The Anonymous Widower

Who Stole All The M & S Gluten-Free Food?

Over the last few weeks, certain gluten-free lines in Marks and Spencer have started getting difficult to find.

Some of the things, I like that have been difficult have included.

  • Ginger snap biscuits.
  • Gluten-free pies
  • Scones
  • Bloomer slices
  • Gluten-free muesli

Note that my supper is usually something I cook myself from scratch or one of the many M & S ready meals, that contain no gluten. It is usually washed down by a bottle of Adnams low-alcohol beer and followed by some fruit. Tonight, the fruit will be one of my favourites, which are strawberries and bananas.

I did think that the shortage of the lines I mentioned was due to a supply problem.

But then, there have not been shortages of other lines, that I buy, that are not specifically gluten-free.

So is it some gluten-free suppliers are having problems? Possibly.

But!

Regular readers of this blog will know that I believe that those coeliacs on a long-term gluten free diet seem to be unlikely to suffer a severe dose of the dreaded covids. There was no battle with the second dose!

I know for a start that my immune system gives short shift to any viral invaders, as it did with the AstraZeneca vaccine before they came to a truce.

So have others, including some with more medical knowledge than myself, come to the same conclusion about coeliac disease, the immune system, gluten and the covids and have gone gluten-free for safety?

For example, I’ve heard that those suffering from long covid have been tested for coeliac disease.

I’d love to be able to analyse the sales of gluten-free food.

 

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Strawberries And Beer

This was my afternoon snack whilst writing on the Internet.

Beer from Suffolk and strawberries from Herefordshire.

 

 

May 12, 2021 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 2 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

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

Surviving Lockdown

People ask if I am surviving lockdown.

I am lucky in several ways.

Housing

I live in a spacious house, which is comfortable.

Although, it does have problems.

  • It was built by a Turkish Jerrybuilder, who bought fixtures and fittings at the cheapest price possible.
  • It gets too hot.
  • The plumbing is suspect.
  • The air-conditioner is broken and the service company, have had my money to fix it, but won’t come.
  • The smoke detector above my bed is just hanging there, as I wrote in A Design Crime – The Average Smoke Detector

Hopefully, when we beat COVID-19, I’ll be able to move.

Finances

My investments give me enough to live comfortably. If you call, living in two rooms, never talking face-to-face with anybody living comfortably.

Exercise

I am still fit and can exercise as much as I need and is recommended.

I have a workout that I do twice a day, which includes movements like press-ups, stretches and single-leg stands.

I can do two dozen press-ups straight off or walk three miles, if I need to.

Health

My health is good, despite being a coeliac and suffering a serious stroke ten years ago.

  • I test my own INR.
  • I seem to have survived my fall of a month ago.
  • I only go to the surgery for B12 injections, drug reviews and the odd problem.

Other than that I just suffer from the problems of a healthy man of 72, like arthritis and hay fever.

I do have a strange skin, that leaks a lot of water and doesn’t bleed, when I have an injection or a doctor or nurse takes blood. I never have a plaster after either procedure.

Food

I am a reasonable and very practical cook, or so my son and various friends tell me. These are some meals, I’ve been cooking under lockdown.

Sardines And Baked Eggs

Pasta With Yogurt Sauce For One

Goat’s Cheese, Strawberry And Basil Salad

Cod And Tomato With Basil

Lemon And Spinach Cod Gratin

Smoked Haddock And Curried Rice

I shall add more here.

I won’t starve!

Shopping

A Marks and Spencer food store is fifteen minutes walk away, so I can get all the food I need.

I also got plenty of Adnams 0.5% alcohol Ghost Ship beers direct from the brewers delivered last week.

Their beers have been a lifeline, as they are gluten-free, thirst-quenching and don’t get me drunk. Even in quantity!

I also have safe delivery without any contact, as the couriers just ring my bell, we chat through the window about three metres away and they leave the goods on the step.

I didn’t think about lockdown, when I bought this house, but it is ideal for safe COVID-19-free deliveries.

Lockdown Practice

There can’t be many people, now going through the COVID-19 lockdown, wo have locked themselves away so many times in their life as I have.

  • At the age of about six, I spent three months or more, in isolation because I caught scarlet fever.
  • For the summer before A-Levels, my parents went to their house in Felixstowe. For part of the time, I locked myself in my bedroom and read up on my A level Physics.
  • A couple of times at ICI, I self-isolated with a computer to get important jobs done. How many have used an IBM-360 as a PC?
  • I self-isolated to write Speed, my first piece of independent software.
  • Pert7 and other software for Time Sharing Ltd was written overnight sitting in the window of their offices on Great Portland Street.
  • Artemis was written in an attic in Suffolk, with no-one else around for most of the time.
  • The special PC version of Artemis, that was a combined project management, database and spreadsheet program, was also written under lockdown.
  • After Celia died, I wrote Travels With My Celia(c) under lockdown. You can download the pdf file here.

Lockdown has almost been a way of life for me.

But on past form, I certainly have the mental strength to get through lockdown unscathed.

Conclusion

There must be a lot of others in much worse situations than myself.

 

April 18, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Health, World | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Glorious Sight In Marks And Spencer In Dalston

I get through almost a dozen bottles of Adnams 0.5% alcohol beer in a week

Marks And Spencer in Dalston has both varieties.

As my body says the beers are gluten-free, I am grateful for small mercies.

But then, I’ve been drinking Adnams since I was about fourteen!

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment

A Quick Pasta Supper For One

A few months ago Marks & Spencer started selling an Italian made gluten-free passta, that is named prosciutto & ricotta cappelletti.

Marks recommend serving it with your favourite sauce or melted butter.

So I used one of my favourite sauces adapted from Serial Cooking – Quick Pasta For One. The idea came from a recipe from Lyndsey Bareham in The Times.

These pictures show the stages.

Note.

  1. I split frozen peas down into small one-portion pots.
  2. The yogurt is a small pot of Honey & Ginger West Country Luxury Yoghurt from Marks & Spencer.
  3. I generally drink Adnams beer!

I shall cook the second half of the pasta in a few days, which will be the fifth time, I’ve had the meal in three weeks.

 

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lucky Seven

Why the Lucky Seven?

Because i’m drinking them! Does that make us the Lucky Eight?

The seven were the last on display in Marks and Spencer on Finsbury Pavement.

The City is a good hunting ground for this excellent beer!

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Over Four Units Of Beer

This picture shows nineteen bottles of Marks and Spencer’s Southwold Pale Ale, which is only 0.5% alcohol.

But it is brewed by Adnams in Suffolk.

I have been drinking adnams beer for over fifty years.

It should be said that you’d need to drink sixteen bottles to get to the four unit of alcohol limit for males.

I couldn’t manage eight litres of water.

I shall keep raiding Marks and Spencer in Finsbury Pavement to make sure I have enough for Christmas.

November 24, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On Alcoholism

In the last month or so, I’ve done something that I’ve never done before in my life.

I’ve drunk perhaps half a bottle of beer when I’ve got up. Admittedly, I’d left the bottle half finished by my computer.

It was good.

In the 1960s, I could drink a lot of beer. I just seemed to need it.

About that time, I decided I needed to drink large amounts of fluids and swapped to tea and Coke.

My doctor understands my needs for fluids and the practice nurse has the same problem. The nurse puts it down to leaky skin, which he has.

I actually love walking in the rain, so that might help explain it. We all live by the laws of physics.

My father warned me off alcohol in a practical way, by giving me halves of Adnams down at Felixstowe Conservative Club, whilst we played snooker, when I was about fourteen.

My father drank a lot of fluids, but I never saw him drunk and most doctors would say he was a sensible drinker. Like me, he also drank a lot of tea!

He had a reason to control his drinking! His father had died from complications of being an alcoholic at 40, when my father was about twenty.

My grandfather had lived just around the corner from where I live now and my father had once told me, he had drunk large amounts of beer and had moved on to whisky.

Around 1900, there was very little to drink except beer, so did my grandfather’s need for fluids mean that he turned to what was available?

Now I like a good beer and know of its properties to slake a thirst when you’re dry. I’ve worked in foundries in the 1960s and beer was always available.

So is there a type of person, who needs a lot of fluids and if beer is available they turn to it. In some cases does this lead to alcoholism.

As to myself, I must have gluten-free beer and because I’m on Warfarin, I must keep my alcohol consumption down.

So I now drink a gluten-free beer, that is just 0.25 of a unit and tastes like real beer from Marks and Spencer.

But then it is real beer, as it is brewed in Southwold by Adnams.

My life has come full circle.

 

 

March 18, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments