The Anonymous Widower

Increasing GP Service Capacity

Yesterday, I phoned my GP at 14:00 and saw him at 16:00, as I was allocated a cancellation.

This article on the BBC is entitled One In Five Patients Regularly Misses GP Appointments. This is said.

Up to one in five patients is regularly missing GP appointments in Scotland, new research reveals.

A study of more than 500,000 people in the country found poorer patients living in affluent areas were the most likely to miss an appointment.

My GP Surgery is in a mixed area, but it does have a comprehensive text message system, so you can cancel appointments.

Surely, if any percentage of the missed appointments could be cancelled and reallocated, this would increase the capacity of the GP service.

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Health | | 7 Comments

Where Are The Small Cooking Spoons?

My mother had a very small wooden cooking spoon about twelve or so centimetres long. It was ideal for warming baked beans or making scrambled eggs in a non-stick milk saucepan.

Her’s had suffered an accident and I can remember that one side was slightly burned, but it was still usable. And absolutely the eight size!

I’ve been looking for over fifty years since I left home and not found one yet!

This is the best I can do!

But it’s still too big! Note I have drilled a hole through the handle and fixed a cable-clip in it, so I can hang it up above my cooker.

Is it a Health and Safety requirement that spoons must be big enough, so we don’t get our fingers burned?

I’d actually like one in a high-tech plastic, as it would be easier to clean!

Baked Beans

On the subject of baked beans, I usually buy my small tins in Waitrose.

I should say, that I have a tendency to not eat enough soluble fibre and this was raising my cholesterol. A dietitian recommended that I eat one small tin of baked beans a week and use Benecol instead of margarine. It worked and meant, I avoided going on special drugs.

Last week, I fancied some baked beans with a poached egg for lunch and I was out of stock.

So I went to the corner store close to my house and bought a couple of tins of Heinz baked beans.

Obviously, no problem with cooking, eating or taste, but I found washing up of the saucepan and the spoon much easier!

Which is surely a bonus for the thirty pence extra cost of the beans.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Food, Health | , | 5 Comments

The Joy Of Physics

On the One Show on BBC television, yesterday there was a report about a man called Ian Tansley, who has invented a vaccine fridge for use in places like Africa, where the electricity is not reliable.

This Wikipedia entry for Sure Chill Technology describes the technology and this report on the BBC, describes how the invention has been backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Physics to many is a dull subject at school, but to me, it’s the key to so many interesting inventions and ideas that will shape our lives in a better way.

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Health, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Age Just Starting, Says Tech Guru

The title of this post is the same as the title of a short article in the Business section of the Sunday Times.

It is a summary of an interview with Marc Andreesen onside the Business section.

Some points raised.

  • The next wave of technological disruption will affect law, medicine and construction.
  • The basic cost of starting an Internet company has fallen dramatically
  • There’s something really special happening at the intersection of medincine and computer science.

I certainly agree with the title of the article.

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Computing, Health, World | | Leave a comment

Reflections At Seventy

I completed by seventh decade this morning at about three, if I remember what my mother told me about the time of my birth correctly.

Dreams Of A Shared Retirement With Celia

Perhaps twelve years ago, my wife;Celia and I made a decision and that was to sell everything in Suffolk, after she retired from the law in perhaps 2015 or so and retire to a much smaller house in somewhere like Hampstead in London.

I remember too, that we discussed retirement in detail on my sixtieth birthday holiday in Majorca.

But of course, things didn’t work out as planned.

Two Deaths And A Stroke

Celia died of a squamous cell carcinoma of the heart on December 11th, 2007.

Then three years later, our youngest son died of pancreatic cancer.

Whether, these two deaths had anything to do with my stroke, I shall never know!

Moving To Dalston

Why would anybody in their right mind move to Dalston in 2010?

It is my spiritual home, with my maternal grandmother being born opposite Dalston Junction station,my father being being born just up the road at the Angel and grandfathers and their ancestors clustered together in Clerkenwell and Shoreditch. My Dalstonian grandmother was from a posh Devonian family called Upcott and I suspect she bequeathed me some of my stubbornness. My other grandmother was a Spencer from Peterborough and she could be difficult too! But that could be because she was widowed at forty-nine!

Celia and I had tried to move to De Beauvoir Town in the 1970s, but couldn’t get a mortgage for a house that cost £7,500, which would now be worth around two million.

So when I gave up driving because the stroke had damaged my eyesight, Dalston and De Beauvoir Town were towards the top of places, where I would move.

I would be following a plan of which Celia would have approved and possibly we would have done, had she lived.

But the clincher was the London Overground, as Dalston was to become the junction between the North London and East London Lines. Surely, if I could find a suitable property in the area, it wouldn’t lose value.

But I didn’t forsee the rise of Dalston!

Taking Control Of My Recovery

I do feel that if I’d been allowed to do what I wanted by my GP, which was to go on Warfarin and test my own INR, I’d have got away with just the first very small stroke I had in about 2009.

In about 2011, one of the world’s top cardiologists told me, that if I got the Warfarin right, I wouldn’t have another stroke.

As a Control Engineer, with all the survival instincts of my genes that have been honed in London, Liverpool and Suffolk, I have now progressed to the drug regime, I wanted after that first small stroke.

I still seem to be keeping the Devil at bay.

Conclusion

I’m ready to fight the next ten years.

 

August 16, 2017 Posted by | Health, Travel, World | , , | 2 Comments

Dame Sally Davies Puts The Boot In To Cancer

The lead item on BC Breakfast this morning is detailed in this article on the BBC web site entitled Chief medical officer calls for gene testing revolution.

Dame Sally Davies is very forthright in calling for gene testing to cease being a cottage industry and be nationalised with a large database of all information, to help in the treatment of cancer.

She said that spending the same amount of money on a national system, would bring better treatments to many more patients.

But she didn’t leave it at that and criticised doctors for not wanting a nation system and patients who don’t let their data be added to the national database.

I have been told by Liverpool University, that one of the reasons for their success with pancreatic cancer, is that they have an impressive database of cases from all over the world.

Those who refuse to allow their data to help others, need to be persuaded in the strongest possible way.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Health | | 1 Comment

Help For Charlie Gard

This article on the BBC is entitled Charlie Gard: Pope and Trump offer parents support.

I think this Pope is a good man, and I suspect his kind words would be welcome.

But whilst Trumpkopf does nothing to abolish the death penalty in the United States, his unwanted comments should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Health, World | , , | 1 Comment

A Strange Fog

On Monday night, it was hot in the house and I was listening to the radio and typing up a few things for my blog.

The window was open for fresh air and as I often am, I was just wearing a pair of small black briefs for comfort, modesty and to keep cool.

Id been to the vigil by Tower Bridge and I’d had rather a nice ready meal from Marks and Spencer for supper.

I was also drinking heavily, but it was only endless mugs of tea!

So I laid down on the Chinese carpet on the floor and must have dosed off for half-an-hour.

When I awoke and stood up, I found that I couldn’t see very well.

I was worried at first, but after going into my bedroom to the toilet, I found I could see alright in the other room.

I then thought that the living room must be full of smoke or steam like you’d get if you left a saucepan of water on a lighted stove.

But the kettle and stove were cold, all taps in the house were switched off and there was no obvious source of the fog.

I then weighed myself, as I often do before I go to bed and found that I lost a kilo since Sunday night, despite eating well and drinking a lot.

And then it dawned what the fog was.

The temperature and humidity in the room had been such, that it had drawn the water through my skin and I was looking through a fog of my own perspiration.

I should say, that regularly, I lose a kilo overnight.

All very strange, but totally explained by the laws of physics and my extraordinary skin, which baffles medics, as if say they inject me or take blood, I don’t bleed afterwards and don’t need a plaster, despite being on Warfarin.

 

 

June 7, 2017 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

It’s Cancer Good News Time Again!

These articles have appeared on the BBC in recent days.

Last June this story on the BBC web site entitled ‘Major Win’ In Pancreatic Cancer Fight was published.

It is not unexpected at this time of year, as a big cancer conference takes place around now every year.

There is also another pattern that seems to be happening in all the good news.

Research is key and often the research has been funded by Cancer Research UK and performed in our Universities.

Some techniques like innovative routes of attacking the cancer cells and understanding the action of existing drugs better seem to be more common.

We’ll never win totally against cancer, but we’ll certainly win a few skirmishes.

We should all do our bit for not ourselves, by not smoking!

June 3, 2017 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Will The Broadgate Reconstruction Remove The Smoking Shelter?

Broadgate is reconstructing the building on the South side, which will face the new piazza in front of Liverpool Street station.

This visualisation shows what the entrance to Crossrail will look like in front of Broadgate.

Crossrail Broadgate Entrance

But what are they going to do with the smoking shelter, that sits in the entrance to the main-line station?

The shelter would be shown on the left of the visualisation, if the image had a wider format.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Health, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment