E-mail sent to Stephen Morgan, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Age Concern and Portsmouth Disability Forum

Hi Gerald and Steve, and AgeConcern and Portsmouth Disability Forum,

Are many older adults as well as disabled people in Portsmouth currently afraid to leave their homes because of Covid and is their health suffering as a result?

In the Netherlands – with much more prosperity and much less inequality than the UK – clinical geriatric specialists are sounding the alarm because many, even fully vaccinated, older adults are too scared to leave their homes because of Covid. It is leading to malnutrition, broken bones, isolation and exacerbation of dementia etc.

Something similar may also now be going on in the UK. We already knew that Covid has particularly increased food insecurity for people with severe disabilities. 

See the attached 29 June 2020 letter from others to Matt Hancock and the screenshot, which came from this: https://foodfoundation.org.uk/event/webinar-a-crisis-within-a-crisis-food-insecurity-and-covid-19/

Please note that the attached letter obviously does not address the current situation, with almost all older adults having been vaccinated and restrictions being lifted and that unlike in the Netherlands, we also have the complication that older adults tend to be “demonised” (term used by The Guardian) in the UK.

So, I repeat: Are many older adults as well as disabled people in Portsmouth currently afraid to leave their homes because of Covid and is their health suffering as a result?

Do we know what the situation in Portsmouth is? If we do and if necessary, is it being addressed?

Thanks for looking into this.

Best regards,

Angelina Souren

I forgot to add that it’s been in the news recently that many of those who used to have to shield are feeling abandoned right now and I’ve spotted something similar about the situation for disabled people (an article by Francis Ryan, in The Guardian). I assume that they’re either already aware of that or will find out now.

PDF of letter sent by others last year: link

1972 MIT model study confirmed. Looks like we have about two decades left. Human civilization as we know it is doomed.

Unless we do what we need to do.

But we didn’t do it back then either, which is why we are now in such a great hurry.


You can download the PDF of her report “Limits to Growth” here; it was published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology. That is a “paper”.

Limits to Growth: https://advisory.kpmg.us/articles/2021/limits-to-growth.html

This is a LinkedIn article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/beyond-growth-gaya-branderhorst/

Does the climate and ecological emergency bill (CEE Bill) now start to make sense to you?

Gaya Herrington did not receive her econometrics degree from the University of Amsterdam but from VU University Amsterdam. (Amsterdam has two universities.) LinkedIn instantly alerted me to the fact that we attended the same university. She and I both have a Master’s – both cum laude – from VU University Amsterdam.

Cultural differences. A form of neurodiversity.

Click on the link below.

What the world at large does not realise is that THIS IS SIMPLY HOW ENGLAND TICKS! ALWAYS.

This is what daily life is like for most of us over here. I even once got a letter from BT Business stating that they increased their rates one or two months ago. Oh-kay.

Yes, it can be exhausting to deal with. Yes, it can make planning anything impossible. Yes, it can come across as highly immature and disorganised.

Yes, it tends to give English people the reputation of being “unreliable” within an international professional context and no, they seem to have no idea of this. (Or do they because they actually often like driving others around the bend. I have another item on this, also within the Brexit context, about the deliberate use of “Trumpian realities” for no other reason thaN to drive the EU negotiators up the wall with frustration. I think it was in The Guardian.)

English people who have sufficient international experience can learn to adapt and overcome this.

No, I don’t think it goes for Scots and I suspect that it does not go for Welsh people either and it may not even go for people in northern England.

Analysis (CNN): Why would anyone trust Brexit Britain again? • 7 min read

The way in which England is different is quite similar to how for example autistic people are different and how both English people and autistic people also still differ greatly from one another.

In the end, it all seems to indicate mostly that we have to keep focusing more on what we have in common.

Oh, then this! (about Myiopsitta monachus)

This just popped up in my stream on ResearchGate.

