Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Park life

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

A walk through Hyde Park earlier and an encounter with the latest fitness fad. A phalanx of sweaty runners accompanied by topless ‘trainers’ (also sweaty) carrying tinny portable speakers blaring out crappy ‘inspirational musak’. This I presume to motivate their victims to ever more perspirational efforts as they pound relentlessly around the byways intimidating lumpen bloggers into the undergrowth for fear of being trampled.

No wonder we lost The Empire.

“I won’t cut the NHS” – yeah right.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Cake porn

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Behold. The Lemon Victoria Sandwich.
Recipe here.


Saturday, December 11th, 2010


Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I have, three times, applied to run the London Marathon and each time I have been rejected. They do not give you a reason for being rejected but I think it was probably due to a combination of not being demographically unusual enough ( late 30s / early 40s, white male, respectable race time ) such that I was in competition with vast numbers of similar applicants. Had I been 65, one legged and dressed in a parrot costume I’d have stood a far better chance of the gaining the ‘privilege’ of running in one of the world’s great races. Since my last application failed a few years back I’ve not bothered trying again. The running shoes have been gathering dust, the joints have become creaky; age is taking its toll on my physiology and psychology. Frankly, the thought of running the London Marathon now is losing its appeal. The wisdom of my position was confirmed to me earlier today when I happened to find myself at the finish line of the aforesaid event several hours after the TV cameras had gone home along with most of the participants. As the army of support workers dismantled everything in sight, hoovered up vast amounts of litter and raced to return Queenie’s front yard to it’s usual stately state a small slice of the Marathon continued to play out in the early evening sunshine. First, an old man (and I mean old – 65 at least) hobbled into view making for the rapidly disappearing finish line still wearing his race number, his spindly old legs powering him onwards to personal glory 8 hours after leaving Greenwich. Second, as I wandered through Hyde Park, walking towards me, a steady stream of apparently disabled people shuffling painfully along. The only sign of their true, Marathon maimed status – their red plastic kit bags slung over their shoulders or carried by supportive friends and partners trying not to walk too fast lest they leave the hobbled charge behind. Every one bore the expression of pained exhaustion; 26 miles worth of it. Later on as I approached Westminster Bridge, a Ronald McDonald lookalike, complete with race number, jogged past through a corridor of spontaneous applause from the crowded pavement. It’s a crazy thing these people do to themselves. The elite runners and the vast masses who finish during the TV broadcast are impressive enough ambassadors for human endeavour. But, for the first time today, I witnessed first hand the indomitable resilience of those who’ll never get on the telly. They’re doing it because they started it and they’re bloody well going to finish it. Me, I’ve never started it yet. I’m almost a ‘veteran’, registration for 2011 opens May 4th… I wonder, am I crazy enough?

The twilight zone

Monday, September 24th, 2007

If it’s not early morning vortexes sucking my rooftiles, it’s death by self inflicted sleep deprivation. We live in dangerous times.
Have you ever heard of anyone being killed by Radio 4?

Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty

A new source of health paranoia comes with the revelation that I’m slowly doing myself in by listening to the shipping forecast as I drift into the land of nod of an evening.

Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames

“At increased risk of cardiovascular banjaxation” because I’m getting less sleep than I should.

Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth, Biscay, Trafalgar, FitzRoy

I keep forgetting to turn it off before I lose consciousness and then getting woken up at some ungodly hour by John Humphrys siphoning the lifeblood from some hapless politico.

Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides

The other week I got shocked to my senses by clanging church bells at 5am. It really is not a good idea. I should know better.

Bailey, Fair Isle, Faeroes, Southeast Iceland, Early Grave

Unfortunately named heads of software development at One Laptop per Child: no 1
Walter Bender

The mystical fascination with the Shipping Forecast discussed.
The latest forecast.
Listen (real audio link).


Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

I’ve been unbelievably slack in posting. Having to confess I’ve been v.busy but also demotivated for a number of reasons. ‘What is the point?’, ‘Why bother?’ etc etc. What to do eh?

Running rings round uranus.

Brand free
“Shopping for locally produced, small-scale produce remains a constant struggle in Britain, but the hollow dazzle of the High Street has been replaced by something infinitely more satisfying. I know my local shopkeepers by name. There being little alternatives to branded ready meals and processed food, I have lost almost a stone in weight simply from eating all natural produce. Spending less money overall, my bank balance is back in the black.”
Interesting experience in trying to live a year ‘brand free’. However it’s somewhat undermined by the fact he started off by having a huge bonfire of all his possessions and is now trying to flog his book. Yawn.

Txt < £ If you, like me, aren't tied into a mobile phone contract with inclusive texts you might be interested to know that 18185 have a facility to send SMS texts from your PC to virtually anywhere in the world for 1p. It’s pay as you go and you can use it for sending the same text to multiple numbers simultaneously. Melikey muchly. [ If you want the recipe for making it look as though the texts come from your mobile – just ask nicely… ]

Unfortunately named directors of stem cell biology laboratories: no 1
Dr Minger

Revenge of the rose bush

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Every year, for about a week, my garden and the whole neighbourhood is awash with the most glorious scent of hundreds of white roses which all come into bloom at the same time. An old rose bush which has grown relatively massive over the years is literally dripping with flowers. It is a sensory sensation which I, and the local bees, fully appreciate. This year I was faced with a dilemma. You see the rose bush has become so massive that it has taken over nearly 15% of my modest estate. It is the kind of rose bush that flowers in the second year on wood that it has made the previous year. So this year’s flowers are on last year’s growth. I wished to reduce the rose bush in volume to make room for my landscaping aspirations a’la Chelsea. I wished also to retain the olfactory extravaganza previously described. Sadly, I concluded that the former requirement must, this year, take priority over the later. That is why, following this year’s best ever flowering, the rose bush is now a stump with two tiny green shoots sticking out of it hopefully, pointing skywards. It’ll be back. I’m going to train it more assertively this time, no more rampant rambling allowed. Steel wires will be installed, ties will be tied, secateurs will be wielded. We’ll see. Next year’s perfumefest, I fear, may be cancelled whilst growth occurs. This years itchfest is, however, in full flood. You see, what I didn’t factor on was that the rose bush had some friends. Lots of them. Lots of little, flying bloodsucking friends possessed of salivary juices so noxious that nine days later my forearms have swollen to Popeye proportions. My belly button is reduced to a fraction of its former capacity and is surrounded by unspeakable angry inflamed horribleness. I’ll spare you the other locations but lets just say those little bastards got to places that very few have ever got to. I’m taking extra strong drugs, I’m trying to find ways of getting my whole head into the freezer to reduce the swelling, I’m slathering on calamine lotion, I’m beginning to appreciate that nature, is indeed wonderful in her defences of apparently helpless plants.

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Unfortunately named spokespersons on the benefits of circumcision: no 1
Dr Kevin De Cock.