The Anonymous Widower

Brexit: Duty-Free Makes A Come-Back For Travellers Returning From Britain

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Irish Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

For the first time in more than 20 years people travelling to the State from British ports and airports will be able to load their luggage or their cars with tax-free tobacco, alcohol, perfumes and so-called luxury items once the new year bells chime in less than a week.

Duty-free between Ireland and Britain was abolished 21 years ago as it was not considered compatible with the emerging single market. However with the UK now leaving the EU and its single market from the start next year the old rules are set to revert.

As someone, who never buys anything in duty-free, I can’t say I’m bothered.

January 3, 2021 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cup Of Tea Brightens The Day And The Mind

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Newcastle University.

This is the introductory paragraph.

If you’re enjoying a cup of tea and mince pie this festive season, you may be refreshing more than your palate, as research shows a good brew improves the attention span in those over 85-years-old.

I find this research interesting, mainly because I drink tea in large quantities, at a rate of at least six mugs a day.

But then my family seems to have an unusual drink problem.

  • I drink decaffinated builders tea and usually in a day, I’ll also drink two bottles of 0.5 % alcohol beer from Adnams and other soft drinks too!
  • My father was the same except that he would have a pint of Adnams a couple of times a week.
  • But his father drunk so much, he became an alcoholic and died at forty, well before I was born.
  • I also tend to have a mug of tea before I go to bed.
  • I’ve always preferred tea to coffee.
  • My fifty-year-old son is teetotal, but seems to drink a lot of tea and soft drinks.

As both my father and myself share a skin problem, which is probably related to coelic disease. I think, I sweat a lot of water through my skin, so I need to keep topping it up.

Conclusion

After reading the report from Newcastle University, I think I’ll keep drinking the tea.

 

December 29, 2020 Posted by | Food, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

My Second (And Cold) Christmas Dinner

As I wrote in Cooking My Christmas Dinner, I had a lot of food left over from Friday, as this picture showed.

So on Sunday, I had a cold lunch based on what was left.

I’ve still got some of the delicious cauliflower cheese for lunch today or tomorrow!

I think I can say, that this Christmas Feast from Roasted by Jack and Scott has been an unqualified success!

  • The delivery turned up, when they said it would.
  • The cooking time of just forty minutes was amazing.
  • The vegetables were superb!
  • I ate all the Christmas pudding, which is rare.
  • The amount of washing up was small.
  • There is no remains of a large bird to deal with!

I have said to my son, that if we get together next year, I’ll look seriously at using Jack and Scott again. I think I could just about cook for four on my small cooker.

December 28, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Christmas Pudding

These pictures show my Christmas pudding, which I had tonight.

Note.

  1. I just put it in the oven for fifteen minutes.
  2. It was excellent!

I’d certainly have another one!

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Cooking My Christmas Dinner

These pictures show how I cooked my Christmas Feast for One from Roasted by Jack and Scott.

Note.

  1. It took under forty minutes from when the oven had warmed up and the water was simmering to cook the meal.
  2. The only utensils I used were a pair of scissors and a slice to get the bags out of the hot water.
  3. Washing up was minimal and nothing needed a heavy scrub, which is always a good thing.
  4. Vegetables were over generous for someone like me, who only weighs 63 kilos.

Anybody, who can put together some IKEA flatpack furniture and who knows how to boil water, stick a ready meal in the oven, should be able to cook this meal.

I have to wonder how many people could cook a delicious meal like this this from scratch in forty minutes.

The package included Christmas pudding. I’ll cook that tomorrow!

I can also remember several fraught Christmas mornings, when C was cooking Christmas Dinner. Usually, they involved my mother-in-law! This meal would certainly avoid, the too many cooks problem, as one person could cook a meal for four in well under an hour.

If I have to spend Christmas by myself again or I am entertaining a small number of people, I’ll seriously think about going back to Jack and Scott.

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 3 Comments

Don’t Worry! – I’m Not Drinking To Oblivion

It’s approaching three o’clock on Christmas Day and the empties are accumulating.

But as I say, there is no worry, as if I drink the fourth bottle, that will only be one unit of alcohol, but four units of taste.

 

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 3 Comments

My Christmas Dinner Has Arrived

These pictures show my Christmas dinner, which arrived today.

Note.

  1. As the pictures show it is now safe in my fridge.
  2. I don’t think I could complain about the packaging.
  3. Full cooking instructions were included. Most look like time in an oven or boil-in-a-bag.

The Christmas Feast came from Roasted by Jack and Scott.

December 23, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 4 Comments

Did I Have A Close Brush With Covid-19?

In January, this year, I wrote a post called Mule Trains Between Liverpool And Norwich, where I went between Liverpool and Sheffield on a train formed of  of several Class 153 trains.

I didn’t think of it, at the time, I wrote the post, but at Manchester Piccadilly station, the train filled up with a large number of Chinese students returning to University.

The students were happy and laughing, but you wouldn’t have complained about them, but there must have been twenty taking most of the available seats in my carriage. I shared a table with three!

At the time, Covid-19 had hardly started to invade the UK, with most cases started in March.

But, after hearing someone’s story on the radio yesterday, I wonder about the health of those students.

