Antiviral, antifungal, Antibacterial

Antiviral, antifungal, Antibacterial

When I first bothered to attempt to resolve my health problems back in 2009, I coupled my raw food tendencies with four bulbs of garlic per day. Garlic is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. I normally use it as a sleeping pill, as garlic or oats are a safe bet if I want to be dead to the world for an extended period.  Usually, as I am looking after my mother, sleeping is not a particularly good idea if I want to achieve anything, so I tend to forget for months and even years. Now it is in my salad dressing, so I take it in conjunction with the rest of the holy trinity (chilli, ginger) and a host of other additions (wasabi, cider vinegar etc)

1000 year old recipe kills MRSA – here is an indication of how effective natural medicine can be.  We have actually made this, and reportedly it is very good for wounds and skin complaints, as well as being the ultimate in biofilm permeating surface cleaner.
Antiviral and antibacterial herbs
Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial herbs

As you can probably guess, my problems do not stem from lack of knowledge, either of how to find information, or how to use it.  You have to care how you are to resolve your problems, so I was very interested in the depictions of extreme candida, and this article from the world of psychiatric care.

The role of antiviral therapy in Chronic Fatigue Treatment

So basically, the fungal and viral problems get worse because I am tired, therefore I get a bit depressed, therefore I no longer care about myself, therefore the whole thing gets much worse. If anything actually happens in the meantime, then my health takes a back seat. There are thousands, possibly millions of people who would benefit from a basic knowledge of how to use simple ingredients to avoid the slow, or sometimes fast decline in their immune system without having to resort to the doctor.


How to eliminate shingles quickly and naturally using alternative holistic methods


My dentist had had shingles in his mouth after a spell in hospital, which is the only reason my outbreaks ever got diagnosed, as my doctor did not know or care what this looked like.  Now I am aware what causes the tingling and exhaustion, it makes me more aware of the rashes.  A friend of mine was dismissed as having ‘minor’ athletes foot for several decades when he actually had an abnormally high instep and patches of astonishingly hard skin as a result, and I have appeared at several doctor’s surgeries with rashes all over my face, which remained unmentioned in the course of consultation because I was going for tiredness, which was laughed at as I have always worked at least 70 hours per week.


Rashes and athlete’s foot, in addition to the unpleasant experience of thrush or other complaints such as tingling, inflammation or numbness are not minor.  They are indications of systemic exhaustion, which can reach dangerous levels and cause far more serious complaints.  If you have any of these, you should look for solutions by other means in the absence of your doctor either wanting, or being able to treat them.


Your diet generally, therefore, is a lot more important than you would think.  Whilst many people may be entirely happy eating anything they want, a very large proportion of the population would benefit from making some improvements, particularly if they have ongoing ailments.


I am currently dealing with an ‘invisible’ case of shingles, and ongoing candidiasis, which attacks even if I eat badly only once, never mind for months. This indicates that I am battering my immune system. My circumstances, of looking after a large property and disabled mother mean that there are some things I cannot change, but you can bet that I am employing the means at my disposal to resolve the other problems.


Likewise, my mother’s dementia has been held back for 9 years now because I keep on top of minor ailments and provide her with a lot of stimulation in the form of trips out, tasks etc.  It is amazing what you can do about major problems by addressing the trivial things rather than ignoring them.  She gets far better care from me than I do, I am sorry to say.


For my overweight and/or aging readers, your tiredness is not all because of your weight, and your weight is not all because of your eating habits.  Think of your digestion as a drain, which becomes blocked by food which will not move.  Stop trying to explain this to your bemused doctor, and look for ways of resolving it. Yes, you.



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Another Conservative own goal

It does not look as if the Conservatives giggling away at this


Trickle-down lies


have really understood anything. I am well aware that some key Conservatives read it, and am duly gratified.


It astonishes me that our current Chancellor and Prime Minister seem to have learned nothing from the history of their own party.  They do not understand British politics, they do not understand what popular Conservative policy is, and they do not understand that their decision making is going to lose them the next election.  To an old school Labourite no less!  The depths of stupidity are astounding!


We in Scotland are of course, somewhat left of even popular conservative policy, but we still have conservative tendencies.  The difference is that our idea of nationalism is somewhat more hospitable and opportunity-based.  It does not take a gigantic leap of imagination to come up with the idea of evacuation in place of immigration in the case of thousands of refugee children, meaning that the idea of said children bringing extended families would not be relevant. Rural schools and kindly people alike would welcome the opportunity


Instead the nasty party has struck again.  From Maggie’s actually quite clever idea of ‘feeding the base of the pyramid’ with opportunity, to buy property and shares and actually become rather conservative at any level of income, we have apparently witnessed a Conservative government who do not appear to care whether they are popular or not.


They appear to believe that everyone has inherited wealth that we do not want to pay any tax on, have a ‘divine right’ to shaft anyone poorer than us, that nobody will notice if they actually kill a few thousand people in the form of withholding support when they need it, and that there are sufficient voters to ensure that they get to continue in their reign of terror long enough to get whatever backhand benefits from TTIP and TISA privatisation that they have invested in.


Perhaps the answer is that as long as Cameron and Osborne last this term, they will have secured their investments.  Perhaps the answer is that they are knuckle-draggingly stupid and think that people will actually support continuous cruelty towards large swathes of the population, British or otherwise.  Perhaps the answer is that the system is now so corrupt that we need not bother voting at all, because the numbers will still come in as Conservative whether they are or not.


Whatever the answer to this question is, this government is not competent, and they are not really British.  They represent a very small proportion of the population, who are complacent, arrogant, privileged to the point of being very spoilt, and who apparently sit in their English villages hating everybody else.  I remember an argument with Rachel Johnson some years ago.  Within two emails it became apparent that she has no idea how the other 90 percent live, and is unlikely to ever find out.  How did we end up with a government consisting of people just like her?


Gone are the notions of British conservatism, pride in the nation, pride in achievement and the sense that the British class machine actually worked very well.  In place of this we have a new, rather lazy, rather amoral failed and incorrect idea of a neo-Victoriana, which has no place for the poor, so we might as well just clean up the housing estates and kill them all by starvation, poor healthcare, or the death of opportunity for anyone that is not Conservative.  Gone is the colonialism and pride which gave us an empire. In its place, scrounging rich people who want to cream off the contracts and not bother to pay any tax, and who apparently imagine that they are supported in doing so by thousands of people just like them.


What happened to the importance of popularity in politics?  What happened to the idea that you voted for competent, decent people who cared about something other than their own wallets?  What happened to genuine achievement? Getting handouts from your rich mummies and daddies is not the same as actually doing something for your money. Money does not a true gentleman make.


Emulating Trump in the course of promoting an exit from the EU is not the Boris we are used to either.


If Philip Green’s murder of BHS to fill his pockets with yet more cash is an example of Conservative achievement, we don’t want it.  It is time to replace the figureheads, or get the Tories out before they do any more damage to suit themselves. Altogether we are seeing an attempt to shift from a cooperative society, to a very selfish idea that if you cannot make it, by fair means or foul, then you might as well just die because you lack money.


If the Conservative government does not change course right now, we will see riots in the streets, and with all your taxes in tax havens, you won’t be able to afford the increased levels of policing you will require to protect yourselves.  Suppressing the media will not make your mistakes go away.

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Vitamin Overdose and detox

Can you overdose on vitamins?


The overdose risk of vitamins


Safety with herbs


Today I am going to talk about supplements.  My father was spending a large amount monthly on herbal supplements in the 70s, so I have been around the colourful bottles a lot.  Both conventional doctors that we had until I was about 17 had conventional and homeopathic training, so we had quite a bit of advantageous knowledge to draw from.


There is, allegedly, no benefit to be derived from taking supplements.  Studies have indicated that people suffer from the same rates of illnesses towards the end of life whether they take supplements or not, so I look on supplements as a quality of life solution.  Basically, conventional medicine is for short term, and surgical purposes, and herbal medicine is for the sort of medium to long term ailment that doctors now like to ignore.  I am not just talking from a personal perspective, several friends have also noted the change in attitude to general health from doctors. My wealthier friend says that he was told by our mutual GP that he was considered worthwhile because he paid more tax.


This is not necessarily a bad thing.  You should regard your doctor as someone who provides medical solutions, and forget the idea that your doctor cares about your health.  Your health is your responsibility, so you should take it seriously.  I once had a chat with a young man who wanted his doctor to intervene with a small overhang of fat at his waistband.  I advised him to get a life.


Nevertheless, having seen the difference in treatment between me, my mother, random young men with self-inflicted injuries, (he won the medicine lottery) it is becoming apparent that with a lot of problems, you are on your own.  All these adverts and bits of advice saying to see your doctor about this or that are met with a blank stare if you actually try to talk to your GP about them.  I have reported symptoms of an impending or actual heart attack for a couple of decades of overwork and self neglect, and in that time only one doctor out of about 7 or 8 even bothered to have me checked out.  They will probably wait to post mortem me, and then say oooooooh look she had six heart attacks!


So, currently, as I am visibly slow when walking, have serious breathlessness and fatigue, headaches and a chest problem, I am trying to resolve it myself.  I have changed my diet to rid myself of toxin sitting around in my bowel, I am taking around fifteen times the recommended dose of Vitamin C, which I know is fine because I do not have the runs.  I look better, the chest problem has marginally improved, and my clothes are already starting to get big.  So far, so good.  I have procured some heart and lung support in the form of Forskohli, and I will be proceeding with some thyroid support in the form of seaweed.  All of this takes knowledge. It is wise to check on dosages, and it is also wise to make sure you know what is really wrong with you.


If it were not for the raw foodies, I would still be taking massive iron supplements on the advice of my doctor, and as you will see if you check, iron overdoses are particularly bad for you.  As it turned out after some raw foodism, I was just not absorbing the iron, and it was only when taking less traditionally iron rich foods, that the anaemia problem was cleared up.


My theory is that pharmaceutical knowledge imparted to medical doctors is not coupled with any genuine understanding of basic nutrition, or the effects of combining too much of one thing with another.  Hence my initial statement that conventional medicine is for short term, or surgical remedy, whilst you should really investigate everything else before you resort to chemical solutions.  My faith in the authority of the doctor started to erode once I discovered that they were not all as committed and well informed as my first conventional/homeopathic doctors.


An awful lot of conventional medical practioners are in it for the money, and at the end of the day, they are just people.  In the same way that you get a second opinion if someone tries to charge you too much for fixing your roof or car, you should try to get your own second opinion of what your doctor is saying where possible.


This new idea that has crept in, that even Twisty has been guilty of in the past, that medicine trumps wellbeing and alternative solutions, is completely at odds with the truth.  Many alternative solutions have been tried and tested over hundreds, and in some cases thousands of years.


The fact that no pharmaceutical company has paid to research it, because they don’t see it making them any money, is entirely meaningless.  If it makes you feel good, you try it, unless you are stupid enough to think that every problem fits into a tick box, prepared by someone with little to no knowledge of you, your lifestyle, your unreported symptoms.


It is also the case with the issue of detox – many doctors claim that this does not exist, and your liver and kidney does this more effectively than eating properly.  Your organs can quite easily be compromised by your poor habits, in which case they certainly do not. Your doctor is likely to be kept in this state of ignorance because without your poor diet and habits, you require less in the way of chemical medicine.  Commerce trumps well being.


Medicine has its place, but having argued with many a consultant that I actually worked with about its relationship with health, I am now in agreement with them that it is entirely separate. (they were also unaware that it was separate until I challenged them, incidentally!) Conventional medicine is a solution, it is not the solution.  Health is a separate thing, and it is nothing to do with your doctor, and everything to do with you.

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What can you do today?

One of the many principles that Wolfe likes to recycle from time to time is the ‘Do it now’ principle.  I cannot remember who originally said it, and I do not particularly care, but the ‘Do it now’ principle is helpful when you are talking yourself out of doing whatever you really want to do.


On the days when I like to forget about the unpleasant reality that is my life and future, I pretend that I have a ceteris paribus situation – all things being equal, there is no reason why I cannot just make a decision and roll with it.  (presumably excluding Wolfe, unless you can muster sufficient motivation to catch him.)


So, rather than your sitting indulging in Candy Crush Saga or things of that ilk, watching too much TV, or otherwise messing about – the question is – what can you do today?  What can you do to get yourself further towards your goals?  What are your goals?  If you do not know this, perhaps it is time for some stocktaking and review of what you really want.


I recall a conversation a while back where a number of people over thirty sat and complained about their partners with a resigned sigh.  I was in my twenties at the time, and said, to be honest, if these people are that imperfect, why not just leave?  You complain about my exs, but at least I left them?  Several times, in many cases.


Eventually I spotted some daft guy or other and decided that nobody else would do, so I got rid of them, since I was now effectively wasting their time. This does not mean that I have to have said guy, it just means that in the absence of alternatives, I did not mind their company, but when ‘my person’ came along, the relationships became pointless.


Several arguments ensued, whether he was good enough, whether I was good enough etc etc.  At the end of the day, does it matter?  You feel the way you feel.  Until this point in my life, relationships have been relatively controllable, and this one merits my attention to a sufficient degree to occupy all my time.  So what? It has no implications for the object of my affection at all.  All that matters is the course of action required to hit my own personal mark, since evidently I found one on a bench, so to speak.


Apparently people over thirty are supposed to become scared of change, scared of growing old alone, and fearful of possible financial implications, so instead they choose to waste their time on conversations like this.  A generalised feeling of powerlessness and selfishness washes over them, and they resign themselves to a life of tolerable misery.  This is ridiculous.  There are plenty of single people at any age, and if you feel you have settled for something, there is no reason why you cannot move on.


Likewise, it is often when you most want something, you become frightened that you might actually get it, or scared of making a fool of yourself trying to get it.  That’s life.  Who dares wins.  You definitely won’t get anywhere if you don’t try.


So, although I hate Wolfe’s recycling journal and pretty much everything else Jim Rohn had to say, I suggest you take this one on board.  Do it now.  What can you do today to get yourself further towards a goal? Any goal.  Set one and go for it. Be selfish, even if it is only for fifteen minutes a day.




And just in case David actually stops by and reads this.  It’s your nose.  Your feet are OK, but mainly your nose.  Everything else is appalling.

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Young, free and obese

Or even, not so young, free and obese.  Either is fine.


As you may or may not know from the health section of this blog, I have gained and lost over a thousand pounds of weight in the  course of my life. I do not eat entire cakes or packets of biscuits.  I do not have regular take-aways, and I have never liked chips.  The only thing I am inclined to eat far too much of is butter, and that is in conjunction with the consumption of bread or oatcakes.  The minute I rule out those two things, the problem is gone. My thinner sister of the same height regularly consumes more than I do, although as she is not being bullied by a pair of vindictive old women, she gets to leave the house now and again.


That being said, I have an emotional eating issue.  Sometimes whatever has happened seems very insignificant and I do not even want to discuss it, but the end result is the same.  I stand in the kitchen, out of sight and try to figure out a way of not thinking about it any more.  The easiest way to stop yourself talking, is to fill your mouth with food.  By far the easiest.


After years of being very successful on a wide variety of diets, I am going to save you a whole lot of research in the following few paragraphs.


Other people do not matter


Listening to other people’s opinions, or even seeking them out, is not going to get you anywhere.  Stop doing that.  If they are critical of whatever you are doing, just avoid them altogether.  This includes your family and closest friends.  Sometimes especially them. If they suggest that you are an embarrassment, or that you look terrible in your favourite t shirt, even if you do, leave them behind. Attitude is a lot sexier than a tiny waist, no matter what you are or are not wearing or doing. Concentrate on that.


Low Carbing


Low carbing is a good idea for the following reasons – if you maintain a low carb diet, you cut out simple carbohydrates such as wheat flour, sugar, potato, rice.  These are cheap filler items, which nutritionists are taught help you avoid bowel cancer, and are kept within generalised nutritional advice because the advisors on the Board of Nutrition are on the payroll of large food processing companies such as Mars, Kraft, and Coca Cola.  You are advised to eat them because these people know very well that they mess up your gut bacteria and keep you eating more of them.  Nobody is genuinely addicted to cheap chocolate, pizza, bread, fries or fizzy drinks.  If you try clearing the remains of what you have already eaten from your gut, you will soon find that you do not miss them at all.


You can achieve better avoidance of bowel cancer if you replace these things with more vegetables, and your bowel actually does a bit of vitamin extraction.  If you get rid of these things, you may also catch it early enough to avoid a lot of future fungal infections, cases of thrush etc.  My psoriasis, for example, only vanishes if I exclude everything apart from vegetables, grasses and seaweed.  Obviously this would be a struggle all the time, but it is now a managed situation, rather than something out of my control.


You do not need to eat meat


Having been a raw foodist, and settled on a non vegan version eventually, I have nothing against you eating meat, however, as someone from a country with generations of committed meat eaters, even I only really feel the need to eat fish or meat once every three weeks or so.  You certainly don’t need it every day, and you don’t even need it every week.  Too much of it sits in your system and rots, so be sparing and do not do it every day. This is another fallacy spread by the meat industry. If you do feel you must every day, make sure you balance it with twice as many vegetables as meat or fish.  Minimum.


The world is set up a certain way, you don’t need to be part of it


Sometimes the social difficulties of eating for your health are all too much, and you feel like giving up on yourself.  Don’t.  Just because everybody else can manage to eat off a normal menu and stuff a packet of crisps or whatever, down their throat without mishap, it doesn’t mean that you can.  Seriously.  I once put on almost two hundred pounds after trying for weeks to refuse to join one of my boyfriends in his love of pizza. It is that easy to mess up your gut bacteria, and end up craving all the things that made you ill before.  A person telling you to eat like them, and that all you have to do is eat less, does not understand your problem.


Step away from the computer


This is rich, coming from a confirmed geek like me, but I know how much easier it is to live your life through your keyboard.  If you are not careful, you will wake up after twenty years and wonder what happened.  You still feel the same, but the mirror tells you that you have just poured the best part of your life into a machine.  Take a month off it completely every year, leave your gadgets at home now and again, and see how much nicer your life is when you let yourself off the hook.




Cheese can do you a lot of damage, although it is extremely tasty.  You can replace it with nutritional yeast, which tastes similar but does not feed the bad gut bacteria.  Eventually you will not miss it.  It causes eye bags and slows your digestion.  The name of the game, if you have a weight problem, is getting the food to move faster.  Twisty is able to eat whatever he wants and pretty much just think about losing weight to lose it, because his system works like a sports car.  If you have a weight problem, it is likely that yours works more like a tractor.  Do not eat slow moving food.




Calories are not all the same.  Ketogenic diets (see low carbing)  allow you to eat more than conventional diets and still lose weight, so if you are active, this is the first thing you should look at.  The hazard is that one mistake costs you whatever weight of glycogen your liver is storing, which in my case also causes all sorts of fluid problems. If anyone is telling you to portion control, and that you are just weak willed, please try to remember that a lot of your ‘hunger’ is actually caused by imbalance in processing, and if you can get this right, in the form of ridding yourself of addictive and unhealthy food, you will feel and look a lot better extremely quickly without beating yourself up, or allowing anyone else to.




If you are a social creature, get yourself a dehydrator and make yourself some dried vegetable chips/crisps instead of conventional nibbles such as nuts, potato chips etc.  Much better for you, much tastier and very social.  Investigate raw vegan dips to go with them.  Pretty soon your thinner friends, who seem to have all the answers, will be asking you for advice. You can get a really good one for under £30 from outdoor activity centres, for hikers.


Do not allow anyone to damage your confidence, and do not stay in thinking that things will be better when you are thin.  Nothing changes when you are thin, except that you feel a bit better.  I have had the same handful of men hitting on me, fat or thin, for twenty five years.  Whatever they see in you, it isn’t your hot, hot ass, no matter what they tell you.



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Virtual Reality is coming

So, two computers are now complete.  I have taken a piece of garbage, which I kind of bought by accident along with a monitor and souped it back up to respectability for storage, and I have added some rocket fuel to my now somewhat elderly retired server. I am now awaiting two pieces of equipment to build a VR ready machine for around £300. If anyone is interested, I will post some instructions on how to get VR ready and mildly futureproofed for under £1000.


Why do I need a VR ready machine when I have little time to play games?  Because I plan to make some.


