DIARY OF AN OCTOGENARIAN

- John Copeland -


Friday 13th January - Thursday 19th January, 2017


Flower

Cut flower.


"Brexit will be a great thing..you were so smart to get out."

President Trump. I remain convinced that he will be a great President, friendly to the UK and wanting improved relations with Russia after the dreary, do-nothing years of Obama.


FRIDAY 13 JANUARY

A male neighbour and I had our usual Thursday film evening yesterday. We began by watching an episode of "House of Cards", which was excellent, and then started showing the war film that I bought from HMV in Lincoln earlier in the week - "USS Indianapolis" with Nicolas Cage. The film, dealing with a Japanese submarine attack on an American destroyer, was unbelievably awful, Cage sounding so incredibly wooden, almost as if he was reading the script from his hands. A really terrible film.

Inevitably and regrettably, there always has to be a love scene in a war film, but although we escaped this nonsense by fast forwarding, the film was still hopeless, and we gave up after 20 minutes, watching another episode of "House of Cards" instead. The Nicolas Cage film had no newspaper recommendations, only 4-stars from an organisation calling itself "Skip-to-the-end" with the comment "Cage is memorising". In future I must only purchase DVDs of films when the major newspapers have a recommendation on the cover of the DVD, not even taking any notice of "Total Film" whose recommendations I have seldom agreed with.

It was disappointing to read in yesterday's "i" that "Britain's trade gap widened to 4.2bn in November as the collapse in the value of the failed to significantly increase exports....Figures showed that the goods and services deficit - the gap between exports and imports - increased by 2.6bn from October." The problem is that Mr. Carney's absurdly low interest rate policy is encouraging a consumer credit-based bonanza, and as we make hardly anything these days, imports flood in. Yesterday Mrs. Copeland bought two items from Marks & Spencer in Lincoln, one from Cambodia, and the other from China.

This dilemma will probably come to be known as "Carney's Calculus" in which he is impotent whatever he does with interest rates. If he keeps them at the present low level, there is a rapidly rising credit-based consumer expenditure and a roaring property market, while a falling makes imports more expensive, adding to inflation. Yet if he raises interest rates to curb this consumer expenditure our export trade suffers from a rising . In other words, the Governor of the Bank of England is completely helpless in dealing with the economy, certainly on his own.

What should happen is a rise in income tax at all levels. This would curb consumer expenditure and the housing market, as well as lowering imports while still helping our exports, even if the is kept at its present level. Unfortunately, raising taxation is anathema to a Tory Government and will never happen. Raising taxes would also enable more money to be spent on the ailing National Health Service.

There was another depressing item in today's "Times" saying that Britain will remain under the rule of the European Court of Justice well into the 2020s. Oh dear; why did we ever get tangled up with that dreadful, undemocratic Union that has brought us nothing but trouble, particularly in the form of all manner of legislative nonsense, as well as ridiculous and restrictive health & safety edicts that almost make it too dangerous to get out of bed in the morning.

They are the countries that fight one another at regular intervals, and it is only because Germany has become the acknowledged leader in the EU, having gained mastery of Europe that it failed to do in two World Wars, that there has been relative peace over the past few years. De Gaule had the good sense to veto our entry to the Common Market in the 1960s, and we should have stayed away, thereby escaping from all the problems we now face with our membership, having immense trouble in getting out of the outfit.

Barge

The Barge on the Brayford, my favourite restaurant in Lincoln, now having closed down owing to the illness of the proprietor. It is now up for sale at 300,000, making me hope that there will be a buyer to continue its magnificnce.


The predicted snow for this part of the country did not arrive today. Instead we had a windy day with an unpleasant drizzle, and later on there was sunshine, the temperature rising to 4 C.. So much for weather forecasts, though I gather there was snow in Scotland and there were severe warning of the risk of serious flooding to a depth of 10 feet along some of the eastern coasts as a result of the combination of strong winds and high tides.

A load of logs was delivered during the morning, so with a bunker full of coal, the oil tank full, and now with the delivered logs, we are well set up for any bad weather during the rest of the winter. The delivery man told me that there was only a flurry of snow in other parts of the county, and when I commented that half an inch of snow paralysed the country, he replied: "When there's an inch of snow everybody drives into a ditch." Of course, the motorists will never slow down, hail rain or snow, not even for thick fog.

