The Anonymous Widower

Second Time Around For A Lockdown

What is different this time around, is that I’ve had three months practice and I believed it would come, so I stocked up with essentials.

My Dalstonista grandmother regretted in the Great  War, she didn’t stock up, so wasn’t caught out in the Second, with a hundredweight of both jam and sugar in the cellar.

My essentials are a bit different.

  • Adnams Beer – 0.5 % alcohol.
  • Tins of sardines in tomato.
  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Muesli
  • Pots of porridge.
  • Pots of M & S luxury honey & ginger yoghurt. For adding to fruit, muesli and as a pasta sauce.
  • Ready meals in the freezer.

I would assume, I can get gluten-free bread, bananas, milk and eggs, when I need them.

Gloria Gaynor’s song is in my brain.

November 5, 2020 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Le Pain Quotidien Has Reopened

This is good for coeliacs, as they do reasonable gluten-free food.

I can also get a 73 bus directly to Goodge Street station, where there is a particularly good Le Pain Quotidien, close to a Marks & Spencer food store and a Rymans.

What more could I want?


  1. I caught the bus close to my house and sat in the tail-gunner’s seat.
  2. The 73 bus has now been rerouted down Tottenham Court Road.
  3. The green-glazed building is University College Hospital. I now have a direct bus to the hospital, where I sometimes go for appointments.
  4. Tottenham Court Road is now two-way for buses, cyclists and taxis.

I shall use that Le Pain Quotidien more often.

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment

Screening For Coeliac Disease

People ask me if they should be screened for coeliac disease.

This page on Coeliac UK is entitled Screening For Coeliac Disease.

They quote this advice from NICE.

NICE has advised that people with close relatives (for example father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister) are at increased risk of coeliac disease and so should be considered for screening. This would involve having a blood test in the first instance.

That sounds fairly sensible to me.

October 5, 2020 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Coronavirus: Can I Be Infected By Touching Surfaces?

The title of this post is the same as that of an article on The Sunday Times.

The article is worth reading.

These two paragraphs some up the latest thoughts on infection from surfaces.

Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told the US science website Nautilus that there had been “a lot of fear” at the beginning of the pandemic about transmission of the virus if people touched their faces after contact with metal, plastic or other contaminated surfaces, collectively known to scientists as fomites.

Yet the evidence suggests that the virus on most surfaces is not strong enough to make people ill. “It’s not through surfaces,” she added. “It’s from being close to someone spewing virus from their nose and mouth, without in most cases knowing they are doing so.”

I travel around the Underground a lot and I’m always masked, when I enter stations and usually use the hand-sanitisers, at least once on a trip. Most in London, seem to be acting similarly.

There has been no scares about using the Underground because of high-rates of the covids in recent months, that I can find.

More importantly, under a sub-title of Why Are Young Women The Targets Now?, this is the first paragraph.

The disease that ravaged care homes and turned the elderly into hermits for much of the spring has taken aim at different targets this autumn. Public Health England’s most recent statistics show that the 20-29 age group has had the most new cases since the end of June, followed closely by the 30-39 age group. In both those groups, more women are being infected than men.

This is paragraph is from the NHS web site.

Reported cases of coeliac disease are around 3 times higher in women than men. It can develop at any age, although symptoms are most likely to develop: during early childhood – between 8 and 12 months old, although it may take several years before a correct diagnosis is made.

Could this paragraph partly explain, the fact that women in their twenties and thirties are suffering from the covids?

Coeliac disease affects one in fifty of the population.

As a coeliac, it’s no hard task to stick to a gluten-free diet.

And I get the bonus of being 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer, according to peer-reviewed research from Nottingham University.

October 4, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

The Small Sign That Means So Much To A Coeliac

I’ve bought Marks & Spencer’s mackerel pate for any years.

It’s the first time, I’ve noticed the packaging has the gluten-free symbol.

More please! My eyesight needs glasses to read the allergies!

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 2 Comments

Thoughts On COVID-19 On Merseyside

Merseyside is in trouble with the covids.

These are the number of lab confirmed cases per 100,000 population for local authorities in the area, as of the 1st October 2020.

  • Halton – 1108.1
  • Knowsley – 1388
  • Liverpool – 1244.5
  • Sefton – 1037.6
  • St. Helens – 1230.4
  • Wirral – 1185.5

My London Borough of Hackney, which is demographically, a bit like poorer parts of Liverpool, has a rate of 524.3.

But the gold standard to my mind is Cambridge, which has a rate of only 380.6.

Oxford, which is a very similar city to Cambridge has a much higher rate of 799.5,

Why Is Cambridge Doing So Well?

I was diagnosed as a coeliac at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, twenty-three years ago.

According to my consultant in the City at the time, Cambridge has a VERY high level of diagnosed coeliacs.

He told me, that he had more coeliac  patients, than any other gastroenterologist in the UK.

So why is the number of coeliacs so high in Cambridge?

I feel it is because Cambridge had a Whack-a-Coeliac policy in the 1990s, where they attempted to diagnose as many coeliacs as they could find.

I was certainly diagnosed at that time and judging by the speed they did the initial diagnosis, I suspect, they were using one of the first genetic tests. They were also doing endoscopies without anaesthetic to increase throughput!

Coeliacs, Cancer And The Covids

Diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a strong immune system, which helps protect them from cancer, as has been shown by Joe West at Nottingham University.

I should also add, that none of my coeliac acquaintances have had a severe dose of the covids.

So does our stronger immune systems give us protection from the covids?

This could explain, why an area like Cambridge has a lower level of the covids than Oxford.

Why Is Merseyside In Trouble?

The Irish, because of historic famine, have higher levels of coeliac disease.

Comedians from the City have joked about Liverpool being the capital of Ireland for decades.

Could it be that there is a high percentage of undiagnosed coeliacs on Merseyside?

If this is true, could these undiagnosed coeliacs, with poorer immune systems, be easy pickings for the covids?


These actions should be taken.

  • Merseyside needs a Whack-a-Coeliac policy, if it doesn’t have one! It would certainly, improve cancer rates!
  • Every in-patient with the covids, should be given a quick blood test for coeliac disease.
  • Other research needs to be done to find out the any link between coeliac disease and the covids!

Not for nothing is coeliac disease regularly called the Many-Headed Hydra by some doctors and researchers.




October 1, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Suzie’s Cup Of Joy

It must be very difficult for small cafes in this pandemic, but Suzie’s Cup of Joy in Cleethorpes seemed to be managing. They were certainly doing all the right things.

I had a gluten-free breakfast there on Wednesday.

I would have sat outside, but it was rather breezy.

September 20, 2020 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Lunch At Cafe Piazza In The Hays Galleria

I had a gluten-free lunch in Caffe Piazza in the Hays Galleria near to London Bridge station.

I only had a baked potato and chilli con carne with a glass of wine, but that was all I needed.

I’ll definitely go back again.

August 31, 2020 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

Care Homes In England Had Greatest Increase In Excess Deaths At Height Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the University of Stirling web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Care homes in England experienced the highest increase in excess deaths at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to those in the rest of the UK, according to new research.

The actual figures are as follows.

  • England – 79 %
  • Northern Ireland – 46 %
  • Scotland – 62 %
  • Wales – 66 %

So why are the three Celtic nations, doing better than England?

In A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19, I said this.

How many undiagnosed coeliacs are there in those over seventy, who because they are coeliacs, have a compromised immune system?

I would be undiagnosed but for that elderly locum!

How many other coeliacs are there in the UK population?

    • Age UK has a figure of twelve million who are over 65 in the UK.
    • If 1-in-100, as stated by Coeliac UK, in the UK are coeliac, that is 120,000 undiagnosed coeliacs over 65.

Will these 120,000 people have a compromised immune system, that makes them  more susceptible to Covid-19?

It has been said, that a good immune system helps you fight Covid-19!

If those 120,000 elderly undiagnosed coeliacs have a compromised immune system, how many are in poor health with cancer, arthritis and general poor health and have decided that a care home is best.

Coeliac Disease And The Celts

The Irish have a history of coeliac disease, which I have heard suggested goes back to the potato famine.

Certainly, the whole island of Ireland is a coeliac friendly place compared to some parts of England. Although, Liverpool with its strong Irish heritage is an exception.


I do wonder, if understanding of coeliac disease in the three Celtic nations is better than it is in England and a higher proportion of elderly coeliacs have been diagnosed.

Any younger coeliac born after about 1980, has probably been picked up, for the simple reason, that most GPs these days take regular blood tests and do seem to be more knowledgeable about the disease than GPs were before about 1980.

According to my GP, to test a child, is normally just a simple blood test and an analysis at a lab. Only a few cases, will need an endoscopy.

So do we have this population of undiagnosed coeliacs with compromised immune systems in English care homes?

Perhaps, everybody in a care home, should be tested for coeliac disease?

If nothing else, it may save money on cancer care, as diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet are 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer.


August 30, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Pancreatic Cancer Deaths Around The World

This data is from a web site called World Life Expectancy.

My son died at just 37 and if I can save one person’s family, from the same anguish, that I have suffered, it would have been worth it.

The data is World Health Organisation data from 2018, and the figures shown are as follows.

  1. Age adjusted death rate per 100,000 of the population
  2. World ranking
  3. Rating in the country of pancreatic cancer amongst all deaths.

The country name links to the data.

These are a few of my thoughts.

The Top Ten Countries

These are the top ten countries.

  1. Hungary
  2. Uruguay
  3. Armemia
  4. Malta
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Estonia
  7. Iceland
  8. Israel
  9. Slovakia
  10. Austria

The full list is on the World Life Expectancy web site.

From the top ten, it looks to me, that pancreatic cancer seems to be common in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I also think there could be a Jewish connection.

In the history of Jews in the Austro-Hungarian Empire on Wikipedia, this is an extract, that talks about Jews around 1900.

In that period, the majority of Jews in Austria-Hungary lived in small towns (shtetls) in Galicia and rural areas in Hungary and Bohemia; however, they had large communities and even local majorities in the downtown districts of Vienna, Budapest and Prague. Of the pre-World War I military forces of the major European powers, the Austro-Hungarian army was almost alone in its regular promotion of Jews to positions of command. While the Jewish population of the lands of the Dual Monarchy was about five percent, Jews made up nearly eighteen percent of the reserve officer corps. Thanks to the modernity of the constitution and to the benevolence of emperor Franz Joseph, the Austrian Jews came to regard the era of Austria-Hungary as a golden era of their history.

That doesn’t sound like they were suffering large amounts of anti-semitism, as they had for a long time in the Baltic States and East Prussia, where my ancestor emigrated to England around 1800.

I need some help here from a Jewish historian.

But the statistics and geography  are indicating to me, that Jews from the Austro-Hungarian Empire could have chosen to emigate through the Balkans to Palestine, when they saw the way the tide was turning after World War One.

I know a bit about life in Palestine in the 1930s, because at one period of my life, my next-door neighbour was a retired British Officer, who was stationed in the country. He was actually in the King David Hotel, when it was blown up. Charles is long-dead now, but I wished I’d recorded his memories, as in today’s Middle East climate, they would be an unusual insight.

But why Iceland, Malta and Uruguay?

Ireland And The United Kingdom

As could be expected, Ireland and the United Kingdom are fairly close together in the table; at 40 and 44 respectively.

  • Just men and the positions are 49 and 51.
  • Just women and it’s 37 and 42.

In the tables, Canada and Australia are just below the United Kingdom, with New Zealand a few places further down.

Cambodia, Laos And Vietnam

To a coeliac like me, Cambodia is interesting, as they are reckoned to have the most gluten-free cuisine in the world.

But these three countries, are all in the bottom third of the table, along with some other major countries, whose food has a lot of rice; Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand.

I know gluten affects my health, but if your diet contains little gluten, does that lower, your chance of getting pancreatic cancer?






August 18, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment