The Anonymous Widower

Gluten-Free Food On The NHS – Again

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!

March 28, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Two Marks And Spencer Mini Meals

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!

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Food | , | 3 Comments

From Liverpool To Huddersfield

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

The Atherton Line is part of the Manchester-Southport Line and runs between Wigan Wallgate and Salford Crescent stations.

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.[2] 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

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.

Huddersfield Line

The Huddersfield Line took me to Stalybridge station and then later on to Huddersfield station.

There was no sign of any electrification work.

Stalybridge Station

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.

TransPennine Express

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.

Huddersfield

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.

 

 

March 10, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lunch In Buxton

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.

March 9, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

I Can’t Go On Like This

I am feeling absolutely dreadful, but I don’t think it is the cold I’ve picked up.

I’m coughing and sneezing like mad because of a dry throat and I can remember times like this as a child, when I had days and weeks off sdchool.

But in some ways it all changed, hen my parents bought a second house in Felixstow, so I was taken away for most weekends, thus getting away from the London smog.

Now, I find that if I get some sun, I feel a lot better/ But since I went to Madeira a month ago, I’ve seen precious little sun.

I think my problem is that my gut doesn’t absorb vitamin B12 and D, so I only get vitamin D through the sun.

Going gluten-free obviously didn’t work for me.

It’s funny, but if I have a walk of a mile of so in the sun, it cuyres all my problems.

January 8, 2017 Posted by | Health | | 6 Comments

Las Palmas Wakes Up

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
  • Balalaika
  • 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.

  1. The Hotel Reina Isabel looked to be a good place to stay because of its location.
  2. The beach was very clean.
  3. The promenade was a good place to walk, with no pavement problems.
  4. There were plenty of places serving good coffee and ices.

I would certainly return, but try the Hotel Reina Isabel next time.

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Gluten-Free Eating In Las Palmas

Spain is not a difficult place to be gluten-free.

The Hotel

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.

Snacks

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.

Balalaika

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.

Kitchen Lovers

I ate here on the Tuesday night.

Kitchen Lovers

Kitchen Lovers

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!

Restaurante Molinet

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.

Tailpiece

If you have to be gluten-free like me, you won’t starve in Las Palmas.

 

 

November 9, 2016 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

A Meal With Little Washing Up

Supper tonight was a Marks and Spencer Gastropub Chicken Hash.

Note.

  1. I bought the meal in Waterloo station.
  2. It was cooked in the oven.
  3. I poured the meal onto the plate.
  4. 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!

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

Marks And Spencer Have Changed My Life

Coming back today, I went to Marks and Spencer in Waterloo station, which although it is not a full stop, must be one of their bigger Simply Food shops in stations.

These pictures sum up the visit.

Some of the products have only been available in the last year or so.

  • Chicken Pakoras
  • Crisps With Exotic Flavours
  • Gluten-Free Gastropub meals.
  • Humous
  • Kent IPA
  • Pasta Salad
  • Scotch Eggs
  • Snacks Wth Taste

When I was diagnosed nearly twenty years ago, you were lucky to find anything quick to cook in any shop, except eggs and fish.

What would I like to see now?

  • Most ready-meals  made gluten-free and labelled as such on the top.
  • Ravioli, that is gluten-free.
  • Sausages and burgers gluten-free, as in Marks and Sainsburys.
  • More gluten-free real beers.

I think it is true to say, that it’s going my way.

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Food | , , , | 7 Comments

How To Cook Gluten-Free Fish

As a coeliac, I get fed up with restaurants, who can’t cook fish in a simple gluten-free way.

On my trip to Sufbury, which I wrote about in Marks Tey Station And The Sudbury Branch, I needed to eat something.

I did find my usual stand-by of a Pizza Express, but felt that I might be better to wait until I got back to London and buy a gluten-free wrap or sandwich in Liverpool Street station.

I then came across the Codfather, which had a sign saying they did gluten-free fish and chips on Sunday.

The waitress said they could do me a plain grilled fish with new potatoes and vegetables, which I had.

It was excellent and I can heartily recommend the Codfather in Sudbury.

I can’t understand, why more restaurants, don’t use this simple method to satisfy, those like me, who need gluten-free food.

On BBC Breakfast this morning, there is a story about problems in our seaside resorts.

How many of them have a restaurant that sells gluten-free fish lunches and inners  to the standard of the Codfather or Kubicki in Gdansk?

A quick search has found decent places in Brighton, Hastings and Blackpool, but others places don’t seem so well served.

 

 

 

July 11, 2016 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment