Archive for January, 2012

God moves in mysterious ways

January 28, 2012
Lina, Andrew, vice president and daughter

Lina, Andrew, vice president and daughter

Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer. — Carl Jung

Anything that occurs once can never occur again. But, should it happen twice, it will surely happen a third time. — Paulo Coelho

Well today has been an incredible day spent in the Holy Shia Shrine of Najaf. We had with us the serious Sunni leaders as we attempted to deal with the present sectarian crisis. More on this later.

You will be aware of our present crisis with the need for green zone badges. We need to get into the Green Zone not least for the US Embassy services. Everything we have tried has failed. Yesterday we did a deal with an Ambassador’s Assistant to get us in and out tomorrow. It will take several hours of his time on his day off that will cost us but it is worth it.

Last night I had an email from somebody doing their PhD on Sunni/Shia Reconciliation in Iraq at University in Canada. She desperately wanted to see me as she had read my work and been told about me by her lecturers. I sent her my phone number and she called. She said that she and her father really wanted to see me tomorrow. She said she lived in the Green Zone. I asked her who her father was? It turns out it is the good vice president who has promised to get all our badges for us. What a strange way G-d answers prayer but He always does!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Canon Andrew White

Since the Americans left leaving as claimed by Barack Obama Iraq as a stable country (must have been his idea of a sick joke), over 200 killed. Yesterday another suicide car bomb.

Passes to to the Green Zone, issued by the Americans, no matter how high the security clearance, became overnight worthless. Hence the problems experienced by Canon Andrew White and others moving freely to and from the Green Zone.

What Canon Andrew White has described is a lovely example of synchronicity!

A theme running throughout the work of Paulo Coelho, is that of coincidence, or what I would call synchronicity.

Omens are another theme, understanding how to understand and follow them, how to achieve your destiny.

Synchronicity is that of meaningful coincidences, coincidences that are so improbable that they cannot be explained by chance alone.

The concept of synchronicity was developed by Carl Jung. Deepak Chopra takes it a stage further and calls synchronicity communication across the transition zone (see How to Know God). In the language of Paulo Coelho, it would be communication with the Soul of the World. Canon Andrew White would see it as a sign from G-d!

I was introduced to Paulo Coelho due to a chance meeting with a lovely Lithuanian girl. We were both sitting outside a pub in Guildford, relaxing by the river. I asked her what she was reading. The Zahir she said, which she recommended I try. A couple of weeks later I was in Brighton. I had a similar conversation, only now the roles were reversed. History repeating itself, a sense of déja vu? [see Synchronicity and Paulo Coelho]

Canon Andrew White is author of Faith Under Fire, President of FRRME, the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

He has recently been awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

A three-day International Peace Conference on Iraq, Light in Darkness, is to be held in Brighton, Thursday 6 September to Saturday 8 September at the City Coast Church. It is hoped to bring young people from Iraq but this will depend upon how generous are donors. Speaker will include Canon Andrew White. For more information and for donations, please contact FRRME.

The conference was due to be held in Bracknell end of July. It coincided with the London 2012 Olympics and extortionate hotel prices. At short notice it has had to be moved to Brighton in September. A much pleasanter place to be and early September is a good time to be in Brighton.

God moves in mysterious ways!

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

Interview with Canon Andrew White in Canada
The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
House of Lords debates the plight of Christians in the Middle East

Bonus to RBS boss obscene

January 27, 2012

At a time when everyone is suffereing, when public services are being cut, salaries cut, jobs lost, the almost £1 million bonus to Stephen Hester, chief of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is obscene.

The almost £1 million bonus to head of Royal Bank of Scotland is obscene and offensive. We should not be relying on him to refuse the bonus, these people have no shame.

Prime Minister David Cameron on behalf of UK taxpayers who are the majority shareholders should block the bonus.

Cameron says shareholders in public companies should block excessive executive pay rises. He should therefore act, set an example.

It is rumoured the board will resign if the bonus is blocked. Call their bluff, let them resign. Where will they go? They would not even have a job if we had not bailed them out.

It is offensive and obscene when the FTSE 100 executives see 49% increase, when many people are seeing a decrease in salary or are losing their jobs.

These people do not take risks. They are salaried employees. The only risks they take is with other people’s money.

RBS customers should complain.

RBS finance dodgy projects, eg tar sands.

Raising a Ruckus
Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Why has RBS spent millions lobbying in Washington?

It may now be owned by the taxpayer but RBS has not cleaned up its act. It is still the same grubby company, the same greed-driven mindset. A comparison with the revolution in Tahrir Square, the players have changed but nothing has changed.

An on-line poll in the Telegraph, and note Telegraph not Sun or Mirror or Daily Mail, the overwheling majority said the bonus should not be paid.

Time for UK Uncut to occupy RBS?

Please sign the on-line petition calling for Stephen Hester, chief of Royal Bank of Scotland, to forego his bonus.

Bailed-out RBS spends millions on Washington lobbyists
Boris Johnson brands RBS chief’s bonus ‘absolutely bewildering’
RBS chief Stephen Hester’s £963,000 bonus criticised
Treasury feared Hester and board would quit

Fake mediums and clouds of unknowing

January 26, 2012

I detest fake mediums (are there any other sort) who prey on vulnerable people, who tell them they can communicate with their loved ones who are on the other side. All of course for a fee, often as a public spectacle. Not exactly helping those who are suffering.

One such fake medium very publicly exposed by the Daily Mail last year was TV psychic Sally Morgan.

Now I would not give someone like this the time of day. It begs the question as she is taking money why is she not being prosecuted for fraud and deception? Why are criminal charges not being brought against her for claiming to be a medium, which is to commit a criminal offence?

Drawing upon the original story in the Daily Mail the headline in The Guardian said it all: ‘Psychic Sally Morgan hears voices from the other side (via a hidden earpiece)’!

Over Christmas New Year there was an amazing TV programme, it must have gone on for at least three hours. It was not something I would normally watch. It was called something like 100 best magic tricks. Some were quite simple such as card tricks others quite complex. You watched and you thought: How do they do it? But you knew there was some trickery involved. No one claimed to have supernatural powers or to be calling on powers on the other side. Other side of what?

We know the woman has not really be sawn in half, shot through with long knives.

I have seen demonstrated how by asking a few simple, carefully chosen questions, you can quite quickly home in on what the person expects you to say. Watching their body language helps too. A fun parlour trick maybe, but not to exploit vulnerable, desperate, pathetic people, not to make money out of them, not to make a public spectacle of them.

Did your husband pass over recently my dear? Tens years ago. Oh yes that’s right, that is what he is saying.

In a Court Room the Judge intervenes and reprimands for asking leading questions.

These shows in depravity, as that is what they are, represents big money. 2,000 plus gullible audience, each parting with £20, £30, £50 a ticket, maybe more.

What if the plant has a few stooges who mingle with the audience, earwig on their conversations.

My poor Derek, he died such an awful death, I hope he is not suffering still. I hope she will have some good news if I am the lucky one. They may even join in the conversation.

Some questions do not seem to get answered or even appear. I wonder why.

That bastard Mike, he had at least a million pounds stashed way in offshore accounts. Where did the bastard hide it? The bastard died without telling me.

Somehow I do not see forthcoming the answer to what that bastard Mike did with his dosh.

TV shows cannot afford to fail. You probably provided most of the information in the so-called questionnaire you filled out before the show began. And never forget from the viewpoint of the TV company, it is a show, entertainment, you are the fools who are providing the entertainment and not even getting paid for your time.

Paid with a credit card? Well forget it. Everything needed to know will be there on facebook.

Why oh why oh why do people put personal information on facebook? Name of dog, cat, children, partner, date of birth, where you live, where you were born, school, university ete etc. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Remove all personal data from facebook, but first fill out with false data to screw up the databases and give it time to filter through the system, then delete.

People died recently: local press, fresh graves. The information is there if you know how to look.

Google Street View (the most crass stupid thing google ever did, a burglars wet dream) lets you check out where they live.

Now let me see: Do you have a red front door, in the spring a beautiful azalea in flower. Now I see, a red hatchback parked in the drive. Your sisters. Oh yes, that’s right. Now opposite I see …

Shrieks of delight, tears of joy, how does she do it?

Simple really, Google Street View.

Has someone you know recently died? How could she know? Well of course she knows, that is why you are there you bloody fool, that is why you stupidly paid for a ticket.

Sally Morgan is now suing the Daily Mail for libel and loss of reputation for breaking the story she was being fed information from off-stage. Reputation, what reputation?

We live in a strange world where the inexplicable does happen and that is what fakes exploit.

It was once thought we lived in a mechanistic, deterministic world. Know enough information and we can predict.

The real world is not like that. We live in a world with chaos theory, with non-linear feedback loops.

Our world is that of the medium scale, in size and velocity. Go beyond that and what we understand of the world breaks down.

We do not see the world. We have an internal model which we impose on the world. This model can be easily fooled. Although not schizophrenics, their brains are wired differently, they have a different internal model of the world.

When we get to the subatomic level, if we think we understand we do not. The entire universe effects what is happening at this level.

In How to Know God, Deepak Chopra describes some very strange things.

At Auschwitz Paulo Coelho saw a man in a vision. He thought it was a bad drugs trip. Several weeks later he saw the man in a café in Amsterdam. Now he was paranoid. Was he being followed. The only way to find out was to confront the man. A man he only refers to as J.

At St George’s in Iraq, angels appear, wheel within wheels as described by Ezekiel. There are many many witnesses. Photos show strange blobs suspended in the air.

The congregation of St George have dreams or visions. Jesus or the Virgin Mary appears. Avoid so-and-so market, take a different route to school or work. They have learnt to heed these warnings. It means the difference between life and death. Had they not done so, they would have been killed by car bombs and suicide bombers.

Giving a sermon Canon Andrew White felt something was wrong. He could not see anything wrong with the man in the congregation. He did what he was reluctant to do, as all are welcome, he had the man removed. The man was found to have a suicide belt. Had he remained, he would have slaughtered many innocent people in the church

There are people who see what others do not. Maybe they are what we always had, or maybe it was only the mystics, who along with the leader, were highly revered members of the tribe.

Synchronicity: Highly improbable events and yet they happen. They happen to me all the time.

We cannot dismiss what we do not understand, as sadly do those who lack any scientific understanding.

We may not know why something happens. That is not the same as it not happening.

If I was able to show someone only a century ago, communicating using skype on an iPad in video mode, what would they think? I was a magician?

Galileo was dismissed as what he saw did not match the prevailing world view. He was tortured to recant.

The sailors with Columbus or Colon as known in Spain, thought they were going to sail off the end of the world when they set sail from Tenerife, the last known land.

Those who do dismiss what they do not understand are stupid. They are not worth wasting the time of day on.

For a two-dimensional world I can draw a prison by drawing a square. There is no way out. But I can can pick up whoever is in the prison without breaking down a wall by lifting them up (ie via a third dimension) and place them outside. How do those living in the two-dimensional world explain this?

Saints, mystics, prophets can easily cross the transition zone. Why cannot all of us?

Maybe some things are unknowable and will always remain so. A finite mind cannot by definition know the infinite. Merely catch glimpses of what they believe to be reality because it is a reality that works for us. A reality, not the reality.

It is into this cloud of unknowing the fakes thrive, exploit the vulnerable.

What a load of crystal balls!
Didn’t see THAT coming! Diana confidante Psychic Sally accused of getting a little help from a mystery man at the back of the auditorium
Psychic Sally Morgan hears voices from the other side (via a hidden earpiece)
Psychic Sally Morgan has been accused of being a fake
TV psychic Sally Morgan sues Daily Mail for defamation

Is your local council spying on you?

January 26, 2012

An elderly lady living in Lincolnshire had her Single Person Council Tax Allowance (discount on property tax for single person occupancy) stopped. [see You and Yours]

When she queried this with her local council North Kesteven she was told this was done on the basis of additional data. Adiditional data? This set alarm bells ringing. The lady queried what additional data? Getting information out of local councils who forget they are there to serve the public is always akin to getting blood out of a stone. She was told a check had been made on her with Experian, a credit rating agency, and that monitoring of her post showed another person was living with her.

There was no one else living with her. Her daughter who lives outside the UK uses her mother’s address as a post box for her mail.

Experian denied they were monitoring post, but freely admitted North Kesteven had asked for checks on people. Experian also volunteered that they were performing this service for more than 200 other councils and that other credit rating agencies were doing the same.

It is one thing for a local council to pursue possible fraud where they have got good grounds to believe there is fraud, it is quite another to trawl through innocent people in the hope it may throw up some fraud.

Police have to obtain a Search Warrant for very good reasons, they have to have grounds. They cannot simply wander into everyone’s homes in the hope they may find evidence of a few crimes being committed.

If a bank wishes to do a credit check on you, they have to obtain your written consent. The council was not offering a loan. The council did not seek written consent. Apparently a notice in a local paper that no one reads (and who reads the official notices at the back anyway) was deemed as obtaining consent.

If a bank does a credit check (and the information held is often wrong) the fact that they see flagged up a local council had done a credit check, they may wonder why, decide not to take the risk and refuse the loan.

It has yet it be answered why or how this lady’s mail was being monitored.

I have of late being getting mail for unknown persons, including a Mr Paito. Does this mean all these people are living in my house? Where are they, hidden away in my cellars? I suspect some scam is taking place.

Not many people realise local councils can quite legally mount electronic surveillance on their local citizens. They should never have been granted these powers as they were open to abuse, and that is exactly what has happened. Less than 5% are genuine investigations. Upset a senior official, highlight corruption and maladministration (which is rampant in local councils), challenge the council in Court, then there is a good chance you have been placed under electronic surveillance.

Filled out any forms? You will notice there is usually pages and pages of questions that have no relevance for the purpose of the form. They have no relevance. They are crude trawls for information. Only provide what is relevant. If told you have to fill out the rest, challenge it, ask for the relevant statutory authority. There is usually none.

Never give a phone number. Do people never pause and think, why do I get all these junks calls? I never get any. Why? Because I do not hand out my phone number.

Councils are covered by Data Protection, but one would not think so. They are quite caviller in handing personal information to third parties without client consent.

I have direct personal experience of dishonest council officials knowingly passing on confidential client information to equally dishonest third parties. I am still waiting for these dishonest officials to be prosecuted for what is at the end of the day a criminal offence. They are still in post.

What personal information was handed to the credit reference agencies? At a guess: Name, address, date of birth.

Individuals are also caviller with their personal information. They post on facebook: date of birth, place of birth, school, university, partner etc etc. All should be removed, but I suggest first post false information to overwrite the databases then remove.

We have become used to CCTV monitoring our every move. It has nothing to do with crime. If it has, why do town centres like Guildford become no go areas Friday and Saturday nights when drunken thugs run rampage, the town centres not safe for decent folk to walk at night?

In Aberdeen the local council is monitoring the visitors to a tower block. Newham, one of the London Rotten Boroughs, requires a register to be kept of visitors to tower blocks. Even the Sun was outraged, not a rag renowned for its concerns with privacy and human rights.

Aberdeen Council wants to see your visitors
Local authority data loss exposed

Tahrir Square: Revolution one year on

January 25, 2012
Tahrir Square 10am this morning

Tahrir Square 10am this morning

Aerial shot of Tahrir Square

Aerial shot of Tahrir Square

Imbaba echoing with calls of bread, freedom, social justice!

Imbaba echoing with calls of bread, freedom, social justice!

Some saying this is the biggest protest in Cairo since the revolution began. Certainly possible, the numbers are staggering. — Sharif Kouddous

One year ago we saw the start of the Egyptian revolution when Egyptians took to Tahrir Square. No matter what was thrown at them they refused to move. They toppled a US-backed dictator.

Where now, one year on? Were the lives lost, lost for nothing?

A military regime has taken control and shows no sign of relinquishing power.

Thousands have been arrested, tortured, tried before secret military courts.

Many have been killed and maimed by the military.

Emergency Powers have been relaxed but not removed. Action can be taken for ‘thuggery’ whatever that means.

The military is demanding power of veto over the new constitution, a secret military budget.

The players have changed, the regime is still firmly in control.

Elections have taken place. Muslim Brotherhood has taken nearly half the seats. A fundamentalist Islamic party calling for introduction of Sharia Law, public beheading, controls a further quarter of the seats.

Women were at the forefront of the revolution. They account for 2% of the seats in Parliament.

Yes there is an elected parliament. A parliament that hides behind walled off street, the people one side, parliament the other.

Egypt: Four walls divide the ruled from the rulers

Muslim Brotherhood take to the streets when it benefits the Muslim Brotherhood. They have not called for the overthrow of the military junta controlling Egypt, have not called for those who committed crimes against the people, those who ordered the crimes, to be arrested and prosecuted.

Today Tahrir Square celebrates, but also calls for the second phase of the revolution, the removal of the military junta.

For brothers and sisters in Syria, the revolution has only just started. They can take heart when they see the numbers in Tahrir Square. The fate of Assad is sealed, either a bullet in the head or a criminal trial.

Iraq faces a descent into hell, until the people come to their senses, Iran and Saudi Arabia stop meddling.

Across the world the Arab Spring has helped to inspire the Occupy movement.

You cannot kill an idea.

The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
Egypt’s revolution: One year on
Egypt: Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Cairo as Crowds Mark 1 Year of Revolution in Tahrir Square
“In Tahrir Square”: HBO Doc on Egypt’s Revolution Through Eyes of Democracy Now!’s Sharif Kouddous

Hazelnuts

January 24, 2012
hazelnuts

hazelnuts

hazel catkins

hazel catkins

I have hazelnuts, Corylus avellana, growing in my garden. I rarely see them, or at least see them to eat, as the squirrels get there first. They will happily and quite nonchalantly stroll past me, steal a nut, then scurry away quickly with their prize in grasped between their paws.

Last year was different. It was a warm summer, the nuts ripened early, and I got there first. The nuts were ready mid-August, not September. But then locally grown apples were ready beginning of August! [see Hazellnuts]

The squirrels must have been watching, thinking that is kind of him, he is collecting the nuts for us, as I then noticed my pile of nuts went down and in the end I did not get to eat a single one. Once again the squirrels had them all.

The catkins are now appearing. Strange there are no catkins on the bush nearest my house. I always see them looking out through my French windows. A neighbour has been trespassing during my absence. I suspect has damaged or poisoned my bush. It is looking quite dead.

Hazel nuts found in the shops and on markets are either imported or commercially grown. They are vastly inferior to the wild hazel nuts which taste far better and are not dried up.

If you do pick from the woods and hedgerows, leave some for the squirrels, its is their winter supply of food. I only wish the squirrels knew they were supposed to leave some for me, not as they do, strip my trees bare leaving nothing for me

Hazel is a tree or bush of hedgerows and woods. In the woods coppiced. If coppiced after a few years, used as brushwood in ovens, if left longer used as handles for hoes and rakes and brooms.

If in ancient woods and hedgerows, they represent the remains of the post-glacial woods that covered England. These woods and hedgerows have wonderful ground flora.

Few of these woods are now worked or coppiced. As a result, the ground flora is being shaded and dying, as are the butterflies which needed sunny patches.

I recall meeting an elderly lady when I was surveying many of these ancient woods in the 1980s. She told me of being able to ride through the woods in a carriage along the woodland rides. She also told me that the last time the woods were coppiced was the Second World War when there was an urgent need for pits props. She said they had not been coppiced fpr many years before then nor have they been coppiced since. She said when the woods were coppiced there was a riot of colour as all the ground flora came into flower which lasted two years.

The hedgerows need to be periodically layered. This is skilled work and labour intensive. The farmers use tractors to give the hedgerows a short back and sides. The net result is the hedge becomes leggy, holes appear at ground level through which livestock can force their way through. The hedge loses its value to the farmer and ends up being grubbed up.

On the Reading to Gatwick train, after passing through Ash, the train passes through ancient woodland before reaching Guildford. From Guildford to Redhill, the train runs parallel to the North Downs and ancient woodlands can be seen.

The book on ancient woodlands is Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. Also The History of the Countryside, which is more general on the evolution of the English countryside. Both are by Oliver Rackham.

Paulo Coelho on writing IV

January 23, 2012

Paulo Coelho talking about writing using Aleph as an example.

We have a book, in our soul, in our head, how do we get it into a book that we can share with others to read?

Writing a book is hard work, it requires dsicipline, but once we start, we find it easy.

The book is then published. It is a free agent.

Will readers like it, will bookshops stock it, will reviewers use the platform of a review to launch a vicious personal attack on the author?

Last year, Aleph shot to No1 in all countries of publication within days of release. The one noticeable exception was the UK where Waterstone’s bookshop chain for whatever perverse reason refused to put Aleph on display and so the passing reader was not aware of its existence.

Top Story Ask the English Teacher Daily (Monday 23 January 2011).

Paulo Coelho on writing I
Paulo Coelho on writing III

We are in charge now

January 23, 2012

Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

SUSTAINATION – Find us on www.PeopleFund.it from Ed Dowding on Vimeo.

Greening Alton

Greening Alton

apple Malus domestica var Cornish Aromatic

apple Malus domestica var Cornish Aromatic

Politicians have failed to wake up to the fact we are living in a new world where they are an irrelevance. If you want something doing, do it yourself.

Every time two-faced hypocritical Nick Clegg opens his mouth he becomes a laughing stock.

Spineless Ed Miliband and useless Ed Balls have rendered labour unelectable. They oppose the ConDem cuts, but will keep in place in the unlikely event they are re-elected. They will not oppose the cuts to the poorest in society. An odious Labour women on Westminster Hour (BBC Radio 4) last night said their only concern with the cuts was that it might hurt local councils!

Tories justify the cuts on the grounds the poor will be better off having their benefits cut! This priceless piece of news speak would have made George Orwell proud.

Unemployed are to be harassed and bastardised even more by Job Centres making their already miserable lives even more miserable. People are jobless because there are no jobs! Instead of harassment, provide encouragement to make productive use of the time on their hands so they retain their dignity as human beings.

With the ConDem government so hated and despised, Labour should be head and shoulders ahead but they are not, they are trailing, such is the track record of Messrs Miliband and Balls.

The Trade Unions should, as PCS are considering, cut off all funding to Labour and instead hand that money over to activists who are making a difference.

In the States we see an odious vile bunch of Republican wanna be President. Barack Obama should be able to walk the election against this odious bunch, except he has been an unmitigated disaster, the Houseboy in the White House, the tool of Big Business and Wall Street.

Food speculation and crops for fuel, is driving up the price of land and food, driving poor people off the land.

All though is not lost. We can re-engineer from within, bypass Parliament, bypass Big Business.

Occupy is not just about occupying space, it is about using that space, creating a multiplicity of ideas, a parallel world.

Last week St Paul’s in-the-Camp got their marching orders, they are due for eviction later this week. The judge claimed the camp was obstructing the highway, blocking access to St Paul’s, neither statement was true.

Occupy is growing urban food, investing in urban food distribution networks.

Flash mobs and social networks are being used used to re-engineer how food is grown, distributed and sold.

Carrotmob targeted stores in an area. The one store that delivered the best environmental proposals would have a large number of purchasers delivered to the store when its doors opened. Within a couple of hours, over $9,000 had been spent in the store, normal take $1,000 to £1,300, on an exceptionally good day $3,000.

For example Waitrose uses plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables. There is no reason why they cannot use paper bags as does the local street markets. What if we formed a buying flash mob, a buy pod, to target Waitrose on this one issue?

In the States we have Community Supported Agriculture. The community supports the farm, the farm supplies what the community wants. A world of difference to being ripped off by supermarket chains and food speculators.

Cultivate is small farm of 5 acres south of Oxford. The community invests in the farm, the farm grows what the community wants. The farms goes to the community with their produce. They catch the commuters as they come off the trains, they catch the parents as they pick their kids up from school.

Curitiba has a had urban agriculture for some time. It also encourages farmers outside the city.

Greening Alton finds little plots of land and grows vegetables. There is a plot at Alton Station. Whether one is supposed to help oneself is not clear. They also match people up, those with a garden, those who wish to grow food, and an arrangement reached to share to produce.

Transition Heathrow has taken this to a whole new level. When the threat of a Third Runaway was mooted for Heathrow, the area became blighted. Transition Heathrow seized a derelict market garden and turned it back to productive use. They even had a positive impact on the local crime rate. The owners of the land, now that they see a success has been made, are trying to seize it back.

What has been achieved at Alton and Heathrow has been taken to a whole new level by Incredible Edible Todmorden. First, like Alton, small plots of waste land, now the whole town is involved, food grown by the town for the town. It makes a pleasant change to find a local council working with a behalf of a local community, not in the pockets of developers.

Christchurch was all but demolished by the earthquake last year. Town planners are looking at Todmorden as the model for the new Christchurch, that it will grow its own food.

Sustaination is making it easy to link growers, and restaurants and other local buyers. I eat in a restaurant, I ask where did their delicious lamb come from, or I can tell them where I get my top quality food from.

Food security is the issue. Without food we starve and die. We cannot carry on as though the rest of the world owes us a living, that they are under some obligation to feed us, as they are not.

We have to grow our own food. It is ludicrous to import tasteless apples from France, and grub up our own orchards. English strawberries put to shame those imported from the rest of the world, to give all-year-round, out-of-season strawberries. What is wrong with waiting for for the new season strawberries fresh from the fields?

The only food imports should be luxuries, pineapples and bananas, and when in season from southern Europe melons and water melons, and citrus fruits from southern Europe and the Middle East, similarly apricots and peaches.

In Petersfield, there is a walled garden, the Petersfield Physic Garden, all that remains of a medieval burgage plot. There I found the most delicious apples. I know, because I ate one. When the lady came to lock up, I owned up. That is what they are there for she said, please help yourself. A very peaceful and tranquil garden.

We have to move to Open Government, Participatory Democracy, where we are in charge. Social media now makes this possible.

Generation Food
A sense of the masses – a manifesto for the new revolution
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel

Lincoln Cathedral

January 22, 2012
Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral sits atop of a hill. It is visible from miles around, but within the city not so as the short-sighted Lincoln City Council has allowed the erection of appalling multi-story eyesores. The same city council that has presided over destruction of the heart of the city, has put the historic Lawn up for sale and now plans the destruction of Sincil Street, the one area of character left in the city centre. It used to be policy to not allow any building to obstruct the historic skyline, but now greed and fast bucks is all that matters.

The best way to approach the Cathedral is on foot. From the top of the High Street, up The Strait, passed Norman Houses, up Steep Hill and more Norman Houses, and the cathedral is there when you reach the top. On the way up you will get tantalising glimpses of the cathedral.

Resist the temptation to tarry, if you do, you will not have time to look around Lincoln Cathedral. Though there is lots to see on the way up. If you do tarry, then make the most of it and save the cathedral for another day.

I did tarry, with the result that on the two days I made it to Lincoln Cathedral, before Christmas and in the New Year, I had no time other than to look in the door, have a chat with the Duty Chaplain and light candles.

Lincoln Cathedral was founded by the Normans not long after they invaded, as was Lincoln Castle. It is the finest Gothic Cathedral in Europe, as you will see when you step through the door and look down the nave. The view down the nave literally takes the breath away. Worth the climb if you only look down the nave then have to turn around and set off back down the hill. As did I.

Inside the Cathedral the Lincoln Imp, Cathedral treasures and lovely cloisters that are very tranquil to walk around.

Lincoln Cathedral owns one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, currently on loan to Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln Cathedral was used as the set for The Da Vinci Code, with Tom Hanks staying at the nearby White Hart.

I have a knack of being in the right place at the right time. The light on the walls is the winter sun filtering through the stained glass windows at midday.

The cathedral on the hill is the cathedral being caught by the morning sun not long after sunrise. But note the ugly building on the left, a blot on the landscape.

Candles in the side chapel are a bit of a disappointment. A sand pit! I would have at the very least expected wrought iron candle holders.

The book to get on Lincoln cathedral is Capturing Lincoln Cathedral, though you will have a job as it was a limited edition edition and I picked up the only two remaining copies. It captures the cathdral in all its moods.

Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

January 21, 2012

The content on the net does not come from Hollywood studios or from the music business. It comes from you and I, we like to create, we like to share with others. It is part of story telling, of being creative.

I do not watch TV, I do not even possess a TV. I do not watch TV because it is complete and total crap.

I find it very depressing passing down the street as it is getting dark, passing by people’s houses, and seeing all those people sat like zombies watching the same moronic rubbish.

That is what Big Business wants, moronic consumers who do not question, do not think.

As a poor student, I used to go to a photocopy repair workshop and copy off whole books, though more often articles and academic papers. I was not depriving anyone of an income, as I could not afford to buy, but I was helping in the dissemination of information.

I often make use of other people’s work. It is called fair use. But I do not pass it off as my own or claim the credit. The originator is always credited, with a link back to their work.

Sopa and Pipa will end all that. Greedy Hollywood and the music industry wish to end all that. They wish to control what we watch, how we think, as they were able to do in the 1950s when there was only a couple of TV channels, no internet (though there has always been books and the radio).

The US policy-makers who were pushing Sopa and Pipa have accepted millions from Hollywood and the music industry.

What Hollywood does not seem to understand is we do not have to buy their rubbish, we do not have to go to the cinema.

I am suggesting we now go on the offensive. A world-wide boycott of Hollywood. Let’s see what they think of us then as so far we have been treated with contempt.

The Megaupload closure and seizure of assets and equipment, US Imperial Storm troopers trampling on the world in their jackboots, is a taste of what is to come. Many people used Megaupload to store valuable documents, all now lost, or maybe recoverable after years of litigation. If nothing else, a warning not to store valuable documents in the cloud. How can we be sure they are safe, accessible? The Megaupload closure demonstrates we cannot.

Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Stop SOPA
The Megaupload Mega-Mess: When Innocents Are Crushed‏