This week

agricultural-machinery

I considered using the name TRUMPET for this blog then decided it was too obvious. So I’ve left it to be used by a suitably moronic mouthpiece.

It’s been a week. Told my ex-wife that we had come to the end of the road. We parted in 1982, and since then I’ve tried to seek a reconciliation. After all, our separation was engineered by her. All she had to do was to admit her guilt. I’d have been grateful if she’s begged my forgiveness but that was not a necessary requirement.

It’s not been easy, and I’m not sure future generations will understand but love does hurt. That’s not going to happen any more. I’ll live with my loneliness. Perhaps I’ll become a hermit. Seems OK so far. I’ve not spoken to anyone for three days.

That’s not strictly true I did ask for a bacon roll and a cup of tea at the country market at Campsea Ash (http://www.clarkeandsimpson.co.uk/auction-centre) It cost £2.80 and was very enjoyable. That market is primarily a male affair. Lots of old boyos squashed into a wooden shack, eating bacon or sausage rolls, grunting at each other in Suffolk accents as they sipped tea and waited to go to any one of the auctions scattered around the site.

Their speech was only masked by my deafness, which often gets in the way of my life. It was clear there was a group camaraderie. They all knew each other. They all came from the local area, saw each other regularly, and there was a warmth in their conversations. They tended to come into the cafe in pairs, one would find seats, the other buy food for both of them. It was a ritual that showed they cared for each other.

Suffolk folk can take thirty years before they accept a stranger into their community. I’ve discovered a slightly quicker way. It comes in stages. First, you must stare at an old boyo sitting across the crowded room. He’ll shuffle a bit, perhaps putting more sauce on his bacon roll with quiet deliberation. Keep at him. He’ll never look your way. Never acknowledge that he’s seen you. Keep going. He’s a country boyo, he notices everythng. It’s part of his basic training as a poacher. He’s a creature of habit. He’ll be there, at the market, sitting in the same place, eating a bacon roll and slurping at his tea, wearing that old jacket and woollen hat next week.

Stay there, in position staring in his general direction until he gets up to leave. Clearly, you’ll have seated yourself by the door. As he passes, then look at him, directly into his face and give a slight nod. Invariably you’ll find he will respond. It could be a grunt, a nod of his head, but in some way he will acknowledge your presence. Success.

Give it another week before you repeat the process. This time go straight to his heart. Ask a direct question. The best is something like, ‘You after anything special today?’ that needs to be spoken quietly, in a local accent if possible, without looking directly at his face. If you feel that’s too bold be more general, ‘Have you seen the mushroom seller today?’ These questions, must always be open, force a reply as that can lead on to a longer conversation. However trivial that may sound you have made a breakthrough.

As this friendship continues you can strengthen it immeasurably by adding snippets of gossip. He’ll love that. It may take some research to find something that interests him, that he’s not already heard, but don’t expect too much of a reaction. Perhaps a quick twist of the head, or he’ll shuffle his feet, or glance around as if he is making sure that no-one else had heard.

These can develop into proper friendships. Don’t be fooled by his appearance or strange accent. He knows more than you will ever know. Take your time and develop a friendship. Once that’s in place, watch your back as a Suffolk peasant will love to get one over you, in whatever way he can. You may never know it’s happening, yet there is little malice in the way he works. You must remember he’s had generations of pulling the wool over the eyes of countless land owners, all of whom have regarded him as a worker, never as a friend.

msmartleshamOn the way back from the market I went to Marks & Spencers. They had a cafe so I decided on a comparison study. I bought a bacon roll and a pot of tea. Gone were the smiling country women of less than ten miles away. Here the staff were much younger, much slimmer, and elegant in their black uniforms with small aprons that exposed pert backsides as they moved efficiently around the room. The clientele had changed. No men here, unless acting as bag carriers and chaffeurs for smart women, all of whom were clearly in charge of their lives.

I paid £5.80 for the fare tat had been so much cheaper at the market, and wondered at the price of progress.

Love is Ours!

loveI’m incensed about Love. This country relies upon its talent, its genius. Lauri Love lives in Suffolk with his parents. He is a genius. An expert hacker. Last week the government set aside cash to fight cyber-crime yet we are now prepared to send a bright young man to face what passes for justice in the United States of America.

Whether he is innocent or not of the crimes alleged against him is irrelevant.

The US government should be grateful that it was Mr Love that hacked into their defence systems. At least they are now aware that they are vulnerable. If the allegations are true why hasn’t Mr Love been congratulated, and why isn’t he now employed to identify weaknesses.

That aside, there’s a question of pride. We must not allow a oreign power, however high and mighty, to demand anything of our citizens without placing tem on trial here first. He is innocent until proven guilty – and it is our legal system that should be used, not some cobbled-together politically-biased judiciary acting for their own ends.

How does sending our young genius, who has Alzheimers, who loves is parents (his father is a pastor), who has threatened suicide to an unstable land to face trial help us, the British people? What message does it send to the world? We are weak. We don’t defend our own. We hide behind our judiciary. Our politicians have no backbone, and which of our institutions can be relied upon!

Give this man a salary. Give him a remit – go seek out all those in cyber-space who pose a threat to the UK.

The rest of us should stand behind him prepared to fight for one of our kind.

It is difficult to understand what is happening to this green and pleasant land. I’m grateful that it is getting warmer, but do slow down, we don’t want to get too hot. It’s also getting more difficult to move around or to get anything done. Several reasons for that: privatisation is one. Does anyone know of a sale of public assets to commercial concerns that has helped us, as citizens and customers? I don’t know of anything that runs more efficiently or that costs less than before. Answers on the back of a privatised postage stamp please.

Do so before young Love is lost.

http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/hacker-lauri-love-extradition/ – there’s dozens of stories about this young man’s torment

New Era

army_us_post_flagIt’s all change today. My ex-wife is now 70! That will bring changes. It’s also the morning that the USA found itself with a new President-Elect.

Time will tell whether the rhetoric will  take precedence, but with a Republican President and both houses: Senate and Congress allso in right-wing hands it’s likely we shall see changes.

President-Elect Trump will find life has changed. It may be a touch more difficult. He could choose to institute change, let’s hope that he doesn’t fall into the Obama-trap and find the golf course more attractive.

The secret of leadership is to have a good team. Once that’s in place everything moves at a great pace. The choice of that team,  and then keeping it all on track is the real trick.

Trump is also 70, a baby-boomer. He’s never been involved in war, although his country has been at the centre of over 145 major disputes during his lifetime. He’s against NATO, and I’m pleased about that. We don’t need such a war-seeking organisation.

Life will change. What will happen is still to be revealed.This is a man who doesn’t really understand democracy. He is used to being in charge. Dictatorship is easy.

Interesting times ahead. If he can get the USA to stop putting its sticky fingers in other people’s pies, we’ll all be better off.

If this country can also get some pride back, begin to believe it itself and not try to sell all we own to foreigners, then there may be some future.

The New World Order has been thwarted, or perhaps it has just been delayed.

Time will tell. I wish US citizens well.

Guy who?

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes night. It recalls a time when a group of dissidents (they were Catholics at that time) decided that a touch of terrorism would help us all –  they planned to blow up our Houses of Parliament. This plot was planned in 1605, but the British have long memories and we have remembered, if not celebrated, this failure by setting off fireworks on 5th November.

There has been a change this year. In my little town there was no display of fireworks, no bands of kids roaming the streets with bankers (Freudian slip) to frighten cats and old ladies. I’m glad I don’t have any shares in explosives companies – loud noises, even in colour, do little to bring on feelings of love and tranquility. All that is another avenue that’s not be entered into today.

What can be suggested is that the world is changing. It’s true there is an election next week for President of the Land of the Free – except nobody really believes the place is really free any longer. Some folk have been warning of New World Order – and President Obama told us all, at the UN, that freedom will only come if we all submit to a world government. I know there was much discussion about Obama being a US citizen, will he now admit that he isn’t? What fun.

The idea of a New World Order has been around for a long time, usually as a conspiracy theory with bankers and Jews being the core suspects. It’s part of the battle for power that is now taking place. The Establishment worldwide advocate a world government. Opposing them are radicals more interested in freedom.

In Suffolk, my home county, 85% of workers are employed by small firms, usually no more than  4 employees. Very little help comes their way. Yet the rest of workers are in big corporations, global concerns. They are above national control, rarely pay taxes, and have even persuaded the government to pay Working Tax Credits to their staff. It’s a great idea, pay them poorly ten get other poor people to top up their wages using Credits.

International companies now stride across our world plucking at ripe opportunities wherever they are found. Ordinary folk, paying tax and National Insurance through the PAYE system are trapped. They can afford nothing. It hits pensioners as well. I’m an example: a little man called to my house last year, he was an Egyptian employed by a private contractor. He didn’t tell me what he planned, but shortly afterwards I was told that my pension had been overpaid for the past ten years, and the government wanted that money back. They immediately started to deduct 30% from my basic pension. That is hurting. It was not my mistake yet I am forced into poverty because a government is shouting austerity.

Anyone want an aircraft carrier – we have two but no planes. Or the money we are dropping in Syria, one million a bomb (that would pay for the NHS) .Time for a coffee – I’ll not go to Starbucks!

A Good Day

mushroom wellingtonLife can be good. The trick is to look for the fun.

Here we are in November, the sun is shining, leaves remain on most trees, and their colours are taking me to Vermont, with the confusion of colours. Like the rest of the USA nowhere is more confused than Vermont right now, but that will change after Tuesday.

I took an old friend out to lunch. There was a story behind this lunch-date. Her husband, Steve, died just six years after they married. She was left alone to cope with a new-born son. Life has been a struggle but she’s survived.

Talking one day she mentioned that Steve was the love of her life but she never celebrated their wedding anniversary. That seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, partly because I was soon to remember my 50th wedding anniversary. I see no reason not to do that because she was the love of my life, even though we”ve been divorced for years. Love still remains.

We agreed to go to lunch, she was to talk about her husband, their lives together, and how happy she had been. I’d be happy to share those memories. She showed me a photograph taken on their wedding day. Touches of the dolly bird she’d been still showed on her face as she recalled those days.

We went to the Veggie Red Lion, http://www.theveggieredlion.co.uk/ a lovely pub set in the Suffolk countryside just outside Needham Market. Run by the enthusiastic Jan it’s a great place to eat, with a vegetarian menu that takes you all over the world. It doesn’t really matter what you order, all the food is delicious. We shared a starter of meze: salad mixed into couscous, with hummus and aubergine; wonderful subtle flavours. I moved on to a mushroom wellington, that was divine, and very filling, served with a tureen of perfectly-cooked vegetables. Finishing off with a lemon posset. By this time my guest’s chatter faded as I savoured every mouthful. She was enjoying her soup by this time.

It didn’t end there as I left clutching a bag with three Redi-Meals, frozen delights, for just £10 for three, a single man’s delight!

Quick cup of tea when we got back to her delightful apartment overlooking the sea, and I was off to meet another lady. This time a regular afternoon date at Bencotto’s http://www.cafebencotto.co.uk/ where we enjoy tea or a hot latte (with little foam, and in a glass) served at our table by one of the charming staff. We love them all. No cake for me today, The day before I’d promised my eye consultant I’d reduce my blood pressure so was pleased to be making a start.bencotto

Back home to change before going to Felixstowe Recorded Music Society http://www.thefrms.co.uk/affprogs/felixstw.htm. This month we were entertained by Bob Meadows. He’s just stopped broadcasting on Felixstowe Radio (more about that next time). Bob is a national treasure, and a pop archivist. There’s very little about pop music that can catch him out. He deserves a wider audience than a community radio station.

His programme this time was linking pop tunes to their classical roots – wash you mouth out with soap and water – this was never plagiarism, all the stuff was out of copyright anyway! Bob has a phenomenal memory and love of music – he is a treasure. A very enjoyable evening, indeed a good day.

Passwords

I’ve not been well. Gettinpasswordg better, I think, but time will tell. Certainly I have enough energy to scribble a few words. Switching on the machine has not been easy. Apple has sent an update – always an incident that sends pain down my spine. The next question will be ‘password’. For some time I was stuck, as Apple automatically inserts my name in the ID slot – but access to my account doesn’t come from my name, but for my email ID. Took me a long while to wake up to that.

The last time I had this trouble I changed my password. No problem: I go to www.lastpass.com which remembers all of my 220 passwords. Two problems with that: the last time I used LastPass I changed the master password, and even if I could remember what is was Apple is so security-minded that it will not allow LastPass to store my Apple ID.

Time for a small swearing session.

I go back to Apple – this time through Google as I search for lost password, as I know Apple never tells you directly how to search for your password. Eventually I find the appropriate page – and submit another password (hoping that I’ll be able to remember this one, along with the other 220.

I return to the page that tells me MacOS Sierra is waiting for me. Once agan I enter details, it hums to itself, Apples are very quiet machine then goes into dismissal mode. I’ve been here before, in fact I’ve wasted too much of my life poncing about with passwords, particularly those at Apple.

Apple’s password box gives an annoying shake, like a dog just out of the water, but fails to tell me what is wrong: is it my Apple ID? This magic identification is designed to give me access to all my Apple programmes (programs). I try my email eddress – NO that doesn’t work. I retype the password, as often these devices fail to remember passwords but revert to default position – you can’t read it it but it probably says ‘password’.

I’m now frustrated. So far I’ve spent a long time getting this password, and it’s not worked. I’ve been through Apple, LastPass and my email system, and nothing has worked.

That’s why I started to write this page. That, in itself, is a crafty move as I know Apple can take some to to upgrade its own system Just because I’ve changed my password doesn’t mean that Apple has yet added it to its system I suspect it does such jobs in batches, taking its time to make changes, or waiting until enough of us submit similar information. As I’m in the UK the computer, based in the USA, is fast asleep as I get up early!

I waited – still not working – so I have given up!