Salutation to the dawn:

The chorus begins at half-past three with a funny sounding bird whose song I don’t recognise – it’s rhythmic and staccato. He’s trying to be thrush-like, but not quite making it. The first blackbird joins in ten minutes later then another. Billy, my own blackbird joins in about five-to four. He always sings from the tree outside my window and his song dominates because of his proximity. Other birds join in along the way until, around four, the wood pigeons coo in and the cacophony is complete.

The pandemic has changed everyone and everything. No one is exempt from the triad of fear, uncertainty and grief. Altered sleeping patterns are very common – covidsomnia. For me, typically I go to bed early, fall asleep quickly, then wake up a couple of hours later. I decided a while ago that if I’m still awake after an hour, I’ll get up. Often, I’ll write for a few hours, have some breakfast then go back to bed fourish, drifting off to the dawn chorus.

Ranch & bean hoops

 

The ranch is a balmy, heady paradise and bit by bit, I’m losing all desire to be anywhere else. I must be on one of those spectrums. The acquisition of a topper (a mower that goes on the back of a tractor) has transformed the field and walkways between the hedges, and for the first time ever, it really feels like a small farm.

My habitual buffoonic dawdling and pottering never changes, despite my splendid intentions. The sun is out. There’s cold beer in the well. Oops. Behind it all is a never-ending drive to grow food more efficiently. I’m actually doing quite well, despite some abject failures such as autumn garlic and onions and wheat that’s all stalk and no ears. The beds are bursting and I’ve grown some really interesting obscure stuff, courtesy of Real Seeds: Yacon (a tuber that’s very similar to water chestnut); Korean mint (exquisitely liquorishy); ground cherries (sweet tomato relatives); quinoa and lots of weird salad leaves.

My neighbour Chris gives me some big pieces of steel mesh – the type used in concreting. I make them into archways for the runner beans.

May blossom

 

The reason for the reclusiveness is that I’m less and less inclined to walk through the rest of the world and its increasing craziness. Getting thrown out of a pub for dancing by a thug-c*** bouncer? No thanks. There are teachers and teachers and of them all, nature and her silent truth is the best. How do the ants know that it’s about to rain? The study of nature of course is the basis of science. Why is that apple falling off that tree?

A couple of years ago, I read about a decline in sparrows. I can report that they are back. There are droves of them on the ranch, living in the hedges – chirping and tweeting all damned day. I’ve never seen so many before. They’re actually causing damage. They’ve eaten most of the gooseberry flowers and are nibbling the tops of the peas. I was worried about the bees. The stripy bumble bees are always the first to appear and this year, there were none in May at all. It’s OK – they’re here now, gorging on the comfrey in droves. They must have been delayed by the cold.

Bowser

 

I started restoring the brakes on the Ferguson. The rear brake shaft was corroded and I couldn’t find a replacement, so I carefully filed and ground it down. It reminded me of my engineering days. If I can do that, I can probably restore the old VW van.

On the bank holiday Sunday, we had a spontaneous barby on the ranch. A bunch of Sam and Elias’s mates came and most of them had been at a barbecue we’d had 9 years earlier. Still going strong. All good. Things got very Laddy and lairy later on and I was thrilled to be included.

Lairy lads

 

The other ranch:

I was in the office the other day signing a book for Anna – she and her husband have just bought a house with a bit of land, so they’re potential pseudo-farming buffoons like me. Peter was also in the office and I remarked that despite having written the book, I can never think of anything to say when signing it.

There then followed a hilarious conversation, leaving me with tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks. It was his fault. He started suggesting ridiculous inappropriate vernacular things to write and it went from bad to worse. He said that he’s going to bring his copy in so I can write something sweary in it. I hasten to add that I didn’t write anything daft in Anna’s book – I just wrote ‘Welcome to The Good Life’ with a crap drawing of a tractor. Peter, like me, is a W&I fan. He reels off the butcher’s shop passage word for word, complete with perfect Monty accent. I know exactly which phrase I’m going to write in his book. It relates to the non-medical prescribing scene with Danny.

Ranch barby 2012

 

I’ve said many times before that it’s difficult to describe what it’s really like working in an Emergency Department. Nothing on telly comes close – the irreverent humour, the camaraderie. I think I managed to capture a slight hint of it in The Recruitment Film. I suppose that choosing to work in such a difficult speciality, attracts like-minded mavericks.

One thing that’s certain, is that we’re best placed to know what’s really going on in the pandemic. I can report that this week there’s been a sudden and exponential rise in C19 admissions – mostly unvaccinated younger people, but also a significant number of single-jabbed and most worryingly of all, double-jabbed. I’ll even go as far as saying that on Wednesday, our high-dependency area was fuller with C19 patients than it was at the height of the other peaks.

Ferguson tractor brake shaft

 

As above so below. I am a bit of a loner. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve questioned everything that our astonishingly corrupt government and the major drug companies have told us. Did you know that Johnson and Johnson have been fined two billion dollars for knowingly selling asbestos contaminated, cancer causing, baby powder? Thought not. Never once have I accepted the deeply suspicious mainstream narrative and as time goes on, more of my suspicions are turning out to be true and backed up by the science. We have been repeatedly lied to.

Woodblock illustration from the book

 

Here are a few points of opinion based on my own experience – I haven’t quoted the papers, because there are so many, but I can provide the references. I hasten to add that I am not an anti-vaxxer – vaccination including Hep B has long been mandatory for NHS workers:

1.  Innate and infection acquired immunity provide good protection.

The so-called delta variant is strafing through the unvaccinated. Clearly it’s highly infectious. Nevertheless, so far, severe illness, critical care admission and deaths are low. This may change in weeks to come – hopefully not. Regardless, it’s highly likely that De Pfeffel will delay the June 21st opening up.

I was scared at the beginning. Despite being repeatedly exposed to high viral loads, I didn’t get the C19. Why? My theory has always been that it’s down to innate/natural immunity linked to my lifestyle. Science tells us that natural immunity, along with other mechanisms uses IgA in the nasopharynx to neutralise viral particles. If this is true, then it’s reasonable to argue that a person with robust innate immunity has the least chance of transmitting the virus to others. The paradox is that it’s difficult to research and robust evidence is scant. Here’s a recent Nature paper. I’m not blasé and I accept that I could still get the virus and get very sick, but why on earth would I contemplate compromising my immune system with an intervention that has no long-term safety data whatsoever? That might be different if there was even a single scrap of evidence that I’m more likely to transmit the virus, but there isn’t. It’s purely a personal decision.

One of my biggest jolting moments of grief was knowing that all the lovely young nurses and doctors who had already had C19, were going to get vaccinated, despite having good acquired immunity. There’s no possibility of knowing how the vaccine might affect fertility and already there are reports of altered menstrual patterns and other side-effects. The risks of severe illness from the virus in younger people is much less than in the elderly. I accept that long Covid is a real problem, affecting all age groups and the whole range of disease severity.

2.  A large proportion of the testing has been worse than useless

Detection of an endemic virus particle in the nasopharynx DOES NOT constitute infection or infectivity. Out of hospital testing by scores of different private companies, with no standardisation, is complete nonsense. The FDA have just withdrawn the INNOVA lateral flow test.

3.  Over 90% of those getting ill and dying from the illness have a raised body mass index.

Why oh why isn’t losing weight and eating healthily central to the mainstream narrative?

4.  Ivermectin and vitamin D are very effective treatments.

The evidence is widespread and overwhelming. There are hosts of high calibre clinicians trying to get the message through. Here’s John Campbell’s latest. The link between bigger people and darker-skinned people having a higher incidence of the disease by the way is low vitamin D – it’s poorly processed in obesity.

5.  Censorship is panoramic.

I follow Anna Brees, an ex-BBC journalist. She’s courageously challenging the mainstream narrative and a lot of her revelations are blocked on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. She got banned from Twitter for a week for sharing an interview providing evidence for the efficacy of Ivermectin. Lots of prominent bona fide clinicians have also been heavily censored for attempting to present the truth.

6.  Side-effects are very under-reported.

Every day we’re getting patients in with side effects to the vaccines. The yellow card system is voluntary and time consuming so even highly suspicious correlations are under-reported. We’ve had 3 cases of VITT and I’ve heard of lots more. I find it utterly horrifying that young fit people are dying from vaccine side effects when their risk from the virus is low. I don’t care how rare it is, even a single death is a travesty. BBC presenter Lisa Shaw, a mother, was 44 when she died from it. The BBC did cover it, but in a pretty low-key way. Here’s a letter by Dr Tess Lawrie to the MHRA

7.  Lockdowns make little difference unless they are 100% like in China.

Sweden has come under heavy criticism for its sensible ‘focused protection of the vulnerable and cautiously carry on allowing the economy to function as normal as possible’. Now the data is out and the curves speak for themselves when compared to demographically similar areas. The results are the same in America for states like Florida and Texas, when compared to lockdown states. The collateral damage and resulting Years of Life Lost due to lockdowns is immeasurable. There’s a vast associated mental health pandemic, affecting all ages including children.

8. Vaccinating children is a serious crime against humanity.

This is the final one, and it’s why I’ve decided to unequivocally speak out now. I am grief-stricken at the thought of vaccinating children. They do get C19, but mildly and PIMS is exceedingly rare. There is no evidence whatsoever showing how the vaccine might affect their developing immune systems. The risk to them from getting very ill from C19 is exceedingly low. Already several youngsters in Israel and America have got myocarditis after the vaccine. The narrative is that it’s often mild. Myocarditis is never mild. Cardiac muscle cannot re-generate and any damage to it is serious. The effects may not present until older age.

I am utterly astonished that any paediatrician would sanction vaccinating children for an illness that is so low-risk to them, yet the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended it. There is no comparison whatsoever with serious childhood illnesses for which vaccines have been miraculous. To vaccinate children to protect adults is utterly wrong in every respect – morally, ethically, legally. I’ve heard quite a few fully vaxxed medical professionals saying ‘no way are my kids having it’.

Woodblock image from the book

 

A friend’s (also an EM consultant) grand-mammy is poorly in London (not with C19). Her daddy comes all the way from Ireland and the two of them have to sit in a hospital car park because they’re not allowed in. How are medical professionals going to reflect on the pandemic 5 years down the line? I think we have a professional duty to speak out if we truly believe that something is medically wrong, based on robust science. I’m grateful to work somewhere where we can still use common sense in the name of compassion.

 

Rock & Roll:

My muse has gone again, but a couple of weeks ago we recorded a live song for my Australian friends Paula and Mike and their Sonny Michael’s show. It turned out to be one of those boozy evenings where half a dozen other people turned up. Gaz, Tyler and I were in the back room, filming and recording and the rest of them were in the kitchen making lots of noise. I shouted at them to shut tf up, which prompted a loud hooting chorus of pisstaking – Mongolian throat singing, tap dancing. The song is Fools which is about mental health. I explain it in the intro.