Friday, 27 November 2009

Hope this helps.

Had a couple of influenza injections - the yearly 'normal batch 'flu jab, and the dreaded H1N1 - one in either arm :)

Oddly, my Bear, who because she just happens to be married to me, has had the normal one, but not the H1N1. Apparently, their very strict who they give it to.

How did it go? Well I'd heard a few stories that the H1N1 had been an unpleasant experience for some people, but a little close questioning (I'm good at that) unravelled that most of the neigh-sayers refuse inoculations anyway.

There's a mistaken belief that an inoculation is that you "get a little to save a lot". Probably based on the historic beginnings some 300 years ago when indeed, tiny amounts of live virus where used on unsuspecting victims. Who had a minor version of a similar or same illness, and survived where they wouldn't have before.

Time has moved on. A lot.

The body produces antibodies to viri. You probably catch one virus or another often. Antibodies are produced to fit that virus, and destroy it.

A virus consists of little more than a protein coat containing a little DNA. It, if you like, burrows into human cells, and uses some of the DNA in there to reproduce itself by the million. Time, after time. This damages the cell, and either kills it or screws it up silly. This is why people who have underlying health problems are most at risk.

Your body just doesn't sit there and take it. It produces designer antibodies that fight back, scraps to repair the damage, and uses lots of other devices to defeat the invader, like increasing those antibodies tremendously, raising you temperature, throwing all sorts of other defences against it. That's what 'unwell' is. Fighting the good fight. Most of the time, you won't even know you're under attack.

It would be just plain STUPID to inject live viri, ne'er mind illegal, into vulnerable people. It's called murder nowadays.

I'll not get into here how it works. But antibodies have a very basic purpose, and that is to recognise that protein coat I mentioned, and destroy it. No protein, dead 'flu.

The companies who produce a vaccine multiply the virus, kill the DNA, while maintaining the bits that antibodies recognise. That is stored in a preservative solution that keeps the contents fresh.

So why do some people feel unwell for a couple of days after injections? A tiny percentage don't get on with the preservative. Another tiny percentage have already caught H1Ni or another of the four or five variations of flu before injection. Often, it's just a good old fashioned cold. Has to be said that some people react badly to being a bit 'off colour' anyway (man flu?)

But the main reason is that The Body has a host of other defences that it throws at anything it perceives, rather unintelligently, as a thread, a lot that that can make a person feel unwell for a couple of days. And again, it's all down to a persons personal reaction to feeling off-colour.

How did it affect me? Well, they injected me in my right arm with 'normal multi-flu'. I don't have much feeling there anyways. The left was H1N1. That's been sore for 48 hours, slacking off gradually. I was shattered for 48, but I'm not used to going out much anyways. Slept for 8 hours, and I'm a 4 hours a night fella normally. Bear says I was hot and restless.

Wish I'd suggested the the right arm for H1N1:)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Guess it's no secret I like to cook. Or that I like the odd (very odd, strong, occasional ) lager either. Since I can't get out much -which is bloomin' annoying, cooking is my real vice. Though not eating, funnily enough. The combination of cooking and and a can? - inspiration, thats what :)

If you're an occasional reader, you'll know that I have a fascination with seasonal pickles, and Autumn/Winter/Christmas is my favourite time of year. Wheelie Weather. Seriously.

I've been inundated with requests for my Piccalilli this year as Christmas presents. It goes as 'Wheelielilly' I'm not sure I can keep up with demand.

Here's the odd thing. Some like the sauce bit. Others like it with the veg. Some ask me to 'wizzywig' it a bit to keep any chunks tiny.

I do various chutneys too, but I'm not going to give those recipes away :)

Piccalilli is so easy to make yourself - the basic recipe is below, but I have my little exra's. Warning. It pongs when you cook it - open a window, and leave it in a cool dark place for um, at least a month :)

700ml Malt vinegar. GOT to be malt.
2 tbsp Coriander seeds/1 tbsp ground (supermarket) Coriander, or if your lucky, 4 tbsp fresh.
500g Cauliflower, broken into 3cm florets
2 Onions, peeled and chopped.

Cheat here. Sure, add the onions as above. You might like also add silver skin onions bought from the supermarket. A little of the fluid from the jar added to the final recipe will cool as a preservative.