The logs are dumped by our back gate, which means I have to barrow them to the log bunker about 30 feet away. I unload the barrow at the foot of some steps, throw them up and Mrs. C. puts them into the bunker, all of which takes about 50 tiring minutes that do not do the arthritis in my knees any good. The important thing is not to get the logs wet, for this impairs their burning properties.

I still feel so upset that the "Barge" restaurant has closed down. As I mentioned last week, it seems that everything that I like is finishing or closing down. Yet I suppose this is a natural progression in old age: that the things you enjoyed in earlier years have been replaced by the very different values of a generation that has taken over with its changed concepts of mores and manners.

Inevitably, now that all old people are over the hill, their best before days long since passed, I believe that the values of my generation represented the high tide of civilisation, now rejected by a generation that is in debt, drunken and divorced with its failed marriages, its children dumped in bootie camps when yummy mummies go out to work all day to make a better life for the family. The "Barge" over the years had become an anachronism, catering for the geriatric gentlefolk, no riffraff and no students to be seen. That was its mistake.

Our planned family luncheon therefore had to be changed to another restaurant along the Brayford - "Nando's", which offers chicken meals. Braving the miserably cold drizzle, we therefor met there en famille at 1 o'clock I have to admit that I enjoyed the food - chicken and chips with some excellent white wine. The service with pleasant and happy young girls was excellent. A place to visit again.

Mrs. Copeland's Peugeot 208 is going in for a "free check" on Thursday of next week, no doubt all manner of things will be found to be wrong, there being no such thing as a free check, just as there is never a "free" dinner. In the past we have always changed Mrs. C's car every three years, but last year, when the 3 years was up, we decided we could not afford the expense of a new car, and besides the vehicle had only done 25,000 miles.

The problem is that even with a low mileage there are always repairs/replacements after 3 years - tyres, exhausts, electrical failures, and no doubt we will have a hefty bill next Thursday. The aim, subject to any financial disaster on the home front, is to try to buy a pre-registered car in September, such vehicles having a substantial discount. One thing is certain: we really must change the car this year. I have always believed that a car should be changed every 3 years, and I stand by this resolve.

The evening was spent by the fireside, reading some more of the book on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was good to read the chapters on the Americans fighting back after the cowardly attack, sending 334 B-29 planes on the nights of 9th and 10th March 1945 to firebomb Tokyo, destroying over 16 square miles, killing more people than with the two atomic bombs. The heat was so terrific that metal windows melted. The Japanese, who applauded the attack on Pearl Harbor, fully deserved this punishment, as they did with the atomic bombs.

SATURDAY 14 JANUARY

Mercifully, the Meteorological Office forecast for between 2-4 cms of snow for Lincoln yesterday did not arrive. There are times when the weathermen's forecasts are about as inaccurate as Calamity Carney's economic predictions. In fairness to the weathermen there are massive variations in this small country, making forecasting difficult.

Mrs. Copeland went off in her car shortly after 10 a.m. to spend the weekend with her mother down in Essex, returning Monday lunchtime. Mrs. C. goes down every month to see her mother who will be 100 years of age in August, but nowadays I only go on alternate months. She sent me a text message at 1 o'clock saying that she had arrived safely, there being hardly any traffic - "everybody skint?" The answer is probably yes, the credit card limits having been fully reached in the Christmas bonanza.

Most of the morning was spent on the computer, and then at 1 o'clock I went in to Lincoln to purchase fish and chips for lunch. I just cannot bear the idea of cooking a meal at home, loathing the very concept of cooking, so it is much easier, and certainly more pleasant, to bring in food from outside or go to a pub.

Logs

The load of logs delivered yesterday. It is one of my great delights in life to sit by a blazing log fire on a winter's evening. None of the horrors of an eco house for me.


A siesta in the afternoon, and in the evening I finished reading the book on Pearl Harbor, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have now made a start on the 650-page biography of Jonathan Swift, that splendid satirist who makes modern jesters seem sick and crude. "Jonathan Swift - The Reluctant Rebel" by John Stubbs. Published last year at 25 by Viking.

Swift was a strange man who apparently never smiled. He was extremely right-wing, yet was concerned about the plight of the poor in Ireland. Today he would be receiving psychiatric help for this confusion, which would completely screw him up.

SUNDAY 15 JANUARY

I woke up about 7.30 a.m. to see that it was raining, the Meteorological Office snow warning having been cancelled. Rain is our climatic default; indeed, out of 365 days it probably rains on at least 250 days. It is the lack of sunshine that is so depressing. probably explaining why the British are such a miserable people, much of their life being spent sheltering indoors.

The battery was flat on the Scorpio yet again, the vehicle not having been used so far this year. I just cannot make up my mind what t do about this car, for I hardly ever use it, much preferring to use the scooter, which is much easier to park in Lincoln where parking charges are totally unreasonable. With insurance, road tax and MOT the cost is 10 a week before I move the vehicle, so it makes no sense keeping it. However, I think I will "SORN" it, keeping it but not using it after August when the annual MOT is due.

The house seems very lonely and silent without Mrs. Copeland, a sad reminder what life will be like for me if I am ever left on my own - not worth living. It is the great sadness of all couples that the day will come when one of them is left behind. I just hope I go first, for there is no doubt that women manage far better than men when left on their own. Not undertaking any exercise, and never eating any of the so-called healthy foods, I could go on for quite a long time. As experience has shown me, it's the ones who regularly exercise and eat that miserable healthy food who are the first to go.

Down at her mother's apartment, Mrs. Copeland met her elder brother and his wife yesterday evening. The brother has recently retired at the age of 70 years, and on the telephone recently when I asked him how he was getting on in his retirement, he told me that he had never been so busy. That is what all retirees say in the early weeks of retirement, time often being spent on home decoration. Invariably, the same comment is made later on, when there is wonder that there was ever time to go to work.

What they really mean is that, lacking the discipline of employment, they take longer to do everything. manana being very much in evidence. It was Dr. Johnson, not noted for his excessive toil , who commented: "The mind stagnates for want of employment and grows morbid, and is extinguished like a candle in foul air." I like to believe that this diary helps mental stimulation, especially as I greatly enjoy discussing current events with correspondents, and I take the view that moving around the house and going into town most days is all the exercise I need, going on long and silly walks having no obvious benefits.

Sunderland

The completed Sunderland Flying Boat. I am now starting on a Stuka.


Apart from the battery recharging - which seems to take ages, the morning was spent on the computer for half an hour, setting up the web-editor for this week's diary, and then I did some more painting on the Sunderland Flying Boat, now nearing completion. I have already made a start on the Stuka kit, finding the smaller aircraft with their very small parts even more difficult to fit; indeed, you need keen eyesight, it probably not being all that suitable to be wearing glasses. One of the few benefits I have in my old age is that, as yet, I do no have to wear glasses either for reading or distance.

I was interested to hear on the news that Mrs. May wants to heal the bitter social divisions that have marked the referendum. It seems amazing that Europe brought about such an angry exchange of views, far more than any general election. It might perhaps be thought that most people could not care a bugger whether we are in or out of Europe, the issue not likely to bring about much excitement, yet the reverse was true.

Future historians will no doubt argue that the referendum was as much a social and political issue as economic: a division between the spivs in suits in the City who have done so well out of the financial sector in recent years who wanted to stay in to continue earning enormous sums; and those in the north who have not shared in the prosperity of the south, angry and bitter about the widening social and financial division.

Amazingly, immediately after the referendum result we saw the removal of the Old Guard, including Cameron and the odious Osborne, all being given the boot. An amazing turn of events that was certainly not expected, but now the Remoaners, bad losers all, are trying to do everything they can to thwart the process of leaving the EU, knowing that their interests and profits could be at stake.

Daughter Kate had very kindly invited her left-alone father to dinner at her house at 6 o'clock, so I enjoyed a very pleasant meal and evening with her and her husband. Kate was telling me that I should not get so upset about "The Shed" in our community, the wooden, flat-roofed eco house. It is here to stay, and there is nothing I can do about I, so just ignore it. She was telling me that she has a very unpleasant neighbour - a most uncouth man who writes angry letters to her and other neigbhours in the most appalling English, but she takes no notice of him. It is wise advice, and I must try to follow it.

Back home about 8 o'clock, I belatedly lit the fire in the parlour, spending the rest of the evening reading some more of the biography of Jonathan Swift, which I am finding rather hard going, possibly not being bright enough to understand the complex issues, lacking an understanding of Irish history. I have always wondered why we did not give the Irish full independence, for they have been a troublesome millstone round out neck over the centuries.

