Archive for July, 2015

Cappuccino at Glutton & Glee

July 31, 2015
cappuccino and flapjack

cappuccino and flapjack

Cappuccino and flapjack in Glutton & Glee.

Cappuccino acceptable, but not of the quality when Shaun was there.

Prices are not acceptable, a fiver for a cappuccino and flapjack.

Half an hour before they closed, I fancied a fresh fruit juice. No, too late.

The furniture very dilapidated.

They close at five o’clock. In the summer when people around, far too early.

Since changing hands Glutton & Glee has gone downhill, and lost some good staff. I cannot see them staying in business.

Lunch at Thai restaurant

July 31, 2015
lunch at Thai restaurant

lunch at Thai restaurant

Excellent lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage.

They have opened a takeaway higher up the High Street a little way past the Oxfam Bookshop on the opposite side of the road.

As McDonald’s has closed, yippee, I suggested to the boss they stuck a poster on the boarded-up shop front, Thai Takeaway with a big arrow.

Boss said help yourself and gave me a duck wrap to take away. I had it for my tea.

They had a reasonable choice, including what looked like Thai green curry.

I will have to inquire of the containers. They looked like card that can be recycled. But plastic forks. I will suggest they buy wood.

If Guildford Council wishes to see higher recycling rates, why are they not advising takeaways?

Afternoon in Guildford

July 31, 2015
Alice in Wonderland 150 years

Alice in Wonderland 150 years

Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Much warmer than of late, a pleasant warm and sunny afternoon.

I had hoped to have lunch at the Guildford Institute, that is if they were still serving, as otherwise a wasted trip to Guildford.

I found they had stopped mid-July, no lunch until September. The library closed until September.

Excellent lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. They have opened a takeaway higher up the High Street a little way past the Oxfam Bookshop on the opposite side of the road. As McDonald’s has closed, yippee, I suggested they stuck a poster on the boarded-up shop front, Thai Takeaway with a big arrow.

Oxfam Bookshop closed, no staff, and yet plenty of staff in the Oxfam shop across the road. Not beyond the wit of man for a couple of the staff to cross the road? The Oxfam shop selling the disgusting peanut butter padded out with palm oil. Do they care? Big business charity with big business practices.

Excellent photographic exhibition in Guildford House (location of Tourist Information). Actually a mixed bag. Photos in the back room not impressive. I could have supplied them with better. The two front rooms, very impressive photos. I did wonder, was two different exhibitions. I asked, and was told no.

Cappuccino and flapjack in Glutton & Glee. Cappuccino acceptable, but not of the quality when Shaun was there. Prices are not acceptable, a fiver for a cappuccino and flapjack. Half an hour before they closed, I fancied a fresh fruit juice. No, too late. The furniture very dilapidated. They close at five o’clock. In the summer when people around, far too early. Since changing hands, I cannot see them staying in business.

I had popped to the market before lunch. I should have popped back after lunch before wandering around the town. Big mistake. The same mistake I made a few weeks ago. By the time I got there, stalls closed. Had I wandered down the street probably those lower down still open.

New restaurant by entrance to Castle Grounds surprisingly packed. Maybe a special promotion. I looked at the menu. Very overpriced. How long will it last? They usually last about a year, then close down.

Castle Grounds reading Post-Capitalism. If the excellent analysis in the introduction anything to go by, then well worth reading. On a par with This Changes Everything,  Revolution and Sacred Economics. They compliment each other quite well.

This weekend in Guildford events to celebrate 150th Anniversary of publication of Alice in Wonderland. Very bad timing as coincides with Staycation Live in Godalming this weekend. There are also Alice exhibitions in Holy Trinity and St Mary’s, if you can find them open. A bit dumb, exhibitions in two churches that are rarely open.

Caught a train at Guildford Station within seconds of it leaving.

What banks don’t want you to know about the Greek crisis

July 31, 2015

Goldman Sachs cooked the books to get Greece into the euro.

Feckless banks lent to to Greece.

By 2010, Greece was bankrupt, no way could Greece repay the debt. But more money was lent to Greece. To help the Greeks? Oh no, the money was used to bail out the feckless bankers.

But we have to punish those lazy Greeks, impose austerity.

The economy shrinks by 25%, unemployment rises. That debt which was unlikely to be repaid before, is now even less likely to be repaid. Debt 125% of GDP, now 175% of GDP.

In comes Syriza, a government of the people by the people, who suggest some modest proposals to get the Greek economy back on its feet. They hold a referendum to show their proposals have the full support of the people.

What, the Greeks dare challenge the EU. And they have that crazy Finance Minister who looks like a biker not a banker. They must be punished, we cannot have these southern upstarts refusing to accept their punishment. Do they not realise their role is to provide us with sunbeds by the pool? Turn off the money supply, bring the country to its knees, that will teach them, and when they unconditionally surrender, we will punish them even more, and we are going to take all their assets.

If we do not punish the Greeks and set an example, we will have the same problem with the Spanish, even the Cypriots will be tempted to stick two fingers up at us.

Lunch at Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori

July 29, 2015
latte

latte

Excellent lunch at the little Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori. Courgette soup with garlic,  followed by sea bass served with  new potatoes and beans.

The soup not quite piping hot. The sea bass delicious.

Started outside in the garden, then had to rush indoors when it rained.

On last visit, the service was awful, today exemplary. Why the service was so bad on the last visit, I do not know, as not the norm. At a guess, maybe  a new girl who had only started and did not know what she was doing.

Afternoon in Alton

July 29, 2015
The Old Curiosity Shop

The Old Curiosity Shop

water meadows

water meadows

Heron at Kings Pond

heron at Kings Pond

A dull, cool, cloudy day. Hazy sun broke through and it warmed up a little. Then it rained and temperature dropped.

Looked in The Old Curiosity Shop.

Excellent lunch at the little Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori. Courgette soup with garlic,  followed by sea bass served with  new potatoes and beans. Started outside in the garden, then had to rush indoors when it rained. On last visit, the service was awful, today exemplary.

A walk to the source of the River Wey. The stream bed still dry. Through the water meadows, then a walk around the Kings Pond.

From Kings Pond, I found an alley that ran alongside the railway line that led to Alton Station.

Arrived at Alton Station, just in time to catch a train before it departed.

FairCoop give away 40 FairCoins for you to participate in FairCoin Week

July 29, 2015
40 FairCoins free

40 FairCoins free

To promote FairCoin Week, FairCoop are giving away FairCoins.

To obtain 40 FairCoins, or be in with a chance to obtain 40 FairCoins, need to do two things:

  1. Install FairCoin wallet for Android
  2. Make a request to receive to receive 40 FairCoins

FairCoin is a cryptocurrency.

Celebrate Aldershot

July 29, 2015
Celebrate Aldershot

Celebrate Aldershot

Is this an idea of a sick joke from the Council?

Celebrate what? Come to Aldershot, see the four market stalls, the boarded-up shops, the tacky fast food outlets, the gambling joints, the charity shops, binge drinking bars, drunken yobs on the streets at night.

We did last year have lovely trees, but they have been cut down.

With M&S confirming they are closing, this is the council taking the piss.

£4.5 million for new paving slabs, and cosmetic changes, and they cannot even get that right.

Wider pavements along Grosvenor Road, no shops and no one walks along.

Entrance to Grosvenor Road nigh impossible for buses and lorries to navigate.

No pedestrian crossing across Grosvenor Road connecting Upper Union Street to Union Street.

A lorry bay has finally been constructed at the back of 99p Stores, to enable delivery by trolley and handcart to the shops. Only one problem. It is the width of a car not a lorry.

Finally Notices have been posted for a Traffic Order for the pedestrianised streets to be made vehicle free. Only it is for an experiment, not permanent.

A cause for celebration, would be the imbecile leader of the council apologising for destroying Aldershot and resigning.

As a local business said yesterday: We lose money, see our businesses destroyed, and they continue to draw their wages.

Heads should roll over the destruction of Aldershot.

There also has to be fundamental changes in the way the council functions. Party apparatchiks who are of no use to man nor beast, elected on a party ticket. You could count on one hand the councillors who are of any use, the rest are a complete waste of space.

We have to look to Frome in Somerset and have a Flatpack Democracy Revolution. Local people meet, choose who their candidates will be, elect them to council. In Frome, a clean sweep of the council. The council now functions differently, councillors work with local people not against, people participate in council meetings.

 

Officially confirmed M&S Aldershot to close

July 28, 2015
M&S Aldershot to close

M&S Aldershot to close

It has been officially confirmed, M&S Aldershot will close 26 September 2015.

The petition to save M&S was at best marginal. The store was not commercially viable. For some time, the amount of stock that cannot be sold elsewhere has been dwindling.

Whilst some may blame M&S for closing, that anger should be directed at the local council. The council has trashed Aldershot. M&S closing is a massive vote of No Confidence in the local council, a council not fit for purpose.

And to make matters worse, they held a meeting with M&S where they said Aldershot was on the up. Did they really think treating M&S as fools was helpful?

Celebrate Aldershot

Celebrate Aldershot

And to add insult to injury, someone’s idea of a massive piss take, you are invited to Celebrate Aldershot.

Celebrate what? Closed shops, disgusting fast food outlets, gambling joints, binge drinking bars, drunken yobs on the streets at night?

The local council has trashed Aldershot. We are now reaping the rewards.

M&S is a basket shop. People shop little and often, they wander around the town and pop in other shops, take a coffee, a bite to eat. Contrast with Morrisons in Wastegate, a trolley shop, dump in the back of the car and drive home.

In any town, around 10% of shops and local businesses are on the edge, hanging on by their fingertips. In Aldershot, that figure is probably much higher.

When a shop closes, that is one less reason to visit the town. Those on the edge see less custom, they go under. More reasons not to visit the town. More businesses on the edge, more go over the edge.

Collapse can be very rapid.

Several businesses are considering their position. They see no future in Aldershot.

In a small town in Lincolnshire a few years ago, M&S closed. What followed next was the collapse of the town.

11,000 plus signed a petition. Only they did not, there were two petitions. How much was double counting, how many not local to Aldershot? The best can do, is list numbers that signed each petition.

But let us assume we have a core of people. Signing a petition is one thing. Let us assume we have a hard core who are prepared to be activists.

We now have to decide what next? What to do to stop the collapse, to rebuild Aldershot?

Top down does not work. Bottom up, grass roots, cooperation between local businesses, local people does work.

We stop letting developers dictate policy. They are driven by short term greed.

We have The Arcade and The Galleries sitting empty. What do we do with them? There is no intention to let either. Businesses have tried.

Neither should have been built. But we have got what we have got.

The Galleries is not empty. TechStart are there. A social enterprise. They take in old computers, refurbish, provide internet access.

Start a hub, small businesses, start-ups, open co-ops, social enterprises, all cooperating with each other, not competing with each other.

  • social enterprise cafe
  •  tool swap
  •  repair shop
  •  fablab

Social enterprise cafe, intercept waste food, turn into delicious meals, pay-what-you-want. Better than food banks, lacks the social stigma, not reliant upon referrals from Job Centres

Tool swap, donate those tools you never use, borrow when you need to.

Repair shop, take in broken stuff, learn how to repair.

FabLab, high-tech equipment to use in a supervised environment.

Closure of M&S is not the only blow. Aldershot is being hit by a double whammy. An already deprived area, welfare cuts will take £1000 from every poor family. Add that up, a lot of money no longer flowing into Aldershot.

We therefore have to stop money flowing out of Aldershot.

Wastegate not only a disaster due to relocation of the centre of retail gravity away from the town centre, every tenner spent in one of the chain eateries, is a tenner drained out of Aldershot.

We must encourage quality local businesses like Caffe Macchiato, that not only retain and recycle money within the local economy, but act as quality attraction to draw people into Aldershot.

The Tea Shop Around the Corner has opened in the old Post Office in North Camp. Little footfall, and yet always busy. They note the ham they serve is from the local butcher. The local butcher sees an upturn in trade.

Look at North Laine in Brighton. Three streets, indy businesses not a chain in sight always busy.

A quality market brings people into a town. Aldershot market, two fruit and vegetable stalls and stalls selling tat. The council taking over the market has proved to be an unmitigated disaster.

Heads should roll at the council. At the very least the imbecile leader of the council should resign.

But there also has to be fundamental changes in the way the council functions. Party apparatchiks who are of no use to man nor beast, elected on a party ticket. You could count on one hand the councillors who are of any use, the rest are a complete waste of space.

We have to look to Frome in Somerset and have a Flatpack Democracy Revolution. Local people meet, choose who their candidates will be, elect them to council. In Frome, a clean sweep of the council. The council now functions differently, councillors work with local people not against, people participate in council meetings.

Denial of bank accounts to Muslims

July 28, 2015

Banks are a necessary evil.

Imagine then one day, you or the organisation you work for or belong to gets a letter saying your bank account will be closed forthwith. You are given no explanation, no right of appeal. This is what has happened to many Muslims and Muslim organisations, including the Finsbury Park Mosque, who have received identical letters from HSBC.

HSBC, the bank that money launders for Mexican drug cartels and terrorists, that aids tax evasion, where as yet not a single banker has been handed a prison sentence, has been sending identical letters to Muslims saying their bank accounts will be closed.

Peter Oborne was Chief Political commentator of the Daily Telegraph. When the paper refused to publish an article he had written which was critical of HSBC, when he noticed they were not covering the money laundering and other scandals relating to HSBC, he resigned.

Daily Telegraph takes advertising from HSBC. Barclay Brothers, who own the Daily Telegraph, borrow huge sums from HSBC.

Now working as a frelance jouranalits, Peter Oborne decided to dig a little deeper. What he found is shocking.

World-Check a shadowy organisation, something out of a James Bond movie, compiles data on people. If they mark you down as a terrorist, you are likely to be denied a bank account.

Note: Without seeking you permission, World-Check will put a cookie on your computer to monitor you. Access their website they arrogantly deems granting permission to spy on you.

And how does this shadowy organisation decide you are a terrorist? Er blogs, Wikipedia, UAE says so. This is what World-Check regard as high grade intelligence. Oh, and media articles.

It is well documented Wikipedia an unreliable source of information, as accurate as the last troll to have edited an entry.

UAE, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, is ruled by a corrupt elite, where human rights abuses are the norm. Oppose any of these terrorist states, and you will be listed as a terrorist.

Turkey is using ISIS as a cover to bomb Kurds in Iraq. Turkey calls them terrorists.

Israel bombs Palestine, calls Palestinians terrorists.

This means, UAE a Pariah State, or other Pariah States such as Israel, can list you as a terrorist, in turn be listed by a shadowy unaccountable organisation befitting a Bond movie, and you are denied a British bank account.

Who next to be targeted, bank accounts to be closed, activists? We have already seen terrorism legislation used against activists.

Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn need to be tabling questions in the House of Commons.

We need to be making better use of cryptocurrencies such as FairCoin, P2P money transfers, and crowd sourcing to make ourselves independent of banks. And to return to using cash.