Tuesday, 31 March 2009

first small kick

my new shoes

Went to the gym today and kicked some thai pads, not a lot but a start. Every journey starts with the first small step or in this case 'kick'.

Monday, 30 March 2009


Gorse starting to flower

Walking the dog this morning I noticed the Gorse is starting to flower. When in full the bloom the air is scented with a strong coconut scent. In a months time, if you walk on the moor the strength of the coconut will be powerful.

I had intended to participate in the BJJ class tonight but it hasn't worked out for me timewise, but i feel that I'm on the precipice of getting back in there. With the change in clocks and sleep disruption - Caz is on early shift so a 4am rise - i've slept the latter part of the afternoon too long.

"Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you're needed by someone."

Ginger has been shown to:
• Reduce abdominal bloating
• Stimulate digestion
• Keep intestinal muscles toned
• Reduce nausea and vomiting
• Support the cardiovascular system

The world's first biodegradable chewing gum is arriving on British supermarket shelves, potentially putting to an end the sticky mess caused by the conventional product.

Chicza Rainforest Gum is manufactured in Mexico by Consorcio Chiclero - a consortium of 56 co-operatives employing some 2,000 chicleros (gum farmers) and their families. The workers extract natural gum from the sap of the chicle tree, which is then used to make the product.

Unlike conventional chewing gum, which contains petrochemicals, the organic chewing gum does not stick to clothing or pavements. And once disposed of, it will crumble to dust in about six weeks, dissolving harmlessly in water or being absorbed into the soil.

It is costly and difficult to remove conventional chewing gum from public places because of its chemical content, with cleaning typically costing between 10p and 30p per piece. It takes 17 weeks for chewing gum to be removed from the entire length of Oxford Street in London, for example, but only 10 days for it to be littered with gum again.

Local authorities spend up to £200,000 a year each on clearing gum; the average cost is £13,000.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Spring Forward

Teaching Saturdays Class

I was out on the motorbike today for the first time since, i guess, October. With the clocks going forward its come at a time where its a bit less wintry and dare i say more spring like. So i got the bike out and cleaned it and took it for a wee run to see how i did. I was fine and chuffed being back on the Triumph workhorse.

This was after running a fighters workout where Chris Moir had 10 rounds of Muay Thai sparring with people all 20 kg heavier. This is incredibly good for him now that we have more people willing to turn up to these sessions and so i expect his standard to increase and start to really dominate fights.

My inside thighs are sore after doing some kettlebells yesterday. I didn't do many but since my body hasn't been stressed for a while, the few was enough. Cardio seems out at the moment as i tend to get dizzy but i felt good doing the Turkish lifts - see the video - and didn't get any cramps at night!

I'm 84.1 kgs. i don't think there is much more body fat but the big difference is the loss of muscle. I'm comfortable with my size, it's the strength i want to recapture.
Ray - king of the kettlebells

Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet…
“I would say that because of the decisions we took during the good times, we were able to save some money for the bad times. And I would say that today that policy is producing results

=== JKrishnamurti.org - Daily Quote ===

When I can look at you and you can look at me without the image of memory then there is a relationship.

Questioner: What relation has the observer, my observer, to other observers, to other people?

Krishnamurti: What do we mean by that word 'relationship'? Are we ever related to anyone, or is the relationship between two images which we have created about each other? I have an image about you, and you have an image about me. I have an image about you as my wife or husband, or whatever it is, and you an image about me also. The relationship is between these two images and nothing else. To have relationship with another is only possible when there is no image.

When I can look at you and you can look at me without the image of memory, of insults, and all the rest, then there is a relationship, but the very nature of the observer is the image, isn't it? My image observes your image, if it is possible to observe it, and this is called relationship, but it is between two images, a relationship which is nonexistent because both are images.

To be related means to be in contact. Contact must be something direct, not between two images. It requires a great deal of attention, an awareness, to look at another without the image which I have about that person, the image being my memories of that person - how he has insulted me, pleased me, given me pleasure, this or that. Only when there are no images between the two is there a relationship.

Collected Works, Vol. XVII - 7

Friday, 27 March 2009


The last two days have seen a lot of sleeping taking place. Whilst it is cold i blame this on the beta blockers. The appointment for the endoscopy for them to put the bandings in so i can come off the beta blockers is not till the end of April. I will email a question to see if i can come off them before.

Britons are the worst sleepers in Europe, claimed a survey last week, depicting a nation starved of sleep and facing a daily battle against red-eyed exhaustion.

The research, produced by the Future Foundation for health campaign Sleep Well Live Well, found that one in five of the population had less than seven hours sleep a night - and many of these tired souls reported feeling stressed and unhappy.

