Friday, 28 October 2016

West Mid University Hospital - Isleworth - West London

Image result for West Mid Hospital

For sure I know I have no control over two aspects of my life, that of arrival and the other departure. The time in between is undetermined and I guess we all have a rather indoctrinated sense of self preservation and survival coping with our daily routines.

That survival and control of course is shattered when an unlikely event and without understanding illness arrives. Whether minor or severe – suddenly we have to depend on others goodwill and professionalism to try and guide us through what we don’t understand.

Every day we are surrounded by danger and hopefully never succumb to its consequences but for those who do the journey becomes a whirlwind of fear and sometimes angst.

Of course friends and neighbours rally, offering to supply anything they can provide, or to provide warmth of care and support. Then we have to give ourselves up to the Medical professionals.

A team of dedicated people that includes Doctors, Nurses and ancillary staff who work tirelessly with passion and devotion, trying to make the world a better and healthier place for us all. None of them enter the profession wishing to intentionally harm anyone and are forever mindful that life itself balances on a very fine thread.

Medicine has evolved to such complexity now, the expectations are ever higher of what we layman expect we are entitled to, and all for free.

No person is infallible but oh how we complain when our own selfishness is not satisfied, or we lose control of our very being.

My recent experience at WMUH has to be one of extreme gratitude and admiration for the teams in A & E, AEC and AMU for their joviality and persistence in striving to keep their moral fibre intact and getting the job done against a constant barrage of criticism from patients, media and press. It’s an irony isn’t it; hospitals could be great places if it didn’t have patients.

It takes no effort to be grateful, share a smile and to say ‘Thank you’ as many do, but it only takes one person to take the “cream off the cake”

I am a firm advocate of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. A gift or a gesture offered to a deserving person or group who try by their very actions to make a difference to others lives selflessly and without expectation of a receipt of gratitude. If we all appreciated and respected each other, what a lovely world we would live in.

So to all the teams on A&E, AEC and AMU - a huge ‘Thank you’ for a job well done.

Thankfully you have enabled me to go out once more and do my work.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, 
and even elephants lumber after safety.

When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence,
their senses eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly. 
Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid,
promised walks never taken.

Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us.

Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away.

We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold caves.

And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always

Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed. 

We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.

Maya Angelou

Thursday, 14 July 2016

All Things Crustacean - July 2016

Our Third Gathering for Good Food - 
Good Wine and Good Company

All Things Crustacean

Champagne Deutz Rose 2008

Gazpacho Andaluz with Tiger Prawns

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Private Bin, The Exquisite Collection. NZ.

King Scallops with Prime Smoked Streaky & Mushrooms

Chateau l’Hospitalet 2013
Coteaux du Languedoc

Lambs Lettuce with Asparagus and Nelson Road Walnuts dressed with Hazelnut Oil and Balsamic

Vigneto du Lot Soave Classico 2013 Inama, Veneto Italy

Lobster Newburg and Mousseline of Fish
Wilja Rosties

Sancerre 2014, Cedrick Bardin

Toasted Shropshire Blue with Melon and Tomato Chutney

Cotes du Rhone 2015, Pierre Chanau

Summer Fruit Compote, Madagascar Vanilla Custard and Meringue

Weinrieder 2011, Eiswein Riesling Schneiderberg, Austria

Ariyanas Dulce 2008, Bodegas Bentomiz, Spain

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Confucius Did Not Say

             but would have, if he had thought a bit more!

Man who wants pretty nurse, must be patient.

Passionate kiss, like spider web, leads to undoing of fly.

Lady who goes camping must beware of evil intent.

Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.

Man who runs in front of car gets tired... Man who runs behind car gets exhausted.

Man who eats many prunes gets good run for money.

War does not determine who is right; it determines who is left.

Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.

It takes many nails to build a crib but only one screw to fill it.

Man who drives like hell is bound to get there.

Man who stands on toilet is high on pot.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs.


"A lion will not cheat on his wife, but a Tiger Wood!"

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Reunion des Gastronomes Dinner at The Guards Museum Monday 16th May 2016


Cattier Brut White Label  Champagne

Grilled Fillet of Red Mullet
Watercress & Celeriac Puree, Saffron Sauce
Selection of Breads

Vouvray, demi-sec, Auguste Bonhomme 2013 Anjou - Touraine

Fillet of Highland Beef
Topped with Lanark Blue Cheese Crumble
Port Wine Jus
Dauphinoise Potatoes, Roasted Parsnips
Glazed Turnips, Wilted Bay Spinach Leaf

Château Bousquet, Graves 2012 Left Bank Bordeaux

Banana & Toffee Profiterole
Warm White Chocolate Anglaise
Hazel Nut Ice Cream

Licor de Tannat 2007 Gimenez Mendez Las Brujas, Montevideo

Slow Cooked Chicken Liver
& Smoked Streaky Bacon
Sweet & Sour Drizzle
Rich Roast Coffee
Chocolate Truffles

Barão de Vilar Late Bottled Vintage Port  2010

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Social Media a New Age of Communication


Are you frustrated watching the younger generation attached to what seems every waking hour of the day attached to the appendage of their mobile device or wonder at their ability to be glued to the magic screen of the computer or any other gismo that gives them access to the worldwide web?
Then you may well come from a generation that used phones at the bottom of the road and when you wanted to know something you either asked somebody or went to the local library. Failing that you had a quill and ink or equivalent and wrote a letter to a person or sent a card. Letters to family in Australia could takes months and a response well who knows.

Nothing has changed so fast and so dramatically in the last 100 and more years than that which has developed in the past 20 so far as communication technology. The ultimate intrusion to our calm ordered lives which has seen the development of the Instant Age – Instant Coffee – Instant Tea – Ready Meals – Instant Porridge. Actually few people now know the rudiments of cooking or care that much and now we have a generation who either do care or don’t care about this new era.  One thing is for sure communication and the speed at which it can be transferred is NOT going to go away. So if you think that by putting your head in the sand hoping it will pass you by, then think again –

Somebody somewhere, is or has been talking about YOU on the Internet whether you are part of it or not or whether you like it or not.

So maybe you do remember how you used to meet people or engage with them. This would depend on whether you categorised them as friends – acquaintances – business related connections or other. At school you had class mates – some you liked some you didn’t. The same applied to work colleagues. Then you might have met fellow parents on the school run or people in the park whilst walking the dog. The engagements with people varied. Some endure and some move on and past by – some we contact at Christmas or just once a year. Either way these people have played a part in our lives in some way or other.

How many of us have been asked if they knew of somebody who did decorating or plumbing. Have you given a name or a contact that was familiar to you? One of the ways the freemasons worked – knowing a fellow colleague ‘on the square’ and recommending them to another brother. This is categorised now as ‘Networking’ or as Deborah Kerr sang ‘Getting to Know You’‘Being Social’

Many have lived with colour television - some can remember black and white and some crystal radios. An AGE not so many years ago in the history of the world but an AGE away from what we have now and of no interest to the young of today who have no time for such stories or nostalgia.

We have brought them up in the Instant Age and yet some if us refuse or have chosen not to join them and enjoy the benefits of it.

Engagement with another person involves dialogue. Some stories you tell some you keep secret. Some you share, some you don’t, some of it is gossip or hearsay or tittle tattle it is like that and nothing more. At the end of the day much of it doesn’t really matter unless it is factual or relevant to the person/persons in receipt.

Regrettably one skill we seem to have lost not only in this but many other applications of life and that is Etiquette or having consideration and respect for our fellow beings.

So maybe my waffling has gone on enough but now we have to introduce Media - a tool of communication. Whether Television, Radio, Newspapers or Cinema. These are all ways that we receive information and some of it is intrusive some of it we ignore. Most of this we just go along with and have no recourse or ability to respond on whether we like it or not – it is a one way flow of traffic........................

NOW let’s add SOCIAL into the equation and put MEDIA to that. We get the application of the earlier paragraphs and add the later ones and arrive at SOCIAL MEDIACommunication in both directions over the Internet.

The Internet is a library of information which has very few boundaries. Just type in your name on one of the many search engines and see what turns up –
you will be amazed or even shocked at what you see or find. Our minds are a catalogue of enquiry and questions absorbing information constantly and now it is all at our finger tips 24 hours a day.

Communication with family across the globe is a mere press of a button and with cam cameras you can actually see each other too. In addition you have all this facility too in the palm of your hand if you have one of the new generations of ‘Smart ‘mobile phones.

Where will it all take us I am sure we all wonder – but the technology continues to develop and is so far limitless. The old TV series of space age imagined gismos are now a reality and will continue to be for sure.

So in conclusion.  

Do not expound your thoughts on Social Media if you don’t understand it – be honest and admit you don’t.
Do not dismiss it – over 1.5 billion monthly users around the world. 1.038 billion daily.  The highest users at present average age are about 15 – 34 – 91% – the next growth area is expected to be the older generations as they grasp the concept. The country with highest number of users – Canada.
Do not enter into or start a site – before you do some research and get some advice or information of what to do or not to do.
Do not talk about the wrongs of it –until you have set up your choices, security settings and your preferences, correctly. 
Do not put things – on the site that might offend others or cause controversy or that you might regret late in life

And most importantly

Do not let this wonderful world of technology pass you by....LEARN and don’t stagnate or become a crusty old dinosaur and become extinct.

Monday, 8 February 2016

To what we should all aspire

The Art of the Email

In days of past we sent letters beautifully crafted in our own hand, thoughtful words and construction. Today our busy lives afford faster communication and many times a retort to an email can be thoughtless, reactionary or whimsical. If you tell a dog he's been naughty in a jovial tone he will wag his tail as if ha has been a good boy. If you say sternly he will get the message that he has been naughty. Emails have no tone so should not be written as if having a conversation with someone. They are a "written word" and must have thought applied, so as not to be misunderstood or or be upsetting to the recipient.

So here are a few tips that perhaps we should all aspire to in the essence of good etiquette 

    Sending Emails

  1. Make sure your e-mail includes a courteous greeting and closing. Helps to make your e-mail not seem demanding or terse.
  2. Address your contact with the appropriate level of formality and make sure you spelled their name correctly.
  3. Spell check – emails with typos are simply not taken as seriously.
  4. Read your email out loud to ensure the tone is that which you desire. Try to avoid relying on formatting for emphasis; rather choose the words that reflect your meaning instead. A few additions of the words “please” and “thank you” go a long way!
  5. Be sure you are including all relevant details or information necessary to understand your request or point of view. Generalities can many times cause confusion and unnecessary back and forths.
  6. Are you using proper sentence structure? First word capitalized with appropriate punctuation? Multiple instances of !!! or ??? are perceived as rude or condescending.
  7. If your email is emotionally charged, walk away from the computer and wait to reply. Review the Sender’s email again so that you are sure you are not reading anything into the email that simply isn’t there.
  8. If sending attachments, did you ask first when would be the best time to send? Did you check file size to make sure you don’t fill the other side’s inbox causing all subsequent e-mail to bounce?
  9. Refrain from using the Reply to All feature to give your opinion to those who may not be interested. In most cases replying to the Sender alone is your best course of action.
  10. Make one last check that the address or addresses in the To: field are those you wish to send your reply to.
  11. Be sure your name is reflected properly in the From: field. Jane A. Doe (not jane, jane doe or JANE DOE).
  12. Type in complete sentences. To type random phrases or cryptic thoughts does not lend to clear communication.
  13. Never assume the intent of an email. If you are not sure — ask so as to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
  14. Just because someone doesn’t ask for a response doesn’t mean you ignore them. Always acknowledge emails from those you know in a timely manner.
  15. Be sure the Subject: field accurately reflects the content of your email.
  16. Don’t hesitate to say thank you, how are you, or appreciate your help!
  17. Keep emails brief and to the point. Save long conversations for the old fashioned telephone.
  18. Always end your emails with “Thank you,” “Sincerely,” “Take it easy,” “Best regards” – something!
  19. Formatting Emails

  20. Do not type in all caps. That’s yelling or reflects shouting emphasis.
  21. If you bold your type, know you are bolding your statement and it will be taken that way by the other side – X10!
  22. Do not use patterned backgrounds. Makes your email harder to read.
  23. Stay away from fancy fonts — only the standard fonts are on all computers.
  24. Use emoticons sparingly to ensure your tone and intent are clear.
  25. Typing your emails in all small case gives the perception of lack of education or laziness.
  26. Refrain from using multiple font colors in one email. It makes your email harder to view and can add to your intent being misinterpreted.
  27. Use formatting sparingly. Instead try to rely on choosing the most accurate words possible to reflect your tone and avoid misunderstandings in the process.
  28. Email Attachments

  29. When sending large attachments, always “zip” or compress them before sending.
  30. Never send large attachments without notice! Always ask what would be the best time to send them first.
  31. Learn how to resample or resize graphics to about 600 pixels in width before attaching them to an email. This will greatly reduce download time.
  32. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know.
  33. Be sure your virus, adware and spyware programs are up to date and include scanning of your emails and attachments both incoming and outgoing.
  34. It is better to spread multiple attachments over several emails rather than attaching them all to one email to avoid clogging the pipeline.
  35. Make sure the other side has the same software as you before sending attachments or they may not be able to open your attachment. Use PDF when possible.
  36. To, From, CC, BCc, RR, Subject:

  37. Only use Cc: when it is important for those you Cc: to know about the contents of the email. Overuse can cause your emails to be ignored.
  38. Don’t use Return Receipt (RR) on every single email. Doing so is viewed as intrusive, annoying and can be declined by the other side anyway.
  39. Include addresses in the To: field for those who you would like a response from.
  40. Include addresses in the Cc: field for those who you are just FYI’ing.
  41. Make sure your name is displayed properly in the From: field.
  42. Remove addresses from the To:, CC; and BCc: field that don’t need to see your reply.
  43. Always include a brief Subject. No subject can get your email flagged as spam.
  44. Think about your motives when adding addresses to To:, CC:, BCc. Use your discretion.
  45. Never expose your friend’s or contact’s email address to strangers by listing them all in the To: field. Use BCc:!
  46. Make sure when using BCc: that your intentions are proper. To send BCc: copies to others as a way of talking behind someone’s back is inconsiderate.
  47. Email Forwarding

  48. Don’t forward emails that say to do so–no matter how noble the cause may be. Most are hoaxes or hooey and may not be appreciated by those you send to.
  49. If someone asks you to refrain from forwarding emails they have that right and you shouldn’t get mad or take it personally.
  50. When forwarding email, if you cannot take the time to type a personal comment to the person you are forwarding to–then don’t bother.
  51. Don’t forward anything without editing out all the forwarding >>>>, other email addresses, headers and commentary from all the other forwarders.
  52. If you must forward to more than one person, put your email address in the TO: field and all the others you are sending to in the BCc: field to protect their email address from being published to those they do not know. This is a serious privacy issue!
  53. Be careful when forwarding email on political or controversial issues. The recipient may not appreciate your POV.
  54. Email and Perception, Privacy, Copyright

  55. Choose your email address wisely. It will determine, in part, how you are perceived.
  56. Try not to make assumptions when it comes to email. Always ask for clarification before you react.
  57. Posting or forwarding of private email is copyright infringement — not to mention downright rude. You need permission from the author first!
  58. Even though it isn’t right; emails are forwarded to others. Keep this in mind when typing about emotional or controversial topics.
  59. When there is a misunderstanding by email, don’t hesitate to pick up the old fashioned telephone to work things out!
  60. Know that how you type, and the efforts you make or don’t make will indicate what is important to you and if you are an educated courteous person.
  61. If you forward an email that turns out to be a hoax, have the maturity to send an apology follow up email to those you sent the misinformation to.
  62. When filling out a contact form on a Web site, do so carefully and with clarity so your request is taken seriously.
  63. If a friend puts your e-mail address in the To: field with others you do not know, ask them to no longer expose your address to strangers without your permission.
  64. Business Email

