In August 2015 , I write Gluten-Free Food On The NHS.
My view hasn’t changed. But my list of foods has changed slightly.
I still think, that those prescribed a gluten-free diet, should get a small payment each month, either as a voucher or a direct transfer into your bank account.
The current system is bureaucratic and expensive. A lot of money also goes on products that are crap and I wouldn’t give to a starving beggar!
I agree with the princess in this story on the BBC, which is entitled Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne.
But I doubt her elder brother does!
The picture shows two of Marks and Spencer Mini Meals
The ingredients say that they are gluten-free and freezer-friendly, so I put them in my freezer for an emergency meal, if I arrive back home without any food in the fridge and am rather peckish.
I must check to see if all of these mini-meals are gluten-free!
These pictures document a trip I took between Liverpool and Huddersfield.
Some thoughts on the trip.
The Class 319 Interior
The first batch of Northern’s Class 319 trains are very much pack-it-in specials for running commuter services around the Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester Airport triangle.
They are good for a thirty-year-old train, but they could be better.
In Porterbrook’s Class 319 Flex brochure, they show a proposed interior based on a Class 319/4 with the following.
- A mix of 2×2 and 2×3 seating.
- 12 First Class seats
- 255 Standard Class seats
- A full-accessible toilet.
- Two luggage racks per car.
It would certainly be a much better passenger experience.
Works At Edge Hill
Buckingham Group obviously have a big project on to the East of Edge Hill station.
This Google Map shows the lines through and to the East of Edge Hill.
Note how to the South of the Retail Park and/or warehouses, work seems to be going on. Are extra tracks being created?
There is also a white scar at Wavertree Technology Park station, so if this was two fast lines, then fast services between Liverpool and Manchester and Wigan could storm in and out.
The Atherton Line
Wikipedia says this about Improvements to the Atherton Line.
There is ongoing feasibility into the conversion of parts of this line (Wigan–Atherton–Manchester) to operate as a Manchester Metrolink service with a higher frequency metro service for the Greater Manchester Boroughs of Wigan and Salford into the city centre. In November 2013, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority approved a recommended strategy for reconfiguring existing commuter services into tram-train operation, identifying the Atherton line as providing an opportunity for extending potential tram-train services from the south-east (Marple, Glossop) across the city centre and outwards to the north west. Southport and Kirkby services on this line would be diverted to operate via Bolton. Additionally, Network Rail has identified electrification of Wigan to Southport, together with the Ormskirk–Preston line and the Burscough Curves as a possible source of new services.
I also think that the route from Salford Crescent to Southport via Atherton and Wigan could be ideal for electrifying in stages using Class 319 Flex trains to bridge any gaps.
The tools seem to be there, now is the time to think about how the work will be done.
Salford Crescent station could look very different in the future, as modern station design might be seen to favour two island platforms, one face of each dealing with Manchester Victoria station and the other Manchester Piccadilly station.
- Passengers going in to Manchester, needing trains to the other terminus, would just wait on the platform and catch the next train.
- Passengers coming from Manchester, who needed a different distination would change at Salford Crescent to their desired train.
- Comprehensive information would be provided.
The platforms would be built with lots of space, waiting rooms and coffee kiosks and would be well-staffed.
Manchester Victoria Station
Manchester Victoria station is starting look dirty again.
It must be all those elderly diesel trains.
There was no sign of any electrification work.
As a coeliac, I found Stalybridge station one of the most gluten-free-unfriendly stations I have ever found.
In future, if I’m going that way, I’ll make sure that I stock up in Manchester or Leeds first.
The train was crowded and getting on at Stalybridge for the short trip to Huddersfield was delayed, as the conductor couldn’t get near to the doors to open them. Whereas the driver could have had a clear view.
It’s about time the NUR stopped this Driver Only Operation farce, which nearly all passengers think is sillier than the Teletubbies.
I hope the idiot, who landed TransPennine routes with the inadequate number of Class 185 trains, now has a job where he can do no harm, like in charge of the railways on the Scilly Isles.
I don’t know Huddersfield and the only thing I’ve ever bought in the town is a ticket to the football.
You arrive in the Grade I Listed Huddersfield station and walk out into the magnificent St. George’s Square, which should be a welcoming gateway to the town.
Compare it to Kings Cross Square, where there is generally something going on and on a Friday is bustling with food stalls.
I walked to the shops and did find Marks and Spencer in a prominent place, but why wasn’t the route for pedestrians only, as it was crammed with traffic and parked cars.
Huddersfield needs to think how they organise their town centre, as except for the square ut’s about as weloming to visitors as Turkey is to the Dutch.
This Google Map shows the area.
I feel that Huddersfield needs what most European towns of this size would have and that is a tram, that goes through the centre.
You would walk out of the station and in the square would be a tram stop. Trams would go South along a pedestrianised John William Street and New Street. Obviously the route would be designed to go through the town to the main hospital, the University and if possible the the Council Offices, the Courts and the football/rugby stadium.
Incidentally, if you search for Huddersfield Hospital, you don’t find the NHS hospital, but a private one. All major hospitals should have a name like Ipswich, Reading or Crawley Hospital. It should also be galleria for sports venues to constantly change their names.
Huddersfield might wonder, why it doesn’t get the visitors, it thinks it should. It’s because it isn’t visitor friendly.
If I was a businessman wanting to set up a depot, warehouse or whatever in a large town in the North of England, Huddersfield would put me off because of its non-existent and chaotic transport system, built around everybody having a car with a sat-nav.
These pictures show my time in Buxton.
The lunch in the Hydro Cafe was excellent.
Onward From Buxton
There are lines that branch off to the left as you reach Buxton. This the closed Ashbourne Line, which still carries stone and other quarried products from Hindley.
I wouldn’t be surprised that some of this route and others in the area, were reopened to passenger traffic.
Not my words, but that of the waiter.
It was a good quick breakfast.
The tea-pot certainly solves the dreaded tea-bag problem.
Apparently, it’s called the L’Etoile Du Nord.
I rose early and took these pictures along the the promenade by Las Canteras Beach.
I always get up early and it was good to walk along the promenade.
Note the three restaurants where I had a good gluten–free meal.
- Kitchen Lovers
- Restaurante Molinet
I also had a good tuna salad at Max Bread, so if you’re coeliac or gluten-free, you shouldn’t starve, unless you’re exceedimgly fussy.
Other points to note.
- The Hotel Reina Isabel looked to be a good place to stay because of its location.
- The beach was very clean.
- The promenade was a good place to walk, with no pavement problems.
- There were plenty of places serving good coffee and ices.
I would certainly return, but try the Hotel Reina Isabel next time.
Spain is not a difficult place to be gluten-free.
In the hotel, I only are breakfast, which usually consisted of fruit juice, eggs, ham, cheese and coffee.
There was no gluten-free bread, as you can get in most three or four stars hotels these days.
But that I can do without.
I did take about ten EatNakd bars and M&S Honeycomb Crisps, but Ialso found some Spanish bars, that were labelled Gluten-Free in large letters.
They would have done at a pinch.
I also had a couple of good salads.
I ate in this restaurant on Monday night.
The restaurant had the best allergy-friendly menu, I’ve ever found. Not from a point of the food, but from the way the information was presented.
For gluten-free food, I just avoided any item with a large red dot, with a gluten sign in the middle.
I ate here on the Tuesday night.
I’d been pointed to the restaurant by Lonely Planet’s guide to the Canary Islands (p 74)
It’s all, they say it is.
I didn’t book, but then November wasn’t busy in Las Palmas.
It was one of the best restaurants, I’ve eaten at in Spain. You have to remember that C and myself tried quite a few.
I paid 33 euros for two courses and a glass of wine.
I could spend that in say Carluccios in Leeds!
I ate here on Wednesday night after seeing the gluten-free sign on the facia.
It is a restaurant to watch, as it had mixed reviews, so it could go either way.
But at least it serves gluten-free San Miguel lager.
I wish them lots of success.
If you have to be gluten-free like me, you won’t starve in Las Palmas.
Supper tonight was a Marks and Spencer Gastropub Chicken Hash.
- I bought the meal in Waterloo station.
- It was cooked in the oven.
- I poured the meal onto the plate.
- When you live alone, you can use bread to wipe the plate.
The only washing up was the plate and the irons. I suppose I could have licked it clean!