DIARY OF AN OCTOGENARIAN
- John Copeland -
Friday 26th June - Thursday 2nd July, 2015
A section of the RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums in Lincoln on Saturday on the occasion of Armed Forces Day
"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the National Debt."
Herbert Hoover, the Debt now standing at £1.5 trillion and rising fast in the UK.
FRIDAY 26 JUNE
Yesterday, when at last we had some warm sunshine, Mrs. Copeland and I sat outside drinking wine with the neighbours from 4 p.m. to nearly 10 o'clock. It made me realise what a splendid community we live in, everybody getting on well with one another.
After nearly three months we are still waiting in the village for the response from the Planning Inspectorate relating to the two massive solar farm planning applications that have gone to appeal, it being said that there will not be a decision until the end of July, yet the consultation period finished in May. Why does it take so long for a decision, or is it just a case of everything taking a long time in this rundown country? The enormous number of panels that surround part of the old village would look ghastly, totally spoiling what is meant to be a conservation area, not that that means anything these days.
Still not having received a refund on an order that I refused on delivery on the 27th May, I telephoned Boots on-line this morning, having to listen to the most horrible music before the call was eventually answered after 5 minutes. I spoke to a female, who said she would have to put me on hold while she contacted the "Operations Department". I was "held" for 6 minutes, again listening to more ghastly rapper music, but there was no response, so I gave up and telephoned again some ten minutes later.
This time I spoke to a man who was extremely helpful, and cheerful, quickly sorting out the problem, apologising for the long delay, and assuring me the refund would be made within the next few days. On three earlier telephone calls I spoke to females, all of whom merely fobbed me off, whereas soon after making this latest call I received an e-mail saying: "Your refund has been processed. Please allow 14 days for this to appear on your account." The important thing in this ailing land is never to give up. In this country, patience is not only a virtue but essential.
Drummer with the RAF Waddinton Pipes & Drums
It made me laugh to see on the BBC news website that "David Cameron accepts it may not be possible to change EU's treaties before UK's in/out referendum, BBC understands." Oh, dear - our poor David, returning home Neville Chamberlain-style, having got nowhere at all, presumably because of Mrs. Merkel putting in the boot, or rather the high heels. Sadly, the UK no longer has any credence and commands no respect in the European Union, being regarded as an insignificant member, not worth bothering about. In many ways the members will probably be truly thankful if we leave the Union, though withdrawal will be an economic disaster for this country.
In today's "i" I saw that "The Goodyear tyre company is planning to close its only UK factory, and unions fear that all 330 workers at the Wolverhampton site will lose their jobs". More and more UK firms are moving abroad, and if we leave the European Union the banks and insurance companies will no doubt also go, the few remaining firms, especially the car manufacturers, being foreign owned. It makes me so glad that I am old, not likely to see the final collapse of the country, Greece-style . Goodness know what state the nation will be in when my granddaughter is in her 50s.
There was also the news that a five-year railway plan costing £38bn had been cancelled, yet another example of everything being cut back as the country goes more and more into debt while productivity and investment fall substantially. There is no doubt that something is soon going to snap in this country, for no nation can continue in this indebted and demoralised state for long.
Across the Atlantic the US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States in a 5-4 decision. However politically incorrect it is to say so, maybe resulting in an accusation of sexism, I nevertheless find these same-sex marriages quite hateful, both in terms of Biblical and biological considerations. As I have remarked on numerous occasions, I do not in any way suffer from homophobia, even though I loathe the use of the term "gay" and will never use it. Instead, I just wish that the alliances are called a partnership, giving the couple all the rights of a proper marriage, but not the nonsense of calling it a marriage that is strictly between man and woman.
I was recently speaking to a Church of England vicar who told me that in his bailiwick the Bishop had forbidden the clergy to marry a same-sex couple. So at least there is a certain decency and decorum in some quarters, as well as in the Roman Catholic Church that still abides by Biblical teaching. If ever I "get religion", I will probably turn to the Catholic Church, getting away from the pick 'n' mix morality of the dear old C. of E..
Significantly, an American correspondent was outraged by the Supreme Court's decision, saying in an e-mail: "Well, it's not a surprise, but our Supreme Court has come out today and decided that homosexuals have a right to marry. I get so frustrated that I could scream! The majority of Americans view homosexuality as an abomination, and in every state where the matter has been put to the vote, have voted against legalizing it. Now our highest court has shoved it down our throats. I cannot believe that this is what our Founding Fathers would have approved of. Has no one read Gibbons? ["Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"] Do they not see what this portends?"
He added: "While I did grow up in several countries, I am an American, and see this latest decline in morals as a sign of worse things to come. I was raised Catholic, and was taught that this 'lifestyle' is "a sin against God and nature". Unfashionable as these teachings are, I still believe them." How I agree with him, as I imagine most Englishmen of my generation also concur.
Grass cutting during the morning. Although completely overcast, the weather was nevertheless quite warm at 20 C, and for once there was no rain. As I have mentioned on previous occasions, I have to do the mowing in three separate stages because of the painful problems with the arthritis in my knees. Within the next few weeks I am hoping to employ a gardener as I find the mowing very hurtful, ending up in extreme pain for the rest of the day.
During the evening I read some more of the book dealing with the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-Boat - "Dead Wake" - a fascinating book in which we are told that the Captain and the Cunard owners of the ship believed that the ship could outrun any submarine, and that therefore there was no danger. Such hubris!
SATURDAY 27 JUNE
One of my neighbours, a few years older than I am, has been receiving treatment at a Chiropractic Clinic for muscular and sciatica pains, saying that the 15-minute sessions at £34 a time (£60 for the first visit 45-60 minutes) have helping him enormously. I contacted the Clinic by e-mail, being told that they would be able to help by strengthening the other muscles. At the moment I am rather undecided about applying, , taking the view that my at-home 10-minute physiotherapy exercises every other day may be just as effective. My old granny had a saying that twopennyworth of faith was often involved in a lot of treatments, especially "alternative medicine", but I cannot remember the exact term she used. I think it was something like "twopennyworth of faith and a cup of cold tea".
I read about the terrible massacre in which 38 people were killed in an attack on a Tunisian beach resort, at least five Britons having been confirmed dead by the Foreign Office, which warned the death toll would rise. Islamic State extremists have claimed responsibility for the attack.
What on earth is the point of these killings, and how can they be stopped, warnings apparently having been given that the UK is next on the murderous list? A terrible business, which will totally destroy the Tunisian tourist trade. Perhaps that is the aim of these madmen who have lost reason with their religion.
I find it incredible that the Greek Prime Minister, Alex Tsipras, has arranged for his people to have a referendum on the 5th July, asking whether the demands being made by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to repay the debt should be accepted. To use a corny term, this is rather like asking turkeys if they are willing to go into the oven on Christmas Day. What a muddle, yet I still believe that the powers that be will not allow Greece to leave the euro.
I went in to town this morning to purchase an "i", seeing various events celebrating Armed Services Day, including a performance in the High Street by the splendid RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums. The sound of the bagpipes is a most surreal experience, and I can imagine how dramatic the pipes must have been in battle. A most impressive performance. Afterwards I saw a presentation of the colours in another part of the city.
Battling days over - Armed Services Day in Lincoln on Saturday.
Tomorrow we are having in our little enclave a celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. At noon we are planning to have a luncheon for the neighbours, then at 3 p.m. we will be inviting various villagers to join us for a little something. We will be setting up the luncheon in a large barn in the community, and in case it is raining we put up a gazebo this afternoon that I have, that this will provide some shelter during the proceedings. Afterwards, the helpers enjoyed a drink in the rare sunshine.
