The Anonymous Widower

Pfizer Booster Dose Offers Exceptionally High Levels Of Protection Against Covid And All Variants, Study Shows

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

The title says everything except that the protection is 95.6 % from a study of 10,000 people.

How are the anti-vaxxers going to explain that one away?

Perhaps if the old one-two works in boxing, it also works with vaccines.

October 21, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 4 Comments

I Had My Covid-19 Booster Jab Today

I had my second Covid-19 vaccination on April 19th.

Yesterday, I received a text message and an e-mail inviting me to book a booster jab.

I was able to book the jab for 9:45, this morning, when I had it in a local pharmacy.

There seemed to be a big difference in attitude this time. For the first two jabs, there was a positive almost happy atmosphere, but today it was much more subdued, with everybody waiting looking almost miserable.

Could it be, that everybody getting fed up with the covids?

October 21, 2021 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Report Finds London North Eastern Railway Can Aid UK’s Pandemic Recovery

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

It is a must-read article, that discusses a report by respected consultants; Steer.

The main conclusion is that LNER services are worth £ 2 billion per year to the UK.

Could similar figures be attributed to other train operating companies?

October 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

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

Covid: Merck’s Antiviral Pill molnupiravir Slashes Chances Of Illness And Death

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

The title almost sounds to go to be true, but on reading the article, that seems to be even better.

  • Halves the chance of going to hospital.
  • Slashes chance of death.

Xi Jinping was said to be unavailable for comment.

October 1, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 8 Comments

Prioritising Patients

Homerton hospital is hoping to remove my gallstones on Thursday by endoscopy, so it’s just a fairly small procedure.

I do wonder if there is a shortage of nurses, doctors and other staff at the hospital caused by either the Covids or the fuel crisis, if some operations will be cancelled.

At no time, in the diagnostic process was I asked if I was in pain. Which I am not!

Surely, in the Age of Covid-19, where there is great uncertainty about predicting hospital capacity just a few weeks in the future, I should have been asked a few questions, so that urgent cases could be given priority if necessary.

As they must have been there for a few months causing me no trouble, surely a few extra weeks won’t make much difference to me.

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Would A North-East And South West Sleeper Service Be A Good Idea?

I ask this question as in the October 2021, there is an article entitled A New Sleeper, which has this explanatory sub-title.

Des Bradley describes his concept for a North-East to South-West Overnight Service

Paraphrasing his resume from the article, Des Bradley is probably best described as a rail enthusiast, who has travelled all over Europe by train, especially on sleeper trains. He has also worked recently with ScotRail, where he led their integrated travel activities.

I regularly use the Caledonian Sleeper on my trips to Scotland,  often taking a sleeper one way and a day time train the other. Towards the end of next month, I have tickets booked for a low-cost Lumo train to Edinburgh and a sleeper back to London in the evening.

In this blog, I have regularly written about the sleeper trains being introduced across Europe and this summer I had intended to go via Eurostar and NightJet to Vienna. But the pandemic has kept me in England for two years.

An Edinburgh And Plymouth Sleeper

Des Bradley is proposing a sleeper train between Edinburgh and Plymouth.

  • A typical daytime trip on this route takes eight hours and forty-five minutes.
  • Intermediate stops would be Berwick-upon-Tweed, Newcastle, Durham, Darlington, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham New Street, Cheltenham Spa, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Exeter St. David’s and Newton Abbot.
  • Journey time would be just over twelve hours.
  • By comparison a sleeper between London and Edinburgh takes about seven hours and thirty minutes.

He calls the service the NESW Sleeper.

I have some thoughts on the proposal.

A Spine Route Between Edinburgh And Penzance

The route is effectively a spine between Edinburgh and Plymouth on which other services can be built.

Unlike the Caledonian Sleeper, Des Bradley doesn’t feel the train should split and join as it travels up and down the country.

But I do think that the NESW Sleeper can be timed to fit in with high-quality connecting services to extend the coverage.

An Innovative Timetable

Des Bradley’s timetable is innovative.

  • Trains leave Edinburgh and Plymouth around 21:00.
  • Trains arrive at their destination around 09:00.
  • Trains stop for about two hours at Derby.
  • After resting at Derby, the trains are effectively early morning trains.

Note.

  1. The wait at Derby, adds extra time, that can be used to make up for engineering diversions, which often happen at night!
  2. The trains could be used by non-sleeper passengers to get to Plymouth or Edinburgh early.

The consequence of the second point, is that the trains will have to offer some Standard Class seats.

Should The Train Serve Penzance?

The Great Western Railway’s Night Riviera sleeper train calls at Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel, St.Austell, Truro, Redruth, Cambourne, Hoyle and St. Erth between Plymouth and Penzance.

According to a proposed NESW timetable, the Night Riviera has long gone, before the NESW Sleeper arrives in Plymouth at 08:58.

But I’m sure Great Western Railway could arrange for a convenient service between Plymouth and Penzance to pick up passengers in the morning and deliver them in the evening. This picture taken at Plymouth, indicates that cross-platform interchange may be possible.

This picture shows a pair of GWR Castles, which regularly work additional services between Plymouth and Penzance.

What About Wales?

I suspect that Cardiff, Swansea and other towns and cities in South Wales, can be served in a similar way, by connecting with GWR services at Bristol Parkway station.

Other Connecting Services

Birmingham New Street, Derby, Leeds and Newcastle are important interchange stations and I can see services being timed to bring passengers to and from the NESW Sleeper.

Rolling Stock

The author offers choices for the trains, based on what is used currently in the UK and adding multiple units. But he is definitely tending towards fixed formations.

I feel that the trains should meet the following criteria.

They should be of similar standard as the Caledonian Sleeper.

They would need an independently-powered capability for sections without electrification.

They should be zero-carbon.

They should offer a range of accommodation including Standard Class seats to cater the early birds and budget travellers.

The possibility to run at 100 mph or faster might be useful to catch up time on some sections of the route.

I think that two trains could be possible.

  • A rake of coaches hauled by a hydrogen-electric locomotive.
  • A battery-electric Sleeper Multiple-Unit with a range of perhaps eighty miles on batteries.

This is a sentence from the article.

The concept of ‘Sleeper Multiple-Units’ has also emerged in recent years, and this idea could be attractive; although it has some inherent inflexibility, it could in the future allow multi-portion or experimental new routes to be tagged onto the core service.

Sleeper Multiple Units might enable a South Wales and Edinburgh service, that used the same train path between Edinburgh and Bristol Parkway, where the two trains would split and join.

Conclusion

I like this proposal and definitely think it is a good idea.

 

 

 

September 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I’m Glad I’m Getting Pfizer As My Booster

In Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine, I summarised the battle going on in my body over the last few months, between hat fever and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

I wonder what my strong immune system will make of the Pfizer vaccine. I must admit, I’m tempted to just continue with my gluten-free diet and let my immune system sort out the squabble on its own!

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 2 Comments

ScotRail Offers 1st Class For £3 As Luxury Travel Reintroduced

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Advent.

To encourage passengers back after the pandemic, Scotrail have introduced a three pound onboard upgrade to First Class on services on Inter7City and Class 385 train services.

This sounds like a good idea!

August 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine

I am 73 and was diagnosed as a coeliac at 50.

I am fairly sure, I have suffered from hay fever all my life, but usually I can control it.

This year, it has been particularly bad and I asked my GP about it last night. He indicated it had been a bad year.

I then said that as being a coeliac I have a strong immune system and from what I have read, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine also boosts the immune system.

I just wonder, if my coeliac disease and the vaccine are both attacking the hay fever and making me feel, so much worse than in any other year.

Certainly, all I want to do, is lie down!

I’m certainly so much worse than I was last year, when Covid-19 was the same, but I hadn’t been vaccinated.

The only time my eyes felt so bad was sometime around 2000, when they were so sore, I had to have an operation to remove polyps.

This could have been a few years after I went gluten-free, which would have boosted my immune system.

 

July 28, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 2 Comments