Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Healthy Hazard

Like most stroke survivors, I take tablets to keep my blood pressure stable. That's why I'm a survivor.

I also like to eat sparingly, but when I eat, I like to eat good quality, healthy food. That means, for instance, I love a steak. That doesn't mean an 8 or 16 ouncer (I wish) It means it 4 oz or less of something nice and expensive I really like. Keeps me happy and keeps the cost down.

The reason I mention something chunky and meaty, is that it isn't the first thing that springs to mind as healthy eating - particularly if you're keeping your cholesterol down. But I'm human, not a rabbit. Don't get wrong, I love veg.

Your body needs cholesterol. It's produced naturally by the body and broken down into oestrogen and testosterone. Both hormones are required by both sexes - the degree depending upon whether you're male or female. The trick is to eat foods in amounts that produce only what you need. So forget the rubbish on the adverts about avoiding it. You need it. It's just by how much. My cholesterol has been a steady 4 to 5 for years, which just goes to show a little of what you fancy does you good.

Salt. The last thing you need if you tend to high blood pressure, right? Wrong.

Even more important if you take blood pressure medication. You should not exclude it from your diet if you eat fresh, home cooked food, as opposed to lots of ready meals or tinned stuff.

I'm used to having a bit of difficulty walking, aches and pains. Almost 'Flu like. But when I started getting dizzy, it was bad news. I wobble enough as it is. Then there was the night cramps. I had used something called 'Lo-Salt', but more often than not, I just didn't use salt.

I mentioned it to an elderly friend, who said he'd had the same thing. He'd found that if he walked any distance, he's have to stop and rest because he was 'cramped' His GP had told him that Lo-Salt (which is 1/3 rd salt) was fine, but no-salt wasn't an option. He was asked to put a pinch of sea salt into his cooking.

I've tried that. And its worked. No more cramps, no more night cramps, no more dizziness.

So I guess my advice would be a little of what you fancy does you good, and a lot of healthy eating advice should be taken with a pinch.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


A week ago today, Squeak the kitty went missing. She's called Squeak, because that's what she does. She can't meow - the vet said that's just the way she's made. Besides, she'd decided she was my cat, and I'm rather unimaginative with names - ask my kids - their names begin with the same letter too......

The reason we know she's mine, is because I was the one she got up a 05:30 to be let out using the unusual but effective habit of sitting on my face. Rather disconcerting waking up with a face full of cat bum. I'm also the one she takes delight in running up one leg and down the other and tripping me up.

Still, she and Smudge adopted us when they were 6 months old. They were inseparable. Slept together, play-fought together, ate together. He spent all night out, she was a most-of-the-night-in. But since since she's gone, both he and the old girl, Sniff (see, no imagination..) are in most of the day and night. He's become really fussy and chatty with The Bear, and even Sniff will sit at my feet. That IS unusual.

I've reassured the family that I'm sure the worst that has happened is that she's gone back to where she came from. Still, we've checked the house top to bottom, the shed, under the shed, hedges, got the neighbours to check theirs, asked the RSPCA, PDSA and Cats rescue, and their web sites, searched nearby fields.

I'D LIKE TO put posters on lamp posts, or a notice in the local pet shop window, but he won't have it (a) because he gets too many, and (b) he thinks I'd be a 'bit of a nutter' putting my phone number on public display. He's probably right. I've had a word with the local PCSO (around here we call them 'Plastic Policemen' ) and she's says that putting posters up would cost an £80 fine per poster for littering from "the wally wardens", and see (b) above. So I'm at a loss.

Done some reasearch, and discovered they are no laws governing the ownership of cats in the uk. Whatsoever. For instance, a cat walks in, it's yours. A dog....oof, complicated. Hit a dog with a car, you have to report it. A cat? Naw.

So I'm a bit upset. Not fooling the family either. Heard Eldest telling his American mate how upset about it, and Bear keeps talking to the other cats about it.

Truth is, we have a local Urban Fox. Whom I, as an early riser, tend to get on with. I fear he may have the solution :(

Darn it.

Sunday, 13 September 2009


This is rapidly going to turn into a grumpy old man blog, if I'm not careful....

Now I've had to buy a new combi microwave. Had the last one eight years. First the turntable stopped going round. Ok, thought I, look up some spares on the net. Hmm, £17 for a new motor, and perhaps an hour or two's work - like heck am I pay £80 + £50 'parts' for someone in a shop to do it for me. I'd paid £250 for the thing in the first place. It should be ok to use without the turntable going round, right?

No.... two weeks of use later, (hey, this is 17 quid we're talking about here!) "Wheelie" - yes, she sometimes calls me that when she gets annoyed. "Yes miss?" "Belt up, I can't warm up my tinned chicken curry" (Blargh! Yuk!)

Sigh. Still, as my lass says, "It didn't owe us nowt"

Why a combi-microwave? A combi is a combination of a micro, a grill, and fan assisted electric oven. I eat when I feel like it, which isn't that often. But when I do, it's handy when my mob, fiends, and relatives are doing their thing with the normal gas oven and hob, to use the combi. Secondly, I'm a bit more careful of what I eat. To be fair electricity in the uk is more expensive - but it works for me.

We have a household principle (well, I have) that when we buy something expensive, Micro, TV, Cooker, Dishwasher ect, a couple of quid (£2) goes into a separate jar every week until they expire. In this case, £430 was in the kitty for a new micro. Interestingly, over time, the technology gets better, and prices drop.

So I was able to pick up a bigger, better, replacement - different brand, different make, for for £175. By my reckoning, that's £255 profit that can go back in the pot for something else.

So no 'extended warranties' needed, no bank interest charges, no overdraft charges, no credit card charges, no worries.

Good, eh?

Saturday, 12 September 2009

I am going to treat myself.

I don't get out much, which is ok, mostly, because I have lovely views of fields and pastures, and living on the side of a hill, our little home overlooks the seven hills that characterise our city. I fully admit I'm a snow person, and that I'm going to have to wait for that. Meanwhile, I'm looking at rolling green and golden hills.

But I have a hankering for a train journey. I'd like to do it alone, but that's not going to happen. I'd like to do steam trains - but, nah, not much of that around here. But when the time is right, I can wangle myself onto a diesel train, and go to some where nearby. Perhaps Grindleford, and hopefully


Sunday, 6 September 2009


Forgive me for going on about bread again. There's a problem with uncut bread. Cutting it into slices.

To put that into perspective. I'm aware there are all sorts of devices out there to do it, but we prefer a good, old fashioned bread knife. I CAN cut it - it's a kinda leaning on it on one side to hold it, and then using yon knife. My Bear can do it, but they're very thick, and kinda wedge shaped.

Great for a good old fashioned Bacon Butties but a little too filling for me. Any tips?

By the way, one of my sisters said that a breadmaker is one of those things that ends up at the back of a cupboard - after a-month-and-a-bit ? Nope. In fact, neighbours and friends love 'em.

Note though, we are using the flour/water/yeast/sea salt/sugar mix, rather than a supermarket readymix, and it's TOO popular! :)