Monthly Archives: July 2015

Housing in the mid 70s

Raised in Islington until in my early 20s, as young man in those days, I met a girl, a very pretty girl, and fell madly in love. How fickle she turned out to be? When she told me I was … Continue reading

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East European Drinking

Poland “….[he] is a steady drinker- a heavy drinker, but a steady drinker. He paces himself- he learned it from Polish drinkers, who begin slowly and continue slowly, but drink through the whole night. Visiting Poland taught him a great … Continue reading

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They sent me away – “To be safe” they said. My mother’s gone; maybe she’s dead. My dad’s a soldier fighting in the war. Perhaps  I’ll not see my brother any more. I am alone with a stranger who says … Continue reading

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The Price of Virtue: Bailing out Slave-owners 1833

Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833. Key to abolition was the willingness of the British government to compensate slave-owners for their property. The government budgeted £20 million, supervised by the Slavery Compensation Commission. This huge amount of … Continue reading

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Silence is like fresh snow Without the paw marks of the fox Silence waits for a perfect moment Miles Davis picking up his trumpet Or, Beethoven with a blank sheet of paper Silence offers itself to us Casting away despair, … Continue reading

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Credit Card Competition: British Style

Barclays             18.9%           Interest charged HSBC                 18.9%                     ditto Lloyds                18.9%                     ditto NatWest            18.9%                     ditto Santander         18.9%                     ditto (Correct 24th June 2015) British Inflation, June 2015 was 0% (Chris)

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Learning to negotiate

About fifty years ago, following my stint as the plumbers shop steward whilst working for Hackney Council. I was elected as the officers Convenor Steward under the auspices of the then huge union NALGO (National Association of Local Government Officers). To … Continue reading

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Unknown Poet

Beechwood fire burns bright and clear, If the logs are kept a year. Store your beech for Christmastide, With new year holly cut beside. Chestnut’s only good, they say, If for years ‘tis stored away. Birch and firwood burn too … Continue reading

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Jane liked to make little mistakes so that her friends wouldn’t think that she was perfect. (Chris)

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Winston Churchill’s ‘Gestapo’ speech (4th June 1945)

In June 1945, Britain resumed competitive politics for the first time since 1931. Churchill, who had spent five years surrounded by sycophants, reverted to toxic reactionary Victorian conservatism. His wartime rhetoric had been inspirational but his first peacetime broadcast demonstrated … Continue reading

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