The Anonymous Widower

The Death Of My Son George

In some ways our youngest son; George, was more my baby, than my wife’s!

When you have three children under three, you have to devise a system so they can all be fed, watered and managed.

In the early 1970s, I was working at home, writing software for the likes of companies like Lloyds Bank, Plessey, Ferranti and others, usually by means of a dial-up line to a company called Time Sharing Ltd. in Great Portland Street.

  • So most days George sat on my desk in a plastic baby chair, as I worked.
  • C would look after the two elder children, generally taking them to the park or friends.
  • George was still in nappies, real not disposable. We did use a nappy service!
  • I sometimes wonder, if I can still install a proper nappy on a baby!
  • I would feed him as I worked.
  • George also used to come with me to visit clients, I had to meet at Great Portland Street. Usually, the secretaries would steal him away.

It was a system, that worked well for all of us.

Of our three children, George was the only one, that C thought could be coeliac, as I am. Mothers know their families! We once tried to test him with a self-test kit from the Internet. but the results were inconclusive.

I now believe he was coeliac for one genetic reason. His daughter was born with a severe congenital hernia of the diaphragm and research shows this can be linked to a coeliac father.

At least I was lucky with my three boys in this respect, but it points to George being coeliac.

George worked in the music business and was the sound engineer on some of the work of Diane Charlemagne. I met Diane once, when I stood on The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, which I wrote about in Fun and Games at the Fourth Plinth.

  • Diane was working as the security guard and it was an amazing coincidence, that we realised our connection through George.
  • She spoke highly of his work.

Sadly Diane died of kidney cancer in 2015.

George didn’t drink, but he smoked heavily and not just tobacco. He also lived on a very gluten-rich diet of Subways and the like.

I suspect that his immune system was as good as much protection as a chocolate colander in a tsunami!

I have discussed this with doctors, who specialise in cancer and they feel that it could have contributed to his death from pancreatic cancer.

  • George died at home.
  • He was not in much pain due to the morphine he was controlling through a pump and the cannabis he was smoking.
  • One day, he was in bed and talking to my then aristocratic girlfriend and myself, when he just expired.
  • There was no drama and he just went to sleep.

A few minutes later, my girlfriend and the housekeeper, laid out the body for the undertaker.

I had been at George’s quiet death, just like I had been at the birth of all three sons.

Looking Back

George died ten years ago and his death has left some marks on my mind.

  • Because of our early relationship, some of my grief for George was more like that of a mother.
  • George died a peaceful death, which with modern medicine should be almost a right for many!
  • His death has driven me to fund and take part in medical research, especially for pancreatic cancer.
  • I also feel strongly, we should steer clear of cannabis, eat sensibly and check as many as possible for coeliac disease.

But now above all, I have no fear of Covid-19 or death.

 

May 1, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Percentage Of People In The UK Survive COVID-19?

This is only a simple analysis based on the COVID-19 statistics published on Sunday, 26th April.

  • So far 152,840 people have been lab confirmed as having COVID-19.
  • There has also been 20,732 deaths in hospitals.
  • Suppose another 25% have died in care homes or in their own bed.
  • That would give a total of 25,915 deaths.
  • So rather crudely, if you get tested positive for COVID-19, you have a 17% chance of dying. What is the chance of dying from a serious stroke or breast cancer?
  • On the other hand 126,925 or 83% have survived.
  • Some, let’s say 20,000 are in ICU beds in hospitals, reducing the figures to 106,925 or 70% that survived.

We should be examining these seventy percent to see why they survived.

The official statistics concentrate on the negative side, but don’t publish figures like how many left hospital for convalescence at home or in an ordinary hospital ward!

Update – 27th April 2020

The actual figure of those in ICU beds yesterday was 18,667, which makes the figures 108, 258 and 71% have survived.

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 4 Comments

Nothing Changes

The Americans never change, when it comes to the crimes and misdemeanours of their diplomats, forces personnel and their families in the United Kingdom.

Over the last few days, the case of the death of Harry Dunn, by a stupid driver reportedly on the wrong side of the road, has come to attention on the news.

Perhaps, twenty-five years ago, C and myself were at a dinner party given by a Chinese friend and we got talking to a retired Chief Constable from East Anglia, who C knew through various legal connections.

At the time, there had just been a fatal road crash involving a United States serviceman, near one of the many bases and there was a row going on, as the suspect had been whisked back home.

I remember the retired Policeman saying that it was always happening and justice was rarely seen to be done.

 

 

October 8, 2019 Posted by | News | , , , , | 4 Comments

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, Transport, World | , , , | 2 Comments

Imams Refuse Funeral Prayers To ‘Indefensible’ London Bridge Attackers

This is the title on this article in the Guardian.

This is said.

More than 130 imams and Muslim religious leaders have said they will refuse to say funeral prayers for the perpetrators of Saturday’s attack in London.

In a highly unusual move, Muslim religious figures from across the country and from different schools of Islam said their pain at the suffering of the victims and their families led them to refuse to perform the traditional Islamic prayer – a ritual normally performed for every Muslim regardless of their actions. They called on others to do the same.

Obviously, the last crop of attackers can’t do anything more to us, but will a sanction like this make it more likely other attackers will strike?

I’m not against imams and Muslim religious leaders coming to their own decision, as this is still a free country, but I also think ot’s something the government should stay clear of.

June 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Comedy Is Universal

‘Allo ‘Allo! was shown in many countries around the world.

With the sad death of one of the show’s stars; Gordon Kaye, today, I typed his name in quotes into Google.

I found entries from all over the world. But a lot more than I would have expected.

It just shows the universal reach of comedy.

January 23, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Why All The Hypocrisy About The Deaths Of George Michael And Carrie Fisher?

Not one celebrity has raised the questionable   lifestyle of these two stars.

On BBC Breakfast this morning they are highlighting a story that eighty percent of us are overweight.

You only have one chance of life and good health!

So don’t do anything to comproimise it!

December 28, 2016 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

When Will The United States Realise That Guns Kill People?

On the wall of my office, there used to be a picture of my wife presenting a racing trophy to a racehorse trainer.

Both are now dead.

We fight cancer with common sense and all the tools that science has given us.

Isn’t it about time, that common sense is applied to the problem of guns in the United States and other countries where they are responsible for a high murder rate?

June 12, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Death Of A Friend

One of my best friends has just died.

Over the last few months, information has been very short and all their friends were scrambling round for any news.

As someone, who was rejected by the devil and then she left me to cause more mayhem, this has convinced me, that I’ll blog to the bitter end. When I can no longer type, I’ll use the last of my money to hire the prettiest young lady to take dictation.

December 12, 2014 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

A Road Death Database

The BBC has put together a database of all road deaths in the UK from 1999 to 2010.

I have looked at some areas and you can draw some interesting conclusions.

If I look at a typical London Borough like Hackney, the number of deaths is generally between 70 and 90. But some rural areas, despite less population have figures well over a hundred.

And then there’s the Oxford and Cambridge effect.  Oxford has 34 deaths and Cambridge has just 16. Both these cities have extensive Park and Ride networks, good bus services and bikes are used quite a bit. But then Ipswich and Norwich also have low figures, but Colchester, Milton Keynes and Peterborough are higher.

So does a decent public transport network cut road deaths, as the drunks and the bad drivers are on the buses rather than in their cars?

If you look at the big northern cities like Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, the figures would appear to be similar, but Newcastle is a lot less. Why?

Only by a serious analysis can we tell what is the reason!

August 21, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments