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Saturday 15 June 2024

Diverticular Disease

I don’t like writing about health problems, but if it could help or inform someone else it is probably worth it. 

A difficult week: exhaustion and weakness, stomach and abdominal pains, bowel problems, sickness, too tired to do anything, even television and Blogger. Dark thoughts. Five days and you are sure the you-know-what is back. Is this how it ends? 

Then a flash of insight. It is probably a diverticular flare-up. Everything fits. This is not just diagnosis by Dr. Google.

Until about 15 years ago I had regular colonoscopies because of my brother’s early death. The last two times I was given a standard feedback form with the box ticked for diverticular disease. No other information or advice. We wondered briefly what it meant and then completely forgot about it. 

Mild symptoms have occurred infrequently through the years, but we never made the connection and assumed it was just me. This time it was worrying because of the severity. And I had a similar episode only a month ago. 

I said it felt like how people describe irritable bowel syndrome. A bit later, Mrs. D. asked what was that box ticked on the last colonoscopy form? 

Apparently, almost all of us have signs of diverticular disease after the age of fifty, but usually without problems. 

If you don’t eat you get weaker and weaker. You have to work out what sets it off, and avoid it. You have to eat small amounts until it starts to improve. Energy drinks help: there are some excellent ones made at Tadcaster in Yorkshire, and Keighley. Landlord Dark is good. One plus is that almost everything they tell you about eating lots of salads and vegetables and fibre is wrong. 

I hope I am right. You often have to work these things out for yourself. 

It is something to consider if you have these symptoms from time to time. And, if you find this diagram revolting, on no account look for any photographs. 

Diverticular Disease

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Shoot The Ruddy Sods

Following recent posts about the cats with a bank account and the survivor of the Titanic disaster, I have been browsing further through the BBC archive. This 7-minute gem from 1973, from the Nationwide reporter Bernard Falk, would not have looked out of place in an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It is about the god-forsaken East Yorkshire seaside resort of Hornsea, and a controversy about a proposed nudist beach that had the locals spitting venom: 

“It’s objectionable. All this sex and every wretched thing, more and more of it.”

“I’m telling you it will attract the wrong class of person ... The hooliganism ... Drinking and everything else. ... You’ll get all the scoundrels out of hell coming ... all the riff-raff out of Hull, Leeds and all over ... And they’ll be breaking in ... And crime.”

“What difference does it make covering their private parts up to their health? I ask you that much. Not the slightest.”

“I don’t think children should be watching people in the nude. This is a family resort. ... Why don’t they find themselves a little plot, fence it in, and cavort about to their hearts’ content?” 

“I don’t think I’d like to meet a party of nudists.

Good East Riding folk like these were in abundance where I grew up, less than forty miles from Hornsea. I sometimes went to a friend’s caravan there, and in the nineteen-thirties my great-grandfather’s cousin owned a newspaper shop in the town. They could be my distant relatives. However, as you may know, Yorkshire Pudding’s formative years were spent not a beach pebble’s throw from the place. Could that man in the Fedora be his dad? 

Saturday 1 June 2024

The Blue Mini

Morris Mini 1966
New Month Old Post: first posted 10th February, 2016

What do you think of those who, watching films or television programmes set in the past, say: “they would not have used the phrase ‘too right’ in the twenties”, or that nineteen-fifties midwives would never have taken such an attitude to abortion, or that a locomotive shown in a wartime scene had not been built until the fifties? Are they nit-picking pedants or defenders of authenticity? I am about to join them. 

In 2016, a television programme, “Back In Time For The Weekend”, took a family back to live as in the past. Episode by episode, their house and its contents were changed to how they would have been through the decades from the nineteen-fifties to the present day. Their furniture, decorations, kitchen and household appliances, and home entertainments were appropriate to the date. At the start of the series they had no television set or refrigerator, and they did not have a home computer until Episode 4 set in the nineteen-eighties. 

Episode 2 was about the nineteen-sixties, when car ownership became more common. Supposedly in 1961, the family were given a blue, D-registration Morris Mini (above). The problem was it was a 1966 Mini, in 1961, five years before it was first registered. I know because I had one, blue, D reg., exactly the same, as in my blog header. Was the BBC research department taking shortcuts? 

Those Minis had something called hydrolastic suspension. Instead of separate springs, the front and rear wheels were connected by pressurised pipes. The idea was that when a front wheel went over a bump, the pressure would tighten its paired back wheel to reduce the bounce. It was rubbish. Mine kept gradually losing pressure and sinking down into its wheel arches. It had to go every few months to be pumped up. It is astonishing after fifty years they found one that had not been scrapped years ago. The family of two adults and three teenage children in the programme would have weighed down the back and shone the headlights up into the air. 

Here is my uncropped picture taken on the Cam Gill Road North of Kettlewell late in 1974 as we were putting on our boots for a walk to the top of Great Whernside. It was blowing a gale on top, but we were able to shelter in the large hollow summit cairn. 

1966 Morris Mini near Kettlewell
Near Kettlewell, 1974
Great Whernside Summit Cairn, 1974