The butterfly is a flying flower, The flower a tethered butterfly

Friday, 27 August 2010

The London Gem :-)

Bring forth the raisins and the nuts Tonight All-Hallows' Spectre struts Along the moonlit way.

I mean, look at it! Look at that University ... and look where it is too! Isn't that something? :-)

When the kids were small and as part of my endeavour to give them the 'choice' to find out about the wonderful world of the sciences, I had a yearly family pass to The Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum. These are now free to enter and are full of mums, dads, teachers and kids of course, they weren't then.

Parking was free inside the Hyde Park, so I used to visit on weekends, time permits ... or collect the older kids from school, park my people's carrier by The serpentine lake [above picture], then load two kids onto the double push chair, one with a bottle in his hand and the other with a dummy to shut him up, with the older two holding the push chair from either side with one hand, and a carrot or something in the other.

A sight to behold! The Family then used to walk out of the park, cross the busy high street and keep walking in Exhibition Road to get to the museums ... that's if the whole operation went smoothly and I didn't have to stop a zillion times on the way to explain the virtues of street manners, or sometimes even giving up and returning to where we came from and ending up just feeding the ducks in the park, and the kids, with stale bread instead .... Then, after a hand smack ... or two ... and a little cry here and there, me included ... just give up and head for home .... or, after lots of negotiations and a few promises on both sides, give it a try again!

School of Science and Technology

But those times we suceeded to get to Exhibition Road, we had to pass by 'The' Imperial College to get to the museums ... and everytime I used to stop and look. Sometimes even walk about the campus with the kids after visiting a museum, looking at the architecture, people passing by and the students, then look at my kids and say "I want you here one day!" ... and I used to order the prospectus ... year on year without fail ....

... and, when it was time for the open day and I was getting ready ...

- "What are you doing mum?! You can't come! It's not school anymore, it's uni!"

- "Yes, but ... "

- "I am not a child anymore mother, trust me ... bye! :-)"

... and when kid got in ....

"Are you OK kid? You happy there? ... you know what those teachers can be like ... they need to see that I am there for you, otherwise ... When do you get to meet your tutor anyway, I'll come with y ... "

- "Moththther! ... You'll get to come on graduation day, OK?!"

- " But that's six years away ... @@"

Well, I did get to see the halls of residence ... twice ... but after that, whenever I tried to deliver hot home made food to my 'must be starving' kid in Kensington, kid either refused outright, or, came down to fetch in person ... after a few kisses, a hug and a 'miss you, miss you mother', it was ...

- "Thanx ma ... you're an angel"

... and shshshooot up, they disappeared!

... and I used to wonder, what's going on inside there?! ... but I never got to find out! ... the other kids did say 'thanks' for the food when they came home for more with 'kid', and they weren't fussy either, they ate anything, and everything ... and yeah, you liked it? I mean, you're welcome ... anyime at all kids!

Then ... it happened! I am now the proud mother of two Imperial College graduates! One from head to toe, and the other for an intercalated degree ... and I got to meet some of their teachers after the graduation ceremony too ... kids introduced us and kids made sure mum was on her best behaviour! How times change! ... and I got to taste that delicious Imperial finger food and an Imperial glass of orange juice too! :-) ... everybody else was drinking Champagne ... well, loads were anyway ...

And that was it! ... but the kids always had a dinner ball a few days afterwards [*^&$%#!] .... and 'unique', eh? ... Nice!

... and isn't that facade something?! :-)

Now, I still visit Imperial ... the website ... a lot! I even follow them on Twitter too ... but that's not just because I am a fan ... have a look yourself! Ammaaazing site, isn't it?! With all this new tech, what next? Loud music on this uni's site too, or maybe one day they'll get out of the screen and shake hands with you?!! Spooky ... but ... Brilliant! And try to visit other top unis sites first, then come to Imperial and, see what I mean?! No hand shake yet, but it is interactive still sooo ... jump right in! ... drag your mouse here to explore their precious Kensington campus. Or, how about that undergraduate prospectus? just follow the arrows and click on anything you see! Hear that frog? ... and, did you find the flying saucer? Crazy! keep clicking :-D

But then they do wisen up once they get onto the serious business of postgraduate stuff, don't they?! ... the staff is no different! Click and see ... and are the teachers there decorated or wot!

