A freezing Sunday:
Dawn – Sunday 28th November 2021
From my window, I watch a thin streak of crystal light powder blue develop over the horizon. I know roughly what time it is without looking at my clock – it’s about 6. It’s freezing.
I can lie-in if I want, but I’m wide awake, so I just think for a bit. The notion of writing jolts me more awake and I’m up. I’ve been serving a writing apprenticeship these last few years, what with a book and all these blogs.
I could never suffer from writers block – there are just too many stories running round my head. Which one to write down first? I’m beginning to settle on the type of story that suffused mine and my kids’ childhoods: Roaming plains tribes, Lord of the Rings and so on. Elven Princesses and a hero king and his horse (based on my allotment neighbour’s horse Satin) and his dog (based on our beautiful sleek lurcher Jet).
I don my ‘house trouser’ – a comfortable pair of corduroy slacks that I would not sport in public. I put on a pair of moderately thick socks then a very thick pair over the top, into which I tuck the trouser legs. A vest and thick shirt are topped with a baggy grey cardigan that zips all the way up to my neck, aiding my scarf in cold biting winds. I hope there are no Paps about – I would not make the cover of Vogue.
I feel my way downstairs into the warm of my room and the kitchen. Our multi-fuel stove has been a life-saver and stays in all night, with minimal topping up at bedtime. Electric light is too harsh at this time of day, so I use a single candle.
I’ve gone off tea and coffee and I hardly drink milk these days. I make a cup of hot chocolate, using oat milk which I allow to boil to the top of the pan so that it’s frothy. I’m not vegan or veggie, but I always to strive to live off what I could potentially grow, which would be vegan by default.
I’ve come up with a decent recipe lately, using the large quantities of various dried beans that I’ve grown. It’s based on an Italian dish whose name I forget and begins with F. I soak the beans overnight then put them on the stove in a pan of water with salt, two bay leaves and one of the ultra hot yellow chillies that are still hanging on in the greenhouse. They cook nicely during the day on the stove. It’s important to keep an eye on them otherwise they can end up mushy. I drain the water into a bowl and ditch the chilli and the bay leaves. The chilli is soft but intact and needs to stay that way, otherwise the seeds would escape then it would be too hot.
When it’s teatime, I finely chop garlic, onions (home-grown) and carrots then fry them for ten minutes or so. I add the water from the beans, and whatever veg we have in the fridge + tomato puree & a small amount of pasta. The beans go in last. There’s one final ingredient that makes all the difference – a heaped teaspoon of horse radish powder.
Horseradish, (Armoracia rusticana), is a hardy perennial plant of the mustard family (Brassicaceae) grown for its hotly pungent fleshy root. Native to Mediterranean lands, it’s now grown throughout the temperate zones. The root is traditionally considered medicinal and is commonly used as a substitute for true wasabi (Eutrema japonicum) in Japanese cuisine.
I have a two metre squared bed, which I dig up after the first decent frosts. I pick out the thickest roots – pencil width and above. The rest goes back in for next season. I wash and peel the roots, then cut them into small pieces and dry them on the stove, finally grinding them into a fine powder using my coffee grinder.
Once the cocoa is ready, I switch on the computer and I’m off. I’m going to write the whole lot in one fell swoop, with breaks for: walks; picking up an old mahogany door (Louise thinks it’s for her, but it’s going on my new greenhouse); fixing Louise’s new old table (I’m afraid the charity shop and auction acquisitions never end); exercises and meditation.
…is, like the mighty Fall. Always different. Always the same.
It’s wintry, but going up there has taken on a new importance. I realised that after leaving my job, it would be very easy to sink into ultra slobdom, so I’m making a staunch effort to develop a self-disciplined routine. I thought that I might have a quiet few days, but no such thing. I’m busier than ever. Don Juan has a chapter called disrupting the routines of daily life where he emulates a factory siren at various points during a hike with Carlos. He’s pointing out how we can become ruled by our routines and habits. One of my favourite Zen sayings is: Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired. How do I develop a routineless routine then, especially with my erratic sleeping pattern? Dave says just go with the flow. I think he’s right. I’ll just maintain chunks of discipline and fit them into the days as they unfold.
It’s hedge-pruning time and Dave and Lisa have been helping and doing the bulk of it. It’s part of the annual husbandry. Every scrap of the clippings get used – either as compost in mini Hugel beds, or as firewood. (Cue the hot hedge-clippings pic.)
Organic gardening needs large quantities of organic material. The bulk of mine comes from Linda’s horse. This year I’m composting for the first time, so there’s even more shifting from one compartment to another. I always say that the first person to help me do it, will have passed the audition, because like life, shite-shifting balances the glamour.
I’m trying to do a patch of concrete on the road every time I go up. It’s part of my flab-busting regime. On my first day after finishing work, I symbolically wrote my name in one. I have two names (excluding the one beginning with C that sweetness often uses). One given to me by my parents, and one given to me by my friends at school derived from my initials. Both are interchangeable. I don’t mind having a nickname.
Elsewhere, I’m doing bits of pottering and that’s about it ranchwise.
I still need to put my order with Real Seeds in before the rush.
My neighbour Helen from across the road and her fam have been helping out on the ranch from time to time. She got poorly with a dental abscess and was in hospital during my last week at work, so I was seeing the NHS from both sides. I had to ‘book in’ to visit and get a test which they didn’t even ask for. Yesterday we nipped up to the ranch just to check for damage after the gales. I was worried that the big gates at the bottom might have blown down but they hadn’t. We walked back over the tops and meandered back through the scenic woods above the railway and the old kilns. The terrain is vaguely Tolkeinesque.
As ever, with more pandemic fear, the ranch increasingly becomes a haven and a valuable source of food.
The other Ranch
is gone. Forever. Finito. I’m out. leaving was a harrowing wrench, but I’m over it. It was the morally correct thing to do.
The other ranch is the term I used to affectionately deliver anecdotes about working in the hospital in the dirty old town. I’ll have to come up with another term now, but already there’s an interesting network of like-minded healthcare people rapidly developing.
Does the vile odious little tit-headed prick Javid seriously think that a bunch of highly skilled, highly trained, highly motivated, highly organised healthcare professionals, who don’t agree with forced jabs (which they don’t need because they’re already immune), are going to sit at home and twiddle their thumbs? In my last post I pointed out his past with Deutsche Bank. This week he’s in the news again over his shares in an American AI company that he used to work for and who operate in the healthcare sector. Tory corruption part 101. You couldn’t make it up.
I already wrote about a Revolution of the reasonable in a post last winter. Well it’s here. I’m wary of labels and pigeon holes but I like the term Walking the common ground, meaning uniting people from all backgrounds and persuasions via common themes. In this instance, the common ground is occupied by those who simply don’t believe the Western pandemic narrative that has destroyed so many livelihoods. They are standing together en masse on principles of human decency and good science.
Because the issue is a science and healthcare one, it’s the healthcare people who are suddenly at the forefront of possibly one the most important moments in human history. Perhaps the last chance to turn the tide of tyranny and wake people up to what’s actually happening?
I intuitively sensed that somehow I might still need my medical training and that I’m moving from one situation to another – certainly not retiring.
I have gone viral and I’ve done nothing different. In the last blog, I documented my anxious last days at work and my support for sacked healthcare people. I strongly believe that injecting children with a vaccine that has no long term safety data whatsoever is utterly and abhorrently wrong. There is no scientific data to support it. Young people get mild illness and adverse cardiac events are very real and quite terrifying. To inject children using the argument that it may protect the rest of the population (i.e. adults) is criminal in my opinion. I just couldn’t be around people who endorsed it any more.
I have to publicly ask the question to all healthcare workers involved in caring for children:
How could you possibly endorse This? I’ve even heard a paediatrician say ‘I wouldn’t let my kids have it’. In which case why would you sanction it for other people’s kids? Is silence not complicity?
There are many senior doctors with much better credentials than me, who have spoken out since the beginning. Truth will out as they say round here.
I made the right decision. Now I feel the need to try and help those poor people who are losing their livelihoods. I think some kind of alternative healthcare system will develop, despite the astronomical hurdles – in fact it’s already happening. Nye Bevan take two.
I expressed support for like-minded colleagues on social media and all of a sudden the blog went viral, getting thousands of views. More than any ever before. I got loads of encouraging messages, along with some trolling and blocking. I’m now having to strictly limit my social media time, which is a good thing. I’m trying to point out to people that social media isn’t a good place to organise opposition, because it’s heavily monitored and censored.
I’m shocked at hearing people expressing hatred towards NHS workers. I’ve tried to explain before that it really doesn’t work like that. For a start, there are lots of healthcare workers who have had Covid (and are therefore immune), who really didn’t want the jab, but simply had no choice. They have families and can’t afford to lose their jobs. In a way they are the biggest heroes of all.
I tried to explain that the NHS is a conveyor belt of ever changing policies. At any one time, you are inundated with emails about new policies. For most people, it’s a question of trying to survive and juggle family life. Questioning day to day practices isn’t part of the fabric. These are kind caring people who have chosen to work in a demanding career helping others.
I am however surprised that everyday medical people have swallowed the bad science around the jabs. ALL respiratory infections are fought by the nasopharyngeal immune system which is separate to that of the internal organs. I don’t think giving an intra-muscular injection will ever help nasopharyngeal immunity. T-cells are everything. Immunology is a huge topic.
We are now seeing many fully jabbed people getting Covid but not requiring hospital admission. The narrative is ‘Thank goodness I had the jabs to prevent severe illness’. Unfortunately this doesn’t bear out, as there many un-jabbed getting it and also suffering mild disease. What’s more, the jabbed are now getting ‘super colds’ after having Covid. The ones I know are saying things like ‘I’m not quite back to normal yet.’
Oh dear. I so want to be wrong. Sadly, the full impact of Immune Escape and Antibody Dependent Enhancement will take a while to filter through, but it’s already happening. Then there’s the endothelial damage caused by vaccine raised spike proteins highlighted in this Circulation abstract.
Getting angry or calling people stupid doesn’t help. It’s a case of gently presenting the facts time and time again to those who haven’t seen what’s happening yet.
I think what will happen is that senior healthcare staff will start to see patterns of illness that they haven’t seen before such as increased cardiac events in fit young people who haven’t had Covid, but are jabbed and increased levels of uncharacteristic illness in younger colleagues. They will then start to question. It’s already happening. Consultant cardiologist Aseem Malhotra has already spoken out publicly. Increased stillbirths in Scotland are also being investigated.
I got interviewed online by a film maker about my pandemic experiences to date. Interesting times.
Meanwhile, we’ve got a new variety for Christmas from Africa. The mass hysteria and associated propaganda machine is instant, despite no knowledge about its severity yet. The good news is that people have had enough and are weary of the bullshit.
The totality of evidence
The paradox with a brand new illness, is that there is no evidence. The initial information is first hand account, anecdote and word of mouth along with small amounts of raw data such as death rates. Along with intuition and expert opinion, this type of evidence is right at the bottom of the pile.
At the other end of the spectrum, the top of the pile, are systematic reviews of high quality randomised controlled trials such as those posted by The Cochrane Collaboration
Two years in, we are at a very early stage in terms of the availability of good quality evidence. A lot of the papers being muted are not peer reviewed and are often pre-prints or abstracts.
This means that people like me, and far better scientifically trained people than me who are speaking out, can easily be dismissed as loons by the mainstream narrative.
The Thalidomide story is worth noting, because despite just a few brave doctors speaking out and despite the obvious link between the drug and the horrific birth defects, it took approaching four years to withdraw it. The story tells of the astonishing power and lack of accountability of the major pharmaceutical companies. The doctors (such as William McBride) who did speak out were silenced, persecuted and lost their jobs and now it’s happening again.
Paradoxically the lowest form of evidence is the one that first rings the alarm bells. If you hear accounts from hundreds of people telling of adverse events, which aren’t echoed in the reporting, then alarm bells ring.
The notion of the totality of evidence is to look at the broader picture, taking all information into account. Ivermectin is a good example. I and several other people firmly believe in its efficacy, yet the Cochrane review said it’s efficacy was equivocal and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has dismissed it.
This link gives the FLCCC’s totality of evidence approach.
It’s now snowing heavily. Me and the gingers check on the ranch, then wander back via the woods above the railway which are Narnia like compared to Tolkienesque yesterday. A whippet in a green coat comes bounding over to me. Jumping and wagging his tail. He remembers me.
My little split screen van did a full house move last week. Lock, stock and barrel: cooker; washing machine; double bed; settee. Not bad for a 55 year old bread bin on wheels. I’ve decided to keep it because no-one knows what’s going to happen to petrol and diesel over the next few years and maybe classic vehicles might be exempt. I spend an inordinate amount of time studying the ultimate lifestyle vehicle. It has to be 4wd for the ranch, I have to be able to camp in it and it has to a similar size to the van.
Rock & Roll
We had a sustained Rock & Roll weekend which began on the Thursday night when Gaz, Sam and I went to the open mic night at The Golden Lion in Tod. Rachel took us so I could relax and have an ale. I took just the little bass drum, snare and a ride cymbal and Tyler joined us on drums. We had some food before we played. By the time it was our turn to play I’d had one and a half pints so I was uncharacteristically flamboyant. We did three songs finishing with Swampland which is a blistering raucous affair. It’s about being close to the edge due to work, so apt, seeing as this was my first night out since finishing. I wrote it ages ago.
I come out of work and it’s already dark.
This path has lost its heart.
The road is blocked. The car park is blocked.
My head is blocked. Everything is blocked.
I’m in swampland.
It was funny because I’m thrutching about as if I’m Hendrix. My head is under a purple light, so I look like a cross between a beetroot and a boiled ham. I’m playing my tiny 5 watt hand-built valve amp and it sounds awesome and is loud enough to be heard in a fairly packed pub.
We have a boozy rehearsal on Friday, then we both play at The Ferret in Preston on Sat courtesy of wonderful Rico again. Fenny and Lez and Dawn are there in their band. It was great to see them. They’re doing R&B covers and more or less every song they do, I have on 7″ single.
We play first, then The Strange, with Tyler kindly drumming for us both. He’s in Bonham territory and is astonishing. They have new songs and are better than ever.
Back home, more ales and wines. That’s it for a while for gigs.
The next day, I’m playing my guitar again and thinking that maybe I should be learning some rustic pipe and slippers ballad. I’m messing about on the double bass in the front room and Sam joins in, and ends up playing Killing in the name of by Rage against the Machine. I look it up and learn to play it. What a splendid guitar part. What a lovely ballad. I can relate to the final line of the song… Fuck you. I won’t do what you tell me.