Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Gandhi: Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.

During this year we have been looking to sell and therefore buy a new house. To be perfectly honest, the determining factor of suitability was the ability to walk around stark bollock naked without either offending or titillating anyone. [The latter being more in hope than in reality!]

I wanted seclusion from city noise. I wanted to see the stars and I wanted fresh air.

We are now in this position and have bought a house which will see us settled before the Winter solstice. There is work to be done in the property but that work will see some ethical choices.

Our heat source will be an air source heat pump, using natural air to fuel the heating we will use, freeing ourselves from oil based solutions. This will work alongside a wood stove which will heat the house in the worst that winter will send.

We will continue to look into other methods of ethical living, where we treat the earth with respect as a living organism. Click here to learn more about permaculture.

Meantime, whilst the benefits of the new drug recipe were set back after the exhausting weekend with the fights, I find myself able to do more work. I do have a bloating issue and have gone up suddenly to over 90kg, but I'm using the likes of Fennel and other natural remedies to bring it into order.

Learning from experience?


Questioner: Can we learn from experience?
Krishnamurti: Certainly not. Learning implies freedom, curiosity, inquiry. When a child learns something, he is curious about it, he wants to know, it is a free momentum, not a momentum of having acquired and of moving from that acquisition. We have innumerable experiences; we have had five thousand years of wars.We have not learnt a thing from them except to invent more deadly machinery with which to kill each other. We have had many experiences with our friends, with our wives, with our husbands, with our nation—we have not learnt. Learning, in fact, can only take place when there is freedom from experience. The Impossible Question, p 78

Monday, 26 October 2009

Caz's Fight

Caz Ewan vs Mary McKay (Caledonian MT) 5x 1.5 mins C Class (Win Caz points)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Achieving your goals

Well the guys did very well last night. We had three wins out of three on a tremendous show which was deafening at times!

Saturday started early walking the dog, followed by a trip to the Doctors for the flu jab. Then i went down to the school and taugt a 90 minute class covering Silat and CSW. Back to pick up Caz, take Kali to the the dog sitter and then down for the weigh ins. Caz is fine, Alan is light and his opponent heavy. That gets sorted but there always a lot of hanging around at this point.

Fight time comes and Caz powers her opponent for 5 rounds, even though she's been laid low with a heavy cold for over a week. Its a good win and her opponent was a good match. Alans up next and he had the chin to show that he could take the heavy punches which was all his opponent really had. Alan smiled during the round breaks as he was thoroughly enjoying the experience. Chris was against a good strong fighter from Cork but came through strong in the end.

Keith organised the show and was top of the bill. He trains with us on Mondays but represents Ronnie MacPherson, and he did very well winning his bout. All in all a great show which didnt see us get home till late and exhausted.
Caz acknowledges her 'fan club'
Someone asked me if i was proud and I guess there is, but it's more than that. This is my lifes work and the fighters are just learning to deal with certain situations for themselves. It's part of their growth, so being 'proud' isn't the intention. It's nice to see that we develop our skills and can compete against clubs totally focussed on fighting whereas we look to develop the arts. Whilst three fighters achieved, there was a whole team behind them who came together and achieved.

What makes me 'proud' is when i get notes like the one below, where I hear that I have provided the platform for someone to go and achieve. I may not necessarily choose that path but then again it isn't my journey. theres some more in the comments section on certain posts but whilst I may not reply then I do appreciate them and hope you will give that strength to those near you when they have difficulties

G'day Pat,
You probably won't remember me, but I trained under your direction at the Tillydrone Community Centre in Aberdeen many years ago now...I think possibly 1991-1992(?). I only remember "Dod" (talented boxer) and "Bob" (older guy - hard as nails, worked at the paper mill) as the other students there.
I am still training, albeit in a haphazard way, and am attending a Krav Maga knife seminar in the coming days.
Per the e-mail address, I now live in Perth, Western Australia, and happened to google martial arts in Aberdeen for some reason - can't think why, Karma maybe - then chanced upon your website (congrats on the School - looks the biz) then saw your news.
All I can say Pat is that you (+ the other guys) were an gave me self-confidence and focus at a time in my life when I really needed it...the proof is in the pudding (so to speak), I followed my dreams, joined the Army and the rest is I am, "living the dream" in WA. You and the other guys all helped make me who I am.
I wish you all the very best in your recovery Pat...who knows, if I make it back to Aberdeen, I'll look you up for a coffee and check out the facilities at your School. Best wishes for a full recovery,
Regards Duncan

Kia ora e hoa Greetings my friend
I have been following your blog and inspired by your continued strength and determination. It has helped me personally and I have shared your wisdom with a friend here in a similar situation.....
..I thought I would share some Tibetan wisdom I rediscovered recently with my girls
1. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He falls into it. It isn’t his fault. It takes a very long time to get out.
2. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He pretends it isn’t there. He falls in. It isn’t his fault. It takes a long time to get out.
3. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He falls in. It’s a habit. He gets out quickly.
4. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He walks around it.
5. a man walks down a different path.

Kia kaha! Be strong! Dino

Thursday, 22 October 2009

feeling stronger

Feeling stronger every day. Did a long shift at the office yesterday - 8 hours. I ended up teaching at night as well. I'll take it easy and tomorrow i'll do kettle bells, TRX exercises and some bag work.

Hearing without the ear - J Krishnamurti

There is an art of listening. The word “art” implies putting everything in its right place. If you understand the meaning of that word, the real art is not painting pictures, but the art of putting your life in its proper place, which is to live harmoniously. When you have put everything in yourself in its right place, you are free. Putting everything in its right place is part of intelligence. You will say we are giving a new meaning to that word “intelligence”. One must. Intelligence implies reading between the lines, between the words, between two silences, between speech, listening with your mind all the time alert to listen. You hear not only with the ear, but also without the ear.

On Love and Loneliness, pp 87-88

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

CT Scan

Caz at Madstock earlier in the year

Today i had my CT scan. It will be a week or so for results.

I feel very different. We have changed from the Spironolactone to Furosemide. This has seen several vital changes in my reaction to the drugs:
  • I have no tenderness in the breast area that was hampering me before. I couldn't hold a box in my arms without huge discomfort.
  • I feel much less dizzy when exercising - i did some cartwheels tonight!
  • I'm bloating and have gone up to 90kg in a very short period of time without a huge increase in diet.
The bloating may just be a reaction to the change which is strange as that is meant to be what the drug stops happening. I'm starting to use Flaxseed in my diet as these supply anti-inflammatory omega 3 oils which are essential for health.

Bread is hard to give up, it's such a staple but a lot of people have problems with it - if you lack digestive enzymes for example it will not be fully digested. It will ferment and release by-products and cause wind. It also has a high glycemic index which means it will keep weight on.

Try different breads - Spelt is similar to wheat but has less gluten, rye is good gear but an acquired taste, millet is extra nutritious. If you have to have the bread get the best quality wholegrain - brown bread is dyed white bread, wholemeal is second best to wholegrain.

Whole grains contain an array of nutrients which help to break down the wheat itself - so you can see as bread is further and further refined it loses these qualities and becomes harder to digest. It's bizarre that they now fortify breads and cereals with the very things that can be found in the original whole-grain!
Fennel, aniseed, cardamon will all help with wind - in Chinese medicine they 'move the qi'.

Caz fights in Thai boxing on Saturday. She is recovering from a very heavy cold and it 's cleared mostly just in time. I'm sure she'll do well and there will be many there to support her and the other AMAG and Aberdeen fighters.

Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far-off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds—which means, really, that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change which comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.This Matter of Culture, p 32

Friday, 16 October 2009

The cat

The Cat

Peter Bonetti
was a child hood hero. My uncle got me in the early 70's the goalkeeper jersey and i had the original cotton gloves before the rubber palms was introduced. My uncle was a goalkeeper in the Swansea schoolboys team when they were quite an elite organisation. He played at clubs like Blackpool, Millwall and Wrexham.