MONDAY 16 JANUARY

It was raining yet again when I woke up at 7.30 this morning. What an utterly horrible climate it is with its endless rain and lack of sunshine. Maybe, though, this inclement and depressing weather is better than the massive snowfall, several feet deep, that was shown in a photograph sent today to me by an American reader. Goodness knows what would happen in this country if there was such a snowfall. In all probability there would be a complete close-down, with not a sign of any economic growth.

There was the splendid news today that Mr. Trump, to be elected as President this coming Friday, has commented that Britain was well advised to leave the European Union, promising that he will do everything to expedite a trade deal with our country. What a different attitude from that miserable Obama who threatened that Britain would go to the back of the trade queue if we left the EU, presumably part of his understandable bitterness that his grandparents probably suffered under the British Empire.

Mr. Trump also rightly criticises Mrs. Merkel for her calamitous policy of freely allowing immigrants to enter Germany. My guess is that she will soon be gone, providing yet another example of women, while wonderful in the caring professions, being totally unsuitable as politicians. The President has also said that he wants better relations with Russia, having an association to work together against the increasing threat of Isis.

The other good news, suggesting that a few women may be all right in politics, was that Mrs. May is likely to say in a speech tomorrow that she will go for a "hard Brexit". withdrawing from the Single Market and thereby preventing immigrants from flooding into this country, many for the generous welfare benefits in which they seem to have priority over the natives. How wonderful it will be to get completely clear of that quarrelsome lot, reminding of us of the Victorian comment: "Storm in the English Channel. Continent isolated." As we all know, the EU, weighed down with debt and immigration. will be gone within ten years, indicating the wisdom of leaving a sinking ship.

All this wonderful news means that I have never felt happier, expressing real Panglossian optimism for the years ahead, now that a great burden is about to be lifted from our shoulders, as well as in America that now has a man to stand up for the interests of his country, "hopefully" making up for the muddled 8 years of Obama who allowed Russia to take command of the Middle East.

Unwisely, I looked at comments about Mr. Trump on Twitter when accessing the BBC news website, reading that one silly little woman by the appropriate name of "Gaby" had written that "Mr. Trump had the attention span of a gnat." Oh how very frightfully funny - girlie laughter all round. I gather that the spiteful woman, as might be expected, writes for the "Guardian" newspaper - that paper which teenagers and those in their twenties read in their belief that Socialism is going to cure all the ills of the world It is therefore amazing that she spelt gnat correctly, even with the "g". I recall Bernard Shaw suggesting that a person believing in the Tories at the age of 18 needed his heart examined; at the age of 40 believing in Socialism he needed his head examined - something along those true lines.

Stuka

The Stuka that I am now making from a kit.


Mrs. Copeland returned home from Essex about 1.30 p.m., so that was a relief. Soon after she returned we went to have lunch at "The Woodcocks" in the village, where I enjoyed rump steak and a pint of Hobgoblin bitter that was in excellent condition, as all the beer is at this pleasant place.. Back home I spent some time on the computer, and then in the evening I read some more of the 650-page book on Jonathan Swift. It is a most disappointing biography, seeming to be more concerned with the Anglo-Irish problems during the 17th and 18th centuries rather than a biography of Swift.

Page after page is devoted to the endless "Troubles", and it seems that the author, in his enthusiasm for the political arena at that time, almost forgets about Swift. Indeed, there are several pages describing the houses in Dublin, and endless details of the politicians on both sides of St. George's Channel. Indeed, 6 or 8 pages can be read without any mention of Swift. Somehow I cannot believe I can face much more of this history lesson, having managed to reach 102 boring pages.

Obviously, a biography needs to describe the social, political and economic background to the age in which the subject lived in, but not in this endless detail. Sadly, there seems to be no "feel" for Jonathan Swift, the biographer being too remote and distant in his analysis. I have always enjoyed biographies in the past, but not this wooden one. A great disappointment. It is a splendid scholarly account, but it lacks warmth.

TUESDAY 17 JANUARY

More wonderful news today, confirming that Mrs. May has said that she is going to have a "clean break from Europe", and that Mr. Trump is thinking about putting tariffs on Chinese imports, possibly in the order of 45%. I have not feel so cheerful and optimistic in years, not since I retired 28 years ago, feeling that the world has at last come to its senses, something I never expected in my old age. It is almost as if a kind fairy has waved her magic wand and put the world to right again, all the things I complained about in this diary now being corrected. Oh, the joy.

We will now no longer be under the thumb of Mrs. Merkel; immigrants will no longer flood into this country (admittedly, some of them work, which is more than can be said for most of the natives) ; President Trump wants friendly relations with this country and is planning to put tariffs on Chinese imports; and there is no fear that the Labour Party will ever form a government for at least the next ten years.

Maybe I will have to change my view of female politicians, for if Mrs. My takes us away from that squabbling mob she will earn the thanks of the nation, commemorating the 23rd of June (the day of the referendum) as Independence Day, possibly by marking the event with a joyous Bank Holiday. Even Dr. Pangloss could not be more cheerful than I am now. Trebles all round, as they say in "Private Eye". As today's "Daily Mail" said in a front-page headline: "Theresa's new free Britain", while the "Daily Express" has the comforting headline: "We will get clean break from EU", free to forge trading links around the world.

Stuka

The German Stuka. It was a terrifying plane, diving at its target with a fearsome wailing siren. Ultimately, it was too slow against the Spitfire.


At 10.30 a.m I attended an appointment at the Physiotherapy Department at the County Hospital relating to the trouble with my right leg, still very swollen and feeling heavy. As I have mentioned in another entry, the miserable female Indian doctor I saw recently regarding the painful swelling was most dismissive, no doubt taken the insouciant view that I am old and soon to die, so what is the point of spending any time or money on me? It is an understandable view for the hard pressed NHS, but it was not very pleasant. Mrs. Copeland says I ought to change to a different surgery, but most of them have foreigners so there is not much hope of any improvement, certainly not wanting another miserable Indian - and this is a statement of fact and experience, not racism on my part.

At 12.10 p.m I was given a lift to the French restaurant - Cote's - in Lincoln where the local Retired Gentlemen's Club was having its monthly luncheon gathering. I had "steak frites", which was excellent. There were three retired medics in our assembly today, and they spent a lot of time talking about the ills of the National Health Service, which was quite interesting. It seems that the politicians will never get the NHS right, however much they spend, seeming to be a bottomless pit with an ageing population.

A start could be made by cancelling the 12 billions we waste on foreign aid, and there is no doubt that taxation will have to rise sometime in this Government's lifetime, however abhorrent tax increases are to a selfish Conservative Government.

Back home about 3 o'clock, I saw on the BBC news website that "Theresa May has said the UK cannot possibly remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean not leaving the EU at all" In other words, we are getting away from that mob completely, having as little to do with them as possible, thereby having the wisdom to jump off a sinking ship. Oh, the joy I feel. I just cannot believe everything is coming so right, almost as if I am in a dream. All the pessimism that I have expressed so cogently in this diary is a thing of the past - a time to rejoice and be joyful.

Of course, those who made the dreadful error of wanting us to remain in the EU are still bleating about the dangers of us leaving, including the defunct Labour Party and Calamity Carney, the latter having warned that coming out of the EU will mean a sharp drop in consumer expenditure.

This is just what needs to happen, for the credit based consumerism that Carney has encouraged with his ridiculously low interest rates is causing massive debt problems and an overheated housing market. Why did the Government fail to have the courage not to renew his contract, for he has been a big disappointment, not wanting to co-operate with the Treasury in his apparent misguided arrogance, even shamefully politically interfering in the referendum.

The evening was spent by the fireside, reading some more of the biography of Jonathan Swift, not wanting to give up on such a dreary biography. As mentioned earlier, it is very scholarly, but the endless political details almost seem to adumbrate Swift, and the book at 650-pages is far too long.

I went to bed at 1 a.m., the usual time that I retire for the night, not being able to get to sleep if I go any earlier. I nearly always wake up at 7 a.m. so I do not get a lot of sleep, probably the reason I tend to doze by the fireside in the evening. At least I went to bed tonight with a most joyful heart, rejoicing that Mrs. May is going to take us completely out of that bloody Union.

Of course, the Rt. Nasty Juncker and his cohorts will do everything to make our departure difficult. I believe we are the second biggest financial contributor to the Union, and they therefore do not want to forego that amount of money, and the Germans will not want to relinquish their control over us, at last having gained supremacy in Europe after two World Wars. Fortunately, it seems that Mrs May, despite my earlier fears about female politicians, appears to be made of sterner stuff than many men. I cannot believe that Cameron would have been so resolute in taking us out.

WEDNESDAY 18 JANUARY

It was wonderful to see on the news-stands this morning the joyful acclamations of our determination to leave the chaos of the European Union. The "Daily Express" had a headline: "Deal or no deal we will leave the EU", "The Times": "May to EU: give us fair deal or you'll be crushed"; and "the splendid "Daily Mail": "On the momentous day Theresa May said Britain will quit the single market, she put Cameron's feeble negotiations to shame with an ultimatum to Brussels: "We'll walk away from a bad deal - and make EU pay - Steel of the new iron lady."

The "i" devoted its front-page to: "Brexit means...UK will quit single market and customs union; Parliament to vote on final deal [no doubt the defunct Labour Party will vote against us coming out, the party not being in the real world] Britain will leave without a trade deal - if Europe cannot provide good terms. UK will be free from European courts. Immigration controls on all EU citizens." Wonderful: there won't be much of us remaining in that circus.

I never thought that I would see such wonderful headlines in the press, all my earlier fears that the negotiations would go on for years being totally unfounded. And I was also so wrong to doubt the determination of Mrs. May. At last it seems that we have a real political leader, just as in America Mr. Trump will make up for the idle and lost years of Obama. The good times really have arrived.

As you might expect, the miserable Guardian was opposed to the hard Brexit, one of the columnists, namely Polly Toynbee who appears to live in a dream world of a Workers' paradise, pathetically arguing that the Prime Minister has had no regard "to livelihoods", whatever and who that means. Of one thing I can be sure: if ever I agree with one of Mrs. Toynbee's polemics, I will know that I will be completely wrong. Apparently she has forgotten that the under-privileged largely voted for us to leave, not having shared in the financial bonanza of the spivs in suits in the City.

There was also an article in "The Times" by David Smith saying that "Any deal reached with the EU will be worse than the single market." I used to read his column in "The Sunday Times" before I stopped taking that expensive paper two years ago, disagreeing with every word he wrote, and it seems that I am still in total disagreement with his views, finding them totally alien to mine.

I was interested to read in the "i" that Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of the world's advertising company, who knows a thing or two about finance and running businesses, has said that Mr. Trump will make a good President, and so say all of us. I value his opinion, rather than some hack from the "Guardian" who does not live in the real world. Let us see whether an astute businessman can make a better job of running a country than the hopeless mess that politicians, including Blair, Brown, Cameron and George Bush, made of everything they touched.

Today's "Times" had a photograph of Mrs. May in a 1,190 trouser suit, which I thought looked horrible, but then I dislike seeing women in trousers, making them look so unfeminine., though I suppose we ought to be flattered that they want to look like men. One of the many things I disliked about Mrs. Clinton is that she never wore a frock. Fortunately, the lovely Mrs. Trump does not go round in trousers. Thankfully, Mrs. Trump is seldom seen wearing trousers, obviously wanting to maintain her feminine appearance.

Sink

The new kitchen sink that Mrs. Copeland had fitted today. I have vetoed a complete new kitchen, as the one we had installed 20 years ago is perfectly all right, and at our age we do not have to worry about the changing fashions that so many women seem to love.


The weather was unbelievably horrible again today, n sign of the sun for three consecutive days - a thoroughly unpleasant drizzle and very misty conditions, the temperature just 6 C. It would be difficult to imagine a more miserable and depressing day.

Mrs. Copeland had a new stainless steel kitchen sink today, a very pleasant fellow arriving to undertake the fitting. I cannot understand why a new one was necessary, but admittedly the old plastic one had seen better days. As housewives spend a lot of time in the kitchen, some chained to the kitchen sink, I suppose this makes a lot of sense. I am just so thankful that my spouse does not want a new kitchen every five years when the fashions change, not sharing the hateful values of those dreadful women who treat their houses like a shrine.

The fellow did an excellent job for a very reasonable price, bearing in mind he was here for much of the day. He was cheerful and obviously knew what he was doing, which is a most unusual characteristic in a British workman. He owned the business, so that obviously made a huge difference. Much to my delight, he believed Mr. Trump would make a good President, and that we needed to get the hell out of the European Union. Obviously an intelligent man.

I had a scam call on my mobile telephone during the morning, the appliance being switched on, something I do not normally do when at home. Alas, I could not understand a word the woman, probably Scottish, was saying, so I had to tell her that I could not understand her, and duly ended the call. The fellow who was fitting the replacement kitchen sink this morning told me that he regularly received these scams, on one occasion having had a large sum of money taken from his account, which took 6 months to be repaid.

They really are a nuisance, though as I have often remarked in this diary there are days when I enjoy answering their calls, giving them totally wrong information. Even so, it is nasty stuff. So far this week we have received 5 of these scams, 4 on the landline and the one today on the mobile telephone.

After a somewhat uneventful day - and thank heavens for that, I spent the evening reading some more of the lengthy biography of Jonathan Swift. It seems to become a little better, so that is a relief.

I still feel so happy that Mr. Trump will become the President on Friday, bringing fresh hope to a great country that fell by the wayside during the lackadaisical days of Obama, and I am so thankful that I voted for us to come out of the EU. Twenty years from now, when the EU will be but a miserable memory, my two daughters and granddaughter will be thanking me in my absence for voting to leave a rather nasty sinking ship, saying "Dad really did know best".

THURSDAY 19 JANUARY

I worry about the lefties and the layabouts hurling abuse at the inauguration of President Trump tomorrow. They will be out with their juvenile placards and banners, probably spelt incorrectly, hurling abuse at the proceedings. Fortunately, we need to take no account of this rebellious lumpenproletartaiat, knowing that they are of no account. Every country has its deadbeats and troublemakers.

It made me laugh to read on the BBC news website that Mrs. Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has said there was likely to be further "pain" ahead for the UK when we lave the EU. The IMF is the organisation whose forecasts are always hopelessly wrong, and I gather that the lady has recently been charged with an alleged financial offence. Still, at least the IMF makes us laugh at this joyful time. At least she had the goodness of her heart to admit that the UK economic growth post the referendum had been far better than she had expected. As Dr. Johnson said: Where there is shame, there is yet a chance of virtue.

There was also the news that "two of the largest investment banks in the City of London have confirmed that some staff will definitely have to move abroad when the UK leaves the EU". Good riddance to them for the banks only cause us trouble every few years with their greed

Leeader

At last leadership in the White House. To have had that woman, following the failed policies of Obama, would have been disatrous for America. Now there is some hope for the greatest country in the world. I just wish he wouldn't "tweet", for that is so juvenile, so embarrassing, even worse than an entry in a Facebook.


Mrs. Copeland took her 3-year-old Peugeot to the main agents this morning for a "free check". The subsequent report said that the following items, although not serious, would soon need attention: Front brake pads 90; gearbox seal leaking 188.30; alternator belt cracked 88.61; and two new tyres + tracking 165, a total of 532.

These items confirm my long-held view that a car should be changed when it reaches 3 years; thereafter there are all manner of repair/replacement expenses. We have therefore decided to change it in August of this year, preferable for a pre-registered one that is somewhat cheaper than the new price. It is obviously cheaper to pay the 532 than buy a new car, but at least we will have a worry-free vehicle for the next three years. I have never wanted to buy secondhand, not even a year-old vehicle, for you are only buying somebody else's trouble.

Mrs. Copeland was telling me that a young woman at the Peugeot reception desk was most unpleasant and off-handed with her. Inevitably, a "Customer Satisfaction" survey" will be sent to us, so Mrs. C. will be able to mention this unpleasant and unhelpful member of staff, not that anything will be done about the problem. These surveys are usually just a ploy to show that a firm is concerned about its customers.

Another day of relentless drizzle, the sky a great amorphous mass of grey, not a cloud to be seen, and certainly not the sun, the temperature at noon being 6 C. It really is depressing weather. Nevertheless, we have lots to be thankful for, including a new President in America who will make that splendid country great again, and we are going to escape from that nasty mob in Europe. What a wonderful start it has been to 2017, making me feel so happy. Can it go on as wonderful as this for the next eleven months?

Apart from a brief visit to town, it was a day spent at home, not wanting to venture far in this miserable weather. During the morning I did some more painting of the Stuka, the model now nearing completion. I intend to start on an Apache kit.

This evening I will be watching two further episodes of "House of Cards" with a neighbour, afterwards looking at some episodes of "Till Death Us Do Part" - a series that would not be allowed to be shown in our present tyrannical and intolerant society.
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E-mail: johncopeland@clara.net
Comments welcomed
Lincolnshire 19th January, 2017
No. 986

Only 14 to go to the 1,000th edition, after which I will end the diary, now finding it too difficult to compile in my old age.




Diary of an Octogenarian<BR>



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