Exhibition Road, and the new Business School

... and you don't have to be a student there to visit much of that fantaaastic site! Well ... maybe you're not their student yet, but you have that spark they're lokking for and want to be one ... or maybe you are a mum or a dad looking for 'choice' for your kids? ... or even just a passer by ... just come and enjoy, but be warned, you will get hooked! For it is updated nearly every day! And it's always loaded with things to learn too, in an easy to understand language ... of course! I still do visit the other uni's sites too, but not as much ...

And sooo, with all this going on, when do those students get to work then, eh?!

What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts.

Cos, when they are not on the lawn, they are either partying somewhere, or just reeking havoc! In Kensington! Knightsbridge, the Hyde Park ... they are everywhere ... Look for yourself!

- "No mother, they are not reeking havoc! Those must be engineering students in the middle of a learning excercise."

- "This in the video, is a learning excer-thingy?!"

- "Yes mum, it is!"

- " Oh!"

Is this how they teach science these days! ... Gone then are the days when engineering ... And medical students, had to spend 8 - 10 hours a day reading! Or on a drawing board ... bare Minimum, eh?! ... Mmmmm, you know wot, why am I not there?! This is my type of learning, you know! Maybe I should apply to study medicine ... or a PhD ... or two ... I am the one who was meant to be a doctor after all ... and ....

- " :-D Mothther!"

- "Wot?!" :-(

Queens Tower - a landmark campanile

Oh yes! Didn't I tell you? Imperial has just appointed a new Rector too!

Congratulation Sir Keith O'nions! ... and god helps you!

... and ....

Forward Imperial -------> From Best -------> To Best-est!

Cos, no Sir-eee
, they are not just playing in there, you know! Honest ... ahem ;-)

God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Congratulations UCL :-)

I believe that history has shape, order, and meaning; that exceptional men, as much as economic forces, produce change, and that passe' abstractions like beauty, nobility, and greatness have a shifting but continuing validity

... still a full moon ... and I just found out some more good news ...

Professor Sir John Tooke has been appointed as:

Vice Provost (Health) at UCL (University College London) and is Head of the UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences and Head of the UCL Medica
l School

I think simplified, this means a high leadership role at the university, plus 'Dean' of both; The School of Medicine and The School of Medical and Life Sciences at UCL

Congratulations UCL, medics and medical and life sciences students!

Professor Tooke is an Exceptional Leader!

And ... Good Luck with this new role Professor :-)

... and I know I am a bit late, but better late than never ....

... and UCL medics, read about your new Dean here ... and start from the bottom up ....

Take good care of him now!

In all nations an exceptional man exists that compensates the deficiencies of the remainder. In those moments, when humanity is found collectively in a state of decadence, there always remain those exceptional beings as point of reference.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

To Dave and Sam :-)

A baby girl brings worlds of joy
By merely being there.
Within the shelter of your arms,
The comfort of your care,

And may this joy be just a hint
Of happy years to be
Not only for you, Baby,
But for all the family.

Congratulations Prime Minister

May you always be the happy bearer of good news

We are thrilled for you and your family too

And it's full moon today, a blessed birth ... and a brilliant omen ... for hope, prosperity and
Good luck ....


... And, where else do Prime Ministers make tea and toast in hospital after the birth of their baby but in Britain!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Leptin with your berger and your statins anyone?

No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.

I've just lost some weight and I am over the moon about it. I know I perhaps need to lose a bit more, but I have decided not to be greedy and try to keep what I have already lost off before I embark on the suffering of yet another diet, especially because only really harsh and near starvation diets work with me. Best see if I can keep the weight off first or was all the effort in vain?

So, change my eating habits and Eat moderately is now what I am supposed to do to keep the little over a stone I lost off. But what does this mean?! I eat a very healthy Mediterranean diet anyway, so what are those eating habits I need to change?! - And that Eat moderately bit, I am either on a diet or I am eating as normal, hungry and filling up like everybody else, isn't it? Or, does 'eating moderately' mean having to diet for life? Because that is unrealistic to think anyone would willingly give up enjoying food for life! Nobody would do it!

I have always thought there is much more to weight than dieting and exercise. Despite not being a medic, I felt weight was perhaps as predetermined as height, for example. That yes, changing eating ways with all the fast foods and the easiness of being surrounded everywhere with food can make people who indulge a bit fatter ... but not as much as being hyped! Then I found this lecture! And Professors Friedman, Bloom and O'Rahilly, three world renouned experts, believe weight is genetic, with Professor Friedman stating it was as genetic as height too!

What do you know! Amaaazing! Honestly! :-O

Imperial College lecture:

Obesity lecture sees heavyweight researchers battle it out
"Thursday 25 May 2006

This week saw the GE Healthcare lecture at Imperial, with world renowned obesity researchers Professor Steve Bloom from the College's Faculty of Medicine, Professor Jeff Friedman from the Rockefeller University and Professor Steve O'Rahilly [Of Fidelio, remember?] from the University of Cambridge debating the causes of obesity.
Professor Friedman began his talk by asking the question:
"Why don't people just lose the weight?"
He looked at why obese people simply do not lose weight and why they remain obese over the long term. Commenting that although obesity is caused by a number of factors, including willpower, lifestyle and genetics, most feel it is down to willpower and lifestyle alone despite the genetic and biological evidence. He adds:
"Diets are notoriously ineffective over the long term for any sort of weight loss."
Posing the question "Why, in an environment where everyone has unlimited access to calories, is weight so variable?" he stated his opinion that biology and genes are the biggest contributing factor, with obesity being the most likely trait to be inherited after height.
Professor Friedman then went on to describe the research story behind the discovery of leptin, a hormone which influences diet and weight.
Professor O'Rahilly followed this talk by looking at the problems caused by obesity, saying that not only do the obese have a higher risk of certain diseases, but their doctors are less likely to send them for hip and knee replacements. Consequently they may suffer downward decreasing social and economic morbidity.
"Severe obesity can make you dead, it can make you sick, it can make you sad, it can make you alone, it can make you poor," he added.
He went on to discuss how society viewed the problem of obesity, citing a government report entitled 'Gluttony or Sloth' and wondering what the response might be if other medical conditions, such as HIV or cancer, if they were reported in the same way.
Professor O'Rahilly described his work looking at the genetic factors responsible for obesity, adding that these can affect the development of obesity not just through physical changes, such as increased appetite, but also by affecting behaviour."
Watch the lecture here

Sooo, identical twins living apart will have roughly the same body weight! So, it's not all about dieting and exercise alone then! Now what? How to keep FAT at bay and keep that weight off if you've lost some?!
Hand out free Leptin as well as free statins with that burger at McDonalds ? .
Worth a try?! ...

Perhaps McDonalds can now see the opportunity in starting a 'dispensing chemist' on their premises too .... why not? :-)

'You are drunk Sir Winston, you are disgustingly drunk. 'Yes, Mrs. Braddock, I am drunk. But you, Mrs. Braddock are ugly, and disgustingly fat. But, tomorrow morning, I, Winston Churchill will be sober.

Art: Beryl Cook

Monday, 16 August 2010

The EWTD and the busy buzzing bees!

In impossible situations, play them like chess"

Remedy UK: Why are so many doctors leaving medicine?

"After a year of the Working Time Directive it appears that doctors are voting with their feet and starting to abandon ship.

A paper received by Remedy has revealed the number of doctors from Foundation Year who are simply walking out of a career in the NHS.

Figures presented to the Medical Programme Board, show that of the 6,000 doctors completing Foundation then a substantial number (around 23%) have simply not applied for a job in Core Training. About 7% of those who did apply, and were successfully appointed, then went on to turn the post down. Their destination is unknown. Word on the ground is that the doctors are taking a ‘gap year’ – often abroad. And maybe even more worrying is that finding that almost 1300 of the 6000 applicants (22%) did not receive an offer at all. The Programme Board seem genuinely puzzled by this, unable to understand why it is happening, and have ordered an urgent enquiry.

Can they be serious? The 48-hour week isn’t just the elephant in the room, it is a herd of them, and the Temple review which was hastily ordered by the last government turned out to be a monumental dud that has been studiously avoided. We need only to look at the way rotas have been contrived and distorted to understand the nature of the problem. Rota-writers have had to resort to ever more clever techniques in order to paper over the cracks in training whilst complying with the letter of the legislation.

One such genius has devised a rota to manage a group of seven doctors. Between them they are required to cover two separate rotas in three different surgical specialities, split across two separate hospitals. One of the seven has to cover one hospital until 4:30pm, then another till 9:00pm. This isn’t training, nor is it adequate patient care. It is tick-boxing at its worst. The Remedy member who told us about this added that:-

I would enclose a copy of this madness, but it would probably break your computer +/- your brain, besides there isn’t actually a single piece of paper that has all the information on it, since the rotas for doctors in different specialities and at different levels of training have been separated.

It is no surprise that the enthusiastic young graduates who have been presented with this as their first taste of NHS medicine feel disillusioned, disjointed, depersonalised and deprofessionalised.

But there is some good news. The Royal College of Surgeons have attracted the attention of the media with their recent survey which provides further concrete evidence that both patient care and medical training have got worse in the past year. Other Colleges are poised to present similar findings from their own clinical specialties. Surely if they make enough noise then the penny has to drop and people will start to listen. And even more importantly we have a Secretary of State who went on the Remedy march and who can understand the urgency of the situation.

Remedy calls on the new government to wield their axe. Those leaders within medicine who led us into the mess need to be replaced with others who can lead us out of it. We need to find a way to reverse the EWTD changes at the earliest available opportunity."

Speaks for itself, and although I don't personally know of a young surgeon who would leave in the middle of an operation, would you blame them if they did? And these messed up and condensed rotas are not only in surgery, they are across the board! NHS employers welcomed The Temple report though, they would too! :-D

No young doctor wants to see a return to the 100 hours week, but at least they got paid for them. Now, the majority still work much longer hours than 48, but do not get to record them for fear of breaking the EWTD 'rules'! Let alone the ridiculously exhausting rotas and lack of time for proper training too!

Does it have to be either a 100 hour week or this unfair lorry driver imposition from Brussels?

Can't a fair middle ground be found? Perhaps a return to the 56 hour week to ease this situation? ... and no training offers for 22% again! No wonder they are leaving in their droves!

"No bees, no honey!"

Saturday, 14 August 2010

What's a 'Top GP' ?!

I'm totally against it, it has nothing to do with samba. They have nice songs and all but it's just the wrong season.

Have "We" here inssspired them up there or wot?! hehe! :-)

Well, you know guys ... and girls, I can call meself FAT, but let a 'Top GP' tell me that to me face and I'll give'm a black eye! ... very painful! .... oooooouch! :-( @@

... and what's a 'Top GP'?! ... one who works on those at 'the top' only, I suppose! ... and, wotsss all that CMO business about then, eh? You know, judging by the one just gone 'thank god', "We" don't need any CMOs, thank you!

In our rough times of 'ausssterity' please save that billion ... or two ... we'll make the ultimate sacrifice ... we'll take this responsibility too for ourselves ... besides, all of us now are suffering from severe Cmophobia! ... an untreatable condition ... :-(

... but if you have to, at least ... weigh them first ... and maybe CT scan their heads to see if they have any brains too!

... and if you want to lose that FAT Dr 'Top GP' ... your dance is no good, do it my way ...

... ;-)

"We have an authentic oompah band"

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Ramadan Kareem :-)

Ramadan Kareem [generous Ramadan] everybody! Today is the first day, where all Muslims past the age of 13 will be on a 'Nil by mouth' fast from dawn to sunset for a whole lunar month. This can be 29 or 30 days depending on when will the next moon cycle begins.

I didn't need to check with anybody this year, I have my own 'lune' on my side bar and could see that moon at 1% rise and so, I knew Ramadan was today, perhaps even before the majority of Muslims did! :-)

The whole of Egypt gets decorated for the month, plus the 3 days of 'Eid El Fetr', the end of the festivities after. This above is a picture from Sharm-El-Sheikh by the red sea, but forget about them and let's go to Cairo ... where the real action is ....

For a whole month or more before Ramadan, shops in ordinary residential areas begin to prepare for the month. A striking feature of the Egyptian celebrations, is the lantern, or 'Fanous' in Arabic. Everyone has to have a Fanous, or a few ... it's like the Muslim equivalence of a Christmas tree - actually, there are those scholars who believe the fanous is a tradition that started during the early Christian days in Coptic Egypt around the 3rd century AD and was then adopted by the Muslims to this day! Other scholars reckon the 'Fatimids' started the tradition when the king and his entourage supplied the local kids with the lanterns to walk with ahead of them to light their way pre electricity. Which is it? We'll never know!

Yes, it's freshly made bread, and no, he doesn't drop it! He probably is on a bike too!

Indeed, during Ramadan, everybody will have a fanous, a tradition many Christians in Egypt will participate in too, although perhaps limited to giving their children a small lantern to play with friends in the streets just before or after 'Eftar', or breakfast at sunset.

A predominantly Egyptian tradition, most Muslims will buy a few ... of all shapes and sizes; a Christmas tree size for the lounge, a few smaller ones to decorate the balconies or garden with ... hang some on the front door and the trees on the road ... and a small one for each child to play with too ...

And so, it's lantern, lantern, lantern everywhere ... even China has cashed in on the opportunity too! Is there anything that the Chinese have not learned how to make?! ... and sell in BIG bulk?!

Ramadan is a month for families to get together. This is a google picture of a simple Egyptian family preparing for the first day's breakfast - by the looks of it, they are going to be joined by others from their extended family, the neighbours ... or they will set up a table on their street and feed a few poorer people, a habit that the majority of people will do/contribute financially towards regardless of their social standard ... well, Ramadan is generous after all! Then again, when you consider that you have to give 2 and a half % of the value of everything you have owned for a year or over to the poor [Zakat] to begin with, would everybody still be so generous? Or so religious? ... if everybody was, the poor would be giving out Zakat themselves, I think! You see, it is up to you to declare ... or not ....

Wealthier people will set up tables upon tables, even employ proper chefs, or order restaurant food to be made specially for every day of the month! So, if you know where to go! .... Some will do it just because they want to, but many others will do it because they have to ... you see, you are not allowed to fast if you are old and frail, sick or travelling long distance, menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding a baby. But you must either, fast the number of days you lost when you can, or, feed a poor person for everyday lost - and it has to be the same quality food you usually eat ... and if you don't fast and have no excuse, it is then 60 people you have to feed daily! ... and sooo, everybody is invited, and I mean everybody! Just sit down and you will be served! Look again at the picture, there are a few tourists there too! :-)

... but you have to sit and wait for the Eftar canon stood on top of a hill above Cairo goes BAAANNG before you can eat ... and you will hear it, because perhaps this is the only time when Cairo is dead quiet in anticipation of the Eftar! And so tourists do wait silently too ... not bad if the whole feast is fr freee, eh? ... Another tradition only exclusive to Egypt ... the canon, I mean! :-)

Oh, this is just for starters ... on some of the more affluent tables!

And once Eftar is over, it's time to visit the mosques, who then double up as a meeting place ...

Inside, you can pray ... or teach your child to pray ... teach them to bend right down as a sign of acceptance, thankfulness, modesty and the wish for peace ....

Or, you come around, enjoy the festivities inside, and it won't cost you anything ... maybe even get help if you are in need. Either financially or in the form of clothes and gifts, again donated by those who can afford to, regardless of their social standard ... only this time they donate, but don't say who they are ... this is an extra and one is supposed to do that all year round if you can and want, but not obligatory like Zakat and feeding the poor for non fasting days ...
And give and anonymously, because Muslims are not allowed to brag about helping the poor, not even tell their own extended families, you just do it silently ... [what you give with your right hand, your left hand shouldn't know] ...

And there will be lots of things for the kids to do around all these mosques too ... and it's really safe, so just drop them there to play, do whatever you want to do and they'll take care of each other till you come back ... it's Ramadan after all, who would dare! ... aaand ... are you thinking of that mosques architecture? ... yes, you're right! It's Egypt after all ...

... or if you're a well off peasant who descended on Cairo for the festivities, you can leave the kids by the mosque and go have a good time with a friend for a while ... you're wearing your best clothes and do look the part after all ...

... and he's a 'Magzoub' ... or 'one who was called' ... they only appear in Ramadan ... and don't you believe his clothes! ... just look how neat his beard is! ... the 'show' works with the tourists though! ... crazy Cairo! :-)

And then you either visit family, neighbours and friends at home, or, if you are more affluent you go out for a Shisha, tea, sweets, more eating, and a chat till 3am in timeless Cairo ... stay out till the time for 'Sehour', or your meal before the start of the fast at dawn ... This is the El-Fishawi cafe in old Cairo ... one of my favourites especially in Ramadan ... Amazing 100 year old music too ... and those shishas .... ;-)

But if you've stayed indoors instead, this is the 'Mesaharaty', a young man in traditional gear who will walk the streets singing really loud while banging on his little drum at 2am to wake everybody up for Sehour ... and he's reeeally good at it too ... and he does get you up .... even if he has to call you by name! :-)

And here is that mosque again, what I personally think is the most beautiful mosque in the world ...

... and a small glimpse at the inside ...

... and this is a modest street decorated by it's own little community in Alexandria ... Happy Ramadan :-)

BBC 12 August 2010 Pregnant women should not fast in Ramadan

Monday, 9 August 2010

Tell it how it is doc! ... :-)

[Doctors are to tell patients they are 'Fat', instead of obese]

- Look, 46 BMI! You're FAT! ... and your breath stinks of cigarettes and alcohol too you dopy woman ... and that pregnancy test is positive you ssslll*t :-(

 3 years on ... Don't be nasty to fat people

Sunday, 8 August 2010


Birds on trees!

When one jumps off and joins the crowd on the ground, there will be an equal number of birds on both ...

But if the opposite happens, then the number of birds on the tree will be double those on the ground ....

... and that'ss as Cryptic as Sam can get ....

... Except ....

Can someone solve this Eternal puzzle? eh? ... Cert 18 ;-)

Work it girl, work it! Ooown it! .... Ah well! Hope you had a happy Sunday all! :-)

Friday, 6 August 2010

Relatives ...

Dignity belongs to the conquered

I was upstairs on the phone when my son called to say that our next door neighbour was here. Originally from Ireland, they have really been good neighbours for all the long years we lived side by side on our little road. And we're used to each others' houses so, I just took a few minutes to finish what I was doing before I went down ... and there he was, dad as I have never seen him before ... in tears ....

Married really young, they have four boys, all now in heir early 40's, all with young families, and I tell you, this mum and dad have done a really good job. Well, one of those sons, a picture of health personal trainer, the fittest of the pack, one who hardly drinks and never touched a cigarette. Apparently he had some trouble keeping the food down and was sent for some investigations with doctors suspecting gallbladder problems. But the second endoscopy showed a tumour - after keyhole surgery to ascertain the spread of the disease, the surgeon came out and told him that he was terminal. And that's why dad was in the state he was in on my sofa, a usually very emotionally strong man, I have never seen him as vulnerable as that! ... and you don't know what to say to him ... so I just sat next to him and held his hand ... and we just both cried ....

He said he didn't know where to go so he came to me, told me even before he told his wife because he didn't know how to tell her ... and I had no idea what to tell him so I sat silent and just listened to him ... and my youngest who let him in just went and made two cups of coffee then just left the room ...

"Would one of your children read the radiologist report with me?"

"Of course, as soon as one of them comes back home, do you want to leave that report with me? ... it's just that they are young and not specialised in this as you know. I don't know, but they may even need to look up some words before they can explain to you"

"It's why I brought it with me" he said ... and he left the report ... and it is 'signet ring adenocarcinoma' that has spread everywhere .... and how will he tell her? ... and the son's wife and children? ....

And so I sat on the net trying to understand what this monster was and why it was given the chance to develop to terminal? Why was it allowed? ... and it just allows itself!

That was nearly two weeks ago and the son has been referred to one of the best hospitals in the country for this sort of thing, although also known for it's palliative care ... and the son agreed to take part in a clinical trial, but he doesn't know if he's on the real thing or a placebo ...

And if this is affecting us the neighbours this way, and it has affected us all, how do those real relatives feel? I know that the patient must be at the center and his welfare is what really counts,

... but this family is now all unwell too ....

Hope? For their sake ....

"Mother Nature doesn't have a bullet with your name on it, she has millions of bullets inscribed with 'to whom it may concern