In the post, which come at about 1 p.m. instead of 8.30 a.m. now that the postal service has been privatised, soon no doubt to be sold off to DeuscheMail with a photograph of Angela Merkel on the stamps, I received a Father's Day card from daughter Kate, which she had posted first class on the 19th June. The card took 8 days to be delivered. I will therefore be complaining to Royal Mail, but will no doubt be told that an 8-day delivery for first class mail is not unreasonable, so what am I moaning about? We all knew that privatisation would mean a far inferior service, but probably not as bad as this.
The evening was spent in the conservatory reading some more of "Dead Wake", which I am thoroughly enjoying. Before going to bed I saw on the BBC news website that "Eurozone finance ministers reject Greek request to extend bailout programme beyond 30 June." Nevertheless, I still believe that there will be a last-minute compromise, presumably on the basis that the prospect of Greece leaving the euro is not something that will be allowed, but we will see.
In my old age, facing a relentless physical decline, I am finding it more and more difficult to type this diary, every sentence having several words misspelt. Fortunately, I keep the spellchecker on, and this highlights all the wrong words , but it is nevertheless so depressing. I suppose the answer is that I am just too old to be writing this diary, and I am beginning to realise that there is not the slightest chance that I will reach the 1,000th edition (now 906). Still, as Mrs. Copeland says, I have done well to get this far. There is an old saying: "Surrender gracefully the things that belong to youth." I should have surrended long ago.
SUNDAY 28 JUNE
Unfortunately, the relentless rain has ruined my runner beans, most of the plants having shrivelled leaves, so it begins to look as if we will not have any for lunch this year. It is the last time that I grow any of the beans, for this is not a suitable climate to grow them in, more suited to cultivating rice. Perhaps I could grow rice next year, though I understand that the plants additionally need some warmth, which they certainly won't receive here.
The setting for the Magna Carta luncheon celebration with the neighbours today. A splendid event, indicating what a splendid community I live in. Alas, I had a great fall, requiring hospital treatment.
Our Magna Carta celebration in our community that started at 12.30 p.m. involving all the neighbours and afterwards some invited guests in a large building we call "The Barn", was a great success. Mercifully, the rain stopped in the morning, and there was even sunshine during the latter part of the afternoon. The event involved a splendid luncheon, each neighbour bringing food and a bottle of wine, and afterwards we continued drinking.
Unfortunately, soon after we had finished the luncheon, I went out of the Barn to speak to guests that had arrived, but slipped on some cobbles. Trying to prevent my fall, I grabbed hold of a chair, but that collapsed, dragging me down with it so that I ended up on the ground, hitting my head. As the bleeding could not be stopped - and I gather that head wounds often involve a lot of blood shedding, it was decided to call an ambulance, which arrived within a few minutes. I hasten to add that this was not an alcohol related accident as I had only had a couple of glasses during the meal
I was taken to the County Hospital, quickly being seen by a nurse who cleaned the wound, followed by a male doctor who glued the cut, which was apparently half an inch across and quite deep. Neighbours then came to the hospital to take me and Mrs. C, home, and I rejoined the party. If you fall off your horse, you have to get back on or you will never ride again.
On the way to the hospital the ambulance men took my sugar level, pricking my finger, and this was said to be perfectly normal. At the hospital I had my blood pressure taken, which was 128/82, which is about my usual level, and considered to be normal for my great age, and an ECG found everything was working smoothly. So in effect I had a full-scale examination, making me realise what a splendid organisation we have with the National Health Service - the finest free service in the world.
Yet this is the Service that the Cameroons hate so much, almost as much as the BBC, The European Union and single mothers. I still recall the remark of the physiotherapist I saw: "The NHS was a Socialist invention and is becoming a capitalist organisation under the Tories." In other words, the Cameroons are trying to weaken the Service by hiving off profitable and remunerative parts to chums in the City, who will make a right mess of things, as with all privatised organisations.
MONDAY 29 JUNE
Although my head wound was not painful when I woke up this morning, there was nasty bruising by my spine where I had fallen, causing me a lot of anguish. My left arm is also badly bruised. The neighbours asked me how I was this morning, and I appreciated the several telephone calls from others who had attended the splendid event. As one caller suggested, "You were well and truly anaesthetised by drinking, which probably prevented any serious damage." As it was, as mentioned earlier, I had not had all that much to drink at the time of the accident, but I suppose some of the alcohol helped. Wine, especially white wine, has many benefits.
Today sees the start of the tennis at Wimbledon, the matches being relayed on the idiot's lantern. There is probably no sport that so clearly indicates the social changes in this country, nowadays seeing more loutish and noisy behaviour than football. Young women and yummy mummies scream and shout after every point that is won, sounding like the parrot house of the London Zoo, while their yobbo partners whistle and catcall, all of them no doubt having arrived in a fleet of Chelsea tractors.
More often than not the players ague with the umpire, illustrating the bad sportsmanship of the game, far worse than football, and on winning a game they horribly raise their clenched fists in a kind of Nazi salute. Nobody of any intelligence or sensitivity could watch the matches on television unless the sound is muted. Thanks heavens Mrs. Copeland does not want to watch the raucous proceedings, meaning that the lantern will not be going on, not that it ever does. And as I mentioned last week, I have another three years of a free television licence, so that is a Good Thing, something to be thankful for as it saves me £435 over the period.
Yesterday's luncheon with the neighbours.
Greatly to the disappointment of the neighbours and myself, work resumed today on "Mon Strosity", that ugly and soulless house, looking like one of the containers you see on the back of a lorry, that is now being built in our community. We had been hoping that something had gone seriously wrong with the construction, but our hopes have been dashed. One thing is certain: the aggressive owners who have been so unpleasant to us will never be accepted in the community. We had tried to have a conciliation, trying to put the bitterness aside, but this was nastily and arrogantly refused.
Having already had an unpleasant dispute about the ownership of a small plot of land, during which I received churlish and childish e-mails - communications that I have kept as they will no doubt be useful in the future, we are fearful that the continuing hostility and aggression towards us will bring further problems when the building is completed, probably involving other land ownership disputes, and demands to have trees that I own on a neighbouring plot cut down to provide some light for the ghastly edifice. It is all so upsetting and unnecessary, especially as the peace overtures were rejected, and I find it sad that such aggressive people, obviously not wanting to "fit in", will be living in a neighbourhood that has always enjoyed good relationships.
I am told that I "go on" too much about this hateful development, yet it is going to completely spoil the approach to our historic area made up of a former coach house and stables built in stone in 1801, now converted to residential dwellings. The development also shows the lack of any form of democracy in planning in this country. All the nearby houseowners opposed the insensitive development; it was opposed by the Parish Council; and unanimously rejected by the Planning Committee of the District Council after a site visit, but one man - an inspector who apparently gave no consideration to local rules and regulations or to any historical issues, allowed the house on appeal.
I rode in to town to purchase a book I wanted from Waterstone's - "The Kamikaze Hunters". It is amazing the number of books that continue to be published on the Second World War. One I would like to buy is "Dogfight", a comparative account of the performance of the Spitfire and Messerschmidt 209, but I will have to wait before purchasing that book at £25, having spent far too much so far this year on book. I also bought an "i". It is still being said that Greece will have to leave the euro, but I continue to believe that this will happen. If there is an exit, Spain and Portugal will soon follow, and the whole Union could collapse in a domino effect. Maybe our Prime Minister will not need a referendum, after all.
Because I was in so much pain from the bruising on my lower back, near my coccyx, I had a rest in bed after lunch, finding that this eased the pain somewhat. I also had bruising in my left arm - the arm in which I had recently ruptured my supraspinatus. If these injuries continue - and it seems that I have started falling over as all old people do, I am beginning to wonder what condition I will be in by the end of the year. The pain is at its worst when I ride the scooter, so I may have to give the machine a rest for a few days.
The evening was spent finishing reading "Dead Wake", a superb book. I was not surprised to read that the Admiralty, involving Churchill in his then office of First Lord, tried to put the sinking blame on the Captain for not taking evading action when there were U-Boats in the area.
This was presumably another instance of Churchill backing the wrong horse, as he did in supporting the Duke of Windsor, and when he made such a mess of the Dardanelles campaign that he instituted, ending up playing only a waking-on part towards the end of the Second World War. On the other hand, he saved Britain from the appeasement of the Establishment, especially from the likes of Lord Halifax, and Rothermere, the proprietor of "The Daily Mail" that was and still is wrong about everything. It could be argued that the success of the Battle of Britain probably meant that Hitler could never win the war, subsequently having to fight on two fronts.
I have now made a start on a novel by Will Cohu - "Nothing But Grass", published this year by Chatto and Windus at £16.99. The young author lives in Lincolnshire, and the story relates to the county, real place names being mentioned.
The post arrived at 3.25 p.m. today, getting later and later every week under the horrors of privatisation. In a way I suppose it does not matter, for apart from the delivery of books from Amazon, the post consists mainly of mail-order catalogues and charity appeals, most of which go straight into the recycling bin, never even being opened. My guess is that the next step will be to cancel deliveries on a Saturday, and then to restrict deliveries to five miles from a town or city.
What has brought about the changes is that shortly before privatisation the sorting office in Lincoln was closed down and mail sent to be sorted at Doncaster. Now the Doncaster sorting office has also been closed, mail being sent right up to Sheffield. It means that under normal circumstances it usually takes 2 days for a first-class letter to be delivered locally, and up to 3-4 days outside the county. When sending birthday cards to relatives in Essex we allow at least 3 days for delivery. It really is a disgraceful service, but there is nothing that can be done about it.
TUESDAY 30 JUNE
I am still in pain from my great fall on Sunday, most of the pain being in my left arm - the arm in which I ruptured the supraspinatus back in February, and in my lower back. My injuries could have been far worse, breaking a limb in falling so heavily, so at least that is something to be thankful for.
I was not surprised to read in today's "Daily Telegraph" that there was a news item headed: "Clean up your act, players told, as Wimbledon gets serious about swearing...expletives marred yesterday's play in SW9 as players including Serena Williams and Liam Broady, Britain's newest young star, were warned about their language....Broady, who won a match in a grand slam tournament for the first time, was given an official warning after repeatedly swearing when he dropped points against Marinko Matosevic."
These reports surely endorse the points that I made yesterday about Wimbledon tennis having become a loutish and unsporting tournament. The problem is that there is too much money involved, just as there is in football, making the players aggressive. It would be far better if the top prize was a £50 book token and the Cup, the runner up receiving a £25 voucher. That would stop much of the bad-mannered mayhem that makes football seem almost genteel.
I suppose it can be argued that the spectators and young players are, in many instances, "Thatcher's children", knowing no manners and no consideration for other people, the emphasis being on Me, Me. It is so sad that the tournament has descended to this lowly level, for in bygone days Wimbledon was a most gracious and genteel affair with gentle handclapping, players never arguing with the umpire
I went in to town this morning, riding on the scooter on a wonderfully warm day, but the pain in my lower spine again made the ride very uncomfortable, so much so that I will have to give up the scooter until the pain eases off. During the visit I went to Waterstone's again and bought "Dogfight - The Supermarine Spitfire and the Messerschmitt BF 109" at £25.m Alas, I seem to be a compulsive bookbuyer, unable to resist books on the Second World War. There seems to have been a recent change of staff at Waterstones, the new recruits not being nearly so pleasant.
Leader of the RAF Waddinton Pipes and Drums. How important it is to look like a leader with gravitas and dignity. Sadly, Miliband never looked like a leader, probably explaining his electoral failure.
The temperature on a day that saw a clear-blue sky rose to 28 C , with just a gentle wind - ideal weather. When on those rare occasions the climate is sunny and warm, no other country in the world can beat the climate. Perhaps because it is so rare that we appreciate a fine spell so much. One of the joys of our stone-built house with its 3 feet thick walls, built in 1801, is that it is wonderfully cool even during the hottest of summer days, whereas modern houses are like an oven.
The first floor structure of "Mon Strosity" has now gone up, and to my great joy we will not see the unbelievably ugly edifice from our house, large trees and bushes that I own on an adjacent plot of land completely hiding the house. We will see the horrible house when we pass along our shared drive, but we can all look the other way.
I read that the "UK economy grew by 0.4% in first quarter of 2015, revised up from previous estimate of 0.3%, official figures show." Even so, an annual growth of 1.6% is not exactly commendable. It is going to be interesting to see what the second quarter comes out as, presumably about 0.3% or 0.2%, all recent indicators showing that the economic growth has stalled as result of poor productivity and inadequate investment, any growth being debt-fuelled consumer expenditure and a rapidly rising house market at the expense of exports.
As I was still in so much pain, I decided not to do any maintenance work or gardening during the day. Instead, I sat in the conservatory during the afternoon, falling fast asleep. Our conservatory faces west, as all conservatories have to (one facing south is useless, far too hot) and in the heat of the day there is shade from one of the tall trees, keeping the room cool. It was one of the best investments that we ever made.
In the evening, Mrs. Copeland and I were invited to have drinks at the Lincoln residence of daughter Kate and her husband, which is a stone's throw from the Cathedral, hearing the quarter hour chiming of the clock. What amazes me so much is that there is far more birdlife, including masses of swallows and house-martins, whereas in our village we hardly see or hear any of these delightful birds. On the other hand, we now have a resident thrush who sings his heart out in the evening, - that "Darkling Thrush in Thomas Hardy's poem, and during the nights we can hear the loud hooting of the owls in the avenue of oaks.
All the newspapers are saying that in the very likely event of Greece defaulting on its repayments to the IMF tomorrow, the profligate country will have to leave the euro, possibly causing ramifications all the way down the line. However, as I have indicated earlier, I still do not believe that this exit will happen, a last minute compromise coming up within the next few days.
The FTSE fell a further 99 points today, but the index will shoot up tomorrow if there is a settlement in Greece, all part of the merry-go-round of investing.
WEDNESDAY 1 JULY
Each month we have a Newsletter from our local church. In the latest issue a woman is excitingly writing about being ordained as a Deacon: "Five years ago now I was preparing to retire....It transpired, however, that God had other plans for me". Reading this made me wish that I could have such a faith, for it must offer wonderful succour and guidance in life. As it is, as I get older I find myself becoming more and more doubtful about religion, tending to the belief that it is so much mysticism and magic, taking the view that religion down the centuries has caused so much misery and murder. Even today, we see the consequences in Tunisia when religion loses touch with reason.
Because of the continuing pain with my back bruising, which shows no relief at present, I decided to stay at home all day rather than have the discomfort of using the scooter. I therefore spent much of the day sitting in the garden, though I did have a spell on the computer making back-up copies of various items. The 7-year-old laptop has, like its owner, seen better days, an I am fearful it will crash and end up like the old grandfather clock in the nursery rhyme.
Today's temperature reached 32 C, though the forecast is for lower temperatures for the rest of the week.,
The last flight of the Vulcan Bomber, which took place at RAF Waddington over the weekend. Photograph by granddaughter Chloe.
AVG, the virus protector that I have, today reported four threats, all of which were "secured". I also had an e-mail scam purported to be from a fellow I know, saying: "How are you doing? Please i need a favor from you please let me know if you can be of help? I am in Ukraine at the moment, I am here for a conference and i almost lost everything and personal effects stolen from me. I have been trying to sort things out with the necessary authorities,i don't have a phone where i can be reached cause it was stolen as well. I was wondering if you could help me with a quick loan and I promise to refund as soon as i get back home safely. Please write me so I can send you the info you need to complete the transfer to me, so as to save me from the embarrassment of not being able to cover the bills. Please get back to me soon, so I can advise on how to send it."
