Friday, March 10, 2006

Have – haven’t. Number 1…..
an occasional series

Stuff I’ve never eaten….

1).Veal – too cruel. A ritual too far for a supposed delicacy.

2).Lobster – much too cruel. Left alone, they live for 80 years plus.

3).Frog’s legs – Bizarre choice of food – I mean, why not ‘frog’s eyebrows’?

4).My own bogeys – the mere thought of it bring me out in cold sweat. I just could never understand why kids at school did that.

5).Dog – oh no! It would be like eating a member of the family.

6).Bullocks testicles – don’t even go there.

7).Ostrich – You’d need a bloody massive cooker to get it in.

8).Pig’s trotters – pass me the sick bag.

9).Whale – I have enough blubber of my own.

10).My hat – fortunately, I can bluff stuff out a lot.

Stuff I have eaten – (but wish I hadn’t)…..

1).Rissole and Bluebottle surprise – my once favourite dish, until I saw half eaten blue bottle on a half eaten rissole on my dinner plate. The other half of it was already in my stomach.

2).Daffodil flowers – a drunken bet, I ate them, then someone told me they were poisonous. What fun we had outside the pub trying to get me to throw up.

3).Humble pie – all too frequently on my menu I’m afraid.

4).Human hair – no comment.

5).A caterpillar and cabbage sandwich mistake – so there I am, shoving a bit forkful of organic Savoy into my mouth…. "Hmmm, this cabbage is really juicy"…..

6).Big Mac (with fries, shake and sick bag) congealiality in a polystyrene box.

7).2 extra large Mars bar Easter eggs (consecutively) – you know that scene in ‘Cool Hand Luke’ where Paul Newman eats 50 hard boiled eggs…..

8).Oysters – sliding, sliding, always sliding down. A passable impression of semi-solid Vaseline…

9).A wasp – playing in a footy match, swearing at the ref’ a vespa flew straight into my mouth. I felt it buzzing inside – and frightened the stripey chap would sting me at the back of my throat, I started to chomp. It was either him or me – and a squirt of wasp juice in my mouth confirmed it was him.

10).Tripe – like chewing a bag of 50 year-old rubber bands.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jonathan had a go at my last post, which is fair enough. – I meant to reply right away, but pressure of work has delayed me a bit… anyway, reply below.

Hi Jonathan

OK – I’ll nail my colours to the mast. The piece is blurred re’ exactly which countries are being excluded. For example, Herceptin. In Scotland and now Wales this ‘very expensive and dangerous drug’ is available as of right to their respective populations. In England, if you want it - find a lawyer. Even when the patient’s own Specialist recommends Herceptin – the instruction is to take the prescription to the High Court rather than to the local chemist. It is a fact that England’s PCTs have been using the approval time as an excuse to delay roll out – and hence save money. In Scotland and Wales this is not a problem. Why? Could be something to do with the extra cash they get from Gordon Brown. I really cannot accept an argument that brands desperate English women as being hysterical and media-manipulated by the Daily Mail et al, whilst north of Carlisle and west of Chester, the drug is an accepted part of their National Dispensary, right next to the Asprin – and that is surely not right, is it?.

The guy on the TV the other night has so far spent 10 grand on ‘temozolomide’ – (it is currently keeping him alive). His Specialist told him about the drug as being specifically relevant to his type of cancer. Unfortunately, his PCT didn’t agree. When you’re in the last chance saloon do you really want some pen pusher from your local PCT, wringing hands and explaining that the drug is not available because of this, that or the other, not proven, too expensive, etc, etc…

To broaden the argument – Wales will get free prescriptions for everyone, every single one of them by 2007. In Scotland there are free eye tests for everyone and already in that country 92% of prescriptions are completely free. Bowel cancer screening in Scotland starts at a much earlier age – in England, screening starts a good 10 years later. It’s the tip of a health service iceberg – or in the case of England – a health ‘non-service’ iceberg…..

I sound bitter - and I am. During my Dad's last days a year ago, we bought stuff off the internet, from Canada - stuff that his Specialist reckoned could help him - but his local PCT couldn't and wouldn't supply. They also refused surgery, basically because they reckoned he was too old and 'inconvenient'

In the greater scheme of things, this stuff may have prolonged his life by a smidge or two - but who gave a damn, who cared? Certainly not his PCT. My Dad was 85, he was old, knackered, a busted flush.... He'd worked from the age of 14 straight through to 75 years of age, solid - and paid his taxes every single week of that time. He was never off ill - ever. During the war, he shovelled coal in the bowels of Royal Navy vessels knowing that if the ship got hit, he was a dead man...... So he fulfilled his part of the deal - and when he needed help, they let him down.

Still, if it saves a few quid - and he died a few weeks earlier than he was due - so what?