For those who question the usefulness of VR – here are the basics from wikipedia- What is VR


I think it is going to revolutionize education, personally, but I do not plan to leave it in the hands of dull witted educators to make a mess of it.  Learning is an adventure, not an excuse for a bunch of browbeaten and unimaginative people to access grants and hold interminable meetings.


How can I be so confident that I am capable of making VR games?  I spent a lot of time in Second life, and they are making a nice medium for me to work in.  You can read more about it here  Linden labs – Project Sansar


For this reason, I am aware that a lot of the products being launched this year are not quite as future friendly as they might appear on first glance. Looking but not touching, or using traditional gamer’s tools such as playstation controllers, for example, are things that will mean that you have to replace your expensive equipment within a couple of years


Playstation VR – looks very trendy but no thanks


Google Cardboard – a cheap way of seeing whether you like the idea of being blind and looking around a cartoon without much functionality.  The good thing about this is that it makes VR extremely cheap for smartphone users.


HTC Vive by far the best mainstream option as it at least enables you to wave your hands around a bit but no. I forsee a lot of peripheral footpads etc.


Oculus Rift I would like to be supportive but no.


Without some definition in terms of your real life body, VR is all floating hands and the novelty of watching things move about.  Limited in terms of long term value, but oooooooooh the potential.


Tesla Suit: Feel Virtual Reality With Your Body


Touch in VR goes in a predictable direction: VR sex suit sells out in hours


I can tell you that although these might be fun investments, and certainly the idea of a full body suit is far better than things that restrict you to visual or floating hand versions of VR, once Project Sansar is launched, it will be a matter of weeks before somebody posts instructions on how to make a far more comprehensive VR sex suit with a bit of old hessian webbing and a few improvised sensors they picked up on ebay.


Second Lifers are obsessive, they cannot be bothered with the real world, as the one you have more control of is a lot more interesting and colourful.  Rather than you spending all your money on commercial products, I would hazard a guess that if you choose instead to ensure that your computer is ready, you have a couple of monitors and you await developments from Sansar, it will take probably under a year before DIY VR becomes normality.  They are also rather keen on virtual sex, so if that is your thang, keep an eye on Sansar.


I have always been known as a rather uptight and foul tempered Second Lifer, so I am likely to create something more cultural, obscure and a bit surreal.  I do like things with an educational edge, although I am much more interested in alternative reality methods of presentation.  Roll on Sansar, and hurry up with the VR already.

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Two weeks on ten a day

An update for those who read this


Two days of ten a day


and who may or may not be interested in upping their fruit and vegetable intake to ten a day.


I have missed a couple of days due to either not eating at all, or being too busy to think about it,  but after two weeks – my skin is not back to its glorious normal, because not all the vegetables were raw, and there are not enough green vegetables in my diet as yet. I have not returned to my daily quotient of blueberries yet, preferring pineapple at the moment, so presumably I am eradicating excessive protein.


I no longer suffer from what I can only describe as hamstring pain in my legs going up and down stairs.  As I spend a great proportion of my day on stairs, fat or thin, this is quite important. Still have terrible pain in my left hand, but there is a muscle missing due to a car accident in 1994, so I am wondering whether this is biting me in the ass a tad.


Period has improved, although the Brain Fog, chest tightening, tiredness has not been eradicated.  After next month it should start to dissipate, but the anaemia has certainly gone.


Drinking more water, but I am thinking that I should return to a simple supermix in the mornings to ensure that I do this.  It is amazing how resistant I am, despite going to the trouble of ensuring that the vegetable intake is heading back to where it should be.


Successfully eradicated the consumption of rice, sugar, wheat, potato, coffee.  Still a little dairy over the last fortnight, but as I know this gives me eyebags, slows down my digestion and means I do not clear the generalized feeling of debility, I will be removing this completely after a visit to Wholefoods and the purchase of some nutritional yeast.  I have managed to go to the Chinese supermarket and procure some decent seaweed and spices, although Vitamin C is still my biggest issue at the moment.  I need an awful lot of it, and one pineapple a day does not cover it.


I also managed to purchase a quantity of amla, which is rather bitter, but when I add it to the supermix, is pretty much indetectable. Also invested in some SOD, and thinking about getting some Boswellia (aka frankincense) and Forskohli to add to the supermix, when I get around to starting on it.


Clothes now fit, and I have been able to landscape one of the supersized rosebeds and the giant rockery, alongside clearing about two tons of garden rubbish.  Still getting too tired and too breathless.  Cross fingers this will go after I cut out the dairy.


I do need to go for a walk after I put mother to bed every night, but with the rebuilding of the computer room and the epic saga of turning four bannisters into Victorian masterpieces I have been kind of busy.


Hair is still a bit on the thin side, but it is too long at the moment and I do not wish to shorten it when still this big. Otherwise feeling slightly better, apart from continued worry about my breathing and headaches.  It could be down to stress, but I suspect that after another two weeks it will turn out to be cooked food that caused it.


Hope that helps.

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Restaurant food politics

Many years ago, I spent a decade as a chef.  I moved every five months, on average, worked up to 120 hours a week, learned what I needed to learn and explored the vast (3 million unskilled jobs lost to the smoking ban in the UK) catering industry.
I had started as a waitress, earning more between tips and excessive hours than the owner of the restaurant I worked in, and quickly figured out that whilst the chefs had the scars, they also got to go home and earned more hourly than I did.
Anyway, what I learned, from working across the industry, was a lot of unexpected stuff about food politics.
You tend to get a lot fatter eating in a cheaper restaurant, because the food in cheaper restaurants consists of a lot more filler foods, such as cereals, potatoes, flour etc.  Deep frying is an excellent way of presenting such foods, and is crunchy, hot and tasty which is all a casual visitor really wants.  In one struggling establishment, I succeeded in making a burger so addictive that people were coming back three times a day for the same meal.  I achieved this by combining piquancy with salt and sugar, an apparently irresistible and satisfying combination.
In more expensive restaurants, where foods are very high quality, often take hours for a badly paid team to prepare, with smaller portions, you tend to shed this excess weight extremely quickly due to your workload.  One of my exs was voted the best chef in Western Europe (once upon a time), and he had me working from 7am until 3am the following morning, seven days a week.  Food is a very unrewarding art form at this level, but the challenge of creating a dish incorporating sweet, savoury, bitter, digestive, levels of crunchy, colour, flavour and texture is a fun creative exercise, not to mention the knowledge and skill acquirement of getting to work with more expensive materials.
If you then transfer these skills back to a cheaper restaurant, things get a lot more interesting.  I caused quite a stir with my venison and chocolate sausages with prune chutney once upon a time.  Sadly, the ex got quite jealous at that point.
The point for you in terms of your health is the idea that potatoes, flour, deep frying, the sugar and salt combination, sweet and heavy puddings are now considered filler foods for poorer people. This means that someone, somewhere makes a good margin of profit from such foods.  Shooting for quality in your diet means avoiding such foods in favour of fresh, well prepared, non processed food.
Likewise eating in Marrakech was fascinating.  Moroccans have the benefit of a strong export trade in fruit and vegetables, meaning that the bruised seconds available make eating a lot of these very simple, as long as you have plenty of bottled water to wash them with.  Meat is not always refrigerated, hence the very well cooked tagines they are famous for, and sugary mint tea is the norm. I was curious about this very warming and very cooked diet when I was there, and found out quite quickly that eating raw is something that becomes more difficult without a reliable clean water supply.  Hence the well cooked traditional dishes and the sugary tea.  Sometimes it is all you can keep down.
Scotland has a strong export trade in quality meat and fish, meaning that we have pies, haggis and sausages to use up our own ‘bruised seconds.’  Such is the influence of commerce.  Feed the population on the bits you don’t sell, and pretty soon you have a traditional diet full of off-cuts.
In conclusion, food is as political as fashion, and your diet, like your clothing, should reflect you and not what the whims of time dictate.  Eat as well as you can afford, and avoid filler foods as much as you can, because if it has been used as something to fill the stomachs of the poor, then you can bet it shortens your life.

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Gaming psychology

Well, there has been a lot of stress in rebuilding the computer room, and I am sure there will be more, but we are nearly operational again, with a bonus computer that I did not expect nestling between the two beasts (they sound like aircraft, I dread to think how much power they use)


As the plan is a personality driven series of games, I had a look around at game psychology.  Alter Ego is a very old text based game, but those interested can play it free.  I am shooting for something a little more delicate and fun, but I have trawled for something that goes in the same direction, and I think I might be onto a fairly original format for several different possible directions. There is no reason why it cannot be done, and yet it has not been done. Why not use your urge for entertainment and instant gratification for the purposes of self development?


So, I look up ‘personality driven games’ and I find the following personality tests for gamers.



The Multiplayer Psychology Profile  aka the Bartle Test 1996 – I am an anti-social achiever and explorer
The Four Player types test an alternative based on the Bartle Test – I am an innovative strategist

Then I try ‘gaming psychology’

Cognitive Benefits of playing computer games
The Psychology of Great Game Design
The Psychology of Video Game Play – low hanging fruit

This is not really hitting the mark for what I am looking for.  I did catch a fabulous BBC documentary on the psychology of gambling a year or so ago.  Did you know that gambling addicts are addicted to loss, rather than winning?  They believe that a series of losses makes a win more likely.


Having tried to be a gambler, and dismally failed due to my aversion to risk, despite playing a gambler’s game daily, I can say for sure that I do not have the gene for gambling addiction.  I have an unfortunate love of learning new things, and getting bored very quickly, however, which is why my life has been quite so complicated.  I am extremely useful, however, due to the ever-increasing skillset.


I then thought that gamification might be a useful thing to look up, and signed myself up on yet another course, only to find that it does not refer to educational gaming at all.  It is just another business buzzword for making marketing more appealing to millennials.  Sigh.


So, it looks as if I have a truly original idea.  So far, so good.  This should be fun. I was concerned about the lack of combat, and realised today that combat is really used as finite conversation in most games.  Only one percent of gamers are in it to kill other players, according to Bartle, the volume of killing is merely a quick easy reward system for avatar development and progress.


As my game will involve a lot of social interaction with NPC characters, I forsee my having to be a bit inventive with objects and progression.  I particularly dislike heavily story driven games, so I am likely to go for more of an organic, open scheme, which is going to get very complex with point allocation and reward/level progression.  To this end, I will be building a tycoon style game in the course of my self-training.


I think I have played sufficient relevant games to have a style in mind, and a clear idea of how the structure will work.  So now I just have to sit on my ass and learn languages and make games until I am ready to get on with it.


In the meantime I have an awful lot of research to do, so I am a happy, happy bunny.




Fact or fiction – video games are the future of education


Educational gaming commons


The educational benefits of video games


Gaming in education – gamification?


Teaching resources – educational games


Gamestar Mechanic

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Rhetoric for my beloved

Just in case Wolfe is now feeling rather neglected, I thought I would devote today’s blog post to buttering him up a bit.
Hopefully from the last few posts, he has now understood what I see that I have been pursuing from my safe position behind the curve of the Atlantic.  It took a long time to get there, and I did not expect that Conservative politics, of all things, would actually get me to the point, but there we are.  Unless Wolfe has decided to be deliberately obtuse, he should now have some idea why my particular journey makes perfect sense.
Feminine anger is a source of great fear for many sensitive souls, but it is not something that has no purpose or logic.  Admiration is a rather empty expression of rather superficial appeal, and often a well aimed jibe (or torpedo in my case) is a more caring and effective response than simply writing off one’s errors as evidence of a poor character.
I see a gem, wrapped in a cheaper and shinier wrapper for mass appeal.  I see a very intelligent and extremely thoughtful person who continues on a surprisingly emotional, and surprisingly lonely voyage through his very stressful and highly social chosen life.
Mistakes happen, people change as they grow, and we are all guilty of flippancy at different points of maturity. Having the strength of character and belief to continue on a tarnished path is not for the faint hearted.
Hopefully I have made Wolfe laugh a few times to make up for the bad days, as I have been witness to quite a few, before I decided that an even longer view was required.  I sincerely hope that his deceptively tiny empire, and extended network of influence proceeds and helps as many people on the way as possible.
PS. The nerve centre is nearly ready for the next thrilling installment of the Wolfe/Ina Disguise saga.  There will be a book or two during the construction of our interactive epic foray into the next generation.

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