I gather it is a fairly well-known ruse, not that I can believe anybody falling for it.
In today's "i" I read that "one million more children in poverty by 2020, taking the total to 4.7 million. With no prospect of another Labour government this side of 2050, we will be reverting to a Victorian pyramid-style pattern of society, with a few wealthy spivs at the top, and a great multitide of the lumpenproletariat at the bottom, the middle classes having been squeezed out of the middle by the ever deepening recession. Hitting the poor and the sick is all part of the mantra of the Nasty Party, which now has a free hand in Parliament, only challenged by the SNP.
It made me laugh to read elsewhere that "The outlook for the UK's financial stability has worsened in the light of events in Greece, Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned." Any excuse to explain our own weakness. I confidently predict that this country will be in a similar position to Greece within the next five years, having to be bailed out by the IMF.
Today's "Daily Star" had a front-page headline: "Ashley Cole beaten up by playboy bunny." What on earth does that mean, and who can be the slightest interest in that issue, but then such is the gutter press, more concerned with so-called celebrities than any of the serious issues of the day. Perhaps the point could be made that it is a nonsense to allow readers that comic to have a vote in the Referendum, for surely they are not interested in the subject, knowing nothing about the issues.
The real problem with the UK, one that is insurmountable, is that we cannot cope financially or socially with the ever rising population as the immigrants pour in unchecked by that worthless Mrs. May, the worst Home Secretary that this country has ever had - a woman totally out of her depth. Financial problems will be associated with social disturbances, possibly racial in context, as the country goes into a deep decline.
Mrs C. and I had hoped to see the film "Mr. Holmes", believing that it would be held over for a further week at the Lincoln Odeon, but it was not. Instead, the films being shown included "Ted2", "Terminator Genisys" and "Tinker Bell and the legend of Neverbeast", presumably offerings for teenagers and for those who are culturally-challenged. On the other hand, I suppose we do not go to the cinema in the high and hot days of summer, meaning that the cinemas hold over the more intelligent films for the Autumn, which seems sensible.
Neighbours were having a visit from a couple who lived in our village many years ago, now living in Ilkley in Yorkshire. Mrs. C. and I joined them and their hosts, together with another neighbour, for a supper at the "Tower Hotel" in Lincoln at 7.30 p.m. The visitors were telling us that there are now 50 food outlets in the town of 18,000 people, which seems an incredible number, but then nearly every week sees the opening of yet another restaurant in Lincoln.
With the lessening of family life in this country, it seems that working wives no longer cook at home, going out for meals instead. The restaurant this evening was almost full, including a large party of females, but they were reasonably quiet. It is usually the women who make so much noise in restaurants. Amazingly, nobody was using a mobile or one of those dreadful iPads.
THURSDAY 2 JULY
There was a news item on the BBC News website that the "UK reaches hottest July day on record as 36.7C recorded at Heathrow, west London." Here in Lincolnshire it was just about 30 C, while today it is somewhat cooler at 24 C - a pleasant temperature.
I am still in a lot of pain with my great fall, making me feel very miserable, especially as it is so painful to move around. Apart from a brief visit to town - and it hurts immensely to ride on the scooter, it was a day spent at home, sitting in the garden for much of the time.
An unusual mural in Lincoln Cathedral painted in 1956-8 by Duncan Grant in the Russell Chantry, the Chapel of John Russell, Bishop of Lincoln 1480-1494.
Granddaughter Chloe's cat has had four kittens, which should make for some interesting photographs.
According to a report in today's "i", "the manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace in more than two years last month, impacted by subdued demand from Europe." No country can be wealthy without a sound manufacturing base, as China and Germany prove. As I keep saying in this diary, something is soon going to snap, the UK economy being about as stable as a Hollywood marriage.
This evening I will be watching some more episodes of the "Game of Thrones" with an elderly neighbour. We are both enjoying the series.
Lincolnshire 2nd July, 2015
Diary of an Octogenarian
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