The Anonymous Widower

Man Dies After Being Hit By Train As Services Out Of Lime Street Cancelled

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

These paragraphs describe the incident.

Cheshire Police were called to Hartford station in Northwich at around 4pm on Monday, May 23, following reports of a man being hit by a train. Once officers and paramedics arrived at the scene the station was closed to all trains and British Transport Police were called.

British Transport Police have confirmed when emergency services arrived at the scene the man was already dead. Officers are currently working to identify the man and inform their next of kin.

At 15:47, I left Liverpool Lime Street station for London and this was my journey.

  • We stopped at Runcorn and waited there about 15 minutes.
  • We then reversed back to Liverpool and got off the train.
  • We were then told to get back on the train.
  • I actually sat opposite my original seat in coach U, but there was a bit of chaos as Avanti West Coast were combining passengers for the 15:47 and 16:47.
  • We left Liverpool at 17:23.
  • The route was through Manchester and then South from Manchester Piccadilly.
  • We finally arrived in London at 20:18

The journey had taken five hours and thirty-four minutes.

In addition the 17:47, 18:47 and the 19:47 were cancelled, with some passengers taken by bus to Crewe.

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Why Do More Elderly Men Die Of The Covids Than Women?

I asked this question of the Internet and found this article from The Times, which is entitled Why Are Men more Likely To Die From Covid Than Women?.

These are the first two paragraphs.

On Valentine’s Day last year, researchers at China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention submitted one of the first studies into who was dying of the new coronavirus that was spreading through Wuhan.

Two clear findings jumped out. Firstly, the virus appeared to hit the elderly hardest. Secondly, if you were a man, you were much more likely to die.

The article goes on to say, that men are 24 percent more likely to die.

I am coeliac and here are some facts about coeliac disease.

This page on the NHS web site is an overview of coeliac disease.

There is a sub-section called Who’s Affected?, where this is said.

Coeliac disease is a condition that affects at least 1 in every 100 people in the UK.

But some experts think this may be underestimated because milder cases may go undiagnosed or be misdiagnosed as other digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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
in later adulthood – between 40 and 60 years of age
People with certain conditions, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, Down’s syndrome and Turner syndrome, have an increased risk of getting coeliac disease.

First-degree relatives (parents, brothers, sisters and children) of people with coeliac disease are also at increased risk of developing the condition.

The three most important facts in this are.

  • The condition affects 1 in every 100 people in the UK.
  • Reported cases are three times higher in women than men.
  • First degree relatives of coeliacs are at increased risk of developing the condition.

I am sure my father was an undiagnosed coeliac.

When I was born in 1947, there was no test for coeliac disease in children, as one wasn’t developed until 1960.

Testing for many years was by the Gold Standard of endoscopy, which for a child is not an easy procedure.

I’m certain, that in 1997, I was one of the first to be diagnosed in a General Hospital by genetic testing.

At fifty, a locum had given me a blood test and I had been found to be very low on B12. Despite a course of injections, it refused to rise so I was sent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where I saw a consultant, who gave me a short chat and then got a nurse to take some blood samples.

Two days later, I received a letter, saying I was probably coeliac and it would be confirmed by endoscopy.

I can’t think how else it was done so quickly, unless they were using a genetic test.

I went gluten-free and the rest rest as they say is history.

In some ways there’s been two of me.

  • BC – Before Coeliac – Frequently unwell, lots of aches and pains and weak mentally.
  • AD – After Diagnosis – Healthier, few aches and pains and much stronger mentally.

My immune system appears to be much stronger now!

I believe my son was also coeliac.

Undiagnosed coeliacs tend to have poor immune systems and he died of pancreatic cancer at just 37, because he refused to get himself tested.

As there was no test for coeliac disease in children until 1960, anybody over sixty has a higher chance of being coeliac with a poor immune system and be at higher risks from both the covids and cancer.

It should be noted that according to the NHS, there are three times more female coeliacs than male.

Could this be explained by the fact that undiagnosed coeliac disease can be a cause of female infertility? So when a lady has difficulty conceiving, doctors test for it. So perhaps, by the time they get to 70 a higher proportion of female coeliacs have been diagnosed, compared to male ones, which may explain why more elderly men than women die of the covids.

More research needs to be done.

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

South Africa’s Excess Deaths A Fifth Of Earlier Waves

The title of this post is that of a small section deeply buried in the January 7th Edition of The Times.

South Africa’s excess death rate from the Omicron variant has began to fall after reaching only a fifth of the level caused by the worst version. It is another indication that although highly infectious Omicron is not as life-threatening as other types of coronavirus.

Surely, this good news should be more prominent in the paper and published with a full explanation.

January 7, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

1,000 Children Shot in A Year As US Gun Violence Soars

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

This is the first paragraph.

More than a thousand children under 12 have been killed or injured by gunfire in the United States this year.

In addition, 4,552 youths aged 12 to 17 were killed and injured.

No comment from me, can do justice to these figures.

 

December 31, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Alison’s Last Mountain

I’m putting this BBC video up on the blog, for various reasons.

One of which is that it going to be deleted soon.

It is the story of the death of Alison Hargreaves on K2 and the trip by her family back to the mountain.

 

October 29, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The Duke’s Land Rover Hearse

This article on The Times is entitled The Land Rover hearse: a vehicle fit for the Duke of Edinburgh’s final journey.

I made this comment.

There’s a church near me in Hackney, where in less restricting times, you regularly saw a horse-drawn funeral. These must cost a fortune to maintain and provide.

I remember seeing a report on the BBC about an undertaker, who has created a motorcycle and sidecar hearse for the funerals of those of a certain persuasion.

I can imagine some of my farming and off-road enthusiast friends liking the idea of being taken to their funeral in a hearse made from a Land-Rover. As you say, it would have a certain style.

There are even conversions, so that old Defenders can be converted to run on battery power, so the hearse could be zero-carbon too!

I have just heard Giles Brandreth on the BBC, who as the biography of the Duke, was at the funeral, as a reporter. He said that he had talked to the Commander of the Guards, who had walked alongside the hearse in the procession. He related how the driver had difficulty keeping the speed down with a lot of slipping of the clutch and noise from the diesel engine.

As I said in my comment to The Times article, perhaps the hearse should have been battery-powered. But then surely, this should apply to a fair proportion of all hearses.

April 18, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

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/Travel, World | , , , | 2 Comments