Future-of-banking“I’ll be informing our Fraud Department about you” said the bank call centre to me.
“You’ll be in breach of our Terms & Conditions” said another.
Welcome to the world of bank switching.

They say we change banks less often that we change spouses.  For me so far: banks 4, wives 1.  I started off life with Oldlands Bank Ltd.  Then off to Northshires Building Society.  Followed by Widget International Offset Mortgages.  Now Nu Bank PLC.

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170719203040-john-mccain-07-19-2017-super-tease.jpgWhen there seems so little to admire about US politics at the moment, the death today of John McCain reminded me why there is much to admire as well.  And a personal example we could copy here in UK.

The Arizona Senator died today.  I remember standing in my kitchen on 5th November 2008, in Kisiizi Hospital, Uganda.  Listening to his concession speech to Barak Obama. Generous, big hearted.  Conceding that something and positive had just happened in the result, despite the difference in politics.  It was wonderfully put.

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Germany about to go out. As watched on Hospital Cashier

A shout goes up from the Hospital Cashiers.  Here in Haiti, I have heard shouting in Cashiers before. Angry patients, or cries of despair over the death of a loved one.  But while grappling deeply with a knotty problem, my concentration was broken, and the shouting went on and on.  It was not consternation, but excitement.  South Korea were about to knock out Germany in The World Cup, and the queues in Cashiers were watching it on the Cashiers TV. Shrieking and shouting.

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Double Lives

Posted: 10 June 2018 in Understanding Others
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Jim Boyling, ex-undercover police

Undercover work was not meant to like that.  Last week high-street retailer “Lush” was forced to abandon its undercover police campaign.  Last month DC Jim Boyling was sacked by The Met for gross misconduct – for having sexual relations with 3 women activists, subject of his undercover investigations, and then lying to the authorities.  We also saw also the biography of one of Britain’s notorious traitors published: Donald Maclean[i].  And the republishing of Kim Philby’s autobiography[ii], another double agent.  Two of “The Cambridge Five”, Soviet spies, men of affluence, arrogance and indulgence.  Leading double (or more) lives.

My mother knew them (The Cambridge Five, not The Met spies).  During The War, working for the BBC World Service Spanish service, she went to the World Service Read the rest of this entry »

Computer failure.jpgBeware of the Windows 10 April Upgrade.  If your computer is running Avast, disable it before you upgrade.  I did not and it caused my main computer to get trapped in a upgrade-half-done paralysis.  Stuck in a loop with no access to the desktop.  No access to command prompt.  Stuck stuck stuck.

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Bishop Curry.jpgEpiscopal Presiding Bishop Curry’s sermon, at Harry and Meghan’s Saturday wedding? Wonderful. Or Waffle? As usual, I think Christians mis-read society. This sermon was… Both. At 14 minutes it felt long. It was MLK-lite derivative. Lots and lots about love. Sure, some good stuff here. But don’t Muslims, Hindus, agnostics and atheists love too? And sometimes, sacrificially too? And considering how little was said on the embodiment, the very visualisation and representation of God’s love – Jesus, the sermon could have been preached by any Theist. And perhaps that was so under Prince Charles’ direction??

But…

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On Chesil Beach.jpgAnother grenade thrown into the current gender wars?  Another poke at sexual repression?  On Chesil Beach – the book – is not this. I see the book by Ian McEwan, and the new film, are being misused for these polemic purposes.  Pity, because here is something worthwhile and relevant, 55 years after it was set.

In placing the drama in 1962, McEwan is deliberate.  It is a direct reference to Phillip Larkin’s Annus Mirabilis, the year sexual intercourse “began”.  McEwan describes well the times.  I am old enough, just, to remember some of this, CND, Macmillan, colonies getting independence, etc.  Now, reviewers sneer at the effective evocations, “melon boat for starters? Ha ha.”  After year and years of rationing, that was exotic. Even using onions was not universal.

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