Who Am I

Trevor Lockwood, aged 44Sometmes you must let others define who you are. Many years ago I had an astrologer prepare my chart. This is the main entry – me as a Piscean with the Sun in the Fifth House, with a Grand Air Chine.

It said:

Sun In Pisces in the 5th House
Will anyone every really know you, truly understand you, plumb the very depths of your soul and sincerely appreciate what is there? It’s doubtful and would prove difficult indeed because the dynamic of the Piscean personality is one of extremes, evidenced in its symbol, two fish, joined, but always to swim in opposite directions. The Piscean nature carries within it all the extremity and diversity the myriad forms its element, water, can display deep still ponds, rushing babbling brooks, slow streams, gentle rain, raging storms, ebbing and flooding tides. Its placement in the zodiac as the 12th and final sign is thought to be a composite of the journey of the human soul, blending and exhibiting characteristics of all the other signs, and usually they will manifest in their extremes as well. Who really could understand all that – even the Pisces native is often stymied by himself. In your chart, particular placements and aspects enhance and emphasize these extremes, and you probably frequently find yourself misunderstood.
You have within the kite shape of your pattern, a Grand Air Trine. This indicates highly idealistic and individualistic people with excellent mental faculties. They have incredible artistic talent, frequently expressed through some medium of communication, writing, music, film, and the ability to influence others through their ideas and their ideals. This pattern carries tremendous momentum and frequently produces geniuses, but they are also very apt to drift, and quite subject to frustration. However, you have a very forgiving chart with many opportunities to pick up the thread and start over.
You are an old soul who has gone through many lives; a reservoir containing the wisdom of each, with no lack of diverse talents and abilities. You carry within yourself the best and the worst of the human experience to draw from, so your gifts are great, and as such their use can be great, for good or ill – a staggering responsibility when you allow yourself to think about it, and on occasion you do. These gifts can be used to greatly serve others or to greatly serve yourself. Much of your life will seem to involve choosing between extremes. And through it all, there seems, not only to you, but others in your life notice it as well, there is a sense of blessedness about you, as though you are being protected by the gods.
Rarely motivated by material ambitions, you can succeed at anything you put your mind to, provided it inspires you. You are multifaceted with many talents, but your greatest gifts lie in the realm of the creative, artistic or musical. Your strengths lie in your idealism, inspiration, limitless imagination, sensitivity, and peace-making. You have a talent for independent, creative work, but can function equally well in a helping role. Mystic, artistic, musical, emotional and imaginative, you are a dreamer. Outwardly you might seem quiet and unobtrusive, but your inner life is rich. Though it may prove difficult to verbalize or interpret your inner experiences in a way others can understand, the world of your imagination, feelings, and intuition is as real to you as anything in the outer world.
You really have few prejudices and are not apt to objectively or subjectively judge the actions of another; you require an experiential basis for that. And even then you’re not one to pass critical judgements but are understanding and tolerant. Insatiably curious about the human experience, adventurous enough to explore it fully and with a bent toward the extreme, by this age, what you have not experienced, you have at least imagined – given the limitless potential of your imagination these things can blur; what you imagined, you might as well have experienced. All this has served to render you essentially ‘shock-proof ’. At the same time it has also enabled in you a rare sympathy of spirit – friends, even strangers, comfortably confide anything in you, never having the slightest concern that you would be shocked or judgemental or castigating. You are incredibly forgiving of the human condition, its frailty, its cruelty, and will give chance after chance to those who may disappoint you, even hurt you.
You have charisma and a natural radiance that is a powerful factor in attracting partners and if you use it well, you will make honourable and successful attachments. Impressions are important and you enjoy being grandiose, but with a magnanimous yet modest demeanour. Your creative talents can bring gain through speculation, investment, enterprise, children, pleasure and places of amusements, anything which allows you to project your natural love of life. You need to express your identity through your work, project yourself and make an impact on others. However you cannot thrive in a subservient position. You are not adverse to risk, if the gamble is worth it. There could be loss through speculations, troubles and jealousy in courtship, trouble with children, and sorrow through love, pleasure and pride.
A master of satire, your caustic observations can flood and surround like fireflies on a summer night, flashing off and on so fast one can’t keep up with them. Yet, if a bright remark whose exact meaning or intent escapes you is casually tossed your way, you get a decidedly uncomfortable feeling. Humour is one of your secret weapons; your disarming smile often covers unshed tears. You’re as facile with slapstick as you are with sophisticated jokes. The fun can be warm and innocuous and it can also be cold and unsparing. Whatever the case it often is a cover for another emotion you hide; your laughs are often masks and they disguise you well. But you do bring a sense of fun to relationships and if children are around, they are taken with you immediately. Your nature is dramatic and expressive; you do like being the centre of attention
