Saturday, 24 October 2015

Sugar tax?

So, Jamie Oliver is campaigning for the government to put a tax on sugar foodstuffs.
I'm sorry, Jamie, but the bulk of sugary foods already have VAT on them, so tax is NOT the answer.
So, obesity is becoming a more increasingly pressing health problem.  I won't deny that.  Also, sugary foods have been proven to be the major contributor.
When my parents were young there was sugar rationing, during the sixties there was a sugar shortage.  In the first place sugar was limited, and in the second place, the price of sugar became prohibitive for the working class.  I know that I had to make the decision whether to have sugar in my tea, or on my breakfast.  I wouldn't have been alone in this.
As I see it, there are several problems connected to the over consumption of sugar.
1) There is a bewildering variety of breakfast cereals available, and so many have added sugar, and or chocolate, some even have bits of marshmallow!  I don't think that  choice is a bad thing, but there are too many gimmicky cereals. Frosties and Sugar Puffs were the only sugary cereals until the early 80s, and they were usually bought as an occasional treat, not on a regular basis.
So, for me culprit number one is sweetened breakfast cereals.
2) People used to make their own meals, and baked goods.  Many of these have extra sugar added, which wouldn't be in home cooked foods.
That's culprit number two.
3) This one might seem strange, but there are very few places where you can buy loose sweets. They tend to be packaged.  Once that bag is open, it just begs to be dipped into. For example, Haribo is very popular, but the packets are at least 100g  weight, maybe more. They also have additives, which makes them addictive.  (I often see pupils walking into school tucking into a bag of Haribo, with an energy drink to wash them down! I presume that they are in place of a proper breakfast.
Culprit number 3, easily available large quantities of sweets, at cheaper prices. Bigger packs usually work out better value, but they are not meant to be eaten at one go, by one person, exclusively.
4) Fizzy/sugary drinks, in all their guises. These used to be dearer than they are now, but demand has brought the price down, and the "pack" size up.
Fizzy drinks is the fourth culprit.

BUT, the worst culprit is poor nutritional knowledge. In short, the population needs to be educated in all aspects relating to food. With food lessons in school being often the only place where this takes place, it's essential that these lessons are kept as part of the curriculum.
People need to learn moderation when eating sugary foods, as well.  Putting even more tax on will not stop people buying and consuming sugar foodstuffs, but education and moderation will help.

Sunday, 18 October 2015


So ......the head of the Church of England thinks that the country should take more refugees than Cameron's Tory party  think we should.
He should take a step back, and check how much money he has in his pockets!
The way the economy is going, there may be high unemployment, and all the associated problems.
If there aren't enough jobs for the people currently living in the UK, why should we let more people in?
The government is squeezing the working class until their eyes pop out, and yet some joined religious top dog thinks we should take in more refugees?
It really doesn't make sense to bring more people into a country that can't support the current residents.
By the way, I am not a racist, but a realist.

So....Autumn has arrived

Yes, I think that it is definitely autumn.
Cool bright mornings with a nip in the air, or warmer cloudy mornings with the sun dazzling as it forces it's way through the muffling clouds.
It's darker earlier in the evenings, and the air starts to feel damp.
So far, we've had very little rain, which means that the leaves are lovely and crunchy.'s not really cold yet.  Once the day has warmed up a little you can still sometimes go out without a coat, so long as you have a warm jumper on.
So, with all that in mind, why did I see a family so wrapped up that you'd think they had just come from the ski slopes?
I'm not kidding, they looked just like that.
Mind you this is Morecambe, and there's nowt so queer as folk.
Perhaps they'd just bought the gear, and refused to pay for a carrier bag to take it home in.......Who knows? Not me, I can only think of various reasons why.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A couple of bad days.

Woke up yesterday, had slept through one alarm.  I felt like I couldn't breathe, so had to use my relief inhaler almost straight away, even though I had just used my preventive inhaler.  Added to that I had a badly trapped nerve.
I was extremely busy on Monday, and probably did more than I could cope with...unfortunately my body reacts by giving me a bad day the day after.
By early evening I still felt no better.
I ask myself, should I push myself so hard if this is the reaction I get?  It's not so bad when I have a working pain relief injection, but I am currently waiting for my next injection.
I hate feeling like this.  I am just about feeling ok, but it knocks the stuffing out of me.
And I really don't need this, with what's going on at work.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Outpatient appointment

I had an outpatient appointment today with the pain management team consultant.  
I had asked for an appointment, because I have not spoken to anyone other than my own GP and the pain team since my diagnosis of spinal stenosis well over 18 months ago.
What I thought was correct. The consultant who arranged the tests looked at my results, they were out of his area of expertise, so he referred me to the pain management team.
The treatment I have had from them has been great, helpful follow up appointments, but I felt that I needed to know what the long term outlook was.  The pain team nurse thought an appointment would help me.
The upshot is, I should be having another injection in the not too distant future, but I have also been referred to a spine specialist.  So, I should know more about what I can expect in the future.