Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not Such Good News...

I hate to talk of illness but...I'll only know after tomorrow Lunchtime...how things really are.

I see my Consultant tomorrow. I saw my Dr on Monday for my urine test, blood pressure reading and blood count.

I rang in for my blood test result earlier today and for the first time I was given much greater detail my readings. Four were fine and I started to think when I go tomorrow I can tell my Consultant some good news but... they spotted something and I was told that my cholesterol is extremely high and my createnine levels have gone up.

So I contacted my Dr who rang me back and he's explained that kidneys that are not working do not cope with cholesterol very well. He did say that what will probably happen tomorrow is that my Consultant will put me back on the treatment and he did say that he believes that I will improve once again because it's worked before. I don't know if this extra talk of cholesterol means I'm worse as my Dr asked if I'd had this before(maybe)but I was never told.

So here's hoping...I mean I don't know if I'll be given treatment straight away say in tablet form and be at home or be back in a hospital as when I first took ill and if I'll need another biopsy to see how my kidneys have changed.

I've taken another look at the side effects of the tablets I was given to get rid of water retention and it says possible changes in cholesterol level so could that be to blame? Or Coincidence? After all I need to get rid of the extra water so what else could work if this is so?

My diet cannot be to blame, I eat mainly vegetables, lots of fruit, only lean chicken(small portions)and some fish. Though I cannot see how maybe my diet will have to change.

My first treatment with steroids meant I had three large doses fed into me by a drip and I don't know if that's how they'll do it this time. So if I disappear suddenly you know why. If the treatment fails I hate to think what is likely to happen next.

Ironically, though the departments that deal with health matters and benefits that you are entitled to when ill accepted all the information from me earlier last year about my condition, another department has started to contact with forms and though I am very ill(probably more than I realise)because the Government in the UK is coming up with new ideas to reduce people being helped, genuine cases of ill and disabled people are being stressed with lots of paperwork and/or being called in to meetings.

I had to get help from a charity who advises on such problems last Friday and only on Monday(I had to ask my own Dr how fit I was so I could complete one of these forms) The form is useless as there is no room to write answers in yourself and the same form only has statements which you can tick a box against. And whatever you tick will probably be the wrong answer.

I have my own Dr's support and with what I am about to face, it is crazy to expect that I can concentrate on going back into work. What makes matters worse is that all they need to do(being it's another Government department)is check the situation with my Dr(they've always had permission)and the other department could tell them, after all they've got detailed information and have also had permission to talk to those who are treating me.

If you've read earlier posts you'll know that when I first took ill I was heading for dialysis, transplant or death. And still though my own Dr's knew otherwise, a governement appointed medical officer said that I was fit and in good health! It was only the help of my own Dr's, the advisor and eventually another medical that decided that I was ill. I can do without that again.

Who in their right mind would give themselves such an illness if they were not genuine?

If things continue to deteriorate knowing what treatment may be required, I may not be around for them to write letters inviting me to attend training courses. I'm sending it back in but am no longer giving it any consideration I'm ill and have my Dr's to fight any future problems. And as of now more matters to deal with.

(But that will be the blackest of days and we haven't come to that yet)But I am in unchartered waters. It's the kidney problem that is the overiding factor but I do have mobility factors to add into the equation. Caused by the original condition...maybe, or the treatment.

BTW I may not remain so if I am given really bleak news but regardless of what I have written I do at this time feel very calm and collected. And positive.

Fingers crossed.

Mum has asked me why I seem to ask very little of my Consultant, the truth is I have over the years looked up my condition from some very reliable sources and probably know as much as I would wish to(too much perhaps)but I know from what I have gleaned, my Consultant is doing as much as anyone can. And I know he is the kind of person who will tell me what I have to hear even if I don't want to hear it.

Membranous nephritis


Thursday, January 24, 2008

One Becomes Two...

It's dull, it's grey, mostly wet and windy, You know the stories about how the landscape of the gardens around here have changed because of one new neighbour that moved in...next door. And how that is now virtually all covered in concrete, flagstones and cement...

Therefore, a lot of the wildlife that has existed for decades has disappeared.

However, as I write, there are many, many blackbirds popping into the garden and I suspect as the weather is still mild this means that unless we have a sudden cold snap...we could see quite a few young birds being born and possibly have a few broods over the year.

Today, every bit of seed that I have put out has been eaten, there is nothing left. I threw two pears out and they've been eaten too.

So just maybe this year will be fine. And things may pick up again. I really believe that we must work with the wildlife and live alongside it. So I try to put a variety of stuff out there and doing so, in general one speices of animal leaves one another alone and live alongside each other.

And here's the surprise...I know I have one squirrel living in a tree in my garden. Sometimes being very cold I have wondered if it could survive. A few years ago I saw a squirrel scoop up all the leaves that had fallen off trees in the autumn and somehow turn them into a drey(nest)this year that did not seem to happen but it has taken up residence so I assume it has made a comfortable home for itself.

There have been days where it has not be seen and I've thought just perhaps, it has succumbed to the coldness. Then, you notice some movement in the garden and it's there. As far as I know we only had the one. It seemed to be all on it's own.

But yesterday I saw it come of it's home and following behind was another.

They look exactly the same so maybe there always has been two but as they've not appeared together, I didn't know. Or just maybe they've found each other and become companions. And with two maybe they are keeping each other warm. You always feel happier somehow knowing that they have some company. Of course, if they are of both sexes, we may find some little ones as Spring arrives...Time will tell.

I do throw out a handful of peanuts in their shells which seems to keep them fed, I do wonder what else they eat as they only rarely touch any seed or fruit but they must be finding something.

Of course the Squirrels have to fight for the peanuts as when the crows are around they swoop down and take as many as they can in their beaks and fly off again. What was interesting yesterday was I saw a Great Tit(that's like a larger Blue Tit for those who don't know their birds)and a peanut in a shell must be heavy and almost the size of the bird itself but I saw one fly away carrying one in it's beak...twice. Taken back to it's nest or to be hidden away.

Usually, they like to hide sunflower seeds and you suddenly find a sunflower growing in flower tub or somewhere unexpectedly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I've Never Been Much Of A Drinker...

I never was...maybe I just was never much in the company of those who go to parties, the pub or nightclub.

Have I ever been drunk? Yes, but usually it only has one affect on me. Well, perhaps two...I become very sleepy and if it's at all possible more mellow and quiet than my usual nature.

Have I been drunk often? No. Has it always been pleasurable? Yes...except the one and only time and we're going back many, many years. Perhaps, I should've been seen by a Dr in case I had alcoholic poisoning.

I was working in the retail. It had got around to Christmas and I suppose I should've known better. The "Lads" wanted to go for a Christmas drink at a hotel around the corner before the shop closed for the Christmas holiday...I'm now wondering if it was for the New Year...anyhow, I didn't want to go but it seemed churlish and after all one drink before getting home couldn't do any harm, could it?

After all it was only around 6 O'Clock at night.Wrong...I guess I forgot that I had not eaten for 6 hours and worse...my drinks were spiked. In the back of my mind I seem to remember someone trying to put me on the wrong bus home but I managed to make it home.

I had some things I had to carry home which somehow I managed to hang onto. Getting home later than planned my Father had come out looking for me and saw me walking home in quite a state and looking forlorn. I apparently greeted him by just saying "Oh Dad" I got home and was put to bed and I was out of it for two or three days. It was that bad. That's the sorry side of booze.

Today, I probably could not drink much even I wanted to but I can risk an odd glass of wine. If you've read earlier entries you'll know why. I've taken a detour however, the reason for this entry is that the UK and seemingly more so than many countries is that the British are drinking more than they should. The media what have us believe that it is so. That more people are doing what is called binge drinking. That's where instead of drinking in a measured way, slowly...people go out and get as many drinks down their necks as possible and quickly.

We can discuss and argue whether alcohol is a good thing. We can acknowledge that some people have a problem with alcohol that is a medial matter and whether it destroys lives...maybe we will return to this at some time in the future but just as with obesity concerns as mentioned in the last entry...it is often forgotten that many times throughout our history, people have eaten and drank too much.

If we look more deeply though teenagers and those of a lower social class are often cited as being the "baddies" but in reality the evidence is probably more available to suggest that because they have money, it was the wealthy that probably ate and drank too much. Because they could afford to. The lower classes did so because there was little else to do and life was for many pretty miserable.

For years we have had guidelines as to how many units of alcohol you can drink to remain safe from harm. But, in recent months information came to light that these guidelines were not based on fact. Some Dr's had got together many years ago and felt that some kind of information should be out there to help the public make a considered choice. In simple terms this idea was a bit like sketching a figure on the back of an envelope.

Well, a new report has come out today and it's not been mentioned much but I noticed that the overall findings suggest that the professional wealthy family on average drinks 15 units of alcohol. Yet the manual worker averages 11 1/2 units per week.

Now this could be because the professional is mixing more in a social way perhaps at meetings where deals are made. Also the extra income must play it's part. Then again, maybe as the manual worker has to be ready to work daily and use machinery etc...perhaps they can only drink at certain times in the week.There are probably many more reasons but initially these thoughts have crossed my mind, I may come up with more reasons in time. And perhaps change my opinion.

Men 'drink far more than women'

Can't Cook, Won't Cook...

I never learnt to cook. I was never given cookery lessons at school, at the time(is this sexist)or just the norm back then but I only remember "Girls" doing it as a subject.

But I guess, you just pick things up through life. You read a recipe in a book, a magazine or newspaper.

There are many cookery programmes on television and the chefs and cooks on TV have made the subject sexy, fashionable or interesting.

And then the basics I'd have thought are picked up by watching or being around a parent who is making something in the kitchen at home.

Of course the increase in "Ready" meals perhaps has played it's part as it easy just to walk into a supermarket and buy something in a box.

But I still cannot understand(allowing for medical problems that mean you have to eat a specialist diet)or possibly for financial reasons(low income)why decent, tasty, nutritional meals cannot be produced.

I can prepare fresh vegetables in minutes(and if the remainder of the vegetables are stored properly)have a few meals over a few days. Then again pick up frozen vegetables(if you have a freezer)they have as much goodness and vitamins in them these days as the fresh produce. I can buy a large packet of good quality mixed vegetables containing carrot, broccoli, peas, and cauliflower for £1 and that will give me what is said to be good for my health.

The only real decision is whether you want to add meat to the meal or eat a meal that is vegetarian. If you watch the salt levels on a prepared meal, you can make things better by perhaps compromising, buy a prepared meal but add some ingredients that you have prepared.

How difficult is it to cook an egg? How many different meals can you make out of an egg? You can poach or fry it. Beat it up and make an omelet with a variety of fillings. Dip bread in the beaten egg and fry(it can be done without adding fat or oil)in a frying pan and have what is sometimes called Gypsy or French Toast. How about scrambled egg?

What's wrong with simple food like beans on toast? Or a baked/jacket potato with a filling of some kind. Perhaps melted cheese over the top.

If you feel adventurous you can go for something that is really special but the point is you can eat well with the simplest diet possible. There is nothing wrong with a traditional breakfast(if you have the time to cook it)that's bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and so on.

Who said there is anything wrong with eating a meal that does not require cooking? A salad does not need to be boring. What's wrong with a sandwich.

It's everything in moderation.

Then we come to fruit. I have returned to eating more fruit after a number of years and when you hear that you should eat 5 portions of fruit and veg, some people think "It's too much, it can't be done" It's so easy. One glass of fruit juice is a portion. Approx 1 cup of berries or grapes(that's around a handful)that is a portion)2 small clementine oranges is a portion, a banana, an apple and so on. And what's wrong with a tin of fruit? Throw a few pieces on your cereal(if you eat that) Again just because it's in a can doesn't mean it's unhealthy. The most important meal of the day...breakfast, hence the obvious "break" the "fast"

The point is you can feel full but none of these foods will not really add on weight.