The Role of Monk Parakeets as Nest-Site Facilitators in Their Native and Invaded Areas

“Invasive species can be harmful to native species, although this fact could be more
complex when some natives eventually benefit from invaders. Faced with this paradox, we show
how the invasive monk parakeet, the only parrot species that builds its nests with sticks, can host
other species as tenants,
increasing nest-site availability for native but also exotic species. This same
pattern is observed in the native range of the species, and when parakeets occupy urban or rural
habitats, although the richness of tenants was higher in invaded areas and rural habitats. Tenants
participated in the cooperative defense against predators, benefiting parakeets with their presence.
As tenants can be both native and invasive species, management plans should consider the complex
network of interactions developed with the invader.”

Oh yeah. If Myiopsitta monachus ruled the world, we would all be better off. I have read that these birds even cooperate with their predators, as tenants, and I have personally seen them stand up FOR CATS.

They build huge condos with separate areas for different activities. Because of the invasion of humans, these parrots have increasingly been forced to build these nests in human-made constructions.

There is another article, slightly older, slightly related, that contains a photo of a quaker parrot and a bird of another species sitting together, the quaker having spotted something (the photographer?) and on alert, the other bird still looking oblivious.

Parrots have been on the planet for around 55,000,000 years. Modern humans only for about 250,000.

We inherited the planet from these more mature species.

I adopted two non-releasable birds of this species in June 1994. I emigrated with them twice. They have taught me so much! We humans are nowhere near as smart as we tend to think we are, as a species. We are quite limited.

And the only thing DEFRA wants to do is kill them all callously. Even though it was not their fault that they ended up in England. They’re a south-american species, after all. They don’t fly across the Atlantic, unless it’s in an air plane, I can assure you.

It’s us humans who spread them around the world, just like we did with Psittacula krameri and Columba livia and so many other species. We particularly introduced a lot of species in Australia, sometimes purely to be able to shoot them (hunting).

The article does end on a slightly negative note, but I reckon it’s quite daring to dare suggest that so-called invasive species can have benefits too. So maybe that’s why. To stave off a wave of criticism, claiming that the researchers overlooked the dangers of invasive species.

This spunky creature was part of my household for 21 years. She was still a youngster when she was brought to a wild-bird hospital in Florida where I was volunteering at the time. It was against the law to release her, and she was unable to fly, so she needed a home. I adopted her along with quaker parrot Mohawk, who had already been given that name by others, so I decided to call this one Sioux. As I had noticed that these birds are never on their own in the wild, I wanted to adopt at least two of them, for increased well-being, and I housed them together.


“An accompanying quote from Thich Nhat Hanh:

“At the end of a retreat in California, a friend wrote this poem:

I have lost my smile, but don’t worry.

The dandelion has it.

If you have lost your smile and yet are still capable of seeing that a dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. You still have enough mindfulness to see that the smile is there.

You only need to breathe consciously one or two times and you will recover your smile. The dandelion is one member of your community of friends. It is there, quite faithful, keeping your smile for you.

In fact, everything around you is keeping your smile for you. You don’t need to feel isolated. You only have to open yourself to the support that is all around you, and in you. Like the friend who saw that her smile was being kept by the dandelion, you can breathe in awareness, and your smile will return.”

When people don’t believe you

If you need to tell people something that will upset their beliefs and convictions, they will likely instantly experience you as threatening.

Ask Oxford neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor. (Yes, I do type that a lot these days, “Oxford neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor”.)

I think that one way around it is to shake them out of their comfort zone, for example by doing something that will make them laugh and, therefore, not feel instantly threatened.

Covid lovers will love this, for sure.

I just went into a shop and another female shopper walked to the till and gave me a very angry look.

It was around 1pm on Friday. What was I supposed to have done this time? People here make up tons of (sometimes pretty vicious) shit about me – aka gossip – but that is usually spread on Friday and Saturday evening, right?

But it was not that, for a change. Hooray! *dances*

(keep reading)

She started talking to the guy at the till, about face masks. He was surely going to take it off on Monday?

She turned around and gave me another angry look.

Holy shit, it was about my face mask! Yippee. It wasn’t personal for a change. Hallelujah!

She said that she knew someone (health-compromised or not?) who got Covid who had been wearing masks (correctly, or on on his chin?) and had gotten his vaccinations.

“Does not stop you from getting it, does it?” she commented.

I had to say something now, normally a big faux pas in England if you haven’t been addressed, but her angry looks had included me in the conversation.

“Yeah, it’s better not to use an umbrella in the rain either”, I said very calmly and in an agreeable matter-of-fact tone.

(This is the part that my friend Julie will likely love.)

Not surprisingly, I had to repeat it. She initially figured she must have misunderstood.

“Nutter” she thought, next.

A moment later, it sank in and a wry smile dropped down her face.

SHE WAS RIGHT, though!

Getting vaccinated does not stop you from getting COVID.

But it does help stop you dying from it.

That took a while for me too, to sink in, when I saw that the vaccines are only – what was it, 60% or whatever – effective in stopping you from getting COVID.

But they are 95 to 100% effective in stopping you from needing to be hospitalised with COVID.

They stop you from dying.

Love COVID that much that you’d love to end up on a ventilator with it? Be my guest. (Well, not literally.)

I do hope that the person she knows who got infected recovers soon and well.

Continue reading

Why some EU migrants in the UK may be toast

We EU migrants get no tangible proof of our status.

If someone challenges our status, we are supposed to get the Home Office to send us a code on the mobile number that we used to apply to stay (which is called Settled Status).

Any hacker – probably even any low-level script kiddie – can interfere with that and stop a legal EU migrant from proving her or his legal status.

In order to apply to stay, I needed a relatively high-end phone that could read the chip in my passport. Had been looking online for a while. One day I found one offered on Amazon, at a good price. (It was supposed to be new. It was a slightly different model with one SIM card slot instead of two slots, and that explained the lower price in my eyes.)

When I got that phone, and wanted to use a brand-new clean SIM card in it that had not yet been hacked, I found that I couldn’t. I ended up being forced to use my regular SIM card, the one on which I already seem to experience a lot of interference at times.

At some later point, a remote access app spontaneously appeared on that phone, too.

So I am pretty sure that whoever is messing with me – also on the phone that contains that SIM card – has the ability to make it impossible for me to prove my legal immigration status. All it takes is to block the Home Office code and/or sending me a fake/altered code.

Like I said, I am pretty sure that all the script kiddies on the block know how to do that.

I am not saying that they will, but that they very probably can.

If you start with a blank, clean phone and SIM card, it’s a different story. If your phone and SIM card already were compromised, you’re probably toast.

The same person who does this kind of stuff to me also knows how to knock out my phone’s access to the nearest cell tower. That is, he was able to do that about five years ago, forcing me to leave my home and walk to the next cell tower every time. I don’t know whether that is still possible. If that is still possible, then that would be another way to block the Home Office’s code of reaching my phone.

Covid pass and the corona check app

Yesterday, I wondered what is happening internationally, whether I for example am allowed to travel internationally now that I am fully vaccinated and with an EMA-approved vaccine.

I found that apparently, I cannot travel to Belgium without quarantining, unless I am only travelling through it.

I found that the Dutch have the official “corona check” app, but that does not work yet with the UK’s vaccination system, as far as I can tell. This Dutch app is also linked to the EU app and/or the apps in other EU countries. There is some kind of thing that applies for all EU countries. A DCC?

The UK’s tangible vaccination proof is useless. Anyone can print these off and complete. There is a discarded vaccination card at my door downstairs, with no name on it and the data for someone’s first jab.

So I was curious as to what was happening digitally… I downloaded and installed the NHS app from which apparently you can get something called a COVID Pass if you’ve been tested, vaccinated or have recovered. Took me a while, but I did eventually manage to get a COVID Pass. It is valid for two days.

It’s supposed to be valid for 30 days, though.

