The Anonymous Widower

Coeliacs And Health

I was reading a comment on this post when I had a thought.

Are coeliacs a rather unique health grouping?

Is there another disease, where most diagnosed sufferers eat so healthily?

I suspect too, that if you look at a database of coeliacs, that the level of smoking and drinking is lower than the general population, But I also suspect that applies to a lot of serious diseases like cancer, stroke and heart problems.

There are other factors that come into it too. I see the practice nurse every three months for a B12 injection. I hope they might spot something like a mole turning cancerous. But they always go through a simple how are you routine, whilst performing the procedure.

So analysing a database of coeliacs, you might find the results skewed because of a high proportion of healthy eaters, non-smokers and light drinkers, who see a healthcare professional regularly.

After all, it has been shown for example, that diagnosed coeliacs, who stick to their gluten-free diet have lower levels of cancer than the general population.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Things Are Happening At Custom House Station

The area, where the new Custom House Crossrail station is to be constructed has been sealed off and bypassed by a pedestrian bridge.

Things Are Happening At Custom House Station

Things Are Happening At Custom House Station

The station is being constructed in Sheffield and should start to arrive soon.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Roof Goes On Canary Wharf Crossrail Station

If Canary Wharf Crossrail station is the taster for the standard of the stations on the new line, then we’re in for a treat.

The Roof Goes On Canary Wharf Crossrail Station

The Roof Goes On Canary Wharf Crossrail Station

Some of our best Victorian architecture was reserved for stations, like Paddington, Kings Cross and St. Pancras. Are we repeating this in the twenty-first century?

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Vincent Tan Was Right

Yesterday, Cardiff City played in their traditional blue colours against Liverpool. So Vincent Tan is in some ways right,  as Cardiff lost badly.  Obviously, the shirts are not lucky, like red ones are.

There was a joke going Portman Road yesterday, that Mick McCarthy had been asked to be the next Cardiff manager.  Apparently, he’d told Vincent Tan in his most polite Yorkshire-Irish way, that he wasn’t interested in the job.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

Will We Get A Tidal Power Station At Swansea?

I ask the question after reading about the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in the Sunday Times.

I like it, as it doesn’t have the problems of one of my favourite energy developments; the Severn Barrage.

It would appear to be fairly simple, have a sound economic case, the backing of the locals and doesn’t seem to annoy those that love birds more than energy.

It also has some other advantages.

If it works, it can serve as a prototype for other schemes around the UK and the world.

They don’t say whether the sea wall could be used to support wind turbines and whether the generators could be reversed to create some pumped storage facility, but on a quick perusal of the project, it could be an ideal platform on which to mount other zero carbon technologies.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Nothing Is Impossible!

It’s just that some things are more difficult than others.

One of my favourite quotes was made by Barnes Wallace in an interview by Chris Brasher for the obituary television program, that would follow the innovative engineer’s death.

There is no greater thrill in life than showing something is impossible and then proving how it can be done!

I’ve lived my life by this mantra even before I saw the program.

My current problem is how to get to Doncaster on Boxing Day to see Ipswich play.

There are no trains or buses, as it is Christmas.

I have posted on forums, written to newspapers, the television and radio and not one sensible reply. I’ve even offered a free ticket to the person, who drives me up to Doncaster.

I have even thought about hiring a helicopter.  Light aircraft are not on, as Doncaster built on their grass field by the racecourse and the old Doncaster ground.

But then no-one says no to this London mongrel with a strong connection to Suffolk.  According to my late father, I was at least conceived in the county. The last time was when I was told it would be impossible to visit all 92 League clubs in alphabetical order by public transport.  I did that, but perhaps not as easily or fast, as I would have liked. I’m a stubborn bugger!

So I’ll be hitching all the way up. I can get a bus to the bottom of the A1 at Apex Corner and that’s where I’ll start. I’ve got a banner ready saying.


Only one person ever said no to me and that was the devil after my stroke.  She took one look at me and thought I’d be too much trouble. So she let me stay here!

In a way, it was a compliment.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

You Don’t Say No to Suffolk

I don’t drink much spirit, but I do like the odd glass of whisky. So I was pleased that the new Adnams whisky is now available.

I first read about the availability of the whisky in this article in The Times. The article tells how it is illegal for spirit and beer to be made on the same site, due to a law dating from the 1700s.

What Adnams did is outlined in this paragraph from the article.

Although the law had never been repealed, Mr Adnams tested its validity by submitting an application to HM Revenue & Customs. “We got a reply in only three months saying yes,” he said.

No-one in his right mind, ever says no to an obviously sensible suggestion from supposedly sleepy Suffolk.

I’m looking forward to getting a bottle!

It may be a novelty to most of the world, but when I started drinking Adnams bitter, they only had thirteen pubs and supplied a few clubs in the local area.

The Scots will not be quaking in their boots yet, but then Watneys thought they could crush this then tiny brewery from Southwold, by buying many of East Anglian’s breweries, including all in Norfolk. Red doors are still associated with bad beer and service all over East Anglia.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is The NHS A Religion?

David Prior set the cat among the pigeons with his article in the Daily Telegraph, which was entitled, NHS on brink of crisis because it became ‘too powerful’ to criticise. It’s all reported here on the BBC, with this being the opening shot.

The NHS “became too powerful to criticise” despite many patients receiving a “wholly unsatisfactory” service, the health regulator has said.

David Prior told the Daily Telegraph that even the most senior staff were afraid of speaking out.

The Care Quality Commission chairman said the NHS should not be treated as a “national religion” beyond criticism.

You have two camps and I meet both amongst my friends.

One group trust it totally for everything and the others pay for expensive health insurance and except for their GP don’t go near the organisation.

I’m in another category.  I don’t have health insurance, but if say I needed surgery immediately, I’d probably pay for itself myself.  I would also make sure, I went to the best quack I could find.

I would not have any quick solutions, except that the first thing we must do is to decouple the NHS from national politics. Some NHS Trusts are big enough to be companies, that would be in the FTSE300. So politicians and the great and good, should have nothing to do with them!

Because we let politicians meddle we get some of the disasters we’ve had in the past few years.

I would do a few things to make it better for everybody.

My GP and his team are in my opinion pretty good and up-to-date and work out of well-equipped modern premises.  I would make absolutely sure that all GPs were up to scratch and some of the dreadful ones that I know exist should be given marching orders.

Perhaps making it easier to change GPs would help. It’s quite easy here in London, but if you have only one terrible rural practice and don’t drive, what do you do.

We also need a universal health database, that all doctors, hospitals and patients can access.

But we as patients have responsibilities.

If we are overweight, smoke and drink heavily can we rightly affect a First Class service?  Suppose you had an expensive car and constantly put dents in it because of bad driving, would you expect your insurance company to pay for the repairs? Probably not! So why should your body be treated any different?

And then there’s the insistence of many, that they want the best treatment from their local hospital and if they need a difficult procedure, they refuse to travel to the next area, to get the best specialist.

Try and close an A & E unit and see what happens. Some years ago, there was a big fuss when the unit at Newmarket was closed. But what happens now? The paramedics get patients to either Addenbrookes or the West Suffolk and you never hear of any complaints now!

Patients if asked, would probably say they needed an Air Ambulance at their local hospital, but we seem to work well with a limited number.

We need better systems that work for all! Not Rolls Royce systems working at a low level, which may well be what some countries have!

The NHS has responsibilities too!

It should have a complaints system that works, so that problems such as we’ve seen in the last year or so are spotted earlier. We have the successful CHIRP system for flying and shipping, So where is the NHS version?

As NHS Trusts are in fact large public companies, with just one shareholder, they should be run as such, responsibly, ethically and to proper financial rules and standards.  And just as companies like Blockbuster, Peacocks and Jessops went bust, they should be allowed to fail.

And when they do fail, we get the unedifying spectacle of those who’d criticised say the bad care from their local hospital, fighting to keep it open. They should have started kicking earlier, so that the problems were solved years before.

I used to live near Chase Farm Hospital and my younger sister was actually born there. In the 1950s it was a dreadful hospital and everybody who could, went to London, as the other hospitals in the area weren’t much better. When I read reports of the hospital now, it doesn’t seemed to have improved much. But still the locals fight to keep it open, rather than improve the care in the area.

Should not in London the hospitals in a particular borough be controlled by the local council? London has a wonderful transport system and one of the reasons is that transport is the direct responsibility of the Mayor and they either get it right or voted out.

I can’t think of a reason, why each local authority, shouldn’t control, at least the major hospital in its area. Quality and performance would of course be monitored centrally.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Health, Transport | | Leave a comment