The Anonymous Widower

The Time I Said No To Joan Collins

I’m watching Joan Collins In her programme On BBC 2.

It reminds me of the time I met her.

It must have been between 1985 and 1987, as she was with her fourth husband; Peter Holm, who is exactly two months younger than I am.

We had all travelled from Los Angeles to London on British Airways and we were queuing for passport checks. Joan was to my right and Peter was looking very disinterested.

Then out of the blue, she asked me, if I had a light for her cigarette.

I replied that I was sorry, but I didn’t smoke.

She just smiled and put the cigarette away!

January 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Brexit: Duty-Free Makes A Come-Back For Travellers Returning From Britain

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

For the first time in more than 20 years people travelling to the State from British ports and airports will be able to load their luggage or their cars with tax-free tobacco, alcohol, perfumes and so-called luxury items once the new year bells chime in less than a week.

Duty-free between Ireland and Britain was abolished 21 years ago as it was not considered compatible with the emerging single market. However with the UK now leaving the EU and its single market from the start next year the old rules are set to revert.

As someone, who never buys anything in duty-free, I can’t say I’m bothered.

January 3, 2021 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 2 Comments

All Change At The Broadgate Entrance To Liverpool Street Station

Everything seems to have changed at the Broadgate Entrance To Liverpool Street Station, as these pictures show.

Note.

  1. You now enter at street level, rather than through a subway.
  2. You ascend a gentle ramp to walk through some upmarket shops and then descend into the station using an escalator.
  3. You can also walk through the shops to the bus station between the rail station and Broadgate.

The only thing, that hasn’t changed is the rusty smoking shelter.

October 16, 2020 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Air In Scotland’s Prisons 90% Cleaner, Due To Smoke-Free Policy

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.

Scotland’s smoke-free prisons policy is protecting the health of prison staff and those in custody – with the majority no longer exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke, according to a new study.

My late wife, who probably visited Holloway Prison around two hundred times, would probably agree with Scotland’s smoke-free prisons regime.

As I do!

It should be introduced into the rest of the UK, as soon as possible.

And why shouldn’t prisons have regular drug-testing?

August 30, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

North And South

I went to see Spurs this afternoon to see them play Burnley.

Coming home, I got the train between White Hart Lane and Hackney Downs stations. As we walked to the bus for Dalston, there was a mixed group of fans.

Most of the Burnley fans were smoking, as opposed to few of the Spurs fans.

Is this the difference between North and South?

December 7, 2019 Posted by | Health | , , | 3 Comments

Thoughts On a Red And Processed Meat Tax

This article on the BBC is entitled Should There Be A Tax On Red Meat?.

This is the first two paragraphs.

A “meat tax” could prevent almost 6,000 deaths per year in the UK, according to researchers, but should politicians be telling people what they can and can’t eat?

Scientists at the University of Oxford say governments should consider imposing price hikes on red meat – such as beef, lamb and pork – to reduce consumption.

They also go on to suggest these levels of tax, with examples.

In the UK, the study suggests a tax of 14% on red meat and 79% of processed meat.

This would mean the price of a 227g Tesco Sirloin Steak would increase from £3.80 to £4.33.

And for a pack of eight pork sausages from Sainsbury’s the price would increase from £1.50 to £2.69.

It is probably peer-reviewed research, but I doubt it would ever be introduced.

I have few questions.

Would I As A Coeliac Get Extra Tax Relief, As I Need To Eat Red Meat?

I don’t eat much red meat, but to keep my B12 at a good level, I need to eat a quality steak or burger.

Regular levels of B12 help to keep your immune system strong, which is the body’s first line of defence against cancer.

Why Do Coeliacs On A Gluten Free Diet Have A 25% Less Chance Of Getting Cancer?

Research at Nottingham University has shown this.

Being coeliac is unlikely to be beneficial, as whoever heard of a disease that let you live longer?

,So could it be the non-eating too of gluten?

Also, as many who eat a lot of red and processed meat, eat it with a bun or lots of bread,

Could this be significant?

Research needs to be done that considers consumption of red and processed meat, taking eating gluten into account.

How Would I Reduce Cancer?

There are other substances and circumstances that are proven to cause cancer.

  • Smoking tobacco and other drugs.
  • Eating too much and being obese
  • Drinking too much.
  • Too much sunbathing.
  • Diesel and petrol vehicles
  • Gas appliances in the home, not venting outside.

Some of these also cause other health problems.

I’d start with absolute bans on these.

  • Diesel and petrol vehicles.
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Possession of illegal drugs.
  • Gas appliances in the home, not venting outside.
  • Sales of high strength alcohol.
  • Jobs with a proven record of causing cancer like coal mining.

And these things would be compulsory or introduced.

  • Everybody should keep a record in a smart-phone app of what they ate and their weight.
  • Owning a diesel or petrol vehicle would need a special permit.
  • Alcohol could only be bought in special licensed shops.

Obviously, other draconian measures could be introduced.

I doubt it will ever be acted upon, by any Government that wants to win an election.

So What Can We Do That Is Practical?

My view is that we have to nudge people into doing the right thing.

Diesel And Petrol Taxes To Subsidise Zero-Emission Vehicles

Note that I use the term zero-emission vehicle, which is a category that includes battery and hydrogen power at present. But it is a class, that could include other vehicles in future, that have yet to be invented.

If diesel and petrol taxes were to rise and the revenue were used to subsidise the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, then this might persuade more people to switch to zero-emission vehicles.

Money could also be allocated to research into zero-emission vehicles.

Zero-Emission Zones In All Towns And Cities

London is getting an Ultra Low Emission Zone, but this is only the start.

They should be Zero Emission Zones.

They should probably be paired with parking areas outside the zone and connected to it, by a zero-emission high quality rail or bus link.The link could be a segregated walking or cycling route.

The first town or city that uses this model to create healthy air quality will probably reap an enormous dividend.

From recent developments, I suspect it will be the City of London.

Smoking Would Only Be Allowed By Consenting Adults In Private

As smoking had a lot to do with the death of my son I feel strongly about this.

My wife also may have died from secondary lung cancer. But she had never smoked, although she got enough cigarette smoke from her tutor at University, who chain-smoked Capstan Full Strength.

Is There A Radical Approach?

Liverpool University Pancreatic Cancer Research Unit have one of the most impressive databases I have ever seen! It contains every pancreatic cancer case, that has been notified to the University.

They use it to look for links between factors, that might be a clue to what causes this terrible disease and for possible cures.

But imagine an enormous database of all UK cancer cases, that was processed to show how the cancers related to post codes, occupation, age, weight, smoking and drinking habits etc.

Access to an anonymised version of the database would be allowed through the Internet or a phone app.

Would access to the data, nudge people to change their bad habits?

I also know of ten-year-olds, who pester their parents to stop smoking, so imagine what a tech-savvy child would do, if given access to the app. Schools could teach them to use it responsibly.

Could it bring the whole country together to reduce levels of cancer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smoking In World Cup Statia

This document on the FIFA web site is entitled Stadium Code Of Conduct.

This is a sentence under Prohibited Actions.

Smoking in any stadium zone, except in dedicated outdoor smoking areas, if in existence.

That appears to be pretty clear.

So why was a fat oligarch or similar, smoking an equally fat cigar in a very plush seat, when he was caught on camera yesterday?

 

 

June 17, 2018 Posted by | Health, Sport | , | Leave a comment

Will The Broadgate Reconstruction Remove The Smoking Shelter?

Broadgate is reconstructing the building on the South side, which will face the new piazza in front of Liverpool Street station.

This visualisation shows what the entrance to Crossrail will look like in front of Broadgate.

Crossrail Broadgate Entrance

But what are they going to do with the smoking shelter, that sits in the entrance to the main-line station?

The shelter would be shown on the left of the visualisation, if the image had a wider format.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Smoking In Claridges

Apparently if you’re a billionaire and want to stay in one of the expensive suites at Claridges, they change the furniture for a set for smokers and back again afterwards.

That has a certain style, but as the story came in an article about an autocratic Chinese businessman in the Business section of The Sunday Times, I doubt I’ll be using, the stores talked about in the article. Smokers should not be indulged.

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Health, World | | Leave a comment

Losing The Plot?

David Aaronovitch in The Times today has a piece about the Labour Party and its leadership election.

He says this.

On the very day that Theresa May was, in effect, transfigured into prime minister, Corbyn was at a meeting of the Cuba Solidarity Committee, recommitting to the dynastic dictatorship of the Castros, just as he has been doing these 40 years.

Was Corbyn getting advice?

I am virtually Corbyn’s age and I can remember the ardent, often heavy smoking, left-wingers we had when I was at Liverpool University, in the 1960s. Prominent amongst them was that pillar of the left; Robert Kilroy Silk, who incidentally was C’s tutor and persisted in smoking Capstan |Full Strength all through tutorials, despite C being pregnant at the time.

I have checked the Internet for all the left-wingers, that I remember from that time and all seem to have vanished without trace. I wonder how many are living in semis in Pinner, Mossley Hill and Edgbaston, with a Mondeo outside and 2.4 children?

 

July 14, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments