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 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!


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.

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.

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


[acymailing_form_shortcode id=”1″]
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






Golden Rod


Poached Egg Plant

Pot Marigold


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



cooperative Lockwood



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.


New Tomorrow

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.


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.

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

East Suffolk

Back in my day East Suffolk was much like this map, except it also contained Ipswich, with West Suffolk having Bury St Edmunds as its major town. In 1974 that all changed, and my little town became part of Suffolk Coastal, which was the better half of east Suffolk!

Recently Suffolk Coastal (1st April 2019) was merged with Waveney District Council, and together they are now East Suffolk District Council. Above them is Suffolk County Council, and below any number of town and parish councils.

Felixstowe, where I live, is at the southern edge of this new council. Its port is owned by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group, a company based in China. The port has always been privately owned. In 1951, Gordon Parker, an agricultural merchant, bought the Felixstowe Dock & Railway Company, which at the time was handling only grain and coal. In 1976, Felixstowe was bought by European Ferries.

June 1991, P&O sold Felixstowe to Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong for £90m. In June 1994, Hutchison Whampoa’s Hutchison International Port Holdings bought out Orient Overseas International’s 25% stake in Felixstowe for £50m.

It’s now the 48th largest container shipping port in the world, handling about 50% of all the UK’s traffic.

Increasingly it will be automated, meaning that many workers will lose their jobs. This will happen to many foreign-owned UK-based companies. There is an obvious lack of control of UK interests, as foreign owners will look after their own national concerns. Covid-19, and its attendant economic contraction will multiply the effects of such policies.

These changing times will have lasting effect upon the local area, yet this is not reflected in the East Suffolk Plans.

There has been bias in the housing allocation to the previous areas. Suffolk Coastal has exceeded its allocation, and its demand (by some 128%). In Felixstowe that’s because of the demands made by a large local land owner. Trinity College. Every decade this large developer comes to Felixstowe and builds a new estate. This is on land it owns, having pad about £13 an acre in he 1930’s. It exercises a stranglehold upon the local populace building cheap, classless dwellings, failing to provide any infrastructure support or listen to any pleas.

Admittedly the local Council tend to be complicit, eager to receive the extra Council Tax revenue, often without due regard to the continuing obligations it will then be obliged to provide.

Local government is complex, and that often helps confuse the public. ‘Aah,’ they shout, ‘that’s not our responsibility, that’s one of the other councils.’ Happens all the time.

District Councils, like East Suffolk, are obliged to publish five-year plans. These cost a fortune to produce, and are often ignored. There’s a constant battle within councils about interpretation.

That’s enough for one day. The allotment calls.