I say this because Danny, a Chinese Medicine expert explained the use of Milk Thistle in these terms:

Milk thistle is a hepato-protective - imagine a goalkeeper standing guard at a cell door trying not to let anything in - there is conflicting evidence that as a result the Lamivedene is less effective as less is absorbed. Lamivedene basically inhibits an enzyme prouced by the retrovirus that may have caused the cancer in the first place. The enzyme basically allows the retrovirus to replicate inside the cell. But there is also evidence that milk thistle inhibits the retrovirus itself.
Your GP/oncologist will advise against it because they are not trained in its biochemistry and will therefore err on the side of caution with all herbal medicine. The choice is yours really but the evidence IS conflicting. Certainly if you are coming off the drug for a while then start the milk thistle. It is illegal for me to tell people what to do with their medication so all I can do is present the information.
There are also hepato-restorative (as opposed to hepato-protective) herbs and foods which help to regenerate liver tissue. These would include artichoke and asparagus and dandelion. Eating these regularly would help - dandelion can be bought as a dried root from health food shops - boil in a pan with a lid on for 10 mins, strain and drink.

I'm going to visit a herbalist in my area - - these guys have the credentials.

I'm eating porridge with raisins in the morning, a great way to start the day - slow release carbs and raisins build the blood. I'm chewing pumpkin seeds as a snack will offer a steady supply of all 8 essential amino-acids (protein).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Beyond belief

More than at any time before, I have now the conviction that I am going to beat this. I've spoken about it, visualised it and now, whilst I know there will be many ups and downs yet to be faced, I just have a feeling that cannot be put into in words and is beyond belief, beyond faith


Saturday, 10 October 2009

Learning about the Liver

I'm learning more about the liver. My understanding of it can help is any decision making process.

This info has been supplied to me by Danny, a Chinese Medicine Specialist, to whom my association is by a loose association to activities around a band and lifestyle I actively enjoyed in my late teens, early twenties. I'm in his debt for this, not that he intends any remittance.

I will be resuming the Milk thistle regime, combined with artichoke and dandelion.
The liver stores blood and regulates the volume of blood circulation according to the needs of various tissues and organs. During rest the amount of blood required by the body decreases and the surplus is stored in the liver. During vigorous activity blood is released from the liver to increase the volume of circulating blood. As Wang Bin's Annotations on the Suwen notes, "The liver stores blood, the heart circulates blood. When the body moves blood circulates in the channels, when at rest it flows back to the liver." If the liver's blood storage function is abnormal, there will be an affect on normal body activities causing hemorrhagic diseases. For example, if liver blood is deficient the following problems may appear: the symptoms of vertigo, contracture of spasm of muscles and tendons, impairment of flexion and extension of limbs or scanty menstruation and amenorrhea.

The liver harmonizes the emotions. Traditional Chinese medicine considers that the normal or abnormal function of an unrestrained and free flowing qi is directly related to emotional activities, and that the mental state is not only dominated by the heart but also the liver. When qi activities are normal, the body has a harmonious circulation of qi and blood, an easy mind and happy emotions. If there is a dysfunction of qi's free flow, it will directly affect the individual's emotional state. For example, liver qi stagnation will give rise to stuffiness and fullness of the chest, unhappy feelings, hypochondriasis, or even mental depression, crying, irregular menstruation, etc. If there is hyperactivity of the liver qi, there may be irritability, anger, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, dizziness, vertigo, a ringing in the ear (tinnitus), or deafness. Any sudden change in the normal pattern of the emotions, especially great anger or mental depression, can affect and free flowing and spreading function of liver qi resulting in the pathological changes of liver qi stagnation.

"Nails are the remains of the tendons," The dryness or moisture of the nails can reflect the sufficiency or insufficiency of liver blood. When liver blood is plentiful the tendons are supple and the nails appear hard and moist. If liver blood is insufficient and incapable of nourishing the tendons, then the nails may be thin, soft, brittle, and pale.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

A visit to the hospital

I'm pleased to see Gavin doing so well in his recovery from the training accident. His legs are getting back to work and the neck brace is off. Hopefully he might be out of the hospital this weekend.

Its not been a nice week health wise. I've felt nauseous, tired, cold, fatigued and spasms that have shot into my liver. That's with the Chels having beaten the bin dippers at the weekend as well!

I was in to see the Cancer Dr yesterday for an appointment. I asked her about what the long term view was and whether they had thought I wasn't going to make it after the operation.

She concurred that it did look like I was in the wrong end of the reapers scythe but that with the drug and my attitude this was now all change.

I talked about how good I'd felt with the weeks holiday without the medication and we discussed how the body goes into comfort zones. This has led to a possible pulsing of the medication, depending on results after that upcoming CT scan, possibly on a 3 month on 1 month off rotation. That would be great, allowing my body time to heal and get fitter, put in some hours at work etc.

Blood pressure was ok, a prod around the tummy showed the liver was ok, despite the spasms. Onward we go!

Creative I was, creative I am, and creative I shall remain.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Guardian of the genome

Fighter Training - Sunday

What a weekend of mixed fortunes.

Saturday was busy and i taught two long classes, Silat and BJJ. Unfortunately one student got a bad injury in the BJJ and is in hospital as we speak. It has disturbed me although there is no blame to lay at any ones door. Yesterday became a long day.

Today i trained the fighters and a tremendous session put in by all. After that i went to meet my son and watch Chelsea against Liverpool. Chelsea won, Liverpool didn't. Puts us Top Of The League!

During the game I had cramps. After dropping my son off, i managed to get home, feeling very feint as i got in through the door. I am cramping badly and have bouts of nausea.

Caz on a night out on Thursday - look gorgeous!

Scientists on brink of cancer treatment revolution: a human protein called p53, shown to play a pivotal role in the spread of nearly all cancers. Cancers arise because DNA errors build up inside the body's cel ls. It is the role of p53 to correct those errors and prevent cancerous mutations from spreading. Hence its nickname, the "guardian of the genome". It organises repairs to damaged cells and, in those beyond repair, it arranges for the cell to be killed off before it can spread and divide

kali wanted her picture on as well! - Daily Quote You and I as individuals will have to transform ourselves

The individual is obviously of the greatest significance in society because it is only the individual who is capable of creative activity, not the mass - and I shall explain presently what I mean by that word creative. If you see this fact, then you will also realize that what you are in yourself is of the highest importance. Your capacity to think, to function with wholeness, with an integration in which there is no self-contradiction - this has an enormous significance.

We see that if there is to be any real change in the world - and there must be a real change - then you and I as individuals will have to transform ourselves. Unless there is a radical change in each one of us, life becomes an endless imitation, ultimately leading to boredom, frustration, and hopelessness.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Just a tiddler

a small fish in a big ocean - I'll take my inspiration from the likes of Guro Dan Inosanto

On Saturday several us traveled down to Glasgow for the Ultimate Self Protection (USP) course, in which I covered aspects of getting off the ground as quickly as possible whilst inflicting maximum necessary damage against the aggressor. It was amusing to watch some people who thought that they know it be unable to do as taught.

I am one of the most qualified instructors in Scotland and yet there are those with far less experience or ability who believe that they are either equal or know more. We all learn and some of the participants who displayed the better attitude got my attention and I gave them more. Ego holds you back! I travel - when I am well - great distances to learn and experience from the best but there are those who wish to be a big fish in the small pond.

I have world renown experts in my school at times to teach and I'm often surprised at the turnout. An Erik Paulson on the doorstep and people don't make the effort! Look at the quality of students coming out of the school! Its with good fortune I have more time with the AMAG students and my own instructors and studies.

After a satisfying day, a long journey back and after we eat some Thai takeaway, Bob conducts a hypnotherapy session on me. It takes about 40 minutes and wipes Bob out while i awake refreshed and focused on clear visualisations!

Sunday saw me train the fighters although many are absent with seasonal colds. I go home and simply sleep as exhaustion takes me in both arms. I have restarted my Sorafenib as well which affects my appetite.

Monday again sees me sleep and teach in the BJJ class at night. On Tuesday I attend a 1st aid refresher course and teach two classes at night. I am completely exhausted and am in bed before 10. The refresher course continues on Wednesday and i get my certification renewed! The threat of my giving mouth to mouth resuscitation should make sure no-one falls in around me!

I've been at work today but will go for a cat nap soon. The medication requires this. The weather has turned chilly. bbrrrr
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