Racing to the end of the year and a period of extra indulgence it was a great time to check in with Professor Naveed Sattar of Glasgow University who was giving one of the varied, topical and high quality Public lectures at Newcastle University: the topic this Tuesday was “Cholesterol, statins…. the truth…”. This service from the University was a “find” of the season and although it overlaps very much with my Explore lecture programme it is one I will be following up in the New Year. Topics are truly varied, with timing and venue ideal.
My knowledge of the subject could be written on the inside of a cigarette packet, if I could find one!. The topic is heavily and well researched (I was told), statins do benefit and are becoming much cheaper due to looming patent expiry, statins can be for a period and not just for life and continue to generate benefits if stopped, and don’t automatically extend expected life if started too late, lifestyle and genetics more key to longevity than just diet (10%-20% impact at most on level) although more fibre strong recommendation from a warm and knowledgeable expert whose own family had a history of strokes in and around the age of 50. Far from a theoretical boffin this gem.
I still enjoy my Age UK volunteering as a Befriendee which is a feature of most Wednesday late afternoons. Visiting someone elderly who in my case is now in her mid 90’s takes between 60-90 mins plus travel. Chatting and listening a pleasant task and knowing that my time is appreciated priceless. Coming to a time of festivities its also a reminder that many elderly are alone at this time through no fault other than that their friends in age group have succumbed to death.
By Friday it was back to another good festive cheer event and catch up with someone I had worked with before. Drinks and a lovely early evening meal at Browns in Grey bit not grey street Newcastle before returning to “Scratch the Surface” in my local who were in my opinion pleasant without being great. Yoga on Saturday was challenging lol
After research on Friday with local travel agent
supplemented by internet price check I have booked 2 weeks in Gambia from 2nd
January. Do not know what 2016 will bring but I have had a great Personal year,
a very poor Work year and am particularly pleased with my Family life. But no
holidays others than a few days in Ireland in April and a weekend down south.
That is flipping awful. Did a calculation on all my credit facilities which are
largely unutilised and decided that despite the workless stretch this year that
I would afford a holiday with thanks to plastic. Question to local Agent was where
could I go that would give me warmth and something different. Prior questions
have resulted in answers Morocco / Tunisia and it is along those lines that my
natural curiosity is aligned. Only an idiot would realise that terrorism is
blighting potential areas eg Egypt at this time of year. Canaries or Gambia was
offered, latter selected and the biggest problem was getting to an airport that
flies at required dates. An extra £100 to fly on 2nd rather than 1st
but could not get to an airport in time on the 1st. Crazy country where public transport seems to
exist for purpose of work not pleasure. Now booked. Checking out inoculations
and will take my malaria tablets. Something experienced in the Congo before and
not avoidable with tablets when living but certainly avoidable for holidays.
The saturday lecture (2nd last of this season) was on Edith Wharton upon one of whose books the movie "age of innocence" was based. Another quality writer for me to follow up on. another door opened to another writer upon whom my knowledge was zilch on Friday.
Pre christmas nails as the main design comes later