But how about looking at the question from another direction. If insufficient or disrupted sleep is bad for our health - then what would be the ingredients of a really good night's sleep? What makes a perfect sleep?

Dr Adrian Williams of the Sleep Disorders Centre at St Thomas's Hospital in London sets out a few ground rules.

Don't have any caffeine drinks after 2pm, exercise some time between 4pm and 7pm, have a milky drink and a bath before bedtime and try to exclude noise and light from the bedroom, recommends Dr Williams.

But sleep is a highly individual experience. Like our appetite for different types of food, we all have our own gourmet sleeps. Here are 10 to savour.

1. THE AFTERNOON NAP According to the wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the pearl of slumbers was the afternoon nap. "You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner, and no half measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed."

2. THE WEARY PARENT For the sleep-starved parent, it can feel as though they've given birth to a temperamental air-raid siren. Their sleep fantasy is nothing more elaborate than a night alone and a long luxurious morning when they can wake up undisturbed. Maybe they could warm the room with a bonfire of all those smug-faced sleep training manuals.

3. HOTEL SCHADENFREUDE There are few more succulent slices of sleep than the first morning of a holiday. No alarm clock, no rushing for the train, no playing hunt the other sock, no making sandwiches for the kids. What makes it even sweeter is the thought of everyone else back at work toiling over a hot computer.

4. THE GREAT OUTDOORS Sleeping outside has a particular grass-scented pleasure, whether it's drowsing on a sunny afternoon in the back garden, on the beach or in the park. Looking up at the clouds creates that feeling of getting back to nature.

Fresh-air sleeping has a long tradition. Alice Ravenhill, an Edwardian authority on rearing children, ordered that bedroom windows should be always fully open, apart from in the severest cold spells. In summer, she recommended sleeping on the porch.

Modern hotels say they pitch their optimum room temperature for sleeping at 18 degrees. It must have been all the other ones I've stayed in that are hotter than the Gobi desert, with the windows bolted shut.

5. COMFY PILLOW Pillows now come with almost as much science as hair conditioner. And there are versions with in-built speakers to play sleep-inducing sounds such as a heart beat or soothing music.

This would not have impressed the Elizabethan writer, William Harrison, who attacked the young men of the 1580s for being so soft that they used pillows to help them sleep. In his day, real men slept on wooden logs or hairy sacks. Allergenic or non-allergenic sack, sir?

6. KEPT IN THE DARK For a city dweller, used to a constant fog of light, it can be a rare treat to sleep in undisturbed treacly darkness. It's becoming more and more difficult to find. There are light polluted skies outside - and the insides of homes are overflowing with light-emitting gadgets. Kielder in Northumberland is claimed as having the darkest skies left in England.

7. SNEAKY CINEMA SNORING We've all been there. It's warm, it's dark, the mobile is switched off and you're watching a film or a play, and you feel an irresistible urge to close your eyes. It's been a long day and your body is crying out for a delicious moment of rest. The innovative Japanese have recognised a gap in the market and run "sleep concerts", in which rows and rows of exhausted salarymen cheerfully snore while the musicians play.

8. NIGHT MUSIC Who wouldn't enjoy being lulled to sleep by music? Or else the music is so dull that staying awake becomes impossible. Interpret this either way, but a study for the hotel chain Travelodge says that Coldplay and James Blunt are the most sleep-inducing musicians. Guests also like "unchallenging" reads, with the literary works of Jordan and David Beckham topping the sleep chart.

9. DREAMING OF FOOD The Christmas sleep, after a big dinner, is a classic of its kind. But different types of food have associations with inducing sleep. The NHS recommends eating bananas. Since the Romans, lettuce has been a persistent ingredient in sleep recipes. Less attractive is the use of dormouse fat, as used by the Elizabethans. The Victorians recommended top quality champagne as an insomnia cure. Even if you didn't get to sleep, it would still have been a good party.

10. WEEKEND LIE-IN Going home on Friday, the weekend stretches out alluringly. The first pleasure is the morning lie-in, that extra hour or so when everything seems possible. You lie there planning that great novel, dipping in and out of sleep. Nathaniel Hawthorne caught this perfectly: "You speculate on the luxury of wearing out a whole existence in bed, like an oyster in its shell, content with the sluggish ecstasy of inaction."

Maybe we're not bad at sleep, just out of practice.

BBC journalist Sean Coughlan writes a blog on the subject.

A copy of the financial times from the year 2020 has fallen through time, delivering tomorrow's news today Hindsight.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Just got my Madness boxset with The Liberty of Norton Folgate.
Absolutely smashing!

The Liberty Of Norton Folgate in a luxurious limited edition boxed set, furnished with the full album both on Compact Disc and Vinyl. Also included, exclusive additional new tracks and Out-Takes (taking the total number of tracks to 42), a poster, a custom made 'M' pin-badge and many more collectors treasures.
Aside from the album itself, probably the most significant item in the box will be a membership card initiating your induction into the society and collective known simply as 'M' which grants you access to a private area of the Madness website.

Disc 1 The Liberty of Norton Folgate
Disc 2
The Liberty of Norton Folgate
Disc 3 - Practice Makes Perfect Plus Hackney Live & Correct
Vinyl LP

In Britain in 1993, three people needed hospital treatment as a result of an accident with a tea-cosy. So, if you walked into a room with no-one else was in there and there is a tea-cosy on the table what would you do?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

It's Frothy man!

If you recall i mentioned that if I exercise i get severe leg cramps at night. Well the Dr told me to try drinking Tonic water as it contains quinene. However stronger doses of Quinene have caused serious problems - even death. Stop to marketing quinine for night leg cramps - health risks of prescription quinine - Brief Article

My urine continues to high levels of albumin which is a side effect of kidney malfunction possibly cause by the Sorafenib. After the CT scan they will look to weigh the benefits of whats happening to the tumor with the kidney issue.

Albumin symptons include a frothy pee, which i have now started calling Cresta after a childhood soda drink which had a polar bear saying "Its Frothy Man!" The current version of Cresta does not stand up to the old one, probably as half the ingredients are banned.

I'd saved up for a tin (1973/4) and left it in the fridge for the next day. My dad returned from work in London after i had gone to bed - which was the norm - and was eating a curry made by my mum when he chewed on a chilli. According to my mum, with his mouth burning, he drank water and grabbed my cresta out of the fridge and drank it in one.

I was, thus, scarred for life.

Just when you thought your email or phone call was private, guess what!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs

I was out walking the dog yesterday in cold weather, there had been snow and sleet and a strong bitter wind was cutting through the layers, when i met an old man shaking and in distress. I was keeping an eye out for him as someone had approached me full of concern. This was a man around the age of 30, who told me of an old man shaking and stumbling. Walking around with the dog i saw a few people walking on the moor.

It wasn't long till i met this old man, who was scared, cold, wet and shaking. He had obviously fallen and i went straight to him and talked to him. While i talked to him, several more people hurried past. There was a car park not far away so i got him to come with me as i felt I could find someone with a car who'd drive him home rather than call out an emergency service. I approached a young man who wasn't comfortable but willing to drive him home. I called his house to make sure there was someone home and at that moment a car drew up and the old gentlemans daughter got out full of concern.

How many walked past, seeing this man in distress? Even the man who alerted to me had not acted, although at least he let me know. After the situation was dealt with i bumped into my pal Dod, out with his dog and we discussed it as we walked. There are people who wont do anything and there are those who will.

There is a a passage from something called The Bulletproof Mind, written by a Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, a psychologist by training as well as a military man. Grossman uses a metaphor of sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs, and divides humanity into three groups based on this idea:

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path....

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land...

Now, there are things in Grossmans thinking that i do not subscribe to. He's a military man with an agenda. However i do recognise the generalisation and yesteday i was the sheepdog. I act where others are hesitant. At the same time i will give or share my last morsel with a fellow human being and i do feel that a 'sheep' can step out of the pasture. That's why i teach martial arts and self protection. I know for some its about being nice to the victims [Peyton to McYoung], but i have this confidence, not a belief, that people can and do evolve and this is a fundemental difference to Grossman's stereotype.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Clinic D

I've just finished my cup of tea when I get a phone call asking if I can get to Clinic D for 10.55am. Yes i can. In fact i arrive on time and queue to 'check in' for 10 minutes and then have the honour of wasting one hour and 45 minutes waiting. Just when i put my jacket on before leaving i get called. Should have put the jacket on after 10 minutes maybe?

Anyway, the concern felt by the Dr since she last saw me was dispelled. I was 160/90 blood pressure and when she felt the liver she was amazed there seemed no inflammation at all. However urine tests had shown the presence of proteins which is a kidney issue. They want to keep an eye on it and this causes ankle swelling. She suggested, as a remedy for the cramps, quinene found in Tonic Water. just dont add the gin!

Im about to walk the dog and its snowed. Its a sharply cold day. My weight was again 84.5kg.

Found out that ‘The Database State’ describes the creation of very large databases at the heart of the UK departments of state, most of which it plans to join up. The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust commissioned a survey of all the state databases that a distinguished group of experts could identify. They found 46. Of these they judged that only six are safe. Many were found to be almost certainly illegal as well as dangerous. Still trying to find out how to go about finding out how many databases i'm on.

Sunday, 22 March 2009


The Beta Blockers along with the chesty cough doing the rounds have left me at times breathless. I'll phone in the morning and ask to get the banding done so i can come off the tablets.

Saw Carol today, an old friend who along with DJ ran the doors in the west end of Aberdeen's main area. I, as can a few of the guys who read this from around the world worked for them over a long number of years, can still rattle off the phone number we would call for our hours. Quite a few of these guys would phone up on a Sunday evening rather the worse for wear and get their hours. Carol lived on that phone, coordinating an army of martial artists, bodybuilders, squaddies and students but the mere mention of this will bring a collective smile to all of us who experienced that great time!

Jade Goody's death will have brought awareness to many women about the importance of the smear test . It's easy for people to dismiss Jade and i for one would turn the tv off if she had been on. A reality tv personality, she was the face of women that Britain doesn't, in my humble opinion, like to think exists. She was loud and not well educated.

Had it not been for our consumption of the celebrity lifestyle then we'd never have heard of her. I'll raise a glass of ginger beer to her tonight because she took her 15 minutes instead of playing the game of knowing your class, your place, your servitude. I hope the message of smear tests gets through better than the previous campaigns ever did. Then she'll be more than just a reality tv star.

=== JKrishnamurti.org - Daily Quote ===

Transformation can come only when every problem is immediately understood.

What do we mean by transformation? Surely, the cessation of all problems, cessation from conflict, confusion, and misery. If you observe, you will see that the mind is cultivating, sowing, and harvesting as a farmer cultivates, sows, and reaps. But, unlike the farmer who allows the field to lie fallow during winter, the mind never allows itself to lie fallow. As the rains, the storms, and the sunshine recreate the earth, so during that passive yet alert fallowness of the mind, there is rejuvenation, a renewal, so the mind renews itself and the problems are resolved. The problems are resolved only when they are seen clearly and swiftly.

The mind is constantly distracted, escaping, because to see a problem clearly might lead to action which might create further disturbance; and so the mind is constantly avoiding facing the problem, which only gives strength to the problem. But, when it is seen clearly without distortion, then it ceases to be. So long as you think in terms of transformation, there cannot be transformation, now or hereafter. Transformation can come only when every problem is immediately understood. You can understand it when there is no choice and the seeking of a result, when there is no condemnation or justification. Where there is love, there is neither choice nor search for an end, nor condemnation, nor justification. It is this love that brings about transformation.

Collected Works, Vol. IV - 206

Friday, 20 March 2009

knocked for six

The beta blockers are knocking me sideways. I'll be on the phone to arrange another endoscopy to get the banding done, so i can knock them on the head.

I'm 84.4kg first thing and my clothes no longer fit.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Tips for More Energy

Sprint training using harnesses at AMAG's Combat Athletics class

Everywhere you go people are looking for 'energy'. Have you been seduced by the ads promising "such and such" beverage will "give you wings", or by stores offering sky-high cups of coffee. Where do you go for your fix? And is it really a fix at all? Or just a patch that leads to an inevitable crash and burn?

In reality, the "energy" we're chasing is simply mental alertness. And it's no secret that coffee and cigarettes contain drugs that stimulate your brain, giving you the mental alertness we mistakenly call 'energy'. If you are searching a better way of living turn to holistic living. There are better, healthier ways to achieve higher levels of physical and mental energy.

Here are 3 ways to get more energy, naturally.

1) Exercise It doesn't matter what time you exercise, just be consistent. Fit it in based on your schedule and personality. If you have to do it first thing when you wake up, just do it. Don't even let yourself think about it. Just get started. A lot of people think too much about their plan, just follow the workouts and get done fast. Focus on intense strength training for 20 minutes followed by a brief interval training session to boost your metabolism all day long.

Exercise is a drug. Like caffeine and nicotine, exercise causes the release of many chemicals into your blood, resulting in mental stimulation and an improved sense of overall well-being. Exercise just makes you feel good.

2) Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Skip the cycle of starving and feasting characterized by no breakfast, a high-carbohydrate lunch, and a huge dinner. Instead, eat breakfast and then continue to eat every 3 hours for the rest of the day. Research shows that a high-fiber breakfast helps control appetite and increases mental alertness all morning, and improves your ability to process information.

Do not skip breakfast and rely on a coffee to get you through the
day. Got no time? C'mon! You're an adult, you can get up 10 minutes earlier to have a protein shake, and fruit. You're not in school anymore. No excuses!

3) Eat only whole, natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, organic proteins, raw nuts (not roasted in oil), Green Tea, water. Trying to run on processed foods is a recipe for an energetic disaster.

Stick to whole, natural foods during the day, snackin
g rather than binging on big meals, and you'll never feel like dozing off. If a food is from a bag or a box, it doesn't deserve a place in your nutrition plan. Avoid all added sugars. Surely, you're already sweet enough!

Work environments zap our 'energy'. From poor posture, to eye-strain from computer screens, your office, cubicle, and car seat will suck the life out of you.

According to Men's Health magazine... "British researchers recently found that when people exercised during their workday -- regardless of the duration or intensity of the movement -- they were less likely to feel fatigued, and that translated into a 15 percent improvement in job performance."

Daily exercise breaks are essential to not only boost energy, but mobility. Each day, as your computer sucks you into its visual vortex, your upper body becomes rounded forward and tense. You need to reverse that movement. Here's how...


Stand with your back to the wall and feet about 4 inches from the wall. Place the back of your arms against the wall with upper arms parallel to floor and forearms at 90 degrees. Stick up your arms over head while keeping your arm against the wall at all times. Slowly return to below the starting position tucking your elbows into your sides and bringing shoulder blades together. Repeat for 12 reps. Do this every 60-90 minutes.

In addition, get outside into natural light whenever possible.

Based on an article by Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Tree of Life

There's a cold going around and I've now got it. Time to bang up the vitamin C and visualise myself cough/snuffle free!

The tree in the picture is one i pass most days with the dog. She likes to play in that area and so i feel this tree has strong energy. I use the tree as an analogy in a lot of my teaching. Right now I'm aware of a friend who is training with a group that i personally dislike. Its tempting to say something but it could lose a friendship to satisfy my ego.

Each person is the trunk and they may take this branch or that branch as long as it feeds the trunk. If it is false, then the branch will wither and you have to return to the trunk to continue with your growth. Of course some people think that by being on a particular branch they have reached the destination, but there is no destination as its not yet been determined.

With my school, we spent quite a few years exploring the competition side, testing our skills, our methods and developing them, returning to the trunk with the energy to make it grow. I have lost count of the number of times i have been beaten in the boxing ring, the mat or smashed with the stick. I'm still here though but i've seen countless drop off.

The school continues and develops many branches , some of which are used or not various students. Each students path may look the same from the uninitiated but its not and nor do we force it to be. Saying that there are certain truths that cannot be forgotten as the trunk needs the branches to brink back the light from photosynthesis and the water drawn by the roots.

Some trees don't grow big and strong but have a dazzling plume that makes it look pretty and desirable. This tree is short lived and the story of the Emporers clothes is not so far removed from the point i am making.

A student of mine was asking questions about knowing which techniques to apply at what given time. It was a developed question but it was tangled in the classical mess and so was his training sohe had lost sight of the goal. There's always a vision of what you are doing it for, lose that and you get caught up in the fancy flowers. If you have your goal determined then there is a clear path that cuts through the mess.

Monday, 16 March 2009


Ok, here's a picture for those of you who love shoes. Should the rest of this post make you feel uncomfortable please return here to drool. Its a shop in the domestic departures at Gatwick South.

This is one of those posts with a picture that you will remember. Its a picture from inside the Oesophagus to the entrance of the stomach.

I went and had an endoscopy this afternoon which involved me swallowing a tube with a camera at the end. When there is cirrhosis of the liver, then the blood can be redirected and this can develop into varicose veins, that will burst and cause bleeding and lead to complications. To counter this they can put banding to control them or use Beta blockers.

If you look at the picture below, you will see in the top left corner a bulge with is varices and there are also small ones in the stomach all without bleeding. I chose not to be sedated, so they used a throat spray and then put the tube in. No big deal really, especially with the visualisation of a thin tube.

Entrance to the stomach from the Oesophagus

I am also classified as ASA III:

Patients have severe systemic disease that limits activity, but is not incapacitating. Patients are able to walk up one flight of stairs or two level city blocks, but will have to stop enroute because of distress. This classification represents a "yellow flag" for treatment. Examples: History of angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, or cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure over six months ago, slight chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and controlled insulin dependent diabetes or hypertension. Will need medical consultation.

So after a weekend of great adventure, i got to do some exercise on Saturday which does lead to severe cramps which are extremely painful at night, I also went down to see Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They beat Man City 1-0 and were it not for the ex Chelsea players in their team and management, i think we would have reached double figures. Puts us back second and with the return of Essien our momentum is gaining pace.

The picture of Stamford Bridge that might have some of you wanting to look at shoes.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Pushing boundaries

I got in early to teach class and did some yoga. When class started i ran through the yoga again and the went to floor mobility and ground kicking drills we use in Maphilindo Silat. Then after teaching the class and having a coffee with James MacDonald who was up from Warwick, i watched the rest of Phase 1 and pottered around the gym during open mat.

James and yours truely!

I ended up showing the BJJ guys some techniques, sweeps and mount escapes! Getting home i took the dog for a walk and occasionally broke into a jog.

Don't think this helps short term for my blood pressure but it made me feel good!

Weight is 85.5kg. I cooked vegetables using Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae sauce and Caz should be home soon for us to eat.

WHY ME? ॐ मणि पद्मे हूँ

As regular followers (legionnaires) of this blog know, the 'why me' self pity is not part of my make up. However, i do want to ask "WHY ME" on a totally different level. We were bombarded with images of people dying in poverty and with disease last night in Comic Reliefs amazing £57m fund raising. So how come, i ask, did I end up being me? Why am i white, 5'9", Celt indigenous Briton living in an affulent society?

Physically that is what i am, but if life has a purpose and it does, then i have what i will refer to as a soul. Why did that soul be me? Why didn't it put me in a shanty town in South Africa for example?

Our societies are screwed as they chase materialistic satisfaction that is actually lacking in spiritual satisfaction and we hear about the need to progress, to grow. But we are doing this simply in material terms. We have lost value in the spirituality and we treat our earth with contempt. For survival of our species, which, after all, is our base desire.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" John 9:1-2

So why , i ask , did i end up with my parents? What was it that they had that i was to benefit from in my evolutionary development? Looking at myself I'm quite reserved, introvert until i become comfortable with my surroundings and then i open up to an extent. The one thing that has been described of me throughout my life is that i have a brick wall that i wont let people past. I'm comfortable in my own company and yet have yearned for a community to belong with.

My parents moved around and a lot of my life was spent in strict military type with strong christian leaning boarding schools. I'd march single file into chapel daily after set exercises run by 'staff' the ex army PE teacher. I had no choice in the matter but the separation from what you know at the age of 7 impacts greatly.

My father though was principled but i realise very relaxed, even though he didn't like to show it. An extremely generous man, he did what he did because he thought it best and was uncomfortable with some aspects (my sister may see it differently) of family. I learnt at his death that he was brought up in Neath, South Wales by his grandmother while his father went away to work and the mother worked as well. This was common and so by sending me away he was doing what he felt was the correct thing to do.

My mother was extremely loyal to my father, stood by him and tried to live up to a class dream of moving from working class into the middle classes. Extremely competitive, her tongue at times could be sharp but later on i saw her before she died far more liberal when the need to compete was no longer necessary. She pushed my father to save rather than spend, as her upbringing in the Mumbles had been existence and they always had to save. My father liked to spend on luxuries and when he was in Abu Dhabi on his own before my mum joined him he bought a sports car, without air conditioning. She gave him a row, trust me!

So my make up is a result of these two to whom i was put in their care. If you only believe in life and nothing else then you cannot take this further, but i have always felt that there is more. The bible refers to reincarnation and many other religions do as well, so if there is reincarnation then there is evolution of the soul. If there is purpose then there are things we must achieve within our lifetime to prepare us for our next stage.

In my twenties i was wild, an angry young man with self destruction tendencies that have led me no doubt to my current predicament. Then i used martial arts to get my discipline back and i pulled myself out of the chaos and set myself straight. When i cradled Caillin, my first son who died at 10 months, i could see that the energy had left his body. I knew he had been here to experience love and that was all he needed in order to have the jewel in the lotus(Om mani padme hum) or nirvana นิพพาน or heaven. I was at peace because he had moved on .

Whatever else i achieve i must free myself from the reaction i had to my parents and see their input as a start from which i must move on. There is no anger to them anymore. I must be more open, showing visible love rather than hiding it behind the acceptable face society dictates. All this requires me to be at peace and working with my direct environment and that doesn't just men people but also this planet.

There is no coincidence in my world. I need the discipline but not in a rigid way that defies the simple truth of the world. Its not a belief, it just is. Why me? That's the evolutionary process of my soul and survival of the species. When a tree grows some branches whither in order that the tree as a whole grows stronger and that's how i see it.

Caterpillar Fungus!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

High pressure

My blood tests are pretty stable apart from a low albumin (protein) level. Protein in urine can cause ankle swelling.

I've been to ward 15 ARI today to see a research nurse with experience in use of sorafenib and she gave me bottles to collect my urine for 24 hours in order to measure the protein content

She checked my blood pressure again and i am also monitoring it (i have brought a machine to use at home), as it is very high (180/110). I'm being prescribed a blood pressure tablet is Ramipril, 1.25 mg twice daily. I have to reduce the Sorafenib to one tablet (400mg) daily .

Later i have a trim from Paul McIntyre, an old friend who runs Purdey's in the Green. This will tidy me up for the forthcoming trip to see Chelsea play Man City. Can't let the side down with anything over a number two can we now! Especially after the boys did so well in an exhilarating game against Juventus.

A look inside the studios of the BBC's flagship current affairs Today radio programme.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Monday, 9 March 2009

oh the pressure!

I saw my Oncologist and she was quite thrilled with my progress. She's off to book a CT scan to see whats happening the tumor and she wants to give me pills for high blood pressure.

I have previously talked with Bob about some things. Sometimes the taking of the pills actually reinforces the idea that you have a problem. I feel the need to challenge this prescription, but i will also check my pressure with a machine i picked up at a chemist.

Having come off the painkillers, my belly is having some discomfort so i'm getting up early doors to go to the loo. This more than anything is putting my pressure up but i'm taking probiotics and using psyllium to help my digestive system. This helps.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Saturday morning saw me do some simple yoga and some light exercise. This does mean at night time i suffer from cramping, but its not been so bad. With other tasks i had to do, my body was walked hard throughout the day, including a mile run!

Yes, i ran because Kali had lost me. She dawdles at times and where i had turned right she had simply gone on and probably thought she saw me ahead. Whilst calling for her someone they had seen here on the next moor where she had crossed a road and was on the other moor. She was looking for me and was very relieved to see me. She stuck by me for the rest of the day. My lungs felt like exploding with the cold air!

Having come off the painkillers I'm not as 'woozy' as i was before. I'm not having any discomfort from the liver at the moment, although at times my eyesight gets tired and i need to sleep.

I have the Dr tomorrow to restock on the Sorafenib and take a look at how i have been doing. Apart from occasional flushes, where I'm a little red in the face, i haven't had the problems expected.

Wales won the iRB World Cup Sevens. Chelsea won their cup game and will meet the winners of Arsenal or Hull in the semi finals at Wembley.

.. will we ever travel to work in giant wheels? It has often been predicted. look here!

qikipedia: 1 ångström = 0.0000000001 metres. An average atom is about 3 ångströms in diameter. A sheet of paper is about a million ångströms thick. One barleycorn = approximately 84,666,582 ångströms.

Would you eat something that was once
listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent? Sure ? ASPARTAME - THE SHOCKING STORY OF THE WORLD'S BESTSELLING SWEETENER

Terrorism raises its ugly head in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, funded by Noraid as usual. I recall my dad selling up in Florida when the local club that all in the retirement condos used, started hosting fundraisers.

Rose McGowan expressed support for the cause of the IRA, with the reports of her comments being released into the media bizzarly on September 11, 2008. After starring in Fifty Dead Men Walking, she was quoted as saying "I imagine had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA. My heart just broke for the cause. Violence is not to be played out daily and provide an answer to problems, but I understand it."

Her comments were attacked by the author of the autobiography upon which the film is based, Martin McGartland who said "Rose McGowan's comments were insulting to victims of IRA terrorism and she should apologize". Perhaps she never heard of the Omagh Bombing?

the two soldiers were just about to go to Afghanistan and the pizza delivery meni guess were collataral damage. How does Rose condone that and if you are in the US and you see Noraid, take a second and think where that money goes to.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Day and Age

The Killers was professional. Good sound, great light show, long repertoire of hits. Very little interaction which, whilst understandable on a long tour, meant it was track after track. No regrets, its just that i dislike huge arenas. A big Plus in that we were with Gil and Graham Williams, whose wedding we'd attended last year so it was great to see them.

I also found out that
Kristin Hersh is playing in May so i'll be going to that! Her music has been in my collection since the Throwing Muses and i also have a lot of Tanya Donelly! With all the standing tonight i expect to cramp up later but apart from that i'm ok!

Guardian journalist John Harris has written a piece on the need to transform politics with radical ideas, and the need to rethink the left-right divide with a ‘coming together’ and beginning new conversations. See here. Its not working the way it is.


Happy Birthday Graham Burr!

Worlds most difficult puzzle?

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Reducing the tablets

I wanted to come of the MST for several reasons discussed last week. The alternative they have given me i have decided to stop as well especially since in the literature, that i normally don't read, it says i shouldn't be taking them if i have liver disease. As yet no pain or discomfort, but i have them nearby if that changes.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Take Responsibility for your Health

There is no excuse anymore, there is more than enough information in the public domain about what to eat for good health. If you continue to respond to mass advertising and make nutrition a low priority it will affect the quality of your life and lead to the possibility of ill health.

It may be that you prioritise meeting pals in the pub to watch the football but it doesn't have to mean that you have to sacrifice fresh well prepared produce. I am an advocate of eating locally based fruits and vegetables. If you eat meat, invest in more organic options rather than the mass produced battery farmed tripe.

If a chicken is raised in a cage without ever seeing sunlight do you think its going to produce the nutrients your body needs? It cant even grow feathers yet it is part of many peoples diet!
Those pigs you see roaming in the field are not your bacon. Pigs that never see sunlight is bacon. Pigs in the fields are Speciality Meats in the butchers.
A Battery Farmed chicken that you buy for your food

Its your life so change it, take responsibility for your health. I have always found it bizarre that some people take more care of their car than their body. Ever seen a smoker not use the ashtray, choosing to flick the ash and butts out of the window? Polluting their body, polluting the planet but keeping the car clean! What values are these?

The earth around supports you, it is an intricate web of life of which we are simply a part. Our behaviour is a cancer to the earth and cancer is an imbalance that has
caused reaction. I'm going to cure myself of cancer, what do you think the earth will do?

So, to encourage good intestinal health you should be including fiber-rich foods into your diet.

Foods that are high in fiber include whole grain products, fruits and vegetables and oatmeal.

Foods that have been proven to help the digestion process also include:
- flaxseed oil / ground flaxseed
- green tea
- cabbage
- garlic
- onion
- cauliflower

Foods / additives that you should avoid, as they can impact the digestive process:
- aspartame
- foods coated with pesticides i.e unwashed fruit and vegetables
- alcohol
- soft drinks
- hormonally-treated products
- sweeteners

86.6kg today.


It's been a dozy couple of days. Short term memory loss happens when I'm tired but the high of last week is balancing itself out this week. It has started to turn colder so that may be a factor. Snow is expected.

Traditionally i would be getting ready to go to LA to train, but I'll miss out this Spring. I am missing the warmth of the place already! Still i am reading the The Celestine Prophecy and after that the new James Lovelock's The Vanishing face of Gaia (a final warning).

Mark Mulligan's take on Spotify. I have tickets for the Killers as a gift from Caz for Thursday. I listened to their new album on Spotify. Can't download the music but you can listen to it to see if you like it.

Just booked Bob to return at the end of the month, so he will run an NLP course on Sunday the 29th. He will be available during Monday for private sessions


Sunday, 1 March 2009

St Davids day - Dydd Gŵyl Dewi

St Davids day - Dydd Gŵyl Dewi.

St David's Day recipes: Monmouth pudding

stephenfry on Twitter: In the meantime I'm childishly amused by waiter who's just told me about promotion: in his accent "two vodkas and you get a turd free"

Guido Fawkes blog has been a humorous read. It will simply point out the huge chasm there is with the politicians, bankers and union leaders etc with the ordinary people in society. Whilst fat cats take pay offs that the average worker will never earn, we also see Britain to the brink of becoming a "database" police state. Fear is being used as a weapon to break down civil liberties.

Most people have been brought up in the post WW2 period be lieving that they can raise their standing in society, class has been more divided from the Aristocrats and the Peasants, to where people buy status goods to portray their position in class - primark, next or Lacoste. A reason why the 'chav' has become a focus of ridicule as it belittles this, makes its a mockery or simply shows it as it is. What we thought we stood for is being shown to be lies.

Bankers, once a respected member of the community, have now been seen as fat cats, getting away with things that the ordinary man might well face prison for. Our government has colluded in torture using grey lines of legality. The election process has become a farce with a huge percentage of the popukation not voting for incumbants that seem so divorced from the real people in the land.

The Convention on Modern Liberty, sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, openDemocracy, Liberty, NO2ID and the Guardian, was launched as an umbrella campaign last month under the statement of purpose: "A call to all concerned with attacks on our fundamental rights and freedoms under pressure from counter-terrorism, financial breakdown and the database state."

We trusted and we have not received. Our climate is changing as we strive for progress, but progress to where? It is the time now for self responsibility, to start treating those around you with respect, our planet with respect and move away from this selfish directionless and self destructive phase.

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