Monthly Archives: January 2012

Apple’s iGlobalisation

Google’s motto was (is?) “don’t be evil.” And Apple once was a byword for quality and integrity. Now Google tramples over it’s subscriber’s privacy rights and Apple, unashamedly, exploits slave labour for it’s iProducts.

This was in today’s Observer version of the New York Times:

“One former executive described how Apple relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on the shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames.”

Is this a glimpse of the future, thanks to globalisation? Are the vast 95% of us nothing more than worker/slaves or consumer/sheep all enthralled to the master class of the elite rich? Here, in Britain, we already see the contrast between the debt slavery that young people enter into via education and housing and the obscene bonuses that bankers continue to pay themselves.

The government does nothing and nor do the opposition parties; they are too scared for their jobs and their future. But we sheep do nothing either, being too grateful for the crumbs we gather!


Sawbridgeworth walk

LUSH men walking this time were Richard, Pete H, Melvin, John and me and we went to Sawbridgeworth. We walked south from the station along the Stort towpath to Harlow Mill and then turned back past David Beckham‘s house and back to Sawbridgeworth. Here we explored the antique stalls around the Maltings and I found a Claris Cliff plate for Sheila. About 4 miles.

back of Beckingham Palace

I think the Beckhams have put their house up for sale – for £18 million or so. I shall be sorry to see them leave. He and I were both at the same school in Chingford and David and Posh have children whose names connect with where we live and our grandchild. So much in common.

Richard, our leader

Sawbridgeworth was surprisingly pretty with quaint old houses unlike Harlow, it’s southern neighbour. Richard says it once was a very rich town, presumably because of the maltings. These buildings, alongside the Stort, now house the antique outlets – rather like Battlesbridge. Sawbridgeworth is now a commuter town with a fast link to Liverpool Street. A bit too quiet though, and lots of empty shops.

this leaves a nasty taste in your mouth

No wonder Sheila comes home desperate for something good to eat on a Tuesday.

Mile End to Waterloo

I join Richard‘s walk today with Pete C, Pete H, Melvin, and John and we set off from Mile End Station, over the “grass bridge” and alongside the Regent’s Canal to the Ragged School Museum established by Dr. Barnardo, after he was told he wasn’t wanted as a missionary for China. Here we watch a “Victorian” school mistress teach a class and are reminded of the squalor that was 19th. century East London.

It’s remarkable that when the British Empire dominated the world, and was the richest country on Earth, there was also the most abject poverty here in the East End cheek by jowl alongside the obscene wealth of the West End. And this extreme degradation was unrecognised, or ignored. Jack the Ripper’s murders bizarrely helped to illuminate this plight and, of course, so did Annie Besant,  Sheila’s greatgreat-aunt. It was in 1888 that Annie Chapman had a drink at the Ten Bells pub, near Hawknoor’s Christ Church in Spitalfields, before becoming another of the Ripper’s victims. Also, at that time, and in the Christ Church hall, Annie Besant was organising the match girl’s strike at Bryant and May.

the ragged school museum exhibition of the life and times of Annie Besant

We walk on to the Docklands Museum by Canary Wharf. It was coincidentally here in June 2008 that I attended the Jack the Ripper exhibition with Thom and where I learnt that Jeremy Beadle had been the president of the Ripper Society and that still no-one knew Jack’s identity, although Special Branch have a file on him that they will never make public.

From here I walk on my own to Waterloo following the River Thames and meet Sheila, Thom and Tara to see Noises Off by Michael Frayn at the Old Vic. I think the total distance I cover is something like 7 and a half miles – and all uphill!

the Regents Canal enters the Limehouse Basin

looking back to Canary Wharf

the Shard ahead

sunset over City Hall

looking back at Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf from where I set off

Number One London Bridge

the wobbly bridge and St Paul's

Michael Frayn‘s play was hilarious and a glorious way to finish the day.

Grimshaw at the Guildhall

Just managed to see the Grimshaw exhibition at the Guildhall before it finished. Most of the pictures were moonlit paintings, many of them of Leeds and even one of the canal before it became 42 The Calls – perhaps the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in.

The Old Mill with it’s sunlit branches and leaves was one of my favourites.

We went with Ray and Di and had lunch afterwards in the Water Poet opposite Dennis Sever‘s house.

The Guildhall is, of course, associated with Gog and Magog…..

all art is but imitation - seneca


Esme’s 6th birthday

All the birthday food was as Esme wanted it! Hot dogs, pizzas, Victoria sponge cake and chocolate rice crispy cakes. And an exhausted mum who made them! But we had a lovely time celebrating and having fun.

present time

big puff

cutting the cake............

................and eating it!

Christmas 2011 and the New Year

It’s been an odd year since last Christmas, which was the coldest on record. This one was the warmest, bar one degree, ever recorded in the UK. The year, also, was phenomenal and the second hottest on record.

tove puts her strawberry on the christmas cake

Be that as it may, we maintained a consistency that the weather may not have, enjoying Christmas with the family and grandchildren. Xmas Eve was with Louisa and family and featured a wonderful magic lantern show directed by Julian and helpers.

getting ready for the light show

christmas day

Xmas Day was with Danae’s family and featured Nathan’s fabulous roast turkey and the day after Boxing Day was with Thom and Tara featuring  excitement in Clissold Park when the Griswolds were let loose.

harper is happy

the griswolds at clissold

going back to Thom and Tara's home

grandfathers with harper and lily may at our house


Afterwards we continued festivities with Lush and a traditional walk through the forest to Buckhurst Hill, Connaught Waters and back to the Hollybush pub for lunch. The Lush calendar ended 2011 at the Crossleys where we saw the New Year in and got home at the relatively early hour of 2.00 am.

LUSH walk

the ladies at the Crossley's house for New Year


.....and the men.

Other photos can be seen in my gallery.