No one said you cannot eat those luxuries that are deemed bad for you that we all enjoy.

So does it need to be taught in school? Perhaps...Does it actually require the student/pupil to actual cook a dish(it's probably a good idea but un-necessary)I'm sure some kind of learning pack could produced for the pupils to take away(even produced by the Government's own food agency)or the food industry itself. Some programmes could be broadcast on food subjects on schools TV or some video's produced specially for schools.

Considering Jamie Oliver's campaign to improve school meals, this is something he'd consider doing. He was fortunate to be the one to get maximum publicity and lots of space in the press but anyone could've said what he has and many have for years but this was the right time. Further reading suggests that this subject is to be taught to...teenagers which for me, still means an opportunity has been missed by not involving children at an earlier age.

The improvement in school meals surely shows many pupils what is acceptable these days to eat well and be healthy.

Give the pupils a cook book.

There are websites full of good information about food(facts)and recipes. Assuming you have a computer and can afford to be connected to the web.

And what about visiting a library?

It's not rocket science. I think some of these stories and campaigns actually cause more problems then they solve. Teachers may say we have too much to do teaching all the other subjects we have to but most schools could have a kind of lifestyle topic that over the months/years take in healthy eating, cooking, diet, the importance of exercise and other things that affect our lives.

This could be done in the junior schools(even if dropped or not done as much)in the secondary schools. If you haven't learnt it or been fired up by then, the main subjects that you have to pass for your qualifications has to take priority. Young children are more likely to want to make a cake or whatever. Who, when Mum used to make a cake didn't ask to scrape the bowl and eat what was left of the mixture?

Then again, the sad fact is that the economic state the world is in and the Government wanting to get parents out to work as soon as possible and children into nurseries/schools etc... as soon as possible probably does not help. Of course you should make time for your children and have quality time with them but it is often too hard because of the long hours people are expected to work. Or that because sometimes both parents have to work, children are left to their own devices. That is a whole different subject.

This initiative is being driven by the realisation that we could be heading for an obesitity crises which will result in health problems such as diabetes, heart problems and so on. All very good reasons for trying to do something about it but...perhaps it's just me but I have always seen overweight people but not as many as I am shown or told about when the topic comes up on TV or in the press and they always manage to find the extreme cases to illustrate the point.

In the Summertime especially, all the children and teenagers around here are out until all hours chasing around or playing football and the local leisure centre is in constant use so again perhaps it really depends on where you live.

Cookery classes to be compulsory

Get Cooking

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Permission To Speak Sir...

Or should that be film?

A while ago I mentioned that I wanted to take some pictures for my blog and in general you'd think you could take photo's of where you live. I can understand in these days that some of the taking of photo's has become more complicated as people worry about images being used to help terrorists, but there is access to all kinds of material in books, magazines, newspapers and on the web.

Then, we have the worry over children's images in case they appeal to a paedophile. Now, I'm naive enough to think whilst I can understand an abusive image of some kind being abhorrent and unacceptable, but if a child happened to be in a picture say riding a bike but was not the main subject and was incidental and there was nothing strange about it, I get a little confused how that could be a problem. As if you follow that line of thought, you could never have a child in a tv programme, an advert or a film for fear how certain people will react.

What about when a tv news crew is on location and there are people walking in and out of shot?

Can you remember in an earlier post, I mentioned someone had approached me and said "You cannot take photographs on our property" even though I thought it was a public area and in theory with modern technology and a decent zoom lens you can go and stand off the property.

If this is now the normal state of affairs, just where can you take an image these days?

How practical would it be to constantly ask for permission to film or take a picture and what situation does that put a tv, film company or press photographer?

This post all comes about because I was watching a documentary on the television about pop music and the opening shot was on a street in London and the journalist Paul Morley was being interviewed on a vox pop shot. No public was being held up and it was coincidental that in the far off distance you could make out the name of a London Train Station, most of the picture was of Mr Morley.

In the middle of the opening dialogue some security guard introduced himself and asked who was filming and tried to stop the filming taking place and said that "The BBC should know better"

This was left in the programme and so I wonder if the guard had to give permission for his objection to be included. What a strange way to start a documentary about pop music.

So just where can you take a photo? Especially as many mobile phones have built in camera's.

Has some new law been passed? If so I have missed it? but it would appear that another aspect of life has been closed off to us. Or is this an official being over zealous?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chickens Come Home To Roost...

We've been told for years that many animals that are farmed for our consumption are living a very poor and cruel lifestyle and none more so than chickens.

A number of supermarkets(at the prompting)of some tv programmes and well known cooks and chefs on tv(and a directive being hurried through the European Parliament)plans to improve or stop how this type of farming will be done in the future.

But here's a problem. Of course there are people in this world that can spend money like water and never miss it. £100 to them might be the same as £5 to someone else but most families who are working or those who are receiving welfare have to watch what they spend on food because decent food can be expensive but all the other daily bills you have to pay that continue to increase such as utility bills, rent, mortgage, travel costs and much more.

Now, presenters who work in the National media are probably on reasonable wages and are always being invited to glitzy events(I generalise)but the point I am making is that the subject of how chickens are treated by the food industry was being discussed this afternoon by a radio personality who has spent years appearing on television talking about cooking and food.

She said that we must be as they are abroad and get used to paying much more for many food items and she gave chicken as an example. She said that a whole chicken costs £30, half a chicken £15 etc...

Well, if wages being paid and welfare you are receiving are similar to what a person in the media is being paid perhaps that's acceptable but I can assure you I haven't that kind of money going spare and I don't believe in going without and always try to buy the best that I can but I doubt very few could part with that kind of money for a chicken. Some people really do need to get out there into the real world.

The Windmills Of Your Mind...

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Apologies...the posting of images has changed since the last time I posted any and I'm not sure how to write text beside each picture and move them around. But I promised to get these images onto my blog after an entry some weeks ago.

To recap...the first shows the area near where the new supermarket was built and features some typical street lights. Now there has been a wind turbine erected in the same area and this is in a residential area.

In the image of the street lighting, the one one the left is in the car park of the supermarket so you can see how close it is to the main road that passes through the town and the turbine in the second picture is virtually a few feet/metres to the left. It is that close. If only I had taken it in panoramic setting.

The homes were already unhappy with facing onto the business(as many believed the design was going to merge in with the surroundings)but when built, it's basic design seemed different and is mainly glass and metal. The colour is mainly white with lots of logo's on it. And now we have this added to the layout. I think I am safe to assume that they will not be too keen on the turbine.

I hope the images make it clear what I was trying to suggest...

There is no way that the wind turbine can be compared to the typical design of the street lighting. The article that appeared in the local press said that protests are unlikely because the turbine design is seen as being no worse than a street light.

I am still unable to agree...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Prevention Rather Than Cure.

The British Government is promising everyone via the National Health Service will be offered a health screening to avoid or pick up early signs of heart and kidney disease, hardening of the arteries and liver problems. Who could argue that is not a good idea?

A variety of sources in the media ranging from Dr's, Government ministers and interest groups suggest that money has been taken away from the care of people with the above conditions in the last few months.

It would be better to offer such tests earlier than the suggested sixty five. My reasoning being that if your body starts to go wrong whilst you are young as help may be offered too late.
With the conditions above many take a long time to show so they would not necessarily be the what finishes you off.

Many of the above conditions could be diagnosed without a massive screening programme, what is required is more campaigns and information to persuade the public to have a few blood tests as blood can show a whole range of problems. Blood pressure, a urine test, a test to see how strong your lungs are, tests for strokes, diabetes. Cholesterol. All these tests cost pennies.

The more complicated and time consuming tests would be the promised screening for Bowel and Prostate Cancer, and a run on a treadmill, having an ECG to check your heart.

Dr's suggest that much of this has been done for years so this is just spin and announcing a policy promised before. Naturally the other political parties are saying this is a rehash of an old idea.

Come to think of it many high street chemists have offered many of these tests for years and have a promotion every so often. All you have to do is come in off the street.

It will be interesting to see if this promise can be delivered.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green...

I'm all for trying to use this planet's resources more carefully and looking after it, after all, it's all we have. I do not disagree that possibly temperatures are rising and it could effect communities around the world(on that score I would argue that the world has always gone through dramatic changes)and these dramatic changes are different combinations of what nature goes through and as much to do with the diversity of life that has inhabited the planet and will in the future. What speices we have lost and may in the future as life evolves or adapts.

The Human animal may be clever and has come up with many wonderful ideas but with these ideas, but problems arise as the original person who thought up an invention doesn't think out and someone else has to correct or improve on the idea.

The other problem and I know I've said it before, we have a feeling that it is our right that the Human Race will always be here but we know from the animals that share our planet, that is not the case.

Most of the world is made of water(sea water)and what land we have is becoming more crowded, exploited and being changed again by nature. The coasts and land is being eroded by water. We know that the Universe goes through various cycles. What we call stars are really Suns(possibly like our own)maybe stronger, it's just that they are so far away but scientests tell us that in time all suns collapse or expand or whatever it is that they do which results in planets nearby finding themselves burned out or blown apart. Before that point it's easy to assume that the planets will become so hot nothing of life as we would know will survive.

All we can hope to do is delay the final scenario.

What set off my thoughts?

Low engergy light bulbs...


That's right...low energy lightbulbs.

Many pressure groups with environmentally friendly policies have pushed for ways to reduce the carbon footprint. Their intentions are probably genuine sometimes many of their ideas in a modern world are plain daft and many families could not live the lifestyle they keep telling us that we should. We'd have to have fewer people and go back to a country and village plan and dismantle our towns and cities.

I no longer have a car(I have never been abroad so have not flown)For various reasons my usual visit out of my home is to shops that are only a few streets away(but I have to use a taxi)and straight away I have fallen fowl of the blueprint to avoid making a carbon footprint as we are told we should walk or cycle everywhere. Most of my entertainment is delivered by electric power, I like my computers, my radio, my television. I have to spend a lot of time at home. I don't feel like switching everything off and doing nothing.

When I sit in my home I need to keep warm and unlike medievil times you went to bed early and when dawn broke, you got up...obviously today we use electric light but we are told not to and some extremists say that you cannot light candles for the same reasons. So what can you do?

Well, Governments across Europe...let's talk of the British Government...it has been decided to phase out the traditional electric lightbulb with a design that has lasted best part of 100 years.

By 2011 we are all supposed to be using a bulb with different technology that they say will last longer, use less electric etc...and be less harmful to the environment.

However, many who have used the new lightbulbs have reported that they are not as good.

They often take minutes to light up a room whereas the present lightbulbs light a room immediately. It is said that they are not as bright or you need to buy a higher wattage to get the same effect. Or in some cases you need to perhaps use more of them to get the same effect so you are still using as much electric.

But a report has been issued and reported heavily on tv and radio news.

Last night, it was said that some people are suffering with migraine, others who have photo sensitive skin are finding that their skin is being affected, others with eye problems are having problems too. So some charities are asking that the older bulbs not be phased out altogether and the other worry is that if the Government allows some manufacture of the lightbulbs we are familiar with, manufacturers because they are producing fewer the prices will rise.

We are being told that the new bulbs contain a small amount of mercury so to throw away a bulb is no longer simple. If you break one in the home(I don't know how practical this is...you have to leave the room for at least 15 minutes, you must not vacumn the remains of the broken bulb, you must handle it with rubber gloves and wipe everywhere down with a damp cloth and the remains of the broken bulb must be put into a sealed bag and then you must contact the local council/authority to come and take it away.

This brings me back to memories I have of where I was working a few decades ago. A branch of a large retailer in the UK had no rules about the disposal of fluresent lighting tubes. And when they failed, we had a large metal rubbish bin out the back of the store that was emptied once a week. The bulbs were put into that bin. Who knows where the rubbish was taken? But here's another point the tubes were so long they used to stick outside the bin lid so...what did we do?

Smash them up so they would fit in the bin.

Even then I used to cover my mouth or make certain I was turned in a different direction and this was done whilst they were in the bin and the lid was slapped on pretty quick. I didn't like doing it and I was always concerned about what might be in the lighting. So even then, this probably was a problem.

So we haven't really come a long way. I'm not sure that this law as stands has been well thought out and is there to appear green.

Update:My good friend North Star in the States e-mailed me with more details regarding possible problems with the new energy efficient lights and I suspect many of us will start to store up a stock of ordinary lightbulbs to last for a few years. I've listened to a radio phone-in today that had callers who have tried the new ones to find that many light fittings will not accept the new designs and others with poor eyesight saying that it's difficult to read a book by. It's said that the lights can take as long as 10-15 minutes to reach their full capacity and in some cases a light is neeeded immediately for safety.

Another so called campaign has been instigated for this weekend in London by the Mayor Ken Livingstone with a DIY chain store and a utilility company. He wants London to switch. You turn up with two ordinary lightbulbs and they will be exchanged for two of the energy efficient bulbs for free.

Will two make much difference? Usually these stores are not on the high street so you need access to a car. It just seems like another story full of spin.

Belated Christmas Greetings and Wishes for the New Year.

This heartfelt wish goes out to all my regular readers and those of you who may stumble across this blog. I would mention you by name but probably would miss someone.

I hope the year is good to you. I hope to say more and post regularly to make it worth popping back now and again.

I end the year reasonably positive but have the ongoing medical problems to think of. I purchased a new computer a few weeks before Christmas and am still trying to decide if I like Windows Vista as an operating system. I had my older computer reformatted and some new items installed that I had worn out but I have a problem in that every so often the pc decides to freeze and it will not reboot until it has been off for maybe 90 minutes-120 hours. I like to make my own mp3's which often requires recording in real time to the hard drive and then converting from WAV to mp3.

Unfortunately, the older pc allows me to do so but the new pc when I try to do this the hard drives stutter so any recording is spoilt and not useable.

For now I am unsure why something I assume should be possible on one pc will not do the same on another.

I have seeked advice from a variety of sources without joy so far. Even my repairman has yet to solve the problem of the older pc switching off and having to wait. Or how to record on this pc.
The most recent idea for the computer failing is a power pack needs replacing(but for reasons not worth mentioning)I think we can rule that out, the other idea which is not so good is that a capacitor on the Motherboard may be failing(and to replace or repair that)I have been told is expensive.

As the PC is not that old I don't really like the idea of having a big repair bill or just throwing it away. I cannot blame overheating from dust as it all been cleaned out and blown away.

Oh, and my new pc refused to allow me onto the new net for a few days. It wouldn't connect to any sit except the home page and even if I tried to link to other areas of my home page site, it would look as though it was going work but the home page kept coming back. The old pc worked. So the repair man truns up and what happens? It works immediately for him and no reason can be given for why it happened. I'm sure he thinks I am doing something wrong or am stupid. And when it all works after you say otherwise you sometimes think that you are.

And for financial reasons I have avoided going Broadband and also because many internet providers insist on making you sign a contract for a minimum of 12 months. There are so many companies and stories for and against each you worry that you choose the right company to go with.

I have been very happy with my present company but as take a tv service from a satellite tv company for an extra £5 I could have broadband from them. And then I could look at things in a number of ways...

It's as if you are getting Broadband for nothing and is approx £18 less than many internet providers charge per month, more in some cases. Or as the combined charge of Satellite TV and Broadband is almost the same as paying for Broadband, it's as though you are getting your TV for free. Plus I believe you can have your phone included in the set up and save money on calls.
So I hope in the next few weeks to get all this sorted out.

All this has much to do with my lack of posting.