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!
This map was at Southport station and shows the two lines that meet there.
Like several Merseyrail stations, Southport has a combined ticket office and shop.
Several other train operators could do worse than copy some of Merseyrail’s ideas.
I sdhould say that Southport station is particularly well appointed, as it has an entrance into the nearby large Marks and Spencer.
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!
Supper tonight was a Marks and Spencer Gastropub Chicken Hash.
- I bought the meal in Waterloo station.
- It was cooked in the oven.
- I poured the meal onto the plate.
- 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!
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.
- 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.
Paddington Underground station on the Bakerloo Line has now got its escalators back and getting to the station for me, is now so much easier.
As the pictures show there seem to be quite a few new blue hoardings at platform level.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the layout of the Bakerloo Line and Crossrail at Paddington.
- The Bakerloo Line runs roughly South-East to North-West through Paddington.
- The platform labelled 4 is the Southbound Bakerloo Line platform.
- The platform labelled 3 is the Nouthbound Bakerloo Line platform.
- The escalators run down to the platforms from the South-East
- Crossrail would appear to have an island platform between the two tracks.
There would appear to be two places on the platforms where blue hoarding have been put up to protect the works behind.
- The most obvious is the big blue wall that greets you as you come down the escalator, where some artistic tiling used to be.
- There are also blue hoardings at the London (South East) end of the platforms.
There is a pedestrian tunnel to Crossrail called the Bakerloo Line Link (BLL). A memeber of staff also told me that lifts will be installed to the Bakerloo Line.
This document on the TFL web site gives a bit more information.
Engineers will also carefully dig a new 165m tunnel underneath the station to enable passengers to interchange between the Bakerloo line and new Crossrail platforms, which will become operational from 2018. The new pedestrian link will incorporate escalators, lifts, stairs and new passageways in order to make interchanging between the Tube and Crossrail as easy as possible for passengers.
So it looks like the tunnel will go under the lines and come up between the two Bakerloo tracks. The length of one hundred and sixty-five metres would easily reach the Crossrail platforms.
I found this image on the web.
It looks to be a very well thought out link.
- It is connected to the Crossrail station by escalators and lifts in the middle of the island platform at that station.
- The connection at the Bakerloo Line end, would appear to have lifts, stairs and escalators.
- Wll the lifts go direct to the surface as well?
- All routes seem to be direct to the central landing in the Bakerloo Line platforms.
- It may be a hundred and sixty five metres, but the design probably means most passengers will do it fairly fast.But I’m only speculating.
It will certainly be a very powerful interchange, as it will give a much needed connection to London’s least-developed Underground Line.
One good thing from the TFL document, is that it says this.
TfL will re-open the platforms in time for the Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August.
So they beat their deadline by four weeks.
It certainly looks like a job well done!
Certainly, it makes my journey to the station easier.
The next thing needed is to get the Marks and Spencer reopened at the station.
Like probably many on a gluten-free diet, I’ve never eaten a wrap.
Especially, as I’d probably never actually seen one before I was diagnosed in 1998.
These pictures show a gluten-free Piri-Piri Chicken wrap, that I purchased this morning from the Marks and Spencer’s in London Bridge station.
I will certainly be buying another,
A few months ago I pointed out to Marks, that I was disappointed, that they had discontinued the gluten-free ham roll, which was easy to put in a pocket or a small bag, whereas traditional triangular sandwiches are not!
This new product would fit!
There was also a Three Bean wrap, for vegetarians or those who like to have wind!
I use contactless payments regularly in Marks and Spencer and I’ve never had a payment problem, but some of the transactions end up with very strange locations on my credit card statement.
- Cambridge Station, Cambridge
- Birmingham New Street, Birmingham
- Reading Station, SSP Reading
- Euston Scot, Euston Station
- Piccadilly Station, Manc
- Heathrow Airport SSP
I know these are all Marks and Spencer despite no indication, as they are for between seven and eight pounds, which is a typical price for a pack of gluten-free sandwiches, a drink and perhaps a biscuit or fruit.
I also know, that in the last month, I’ve bought sandwiches in Marylebone station and I can’t find the transaction.
So did my credit card company reject it, as someone had put some total garbage in the contactless card system in the otlet in the station?
With contactless payments, becoming very much the norm for many customers, they must get this right.
I certainly, haven’t lost out, but I think there’s at least two payments, that seem to have gone missing in cyberspace.
I think the lesson of this tale, is that if you are a small owner-managed store or a large chain, you must set up your contactless system correctly, as it at one level might be an irritance to customers and at a higher one, it might cost you money.
I was looking to buy a sandwich for my lunch tomorrow in Marks and Spencer in Islington and couldn’t see any bright green packets.
The reason was there were only two and several of these Christmasy sandwiches.
I’ve seen gluten-free Christmas puddings and mince pies, but I’ve never seen a seasonal gluten-free sandwich before!
Perhaps things are getting better!
I recently bought a winter coat in Marks and Spencer. The zip has gone, so I want to find the store, where I bought it, as I use several of the large ones in London regularly. I probably bought it with my John Lewis credit card, so all I need to find is a transaction at over a £100 for Marks and Spencer to get a date and store.
But I can only get the last statement as a spreadsheet, which just gives dates, values and not the store. It’s not even formatted to the sort of level, that a child of six could program.
Quite frankly it’s utter crap!
Unlike with Amex, which gives you everything you need to trace purchases, in an easy-to-read clickable format.
Do John Lewis expect me to keep paper copies of all my purchases?
Paper is so Nineteenth Century!