You can get upset now and then, your anger is seldom violent or long lasting and the placid waters soon calm. Although you have difficulty in fathoming yourself, you have no problem in seeing all the subtleties of others clearly. You’re not easily fooled, you see right through them and their agendas, but you can easily fool others, and you do, a lot. You are generally charming, of good and gentle nature, and not much will excite you to violent action, but if and when something does, your temper takes its form in your clever, caustic tongue issuing out barbs and arrows drenched in biting and levelling sarcasm that pierce right to the heart and soul of whatever adversary was unfortunate enough to rouse that monster in you from its abyss.
Your ability to love is boundless and you are the consummate romantic. You can easily fall in love with love, and may be disposed to love affairs. You respond very strongly to beauty and reciprocate magnanimously to love. You’ve had to learn to be economical and cautious about money, it didn’t come naturally to you. You have a tendency in love relationships to lean emotionally on your partner. You require reassurance and faith, and respond poorly to nagging and criticism. Your nature ensures that you are inclined to heavy use by others, and as a result of that, sometimes in the sanctity of your home, you can come undone rather easily. You would require a partner who can put you back together, wrapping you up and tying the knots tight enough so it won’t happen again too soon, but that also knows it will, understands well the wear and tear your life takes on you and doesn’t resent the routine maintenance required.
However, partnerships will function best for you when you avoid vacillating between extremes – having unrealistic expectations of your partner and feeling the odds are stacked against you. A lover and a peace-maker, not a fighter, you try to avoid open conflict, patiently ignoring or “tuning out” problems hoping they will go away by themselves, rather than directly confronting them. Sometimes you become detached from your immediate environment, with no thought to housekeeping and day to day duties, so that things become a bit disorderly; that it bothers those around you more than it does you, bothers them even more. You also tend to do things in a subtle, often covert, manner. Then there are those ever so slight tendencies to be lazy and negligent, or to wallow for a bit in self-pity, or to indulge in fantasies of martyrdom. But to be fair, in reality, you do live your life in a lonely understanding of truth that is too deep to express so you are apt to be overcome with spells of loneliness and depression and become rather gloomy about it. However with the proper handling one can snap you right out it. Pisceans are particularly vulnerable to sug­gestion.
Gentle at heart, impressionable, receptive, you are a sensitive person with a genuine love and concern for others. So keenly empathic, you often sense things psychically or intuitively that prove to be right. Tolerant, forgiving, nonjudgemental, you accept people unconditionally regardless of their flaws, mistakes, or appearance. Your depth of compassion often allows you to feel the pain of others’ suffering as if it were your own. You are sympathetic to the needy, the disadvantaged, even the misfits of society. More than most, you are aware of, and witness to, the tragedies of human existence.
Within whatever work or job you do, you give selflessly. Your life is a devoted, compassionate service to others. That said, you tend to give of yourself and your resources, indiscriminately, to let others take advantage of your kindness and to encourage the weak to remain so, by becoming dependent upon you. You have little sense of boundaries or limits, of knowing when to say “no”. Moderation and self-discipline in that respect are not your strong points. Standing against the injustices and inequities in the world, choosing to always believe the best in others, will often leave you misunderstood and disillusioned, because you’ve put yourself in another impossible situation that will inevitably lead to disappointment – but you know that. You have this internal conversation with yourself almost daily and have had for as long as you can remember.
Occult beliefs and practices have probably always held an interest for you, tugging at your imagination, as though you were born with an understanding of esoteric principles – and you were. Even when not involved or practised in some way, they have served to anchor your vivid imagination and keep you emotionally stable.
At the same time you don’t believe you can live forever, you worry that you won’t. You don’t take as good care of yourself as you should and spend more of your excess energy than you have to spare helping friends and relatives which usually results in you taking on their burdens and troubles. For some of your ilk, such depletion of energy can pose a risk of excessive substance use in an effort to manage this serious drain on their health, physically and emotionally.  But you have a hidden inner resistance. If you have risen to the challenge you have discovered this latent strength and know how call on it, literally hypnotizing yourself into or out of anything you choose.

