Tag Archives: nutrition

A Day With Few High Points

I’ve just spent several minutes trying to remove an unwanted comma from a piece of work. It’s frustrating when you can’t get a computer to do what you want it to do.

It was even worse when I realised the “comma” was a mark on the screen. Laptop screens seem to attract more detritus than the screens on ordinary computers.

That’s been one of the highlights of the day.

The second was my blood test. The blood was not flowing well today and it felt like they were having to dig it out. When they removed the needle it suddenly decided to flow. Fortunately it hit the chair arm rather than me. Having changed specially for the visit I was glad that it didn’t go on my clothes.

It seems I passed the blood sugar test two weeks ago. Unfortunately I had a phone call from the anticoagulant service this afternoon to tell me that things had not gone so well. I need to go down for testing again next week: they do that when things don’t go well.

The final high point was sitting in a chair making demands for constant hydration (tea). Number One Son is back from Portugal and has been working well with the kettle. He even put a couple of sausages and some beans together for a light lunch.

I had to pay for this attention by listening to his views on nutrition and where my diet is going wrong. As his first degree is in Sports Science, including nutrition, he has the moral high ground.

Apart from that, I just sat here gently recovering and shouting at the television.

Thoughts of Mayors and Medals

I thought it was time for more from the junk box. We’ve covered coronation medals and other commemoratives so here is something a bit different.

This is a fund raising medal issued by the Borough of Newark to raise funds for the families of soldiers who fought in what they refer to as the Transvaal War, now generally known as the Boer War in the UK, though they have other names for it in South Africa. I won’t discuss the Boer War here, as it will take a lot of space and reflects no credit on the British.

As you can see, it is one step beyond the junk box and appears to have been buried at some point. It also looks like someone has attempted to put a hole through it at the top, probably to use it as a watch fob or wear it on a ribbon.


Newark  Fund Raising Medal 1900 (Reverse)

They originally cost a shilling, with silver ones costing five shillings and a case costing sixpence extra. There were 12 pennies in a shilling and 20 shillings in £1, in case you are a decimal baby.

As you can see from a careful look at the picture, they were made by Vaughtons of Birmingham.

It is the local equivalent of the Absent Minded Beggar medal, part of a massive Boer War fundraising effort.

The war served as something of a wake-up call to the British, when they got the runaround from a bunch of farmers. This meant that we called for volunteers and found that one in three was rejected due to the effects of poor diet. This would lead to the Education (Provision of Meals) Act (1906) because properly fed citizens were needed for the services. I would have thought it was counter-productive as fatter soldiers make bigger targets, but I suppose they need to be strong enough to march and carry things.

There’s a picture of F H Appleby here, with a truly inspiring soup strainer moustache, with further details here. He really was a busy man.

The spiritual descendent of this medal is the current Newark Patriotic Fund, which helps ex-servicemen and their families.




Goats and Diplomas

We have our first school visit of the year tomorrow. Having misread the calendar, I thought it was next Tuesday. Now, though I’m not exactly in a panic, I’m not quite as relaxed as I could be.

News just in from the allotment, that the comfrey patch has been wrecked, has helped to further elevate the stress levels.

You wouldn’t think it was hard to manage a site where you can see (and even shout) from one end to the other, but it is. You’d also think that most people, knowing that we have a butterfly garden, would leave buddleias as butterfly food. But they don’t – although they haven’t actually pulled any out this year they did try to weed them out several times in the last couple of years.

To be honest, I’m beginning to wonder if I’d be better killing a few of them and burying them in the bean trench. The volunteers, that is, not the buddleia or the comfrey, which, unlike the volunteers, are both useful in the garden.

The good news is that the goats are looking good, that the potato and leek soup went down well, that we are having home-baked bread on Wednesday and that we are embarking on an exercise in scientific poultry management.

I am putting some kit together and by next week we should be in a position to monitor egg weights, bird weights and food consumption. We started by counting the birds today. We’re going to do it again on Wednesday just to be sure (they will keep moving!)

So that’s it, our customary halting progress, with one step forward and two steps back, but at least we’re doing it in the sunshine.

I will leave you with that positive thought, and a selection of goat pictures.

No, actually I’ll leave you with a picture of Julia and her new Diploma in Human Nutrition. I’m suspicious, but she seems to think it qualifies her to pass comment on my diet (apparently “chips” and “fried food” aren’t recognised as food groups by the awarding body) and who am I to argue? I’m at an age where I wouldn’t be able to find anyone else to put up with me if she kicks me into touch so looks like I’ll have to grin and bear it (at least until I perfect the art of slipping out for illicit burgers).


Note serious expression and scholarly spectacles.