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Podcasts

Chickens

When I was a child my parents kept chickens. These birds wandered around the orchard until there came a time when they had to go. As a child I was never told anything about all this.

There were cows on the field next to our home. I fed the cattle apples and got friendly with one old gal. She’d come to the gate and allow me to climb up and sit on her back. At times she’d walk off and continue grazing.

One day a truck arrived and loaded all the cattle. Innocently I asked, ‘is she going to another field?’ The driver gave me a hard look, ‘she’s going to another field alright,’ he said as he drove off to the slaughterhouse.

I also rode a pair of Suffolk Punch horses in the next field. They pulled the brewery dray for Daniel’s brewery on the other side of the valley. Climbing onto the back of this huge beast  I’d be on one when it decided to go for a walk. It’s a long drop from the top of a Suffolk! Lovely animals they’d stop and allow me to hold on to a mane as I slid to the ground.

Suffolk Punch

My father could never kill anything, so he cheated. Old George lived down the hill, and would come, whenever requested,. to do the business.

He’d arrive at dusk, once the birds had settled to roost for the night. Quietly opening the chicken hut door one hand would slide in to be pulled back with a chicken in his hand. It was dead by the time he got it out of the door. Never a cluck.

This deadstock would be taken up to a shed, cleared for the event, where my father and me would be sat on stools to deal with the dead birds. Quickly, while still warm, we’d pluck the birds, usually in silence, pausing only to comment upon the size of the birds.

Once plucked I’d take the carcases into the kitchen where my mother waited, all prepared, to clean and eviscerate. If needed she’s light the gas and quickly burn off anything we’d missed.

This was a ritual we really enjoyed during Christmas week. At the end of the evning Mum would make a pot of tea and cut slices of apple cake. We had an orchard of 30 trees, so there was always fruit.

I was looking forward to presents and lots of food! I’d only feel a small pang of disappointment as I unwrapped a shirt, pairs of pants or other clothing. Everything was still short after the war. To get anything new was a delight.  There was always something that held my attention even though my mother (Santa’s helper) never really understood the mind of a little boy.

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After Virus Allotment personal Suffolk

Decaying Society

These are uncertain times.

Today Sunday 13 December 2020 is being described as the final date to obtain a deal as we leave the European Union on 1st January 2021.

There is a problem. We are governed by a Turkish/American Boris Johnson. This man is an opportunist, the product of a privileged education, whose social life and work record is little short of disastrous.

There are still many folk who like to admire our leaders. Increasingly that is not the case. Many members of the government are poorly regarded. Home Secretary Priti Patel should resign, and Dominic Raab has a very poor undertsanding of the his role as Foreign Secretary.

Enough. We are collapsing.

That’s a chance for small local companies to emerge. I’m a fan of www.fieldandflower.co.uk. Based in Somerset (miles away) they rear traditional British free-range products. Don’t be put off by quality. I bought a small pack, cost £36. I’ve calculated I can make at least 15 meals, with these products giving protein and the vegetables from my allotment. I see that as a way forward.

I’m now making my own beer, in 40 pint lots. These cost about 40 pence a pint – better than the pubs which can charge up to £5.

This is my way forward, relying on good produce and my own skills at cooking and preserving. Once I get the place cleaned up (ha!) I’ll be able to invite folks for a meal and entertainment.

The last decades have meant we have come to rely upon imports, supermarkets and speed. Now we should take our time. Put some music on, gather round in the kitchen and make meals.

Make sure the kids lick the bowls clean!

Categories
Podcasts

For Ever Again

For Ever Again A novel of exceptional… you may decide.

I’m adding a few chapters to see if there’s any response. This is the first: Harry is a lonely writer who meets a fellow author, to talk about the books they are writing.

It could lead to more.

Categories
Allotment Lockwood Podcasts

Urban Farming


 

You don’t need thousands of acres to become a farmer. A windowsill is enough to produce food (just a little) You’ll need more but keep it local, eat what’s best at the season of the year. Don’t use chemicals, there’s lot of better ways.

Categories
personal Podcasts

Meditation is good

Meditation seems to be essential in this hectic, virus-strewn, world. During my Buddhist practices I found it was the essential element that I retained. Sue Thomas wrote to me at that time with her approach to meditation – which I repeat here.

 

first recorded in 2014

 

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Categories
Allotment Podcasts

Good Insects

ladybird eats aphidsHoverfly

Encourage these beautiful creatures to your allotment, and you will also attract birds.

You may find ladybirds indoors in the winter, as they want a dry place to hibernate. They cause no harm, and make easy pets!

 

windscreenThis just shows how much damage we have inflicted on insects – avoid sprays (and don’t drive!).

Mulch, mix the species, choose plants that will attract good insects: here’s links to some I mention;

Caifornian Poppy

Candytuft

Coriander

Chamomile

Fennel

Yarrow

Golden Rod

Physalis

Poached Egg Plant

Pot Marigold

Categories
Podcasts

Miro & Civil War by Jan Candy

 

 

Jan Candy talks about Miro and his artistic reaction to the Spanish Civil War.

Man about to be executed

Jan talks of a Miro exhibition in London – you are too late. The book of the exhibition is still available, probably.

It serves to remind us of the horror of war but just how close that awful reality is to us today.

 

This talk was first broadcast on Felixstowe Radio

 

 

Categories
cooperative Lockwood

Cooperative

Cooperation

Most of the world assumes it works in a democracy. The word has been much used, and abused, over the years. It was never intended to be for ‘all the people’, even the Greeks only allowed Citizens, about 10% of the people, the right to vote.

Today we are being subsumed by a new power. No longer are nation states in charge of their own destinies (if they ever were). Large business corporations dominate, and control how we will all live – and work. That last word needs explanation. With capitalism the worker is engaged to make a profit for the owner. There is no other relevant reason. The owner has obligations, to suppliers, workers and pays taxes to governments. The taxes are vital to keep the political power elite able to exercise control.

This essay could easily become a critique of capitalism, but that’s to be avoided. The assumption must be that this system no longer serves the population properly. One man started a company in 2004, he now is worth billions, perhaps even trillions, and shows no sign modifying his behaviour.

There are other ways, and I’ll start with my favourite – which is a cooperative (often the network insists on using co-operative) organisation started in 1956 in the Basque region of Spain. One of the attributes of this lovely region is that historically there were three distinct groups of people: Varduli, Caristii and Autrigones.

These groups may have some DNA linkages with the Celts of Scotland and Ireland, but that’s an aside that lacks substantive proof. They are likely to be the oldest Europeans

‘On 14th April 1956, whilst many people of Mondragón were discreetly and rather warily celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Second Republic, Father José María Arizmendiarrieta was blessing the foundation stone of Ulgor, a company with a name which drew together the identity of the founders: Luis Usatorre, Jesús Larrañaga, Alfonso Gorroñogoitia, José María Ormaechea and Javier Ortubay.

They had to wait almost three years until May 1959, as Jesús Larrañaga recalls in the introduction, for the first bylaws of Talleres Ulgor to be approved.

Father Arizmendiarrieta and Ormaechea went on foot from the old building of the Escuela Profesional, today Mondragon Eskola Politeknikoa, to the piece of land known as Laxarte, where they had already bought a plot for 27 euro cents (45 pesetas) per square metre. Ormaechea was in charge of methodically measuring out the plot and a fortnight later building work started on the MONDRAGON Experience’s first production plant: a 750m2 two-storey concrete structure.’

Have a look at the Mondragon story – and get excited. Then we will continue.

https://www.mondragon-corporation.com

Categories
Podcasts

New Tomorrow

https://cranialintelligence.com/2010/04/27/the-horizon-and-the-central-nervous-system/

There is need for change. The corvid-19 has opened our eyes. Although I live close to the River Orwell, a name chosen by George Orwell for 1984 and other novels. Orwell laid out our history in that book, 1984. We, the heaving mass of humanity, are easily manipulated, and easily satisfied. Give us a daily dose and plenty of moving images and we are happy. At least we believe we are happy, whilst we fail to realise that we are being controlled and manipulated.

Imagine the scene: there’s Al Kemal, aka Boris Johnson, now relaxing at Chequers, the country retreat of the British Prime Minister.

Chequers, PM's country retreat.

Nice little drum, but it needs a kiddies playground if Boris is to continue breedng at his current rate.

Enough of today. We must look forward through the gloom to new horizons. Our political system needs to change. All seemed OK when we had the mother of all Parliaments and democracy. Now, it is clear, both need an overhaul.

Political Parties

These are great barriers to democracy. They destroy cooperation. Just watch Kemal at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons. He has a majority. He can’t lose. He rarely answers questions, instead he mocks and demands answers from the questioner. All wrong.

Once upon a time I was selected by my local Party to stand as a Parliamentary Candidate. Within days a man turned up who worked at the Party’s HQ. He had also been selected to stand as a candidate but he had been chosen by the Party hierarchy. in London. My case collapsed.

Parties create divisions, and they allow control by a small number of people. Incidentally is Dominic Cummings a paid-up member of the Conservative Party? They make governing easier, because the power elite decides what should be done and the sheep are obliged to follow. If they don’t comply they face banishment!

It may seem more difficult but the new system must banish parties. There will be cliques, but they will be short-term alliances for specific causes. There must not be an organised structure.

Government

At present a party wins a majority, and then may select a government and a leader. That encourages corruption, and there’s too much of that today. Eletions are settled geographically – should that be the case? If you live in an area where an MP has always been elected, who is not representing your views, then you have a problem. You are disenfranchised.

In our democracy it is alleged that we all rule. At least, we do so by proxy. An election is held, all members of the country (and that needs to be properly defined) vote to elect the MP for their constituency. There the problems start. The candidate is selected by the party. The local party believes it has some say in the matter. Not really true. Candidates are selected nationally, then they can be selected by local parties. My MP had never been t my county before she was selected, and then elected.

Constituencies are geographically allocated, that causes problems.

Categories
Lockwood Podcasts

Trevor Lockwood

Trevor Lockwood portrait by Lois Cordelia
Trevor Lockwood

When I started Felixstowe Radio in 2005 we rigged up a studio in my front room, and broadcast online. Morag Clark (now Liffen) interviewed me once, probably to fill up air time. This is the recording we made at the time.

Coach Tip by Morag Clarke