  65. Think of your business email as though it was on your business letterhead and you’ll never go wrong!
  66. If you cannot respond to an email promptly, at the very least email back confirming your receipt and when the sender can expect your response.
  67. Emailing site owners about your product or service through the site form is still spam. Ask them if they want more info first!
  68. When replying to emails always respond promptly and edit out unnecessary information from the post you are responding to.
  69. Formality is in place as a courtesy and reflects respect. Assume the highest level of formality with new email contacts until the relationship dictates otherwise. Refrain from getting too informal too soon in your email communications.
  70. Never send anyone an email they need to unsubscribe from when they didn’t subscribe in the first place!
  71. Be very careful how you use Reply to All and Cc: in a business environment. Doing so for CYA or to subtlety tattle can backfire and have your viewed as petty or insecure.
  72. When replying to an email with multiple recipients noted in the To: or Cc: fields, remove the addresses of those who your reply does not apply to.
  73. Never send business attachments outside of business hours and confirm that the format in which you can send can be opened by the other side.
  74. Chat, IM, Texting

  75. When Texting or participating in IM and Chat, try not to be overly cryptic or your meaning can be misread.
  76. Use Instant Messaging (IM) for casual topics or informational briefs. IM is not the place for serious topics or confrontational issues.
  77. Start by always asking if the person you are IMing is available and if it is a good time to chat. Refrain from IMing during meetings or when your attention is required.
  78. Practice communicating briefly and succinctly.
  79. Always consider if calling the other party on the phone is better when Texting about sensitive topics.
  80. IMing is not an excuse to forget your grade school education.
  81. If you are not a smooth multi-tasker, do not continue multiple IM sessions and leave folks hanging while you communicate with others.
  82. Learn how to use the features of your IM program. Specifically your “busy” and “away” message features.
  83. Never IM under an alias to take a peek at friends’ or associates’ activities.
  84. Take into consideration who you are communicating with to determine the acronyms and emoticons that should be used – if at all.
  85. Social Media, Blogs and Forums

  86. Keep in mind when Tweeting, on Facebook or message boards that you are in a global arena.
  87. When discussions get out of control; don’t stoop to name-calling or profanities. You are better than that!
  88. In forums, keep your signature file to no more than 2-3 lines.
  89. Keep commercialism to no more than a link at the end of your comment or contribution.
  90. Stay on topic and discuss issues only relative to the thread/topic in question.
  91. If new to a group or forum, “lurk” for awhile to get a feel for the community and personalities of the regulars before you post.
  92. Never give out personal information or specifics to your location on online — nor should you give out the personal information of others!
  93. Keep in mind there will always be differences of opinion. Try to remain objective and not personalize issues.
  94. Don’t fall for trolls. Trolls are folks who will post rude comments just to get a rise out of everyone.
  95. Be sure to down edit, or remove any part of the post you are replying to that is no longer necessary to the ongoing conversation.
  96. Email Considerations…

  97. Before getting upset because you perceive someone didn’t respond, check to see if their reply was inadvertently deleted or sent to your Trash or Junk folder.
  98. With emotionally charged emails, wait until the next morning to see if you feel the same before clicking Send.
  99. Feel free to modify the Subject: field to more accurately reflect a conversation’s direction.
  100. When it comes to your email communications, know who you can trust; trust only those you know.
  101. Take the time to review each email before clicking Send to ensure your message is clear and you are relaying the tone that you desire.
  102. Never use an old email to hit reply and start typing about an entirely new topic.
  103. Regardless of how noble a forwarded email may be, don’t just forward without investigating its authenticity @
  104. Always add the email addresses of Web sites and new contacts immediately to your approved senders or address book so they get through Spam filters.
  105. Before completing a Web site’s Contact form; make an effort to review the site to be sure the information you seek is not already available.
  106. Take a quick look at the e-mails in your Trash before you delete them just in case a good e-mail landed there by mistake.
  107. If any email states to forward to all your friends, or just 5 people — do everyone a favor and just hit delete!
  108. Don’t mass e-mail people who didn’t ask to be on your personal “mailing list”.
  109. Double check that your adware, spyware and virus programs are set to automatically update at least once each week so the software knows what to protect you from.
  110. And finally… Type unto others as you would have them type unto you!