3 tbsp English mustard powder - though 2 tbsp ground mustard seed is better for texture.
3 tbsp Plain flour
1 tbsp Turmeric
2 tsp Ground ginger - Ah, go with your instinct on this. Try 3/4 inch of grated fresh instead . Hard work tho'
150ml Cider vinegar (ooh yes - white wine vinegar is good too)
100 grams/4 oz anything you want. Traditionally, french beans. Try 4 oz of mixed red and yellow peppers
½ Cucumber, quartered lengthways and cut into 1cm slices. Personally, I prefer gherkins.
2 Garlic cloves, mashed. beat the heck out of them. But don't skip it.
200g Granulated or muscavada sugar

1. Place the malt vinegar and coriander seeds in a large preserving pan and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and onion and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly softened but still crunchy. Meanwhile, put the mustard, flour, turmeric and ginger in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the cider vinegar until smooth. Add the remaining vegetables, garlic and sugar to the pan and stir over the heat for 2–3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Drain over a large bowl to collect the vinegar.

2. Put the mustard mixture in the pan and bring to the boil. Gradually add the drained malt vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add the drained vegetables and take off the heat. Spoon into sterilised jars – if they’re not kilner jars, cover them with plastic discs and elastic bands rather than metal lids, which can sometimes react with the vinegar.

Stick it in a cupboard for a month - eat with home made bread - no compromise.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Grumpy warning

Mobile (cell) phones - I hate 'em. Got one tho'.

Does anyone know ANYONE over the age of fourteen who can text with one hand? Anyone over that age who can understand txt spk plz? I know I can't. Note - stroke survivor?

How about text 'receipts' - whats all that about ? You end up in those really gormless phone conversations 5 minutes after you receive a text... Mobile rings. So I have to wobble from my Wheels across the living room to the mantle. Posh translation, across the lounge to the hearth.

"Why didn't you reply to my text?"
Me:- "Eh?"
"I know you got it"
Me:- "Uhuh?"
"I had my 'receipts' turned on....."
Me:- "Your phoning because?"
"You didn't reply and my 'receipt' said you got it. You could have least have texted OK "

Blimey, talk about illogical, captain. Didn't reply because I didn't want to. So there. And like heck was I going to pay 12 pence to say 'ok'. Insecurity rules k.o.

I'm pay as I go. For some odd reason known as pay as you go. No it isn't. I pay if I phone.

What are these Special Offers texts I keep getting from my provider? Every Friday I get a text.

"If you pay another £5/£10" it claims, "you can have free texts for the weekend"

Really? Lets do the maths here. My mobile provider charges me 12 pence per text. Thats 41.6 texts for £5 over two days. Thats 'free'? Why would I wanna text 41 times anyway - and (aha!) what happens to that 0.6 texts? . Tain't Free, is it. Pah.

And, finally. Do you ever get calls on your mobile like "Where are you?" Duh. My standard answer is "How did you know I was here......?"

At long last, I've retired from from ghost-writing sermons.

Don't look so surprised at the thought that a sermon might be ghost-written.

Churches run by committee, much like politics. It's been a long time since any religion had truly independent preachers, and those preachers that are truly independent have such a heavy case load they sometimes sub-contract.

I'm talking Christian preachers/leaders here, of various denominations. As time has gone on, I've found keeping track of the various internal politics, doctrines and practices (not to be confused with, but similar to secular politics) such hard work I've decided I've had enough. It increasingly became irrelevant to me, and it's the sort of writing that if you can't inject some passion into, you shouldn't be doing it, even if your writing is negotiated. So, for me, it's the end of an era. I'm sad to let it go.

I would, even if you have no religious convictions, urge that you respect those church workers that do. Ninety-nine percent of the work they do is unsung, unrewarded, and often at the expense of their health, their home life and their freedom, and get this - even so far as their churches know. They are societies unsung hero's. Bless 'em.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Ooch !

Say Hi to Daz the Man on my followers. I like Daz. What you see is what you get, and I like Daz because of. Which is crap grammar, but what the heck. Please visit his blog and encourage him to blog more often - he lives in interesting times. And can that guy sing. Heckuva voice. Advert over :)

Today somebody brassed me off. But hey, nothing happens to those that don't do anything.

Which is even worse grammar :)

Had to scrub a blog I'd run for some years because some peeps complained that by using moderation I was restricting their freedom of speech. Basically they were pushing their own religious agenda.

I'm an easy going, chilled out kinda chap, and pretty open to much. But when I find myself spending more than hour a day every day moderating comments from a combination of pro-faith, anti-faith, and so-called free-speechers (they wanna do what they wanna do but jump on anyone who doesn't do what THEY wanna do) ie. neither side wanted to accept moderation.

I thought, well blow this. More useful things to do with my time ;) I am, indeed, as someone commented, "a god in my own little world". No platform, no problem. Simple. It's enough to make you twitter..........