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
Categories
personal

Revelation 13

The Beast, with grateful thanks to Jehovah's Witnesses
Beast with seven heads

I was asked to look at 13 Revelaton, from the Bible. I took this seriously, although I am not a committed Christian.

Its not for me to make profound judgements upon statements made 2,000 years ago, but it is possible to make interpretations that may fit into our world.

In the Book of Daniel he writes about a statue; with a head of gold, chest of silver, trunk of bronze, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay. These are linked to ruling elites, ending with iron representing the world domination by Rome. Suffice to say that there are linkages that reflect the known ruling epochs during those years.

It’s always seemed strange to me that homo sapiens has been around for some time, let’s say at least 200,000 years, developing language about 50,000 years ago, yet ‘history’ knows little beyond the last 3-4,000 years. A fraction of time. Anyway, to move on.

There’s lots of talk about the Anti-Christ: the Devil. I suspect this is a marketing device to persuade possible aspirants to join the club. If you don’t say you are with us, then you are doomed!

One idea is that within our species we will find the Anti-Christ. We are not all equal. There are a lot of very unpleasant people out there. That idea can be extended, within Revelation 13 to say that it is capitalism that is at the centre of this foul stench.

Revelation 13 talks of the Beast coming from the sea. This is not some ocean but means the sea of people in the world. The Beast has seven heads, with horns of power, and so is multi-faceted. As it twists and turns it can represent anything found to be unpleasant. All this is to be found within the ten kingdoms of the world – the toes of the feet of the statue made by Daniel for Nebuchadnezzar. These are made of clay, and may well shatter over time (shades of UK leaving the EU).

At its simplest Rev 13 is decrying capitalism. We shall all have marks on our forehead or right hand to show that we can trade – try to buy anything now without bank credentials, or at least a valid credit card, even though it may not be genuine.

I’ve done as requested and looked at Revelations 13. My conclusion is that its a condemnation of capitalism (in the broadest sense, which includes communism). Speculators suggest there will be a second coming, I applaud that idea. I don’t see a man dressed in a thobe. Hopefully it is an emerging belief in the power of community, in which we can all share in the abundance the world can produce (with a little help). Capitalism breeds inequality, and that does not help most people.

Long live the revolution.

Categories
Podcasts

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.

Categories
Allotment

Allotment

I’ve now got an allotment. It wasn’t easy, but that’s a short story that can wait. I have a photo, taken on my phone, but for some reason my phone is not recognised by my cmputer – is this an anti-Chinese plot?

Anyway, I have five rods of land. The rental is a a few bob more than I’d pay to rent an acre of land but that’s what local Councils do! Five rods is enough land to feed an old man (I hope). It’s enough to keep me busy, that’s all I require.

It has about two-thirds covered in black sheeting – that’s killed off the weeds but encouraged mice, snails and insects of various kinds. I started on the bit not covered in black plastic – and dug up a few weeds. The soil was dry, but looked OK. I planted a few squash seedlings, all of which have taken, and one now has four healthy offspring. I pushed a lump of concrete under these three to keep the slugs and snails away. That may work.

Planted a small row of supermarket potatoes, but they haven’t appeared, so I presume they are F1 hybrids. Incidentally a state in the USA, OK it’s Michigan, says it is illegal to grow vegetables in your front yard (they don’t yet call them gardens, but then they call soil, which provides life for us all, ‘dirt’).

Hopefully in the Spring, if the virus will allow, the Suffolk Potato Fair will take place in February. The organisers of this annual Potato Fair at Stonham Barns are doubtfully keeping an eye on http://www.eapd.btck.co.uk/ It’s a great event, usually having 80 or more varieties, and you can buy one of each, if that’s what you want and can remember. It’s great fun to try out varieties.

A favourite are Sarpo, https://potatohouse.co.uk. You will not find these in a supermarket. They do not conform! Sarpo Axona (whites) and Sarpo Mira (reds) are blight resistant. Do you hear me Northern boyos where it’s always wet? They are blight resistant!

I lived in Catalonia for a number of years. My Catalan neghbour argued with me about planting spuds. Ferran said you should cut up each tuber to leave just one sprout. I disagreed. We did agree to test the dispute, and divided a four-acre field in two. He planted his half Catalan fashion, and I planted my spuds whole, having laid them out in trays, and allowed them to chit (sprout) before putting them in the ground. Chitting gives them a good start.

We had the wettest Spring for many years. Ferran’s plot was in the West of the field. It was there I first spotted the signs. The spuds showed early signs of blight.

https://www.horfieldanddistrictallotments.co.uk
early sign of blight on potatoes and tomatoes

It was a disaster. I left harvesting what I could of my crop until the next day. It was too late. I felt sorry for the Irish, who suffered terribly from Blight in 19th Century, starting around 1845 Phytophthora infestans attacked the potato, upon which poor Irish people relied. One million died and many more emigrated, most to unknown lands in North America.

That was one of the many periods of British history when the ruling elite need to reflect seriously upon their guilt.

Picking up what appeared to be a decent potato it was heartbreaking to push it in with your thumb to find the whole potato was black, a slimy mess.

During this time the English landowners increased the exports of meat and butter, peas, beans, rabbits, fish and honey from Ireland to England. It was shameful.

blighted stages

It’s hot now. I went to the allotment midday, and was so glad I did. The squash were all wilting. I threw buckets of water at their roots, and I’m now hoping all is well.

Pulled back a small part of the tarpaulin and sowed some mustard seed, which I hope will act as green manure by the Spring.

In hope.

Categories
Podcasts

Passwords

When I was a working peasant, dutifully toiling most days, paying my taxes, conforming to the diktaks of greedy controllers I had about 220 passwords. Sounds a lot, and there were reasons for my being registered at so many web sites. Ask Dominic Cummings what it’s like to be a spy, that’s a subject for another day.

I had a Master Password, a useful bit of software. That went to pieces when I forgot the Master Password, and the system I used had no way to recover a lost password, understandable but of no use to idiots, like me.

Interestingly PayPal and other systems recognise my computer and don’t require a password.

The worst, from my point of view, are Apple. Logging in to my elderly Apple the password is not recognised. That’s maddening enough but it gets worse. Changing login details seem to take several minutes for Apple to recognise. There’s always a time delay. Change your password, login again but Apple needs time or you will be rejected.

It’s interesting that the web sites can gather all sorts of information about us, and then reject our answers without appeal. Their databases have become very powerful, and assertive.