Polish Men

Just a word of warning to all those Polish lads busy working abroad, especially in England.

When I was young Eastern England was full of American GIs. As a young lad I struggled to get any girlfriends. What did I have to offer? Not a lot apart from a superb body.

The Yanks (Americans) had everything a young girl desired – money, and the chance of a new life in the USA.

Can you Polish guys compete?

Will there be a girk for you when you get back home?

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.

The Future

Two groups got together, in Ipswich, to discus the future. Nobody knew anyone else. One group were teenagers, that was all that distinguished them from the second bunch, who were all over 65 years of age. There were about 30 of us in all, led by Annette and Mark.

It was an interesting and worthwhile experience – that is being repeated elsewhere, and should be developed further. Several members noted it was useful because they never had the chance to talk to folk of a different generation.

Hopefully this was just the start – there will be more, one day.

Weekend

George Forsdike at 90It was a good weekend. The weather forecast was wrong – it invariably is for Felixstowe, a coastal town in Suffolk, England, that misses much of the weather – it gets blown away by the North Sea wind!

Spent Saturday morning having breakfast with Jenny. Lovely lady. We planned to sit outside the Winkles Cafe at the Ferry but it was a little too cold for that, so instead we went (I took her) to Dave’s at 7 Beach Station Road. This is a hidden gem, and I’m not too keen to talk about it. Essentially it’s a greasy spoon, except that Dave knows how to cook. The food is well-prepared, the ingredients fresh and of good quality.

We had breakfast, with eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans (when did they become a necessary breakfast staple?), fried potatoes, with two slices of buttered toast and a mug of tea. Jenny couldn’t move after that, so we sat for a while finishing our mugs of tea. Good value at just over £10 for two.

Reluctantly I took Jenny home, as she needed to get ready for her voluntary job at the Elizabeth Hospice shop. That, and EACH, East Anglia Childrens’ Hospice, together with BASIC, a local charity, are the only ones I’m willing to support. Although, in each case, I’d rather our money was spent supporting these local charities than the 0.7% of GDP that the United Nations suggest rich countries should donate. Not sure we have made that figure, just over 5% seems the average for the UK. The Nordic countries and Holland usually beat us.

In the afternoon took George to his ninetieth birthday party. That was a quietly pleasant affair. George seemed content, and it was a chance to meet his family and scoff a slice of birthday cake.

The evening saw me watching Eurovision. Two comments about that: the BBC iPlayer was out of sync (on my machine). I nipped round to a friend who was watching on TV, and as she is deaf she relies upon sub-titles; they were flashing on the screen, and then disappearing. Neither of us were happy. It was significant that Ukraine won, beating the favourite, Russia, into third place (that well-known European country, Australia, came second). I was left with the impression that the conflicts among people are caused by politicians. Why don’t we live by song contests, or referendums, electing worker bees each year to do the menial jobs. Who needs politicians?

Lazy Sunday I spent the morning watching the Hollow Crown on iPlayer. Brilliant, you get sub-titles on repeats, and for now can watch with impunity without a licence. Rather than give 0.7% of our GDP to other countries I think we should allow the world access to iPlayer. It would endear us to them – and we need that to happen. Too many decades of playing puppy-dog to the USA has left us hated practically everywhere – that was noticeable in Eurovision.

BBC drama productions are priceless. Henry VI part 2 is a bloody spectacle – we were warned that it would be violent, but it’s not gratuitous. I only looked away once! A great series, the Hollow Crown. This government seem intent on destroying the BBC. Concessions appear to have been made but programme making has been thrown to the dogs. I don’t understand how it can be construed that a company intent on making a profit, for itself, can do a better job than the BBC. Anyway I refuse to watch TV with adverts – grumpy old sod that I am.

Slipped into Bencotto’s for a leisurely tea after lunch spent with Maureen. There was a fortieth birthday party in full swing. At forty most guests brought along children, most under ten. They get boisterous whilst their parents, grateful for adult company talk incessantly among themselves. Eventually we were beaten by the noise levels but content that everyone was enjoying themselves and the children still had energy enough not to be crying – that would come later. After we had gone!

A simple weekend, made more glorious by an email in the evening that announced my cousin, age 73, was about to get married. Excellent news. Now, what do I buy them as a present? No, a Zimmer frame is not appropriate (yet).

 

[sdy_pl playlist]

BBC Schedules

BBC Schedules getting worse

Russian uniforms 18122016 already. As a grumpy old man I’d promised to change my ways this year People tell me I’m always moaning. They misunderstand me of course – I’m doing no more than pointing out some of inconsistencies around me. Don’t panic no-one ever responds to me except companies trying to sell me their expert services.

I’ll stop pointing out anomalies when people wake up, or start to conform to my way.

Today’s topic is the BBC. It’s a revered institution. Allegedly free from political influence we pay an annual fee to gain access. Fail to pay and the Thought Police will harass, the Courts will fine and the huge gates of a prison will threaten to incarcerate.

That’s been OK for 80-90 years but it is slowly changing.

It’s controlled by a Charter, which is to be renewed this year. The present government has seized its chance, believing the BBC to be a dark cave wherein lurk ‘lefties’ whose principal aim is to undermine and weaken the government, and (more importantly perhaps) offer a subsidised platform that prevents commercial cronies from making profits.

‘It’s unfair competition they all shout.’

Changes are already taking place. The BBC is now forced into the tawdry world of money. Programmes must reach the widest audiences. Lowest common denominator is now very desirable.

In about 1973 the BBC produced 21 episodes of War and Peace, each 45 minutes long. It was absorbing, well acted, and probably representative of the times (French invasion of Russia in 1812). It can be found on YouTube

We now have a new version – just six episodes now, so it races along from one absorbing scene to the next. The plot remains (sort of) but too many of the young actors are coquettish, leaving little to the imagination. That’s understandable the BBC no longer employs experienced costume, set or production designers. Most are just out of college, overjoyed to have a job, and far too compliant.

I feel sorry for everyone involved, almost as concerned as I am for the viewers who are forced into the modern malaise; if anything lasts more than six seconds it’s judged boring. The greatest crime is audiences that switch channels.

I could go on. I will just make one more point:

The Christmas schedule was littered with repeats, most seemed to be out of copyright they were so old, or (aah!) American films and TV.

Moaning about all that must wait until I have strength.

Russian ladies 1812 - very discreet

Live Theatre (in a cinema)

I went to the cinema yesterday evening. It was a new experience as I didn’t see a film (or movie) but a live performance from the Royal Opera House in London.

It was magical. My seat in our little Palace cinema was perfect. There was tea or coffee, the inevitable ice-creams and popcorn but, this is the exciting part of our cinema you could also order drinks, even hamburgers and chips, all of which are brought to your seat by an obliging waiter. All 120 seats were filled, mainly by grey-heads. The programme began – not with loud adverts but with announcements about future shows from the Royal Opera House.

Darcey-BussellThe scene was set by Darcy Bussell, stunningly charming retired principal ballerina, who incidentally went to Arts Educational School (as did my son) who also gave us enticing glimpses of life behind the stage.

The ballet was Nutcracker, a Christmas favourite and a great introduction to the world of dance. It’s a pity that there were just three young girls in the audience.

With an experienced video crew and sympathetic production going to the cinema to see a live stage show can equal being there. For poor provincials it’s a great to have such a cultural experience, one that we are unlikely to afford or find in the depths of the country.

We were not alone Darcy said this performance was being screened live in 852 cinemas in 24 countries. If we perfect this system the export income it derives could equal that of the lazy gamblers in the city, and even put Britain back on the world stage as a sophisticated rather than as warmongers.

Last week in November

It’s been a week. Having moved home I now have a small kitchen which doesn’t have a dishwasher.That’s a minor disaster, after decades of just shoving dirty plates and crockery into a hole in the wall. Remis of me but I’ve discovered that the sink does a very similar job, except it wants me to wash everything. It’s not that big so after a few days I have dirty dishes balanced everywhere. This week I decided to be brave, and tackle the problem.

Its gone well except I need to change the taps (you can call them faucets if you wish, but I don’t see why). At present I have two taps: one is hot, very very hot, the other is cold. My hands need to make a choice.That’s just another job, I’ll get a plumber to sort that out. Except I’ve now redesigned my kitchen (in my head) and if I get a combination oven/microwave, do away with the oven, then there may be space for a dishwasher.

That’s my domestic problems solved.

Went to Norwich to the Northern Ballet’s production of Nutcracker http://northernballet.com/the-nutcracker. Good performance from a company that gives opportunities to relatively young dancers. Scaling productions down to fit into theatres for which sets have not been designed can be difficult, and the full corps de ballet often had to enter the stage in smaller sections. They all did a splendid job.

The Norwich Theatre Royal has just announced that the Russian State Ballet of Siberia will perform, Giselle, the Snow Maiden and The Nutcracker between 18-20 February 2015. As that covers my birthday I’m tempted to go to each ballet. Perhaps stay over in Norwich – that’s an exciting prospect; foreign travel.

Normally I choose the matinee performances, as it’s so much easier to catch the train from Felixstowe: 9.28 is first cheap-day return. That allows for a stroll around Norwich, a spot of lunch then to the theatre. Catching the 5pm train home allows me to get home before the wicked weasels start to roam the dark streets.

As I write I’m about to leave for tonight’s performance of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya by Open Space Theatre at the Fisher Theatre, Bungay. I shall take my delightful companion to the Three Cooks restaurant, just a few steps away from the theatre. Exciting stuff.

You may know that the new owner of the Spa Pavilion has been trying to wrestle the website www.spapavilion.co.uk away from me. The mediation procedure has failed, so now he must go to adjudication. We shall see what happens.close_of_mediation_registrant3393828251733907405

I’m also involved with the Corey Tyler Foundation (CRF) who have been served notice to quit their facility in Laydens, the former WRVS kitchen, by the owners: ABLE, who are a community interest company apparently controlled by the United Reform Church. I say apparently because they have been very difficult to contact. CRF must quit by 30th December – which does little to help all those who were looking forward to food, and entertainment, over the holiday period.

People must learn to communicate.