I certainly, didn’t catch the Covids after that train journey and haven’t had the virus since, to my knowledge.

But after reading the scientific paper from the University of Padua, that I wrote about in Risk of COVID-19 In Celiac Disease Patients, perhaps I was protected by a natural immunity provided by being a coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet.

As my father said, I was born lucky!

 

December 22, 2020 Posted by | Food, Health, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A London Mongrel Gets Ready For Christmas

I constantly, refer to myself as a London Mongrel, as my father did.

This extract from a previous post, explains why I do.

On the other hand, I’m a London Mongrel of German Jewish and French Huguenot roots, with quarters of stubborn Devonian and solid Northants yeoman stock thrown in. A large proportion of my ancestors are also real East Enders and of course my father was a genuine Cockney.

The older I get, the more I think, the Devonian genes of my Dalston-born maternal grandmother are asserting themselves.

I was going to my son’s house for Christmas Dinner, but we felt last night, that it was best to call it off, as although, what we had planned would have been within the rules, it would be better not to take any chances.

Yesterday, there was an article in The Times about how Michelin-starred chefs were doing Christmas meals in a box for home warming through!

So last night, I bought one for sixty-one pounds from Roasted by Jack and Scott.

I’ve already got the beer in, as this picture shows.

But then it’s all gluten-free, low-alcohol beer from Adnams, that tastes just like the halves from the same brewery, that my father used to buy for me sixty years ago.

My father didn’t want me to be the alcoholic his father was, so he introduced me to beer in social settings at an early age and now at seventy-three, I can honestly say, that, there are few times in my past, where I’ve got really drunk. So thank you, Dad!

But then my father was unconventional and didn’t follow the rules.

A year or so ago, I was reminded of a story about my father by someone I was at school with at Minchenden.

My father had ordered a new Vanden Plas Princess 1100 from a garage near the school. So one morning over breakfast, he asked the seventeen-year-old me, if I wouldn’t mind picking up the car after school and bring it home.

So after school, I picked up the car and took it home.

I can’t remember, if I gave any of my school-mates a lift. But I may have done!

Football

The one problem, I have is not being able to watch Premier League football on television, except on Match of the Day.

The Premier League have sold the Christmas rights to Amazon, which is a company, I don’t do business with!

Anyway, as the pictures come by broadband, I doubt I’d be able to watch it, as my broadband is crap.

BT told my MP, it’s because I’m too close to the exchange!

Conclusion

I’ll be OK. But then like my father, my sons and my granddaughter, we all seem happy in our own company.

I am also lucky in being coeliac on a gluten-free diet!

The more I research my health, the more I’m convinced that my genes have given me a strong immune system and that is protecting me from the covids.

But then, self-isolating by habit is not a bad trait in these terrible times.

 

December 20, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Sport | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why I’ll Delay Having The Coronavirus Vaccine

The vaccines are coming for the covids, but I won’t be having a jab, if one is offered to me, in the first round. I may not be offered one, as I am only 73 and in good health.

But there are many out there, who need the vaccine more than I do, who will be given lower priority than myself.

So I’ll wait!

I am also a diagnosed coeliac on a gluten-free diet and my statistical researches and news reports, show that communities and groups with high levels of undiagnosed coeliacs have suffered badly from the covids.

These communities and groups include.

  • Anybody born before 1960, as there was no test for coeliac disease in children before then.
  • Ashkenazi Jews. My coeliac genes come from an ancestor in this group.
  • Irish
  • Caribbean. West Africans have a tendency to coeliac disease and what better way to bring it out, than starve them on slave ships and feed them on only bread and water.

I have also found a research paper, that shows, that India could now experience a coeliac disease epidemic, caused by modern strains of wheat.  See Coeliac Disease: Can We Avert The Impending Epidemic In India?

Coeliacs on a gluten-free diet, are an interesting group, in that according to peer-reviewed research by Joe West of Nottingham University, they are 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer.

How can one disease protect you from another?

My coeliac disease was indicated by low-levels of B12, as gluten was damaging my gut and stopping it absorbing vital vitamins. By removing the gluten from my diet, my B12 levels returned to normal.

So it’s the diet that protects my health.

If you think, you are coeliac, don’t be put off by horror stores of multiple endoscopies and the difficulty of sticking to a gluten-free diet. I may have been one of the first individuals tested, by the current genetic method, which is now used by most GPs. A blood sample is sent off for a test and that is generally all that is done in most cases. I heard in 48 hours.

So why is it beneficial in the case of cancer?

It can only be, that with all those vitamins, coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a very healthy immune system.

So does, this immune system, help protect coeliacs from the covids?

Until proven otherwise, my statistical research, thinks it does!

So I believe, that I can afford to wait.

Has Good Project Management Helped The UK Get The Vaccine Early?

Professor Van-Tam, this morning on BBC Breakfast, praised the planning of the drug companies and the various health bodies in charge of certification of the vaccines.

As someone, who was at the heart of the Project Management Revolution in the 1970s and 1980s, this cheers me.

Looking back, my biggest contribution to project management, was to prove that you didn’t need to use a large mainframe computer and software would work on a small desk-sized machine and ultimately on a personal computer, thus bringing project management to everyone.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment