason and logic, there being not a shred of evidence that he will live a minute longer by making his life so utterly unbearable, it just seeming to be longer. It is all very frightening. Part of the trouble these days is that people have far too much leisure time, fretting all the time about their heath. Thank heavens my parents and my generation were not troubled with this fashionable craze ,mercifully before the days of those troubled, muddled-up vegans.

Another present day obsession, something that has become a fashionable craze, is sitting in a cafe for hour after hour, presumably indicating that there are, as mentioned earlier, far too many people with nothing to do, especially under furlough and working from home. Every cafe you see is crowded with people, yet cafes are the last place I would ever want to go to, especially under present virus conditions.


I have finally decided to keep the Scorpio, putting it under SORN for six months from the end of September, and then bringing it out again on the 1st April, 2021

Not unexpectedly, there was another shooting of a black man by the American police on the 26th, leading to extensive rioting in Wisconsin., The biased BBC and the Socialist "Guardian" will readily condemn the police who were only protecting the public,.
Yet there is no point whatsoever the loony left-wing brigade rioting, setting fires to cars and buildings, only worsening the racial conflict. What has to be asked is why the Black community cause so much trouble in America, particularly the African contingent. Is it because they are unemployed and resentful, never being accepted in the white community, never being given a chance in life? Maybe something along those lines, to which there is probably no real answer.

At last I have decided what to do about my Ford Scorpio, the splendid vehicle still having only done 36,500 miles and in excellent condition. Although Mrs. Copeland says I am too sentimental about a rusting old heap of metal, I somehow cannot bring myself to sell it, despite having been offered 1,000 by a villager. The road fund licence expires at the end of September, and I have therefore resolved not to have the annual MOT, due on the 22nd August, but to SORN the vehicle on the 30th September, not using the vehicle in between time, probably re-licensing at on the 1st April, 2021, albeit supposing I am still here, DV.


The joys of travelling by road in this country: 0 to 45mph in three quarters of an hour.

The problem is that, apart from the quotidian use of the scooter, I never use a car these days, finding motoring on our crowded and angry roads so unpleasant, Mrs. C. doing all the driving with me as passenger, sometimes giving driving advice which is not always gratefully accepted. Gone are the days when I was driving nearly 70 years ago along nearly empty roads, the AA man on his yellow motorcycle and side car saluting members as he went past. How things have changed, everybody in such a hurry, road rage everywhere. Stay at home is the best course of action.


Splendid butter from Waitrose. Alas, those silly vegans are not allowed such food.

On one of her recent visits to Waitrose - and what a wonderful civilised , middle class store that is, no riffraff at all - Mrs. C. obtained some really excellent English salted butter: "The Butter Works", produced in Cornwall. Admittedly, I also like the French "President" butter, but it is obviously better to support our home industries rather than those of a country I loathe with its old womanly language that I cannot bear to hear.

It makes me feel so sorry for those crazy vegans with their advanced anthropomorphism that prevents them from having any butter, nor any of the decent food such as a succulent sirloin steak. Despite the obvious harmful effects with the serious lack of protean, the craze continues, the supermarkets hugely benefiting by overcharging them for cheaply produced rabbit food. It amazes me that the Government does nothing to restrict the fashion, not that this hopeless Government does anything.

As yet there is no known cure for the ridiculous obsession. All very sad. especially when in its advanced form vegans attack farmers and daub offensive slogans on the windows of butchers. In a few years they will be needing medical provision from the National Health Service, adding to the immense pressures of an ageing population, but there is no reasoning with them..

Although I try to avoid the utterly ghastly "Magazine" in "The Times" on Saturday (free from Waitrose, as mentioned before), only looking at the book reviews, the issue for the 22nd August was dominated by Caitlin Moran, having lengthy extracts from her latest book. I unwisely looked at some of these extracts, seeing one passage saying that her "lovely husband" had an offensive "blackhead on the side of his nose", which she proceeded to squeeze. When he suggested that the blackhead should be left alone and they could have sex, she replied: "He doesn't understand - I am grooming him like monkeys do. This is a vital part of my mating ritual. I cannot have sex with an imperfect nose."

Dear, oh dear, but the book will sell like hot cakes - or as hot cakes used to sell before people became neurotic about food, young women loving every word, thinking it all so very funny. To my generation, probably having lost its humour, despite there being a great deal to laugh about with our incompetent Government, the writing seems crude and downright silly and vulgar, a sad comment on the down-marketed newspaper, now a poor shadow of it s former dignified self, the former high values of a newspaper of record having completely gone.


One of the several wonderfu lilies in the garden

I was delighted to read that thousands of people over 75 years were refusing to pay the newly imposed 157.50 television licence fee. As neither Mrs. Copeland nor I ever watch television, we are giving the set away, there being no way that I am paying for all that rubbish, mainly intended for an uneducated audience with such programmes as "Strictly Come Dancing" and the "X Factor". Some elderly people, relenting on refusing to pay the licence, are arranging to pay monthly, thankfully creating collection problems for the Biased and Bloated Corporation.

Somewhat to my amazement, I did not receive a letter from the BBC collection service demanding that I had to pay the licence being over 75 years of age. According to a news report, the BBC is hiring 800 agents at a cost of 10 million to hound householders who have not paid the licence. Nasty stuff, but whatever happens I will never pay the licence fee that amounts to 5 bottles of Laphroaig whisky. I know which will give me more pleasure. The Biased & Bloated Corporation is even proposing to withdraw "Land of Hope and Glory" from the Promenade concerts next year. How the Corporation hates this country! Mind you, there is no longer and hope or glory in this Lax Britannica, so perhaps the withdrawal is justified.

It seems so sad that the BBC was earlier a greatly valued and hallowed and respected for its fair reporting. Today, taken over by a bunch of loony lefties, it has become a loathsome institution,. If the hated and despised Corporation wants to save money, why not restrict transmissions from 6 a.m. to midnight - or pay some of the so-called stars less money?

I was nevertheless amazed to also read that the "typical Briton spends 6.5 hours a day watching television [presumably not the BBC programmes] and videos". Obviously I am not typical, for I never watch the idiot's lantern, preferring to spend 6.5 hours a day reading, mainly books on the Second World War. Similarly, I only use my mobile telephone for a few minutes each day, possibly under ten minutes, switching it on in bed before getting up in the morning to look at the BBC News website and the weather, switching it off until about 8 p.m. when I look at the FTSE movement of the day. What people do on these appliances for hour after hour is a mystery to me.

On Google news I saw that hundreds of people had been caught by a television licence scam, paying the 157.50 to a wrong site and losing their money. We were relatively free of the telephone scams for the first three weeks of the month, but during the last week we had 3 calls purporting to come from Amazon Prime, saying that 79.99 was being charged to my account. If you do not want this payment press 1" Nasty stuff, but easily avoided, never answering any request for personal details, certainly not bank details.


As we are giving up coal fires, much to my sadness, we had the chimney sweep for the last time this month.

As I mentioned last month, we have decided to give up a living fire. Although I so greatly enjoyed the burning and crackling logs, providing the best form of heating, the arthritis in my knees has become so bad that I can no longer hump the coal and logs up several steps, along with the physical labour in clearing out and relaying the fire. Not only that, the new Government coal restrictions. virtually banning household coal. have made a living fire unsustainable, insisting on smokeless fuel that burns far too fast and is therefore quite worthless, despite being so expensive. In their traditional madness, our hopeless politicians ban household coal but will eventually allow another runway at Heathrow, causing pollution far worse than 10,000 fires.

We therefore had the chimney sweep on the 4th for a final sweep undertaken by a very jovial man with whom we put the world to rights, telling one another that everything has gone to the dogs, normality being a thing of the past. A great shame I will never see him again, for it is not often that you see such cheerful people in this ailing land, the nurse I saw earlier being another notable exception. But as the late Widow Nell used to tell me, life closes in on you in old age, and I can now well appreciate what she meant, old age being a time of giving things up and saying goodbye to friends, a time of advancing illness, life being an endurance, no longer a pleasure.

It has therefore been decided to have a flame-effect electric stove, a poor substitute for sitting
around a blazing log fire of a winter's evening, something I know I will miss enormously, the horrible country shut out, but needs must. We have more or less decided on an ACR Astwood electric stove, priced locally at 750 or 679 direct from the manufacturers, free delivery. Although I would like to support local suppliers, the difference of 71 is unacceptable, especially as there is no installation cost.

Another sign of the times was the announcement that Argos will be giving up its catalogues, everything having to be done on-line instead. I will therefore not bother to buy anything more from the firm any more, preferring to purchase items from Amazon, which is so much easier than going into the city, finding a car parking place, and going through the complicated ordering process, only to find the item is out of stock Indeed, I will continue buying from Amazon, especially for books, all of which arrive within a couple of days, often with a third off the retail price.

A fine example of the hopelessness of local retailing was provided when Mrs. Copeland belatedly wanted a parasol for the garden. If I went to B & Q, having to make a special journey, I would be shouted at and controlled by staff to keep to the social distancing, no doubt ultimately finding there was a limited range of the parasols, coming home empty handed. The alternative is to go onto the Amazon website, type in "garden parasols", and a large range comes up on screen, far better than anything locally. Mrs. C. duly selected one, and it was delivered within a few days, the item probably far cheaper on Amazon, even with postage (I avoid Amazon "Prime" like the pandemic and a female politician,) What could be easier - and good luck to Mr. Bezos.

As might be expected, the loathsome Socialist "Guardian" newspaper is highly critical of Mr. Bezos, one of the columnists writing during the month that Amazon's sheer size represents "deep social transcending [whatever that means]. For its retail customers consumerism is no longer a matter of visiting outside the home", causing loneliness. How this hateful newspaper really dislikes success, just as it hates grammar schools, the Royal Family (not that I am all that keen on the squabbling offspring who prance around in their finery all day with clip-on smiles), but the columnists love the biased BBC.

Old days

The good old days?

By way of indicating that we have become a sick and pathetic society, there were numerous complaints that an Audi advertisement had shown the car with a young girl in front eating a banana. Unfortunately, I could not understand what all the fuss was about. Was it because it was a white girl depicted instead of a black one - but then that would surely be racist, implying that the blacks live on bananas and coconuts. So I had to ask Mrs. Copeland, who quickly explained that the banana eating girl represented fellatio.

It seems that the English have never really accepted sex, still harking back to the humbuggery and narrow-mindedness of Victorian times, believing it is a rather rude and nasty thing, yet these days we have to have it thrust down our throat in every advertisement, most of which have to depict a black person Additionally, to make matters even worse, it is said that young women have gone off sex completely, being far too tired out in working all day. Not the best of times to be a young husband, if you ask me..


Thistle in the garden, about six feet high

The massive job losses continued during the month. On the 5th August Pizza Express shed 1,100 jobs; Dixons Carphone made 800 managers redundant, while W.H.Smith, following plummeting sales, were to shed 2,500 jobs. On the 8th August British Airways announced that they were making 10,000 redundant, and on the same day "The Evening Standard" was shedding 115 jobs, a third of its workforce. On the 18th Marks & Spencer announced it was shedding an almighty 7,000 jobs., while the "Daily Express" had a headline on its issue for the 19th: "Bloodbath - 300,000 jobs face axe on High Street".

An item in "The Times" for Saturday 8th August said that Britain had formally entered recession, the ONS saying the economy had contracted by 29% in the second quarter Thus followed a 2.2% slump in he first quarter. On the 20th, HSBC economists forecast that we would see an economic decline of 10.3% this year - a massive and worrying figure. But the Johnson Jester, who sensibly goes into hiding when he makes another gigantic cock-up, tells us that there are signs of growth. Good old Boris - how you make us laugh, cheering us all up with silly fantasies, a laugh a minute.

To nobody's surprise, the BBC announced on the 21st of the month that "UK Government debts hits 2 trillion for first time", all on account of the heavy spending to support the economy during the coronovirus pandemic. "Spending on measures such as the furlough scheme means the debt figure now equals the value of everything the UK produces in a year." Economists, not that they are ever confident, are warning that things will become steadily worse during the next few months

With all this grim economic news, it makes so thankful that I am in the comfort and safety of retirement (32 years on the 15th December), not having to worry about job losses or having to pay a mortgage, the children flown the nest. How awful it must be to lose your job when in the 40s, married and mortgaged, the children at home, having little prospect of getting another job. The despair! How glad I am that I do not have another 40 years of this decline and fall.

As was rightly forecast, the trade negotiations with the thoroughly unpleasant Barnier went nowhere during the month, there being every hopeful indication that we will thankfully come out of the Union with a No-Deal. Meanwhile, Barnier is doing everything possible and impossible to stop a No-Deal, knowing that if were are successful in managing our own trade affairs, other member countries such as Italy and Spain will also leave. It is my reckoning that the European Union, bureaucratic, financially wasteful and domineering, will be gone within five years, going the same way as the Zollverein. Trebles all round.


Books read during the month

During the month I read four books - shown above. I did not enjoy the biography of Mussolini all that much, written by an Italian. Amazingly, there were no details of Mussolini being captured by partisans, subsequently strung up by his heels with his mistress, a priest having to pull up her knickers to preserve modesty. The author merely records "his fall". Mussolini was a terrible man, losing nearly every battle, despised by Hitler who often had to bail him out, the Italian army having tanks that were said to have four reverse gears.

On the other hand I greatly enjoyed "To VE-Day Through German Eyes - The final defeat of Germany" by Jonathan Trigg. Although the Germans amazingly managed to increase armaments production during the last year of the war, the author makes the comment that the Allied strategy for the closing stages was not all that good. As with all military historians, the author has a poor opinion of the arrogant and unloved Montgomery,, saying that his "Market Garden" campaign was a disaster, taking away military resources that could have been used to advance to Berlin.

Similarly, "his original sin of failing to secure the Scheldt estuary at the beginning of August 1944 has haunted military decision-making ever since". Eisenhower, although no strategist, was regarded as excellent as a leader in keeping the prima donnas of the generals together; at one point he thought of sacking the hopeless Montgomery, but backed down.

The author certainly illustrates the horrors for the soldiers and civilians: "We were coming down a hill and on the left side was a Sherman with its turret open. I don't know why but I got out of my vehicle and looked down inside it. What I saw was a young man absolutely charred black, and one clean hole in the side of the turret. At that point I realised that this man could be me, and that he had a mother and father. It became hard to carry on."


"Dragging them out [a middle-aged couple hiding in the ruins of a house] the man was hit over the head and tied to a lamppost. The woman - screaming in fear - was thrown over the bonnet of a jeep, where one of the soldiers proceeded to cut her clothes off with a knife. Accompanied by the yells of his colleagues he penetrated her. In order of rank every single Russian proceeded to rape the helpless woman one after the other as she lay motionless across the jeep. It took almost an hour for the twenty three of them to finish."


Item sent to me by a reader. Not many helplines are open during the Chinese virus, no doubt "working" from home.

The well illustrated "To Defeat the Few" by Douglas C. Dildy & Paul F. Crickmore illustrates the extreme folly of sending Spitfire to the beleagued French Army that was easily wiped out by the German Army, despite having more men and armament - a truly hopeless nation that, as aforesaid, I regard as never having been any good with its old womanly language that I cannot bear to listen to. I suppose Germany represents the male of Europe; the French the females. One of the many good things about Brexit is that we will no longer have anything to do with the sickly nation.

At the start of the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe concentrated on bombing coastal merchant shipping, aiming to deprive us of supplies, starving the country. At that initial stage the Germans were very effective, sinking scores of ships, intervention by the RAF often being too late and ineffective, scores of RAF Hurricans and Spitfires being lost. In describing the overland battles, the author records each flight in detail, which becomes somewhat tedious after a while.

During the Battle of Britain, a lone German took the wrong turning and bombed London. A furious Churchill then ordered a bombing raid on Berlin, and although ineffective, had Hitler vowing to take revenge on London, which he did, telling Goring to switch from attacking airfields to bombing London, thereby relieving the RAF. It could be argued that that lone bomber pilot lost the entire war for Hitler, the Germans subsequently having to fight on two fronts, never a good idea,

I certainly enjoyed the book on the Lancaster bomber.

Two of the books I bought this month were typeset in India, bound in this country. So many birthday cards are printed in China. What I can never understand why, when changing a book into the ghastly paperback form publishers don't keep the existing type, put on a soft cover, and use cheaper paper. Is it because holidaynakers and those people who read in bed want a smaller format?


Yet more immigrants on their way to this overpopulated little island

The month saw a large number of illegal immigrants in inflatable boats travelling across the English Channel seeking refuge in this country, one day seeing 235 in 17 boats. For the year so far, it is reckoned that 3,800 have arrived.. While I do not agree that they should be shot out of the water by the Royal Navy, they should surely be turned round and prohibited from coming to an already greatly overpopulated country. Furthermore, it is in their interests to stay away from a hatefully racist country, few of them ever being accepted. especially if they are black. .

Although the "Black Lives Matter" craze has subsided, almost forgotten, another obsession has taken its place, we still have to ensure a lot of nonsense about the need to appoint coloured people, especially female. For instance, the BBC has ridiculously appointed an Indian woman as a football commentator! Furthermore, there have been extensive complaints that children's books have few images of black people, Enid Blyton referring to "little black Sambo" not appearing to be all that bright. How racist can you get!

Surely we have to remember that such books were written long ago before immigrants came flooding into this country to do all the dirty jobs - for which, of course, we must nevertheless be very grateful. Yet history cannot be written to suit a few obsessive people, as that pathetic "Black Lives Matter" fraternity believe. What a daft world it has become, especially in our overcrowded nation in deep and lasting recession.


The gardener we employed this month to do extensive work in the garden - somewhat expensive.

The gardener we have employed for several years seems to have given up, there being no response to telephone calls. Somehow he cannot be working from home. Fortunately, we have found a replacement - Abbot & Son in Lincoln. We were quoted in advance 470, and as there was extensive work involving, cutting back a lengthy privet hedge; pruning a flowering cherry tree; cutting back some branches to improve our view of the avenue of oaks from the house, removing a lot of ivy growing over the shed, reshaping a holly bush, cutting back a long line of coiffeurs, and trimming a creeper growing over windows in the front of the house, we thought the quote reasonable as 2 men would probably take about 6 hours to complete the work.

In the event, one man worked 6.5 hours, representing a charge of 72 an hour, which seems excessive. Indeed, plumbers, tree surgeons and small-town solicitors seem to make the biggest charges, often unrelated to the work involved. . However, the firm did a really excellent job, taking all the leaves and branches away, so the charge was probably worth it. You get what you pay for in this world: buy cheap, buy twice, certainly from that hateful PRC.

Leaf blower

The leaf blower I bought this month in preparation for the Autumn. At 60V it is very powerful.

The gardener was using a most impressive leaf blower, and on asking him the make of the excellent appliance he said that it was a petrol-driven Stihl, but I could obtain an electric one from Amazon. He said my existing leaf blower was a mere hair dryer. Subsequently I looked on Amazon, seeing that there was a "Stihl electric battery blower Bge71 at 148, needing an connection lead. Alternatively, there was a cordless machine - the Hyundai cordless HYB6OLI at 159.99, which I decided to buy, especially as it uses the same kind of battery as for my Hyundai cordless lawn mower. It was delivered on the 20th, and wow - is it powerful, even on the lowest setting, almost taking the trees down. A splendid purchase, though made in Chna, but then the world consists of two main items: Amazon, and everything made in loathsome PRC.


Model trawler bought from the RNLI shop this month

I am obviously become more liberally minded in my old age, having responded to a Lifeboat charity appeal sent to us in the post, subsequently buying a 10 trawler shown above, and donating 10. In the past I have always avoided charities like the plague and women politicians, but there is no doubt that the brave Lifeboat men do an excellent job, venturing out in the roughest of weathers - as well as saving those damn fool weekend sailors who go out with inadequate clothing, having to be rescued when they inevitably get into trouble. They ought to be fined 500 by the Lifeboat brigade. Unfortunately, anybody in the cabin depicted on the model could not see over the bow of the ship.

The charities I will never support are those asking for donations for crises overseas, the money in all probability ending up in the hands of corrupt politicians and bandits. Not so long ago we heard of an overseas charity whose workers spent the donation on prostitutes, maybe just the surface of misspending.


Smart watch that I purchased this month - from Amazon of course!

I treated myself to a health watch - from Amazon, of course. It tells me my blood pressure reading, my heart rate, number of steps, and received e-mail messages, all for 44. Mrs. Copeland said the watch looked too large, the sort of thing a spiv would wear, which was not a very kind thing to say, but then women are not at all interested in gadgets, essentially a male preserve. I set myself a daily target of 3,000 steps, but I seldom managed to achieve the target, except when I cut the grass. With her health watch Mrs. Copeland occasionally does about 7,000 steps.

After an absence of three months during the lockdown we went to for the first time to the local Club on the afternoon of the 9th August. I went straight into the garden while Mrs. C. went inside, having to sanitise her hands, then order the drinks at the start of the bar, collecting them at the other end, then carrying out the drinks to the picnic table, her name and address being recorded by the stewardess. At our table there were several mature and interesting members, most of them from the village.

We went to the Club again on the 16th, sitting in the garden with several of the villagers, but it was miserably cld, and we had to shelter under a tree when the rain came, it being so cold. We went again on the 23rd, but the hateful sunless, rain-swept climate was raining yet again, forcing us indoors. Unfortunately, a group of members were not observing the social distancing, which means that on account of the dangers we will not be able to go to the Club when we cannot sit outside, several other people taking a similar view.

Regrettably, the Club's Management Committee is not all that good, there being no effective leadership, no planning. Come the AGM next February we really need to have an extensive clear-out of the entire Committee, bringing in some fresh blood with administrative experience. The problem is that nobody amongst the younger generation wants to serve on any voluntary committee these selfish days, so it seems the Club is in a difficult position, having problems surviving while the virus regulations are in force..

However, maybe the Club's Management Committee could take an example from the excellent arrangements made by the Local Church. Despite the limitations of the Chinese virus, a service was held every Sunday using the Zoom facility in which I also partook albeit for a little while as I cannot accept that Jesus cares for us - why did he not prevent the Chinese experiments that caused the virus? The administration is superb with frequent notices giving detailed information about forthcoming events and issues, ably presented by the two intelligent and cultured, very pleasant Church Wardens. A model of presentation and practice. with the added advantage of a splendid Rector who looks after his flock.

During the gathering on the 23rd, one of the members was saying that in this country today "nobody cares a bugger", going their own selfish way, doing the least possible work possible. here in Lax Britannica. A more appropriate explanation of the conditions in this rundown country in deep and lasting recession would be difficult to improve upon, politics being an irrelevant consideration. Nobody bothers, nobody cares, few people working hard, as shown by the laxity of the doctors never bothering to see their patients, certainly not worth clapping for in their idleness. Then there are those awful teachers' unions that understandably do not want to go back to the hell of the classroom. I find it so upsetting that, in my old age, the country has plummeted in to this lasting decline. At least for most of my life I saw the best of times, so maybe now that everything has fallen apart I should not grumble.

There was the splendid news on the 28th that the Government is proposing to undertake the very necessary reform of the chaotic and wasteful system of local government, replacing the conflicting and confusing medley of district and county councils by unitary authorities that would, according to a report, save 3bn over five years. My own bill, currently amounting to 1,616 of which 1,083 goes to a useless County Council that seems to exist primarily for the benefit of the officers and councillors, certainly not for the council taxpayer, would be reduced by an estimated 200 a year, and we would have a much better, properly co-ordinated system. But there are so many vested interests, local authorities having become a nice little earner for councillors and officers, so reform is going to be very difficult, this Government not noted for persistence , but goo on U-turns.


During my days working in local government, I joined the trade union Unison, known in those days as NALGO. On leaving work back in 1988 - now in retirement for 32 years - I became a lifelong member, but in recent times Unison has become more and more left-wing, even associated with Comrade Corbyn, and the "Black Lives Matter" campaign that has heightened racial tensions here and in America. I cannot accept either the party or the campaign, so I therefore submitted my resignation to Unison at the end of the month, wanting nothing more to do with union whose values I can no longer accept..

A very variable month so far as the weather was concerned. There were 8 days of rain, heavy on the 28th; on the 9th-11th there were some splendid days of sunshine, the temperature on two occasions reaching 30 C; and there was the fierce Storm Francis on the 21st, continuing into the next day. On the 28th it was reported that there was a 50 minute queue to get into Skegness, the rain beating down all the time. Why do these lemmings always want to rush to the seaside, whatever the weather? I suppose it is because so many of them live in miserable conditions, only too thankful to get out and about.

The weather over the Bank Holiday weekend (29th 30th) was appalling - strong winds, rain, the temperature down to 11 C. It was so cold that I had to go back into winter clothing, the central heating having to be switched on. It could have been November days. Whatever happened to global warming; oh, that we could have some of it.

With daughter Caroline and her husband Phil, Mrs. Copeland went down to Essex Sunday 30th to see her 103-year-old mother, not having seen her all this year, Caroline and Phil alternatively doing the driving, returning on the morrow. Because of my arthritis, I find it difficult to face a 3-hour drive, so I stayed at home feeling somewhat lonely.

I manage quite well on my own during the morning and afternoon as Mrs. C. and I invariably go our own separate ways, onlyl meeting up for luncheon at 1 p.m., sensibly the main meal of the day, and again at high tea about 6.30 p.m. It is the evenigs when I feel so miserable all alone, making me hope that I go first.It is alway said that women manage far better than their own than men.

I also hope that our Prime minister stads up during the coming weeks against tne demands of the hateful European Union. The EU members need to stay well out of our fishing grounds, probably needing the support and defence of the Royal Navy, and the last thing we want to do is to continue to abide by EU rules - indeed, this was one of the main reasons for coming out of the sickening Union. If Bpris stands firm, all will be forgiven about his hadling of the coronovirus. Of course, he will be underminded by those barmy Lib-Dims and the nasty "Guardian."

Comments welcome - especially critical
e-mail: johncopeland@clara.net.
Lincolnshire 31st August, 2020


Diary of an Octogenarian<BR>

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