So, yeah, that’s working well, then, lol.

But in practice, these COVID Passes are often used for events, so maybe it makes sense from that point of view. Still, it’s odd. But at least the digital records apparently are holding up well. That’s good.

The EU’s DCC seems to be similar to the UK’s Covid Pass, except that the validity may be different.

Message for, eh, kaaskoppen

I used to send lovely postcards from all over the world to all over the world and I used to get many, too.

The internet put a stop to that. A pity.

In spite of Brexit, I still see this Janssen Flowerexport b.v. truck very often, which really pleases me, but it is a newer truck now and it no longer says “‘t Komt goed.” on the back. I so loved seeing that every time. Such a very simple statement and so immensely powerful at the same time.

A message for Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain: ‘I’ve wanted to bleach the brown out of me’

“There are times when I’ve wanted to bleach the brown out of me – because life would have been so much easier if I wasn’t brown, if I wasn’t Bangladeshi, if I could just be like everybody else.”


Nadiya… I’ve found myself wondering if I would also have been abused in England if I had not been white.

Yes, of course I would have. But I would have been abused in different ways. And I’ve wondered if for instance that might have meant that I would have been part of a community. Other questions have gone through my mind too, related questions.

This – otherisation and abuse – is not about skin tone alone.

These issues of otherisation are much bigger. They affect almost everyone who is not a well-to-do, able-bodied and mentally mainstream white male.

They affect us differently and they affect some of us much more than others.

But they do affect many more of us than we tend to be aware of and once that starts sinking in and we see how many of us there are, we’ll all see the power and beauty in that and can start empowering each other to a much greater extent. That’s what I hope.

(Though I am often much too angry for that these days, granted. Otherisation makes us want to build walls around us.)

Do I have the answers for how to do that?

No. I have always many more questions than answers.

Update Aquind

I have gotten the information I asked from PCC. (Thanks Jane.)

It turns out to have been Nick Walton (MSc CGeol CCghem, UoP) who gave that talk. The remark he made is not in the slides and not in the minutes and Nick is not at one of the water companies or the like. He is still at the UoP.

This is not the result I was looking for, but it was worth a shot. I remembered Nick as a member of the forum; I’ve e-mailed with him once or twice, but we were both only in the forum for a very short time. (I think he used to be known as Chemical Nick on a radio show? Or was that someone else?)

It still means that what I wrote earlier is true, that what he – Nick, apparently – said about the depth of the aquifer layers under Portsmouth or whatever exactly it was that gives Portsmouth an advantage relative to its surroundings in times of water shortages might be something worth protecting and preserving.

Hacking hiccups?

This morning, I found that my gmail login password had been changed. This sort of thing has happened a bazillion times in the past decade.

And, apparently, my 2FA phone number had been removed so that I could not log in.

I also had trouble accessing other e-mail so I currently have no access to my gmail. Working on solving various issues at the moment. This has been my life for over a decade now. One gets used to it.

Earlier this year, I received a strange warning that seemed to suggest that a narcissist was going to destroy me (sure, whatever), but perhaps more significantly, I received the following three non-permanent popups on the SIM-less phone that I was using for my videos.

  1. For you.
  2. He knows too much.
  3. I would go to the police (if I were you).

Oh, yes, whoever’s been pestering me has all my logins. But of course.

11:34 Resolved.

My 2FA phone number had NOT been removed from the Google account so this must have been a Google #fail

Oh, if only every problem in the world was this easy to solve!


My gmail looks fairly normal today, more like what it should look like rather than what it has been looking like for far too long. (If I am still not getting all my e-mail, which I do think is the case, well, then it’s way too late after all these years for this to still be of significance and to worry about it.)

11:49 It turns out to be a PHONE-related hiccup?

(I just entered the new password and once again, it tells me it’s the wrong password.)

Oh, it may be that randomiser thing, perhaps (hacking). I have SEEN that in action in the past.

Is gmail urban slang for something, by the way?