Posts Tagged ‘Canaries’

As John Wayne might not have said 🙂

I have a confession to make. Back in 2013, I wrote a post called [Milk: Good Food? Bad Food?] where having suffered from a number of chest infections a good dear friend of mine who, if she is reading this will probably throw her arms up in despair and come round to box my ears, advised me to cut out milk and related products. As I so wanted, nay, needed, to get back out cycling and I did actually quite like the idea of breathing, I did as I was told and the differences were remarkable. I’m not saying I was cured but my breathing did improve and yes, I did get back out on my bike and did actually build up to doing 50 – 60 miles rides so that I could take part in a 500 mile cycle challenge though France which consisted of 7-days cycling included 70, 80, or even 90 mile rides. And it felt so good. Podge was back in the saddle. Still fat, but back in the saddle nevertheless.

Sadly, having completed the cycle challenge, my bike was returned to the garage and I fell once into a life of dietary abuse. Yes, I went back to milk products. The lure of Shreddies and CoCo Pops was just too great.  It’s important to note that I could of course justify my actions thus:

  • Shreddies are full of roughage so good for weight management;
  • Scientists, doctors & professors had responded (mainly via LinkedIn) to my article on Milk  to say that there was little or no evidence to suggest that Milk was bad for respiratory problems;
  • Shreddies gave me energy;
  • My breathing was fine now so no need to worry;
  • I had my 60th Birthday and my Wedding Cruise to get through;
  • I liked my Shreddies.

Naturally, and conveniently, I ignored the fact that so many other people with respiratory problems had also responded to my post to the effect that Yes, Milk had been shown to be bad and cutting it from their diets made dramatic improvement.

Thinking back, I find it curious that those in the know (doctors, professors, etc.), really don’t know and those supposedly not in the know (those that actually suffer) actually do know a great deal: They certainly do know that when they cut out milk, the difference is quickly apparent.

Of course, through those winter months and of course my two P&O cruises, all milk related matters faded into obscurity. I’m sorry again Liz. And I gorged my way around the Canaries. I abused my digestive systems all through Christmas and then I just went overboard (no pun intended) in gluttony as we sailed around Australia and on to Singapore.

Then, in March, my health took a turn for the worse which was exacerbated (see, I do know big words) by the worst air pollution London (where I work) has seen for many, many years. This time however, I was really bad, to the point of being frightened, almost to the point of wishing I didn’t have to breathe any more. The Vets, sorry, doctors, put me on a course of steroids and antibiotics. I ate all these up but there was no improvement: walking from bedroom to bathroom still left me fighting to breath. The Vets 🙂 gave me a load more steroids and some seriously sting antibiotics. I ate all these. Still no change, though I diid notice the antibiotics had a strange effect on me, with each tablet having a similar effect to that of eating a tin beans: In hindsight, thats the only effect they had on me. I was still struggling. I went back to the Vets. They were perplexed. I had no infection but I was clearly fighting to breath. So they tried  putting me on water tablets(!). These were supposed to help get rid of any water retention (I made the mistake of telling them that I had developed Cankles while on holiday, which I normally do). Still no effect. I’d had enough: I didn’t know what to do: it was genuinely getting me down, and frightened. And then I had a eureka moment.

As I sat on the Sofa, tucking into my bowl of Shreddies, mixed with Cheerios, I suddenly remembered what I’d been told back in 2013 (sorry again Liz) and I’d actually advocated. Milk, yes, Milk is bad for people with respiratory problems. And not just milk, but products related to milk, such as cheese, which I happen to enjoy as well; though not with my cereals of course, were also bad. And as I sat there, ‘enjoying’ my breakfast even though every spoonful was followed by a fight to draw breath once more, I knew the answer: I had always known the answer. My dear friend Liz had given me the answer yet I’d fallen by the wayside once more. Some people are addicted nicotine (I once was myself, cue COPD); some people are addicted to alcohol (I’m not, but I do like it, honest, I’m not, I just like it, a lot 🙂 ); some idiots are addicted to narcotics (best of luck to them): I however am addicted to Milk, and I needed to kick the habit: I’ve beaten Nicotine addiction so milk should be a doodle. And so, with that thought, I made the  break.

24 hours makes all the difference

24 hours really does make all the difference because having taken milk and milk related products out of my diet, the very next day saw a marked improvement, an improvement that has continued to be so on a day by day basis. My breathing is easier, I’m more relaxed and almost a pleasure to be around. I’m not cured, but I’m getting better. I’m still fat but I’ll get thinner. I’m still old and, I’m glad to say, I’ll get older (a couple of times over the past couple of weeks I did wonder about that). I’m still ugly, but then the Good Lord decided that ugly I would be so I’ll probably stay ugly. Though, as I have told Mrs Me on a number of occasions, I am quite a catch so maybe not so ugly after all. The main point is, my breathing is improving and so long as I stay away from milk, and lose a bit of weight, my breathing should continue to improve. I hope so, I’ve a garage full of bicycles screaming out to be ridden.

And so with that, I really am getting of my milk and riding my bike.

And I don’t care if the effect is Psychosomatic or the consequence of withdrawing milk, the result is the same: I can breath.

Go Podge, go.



Today, I Espied a Whale

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Cruising, P&O, Travel
Tags: , , , ,

Actually, I didn’t see any whales at all. The title was aspirational: all I want see is one little, or big, whale, but so far all I’ve seen is sea. And of course the occasional landfall. Yes, that’s right, after sailing all night, we have found another island. I was going to name this island The Land of Folded Hills but it would seem that the island has already been discovered and is known as La Palma.

Newsflash: Mrs Me actually came out of her slumber in time to see us arrive. I think this is a first

As we had no pre-booked excursions we had the luxury of time and so we were able to enjoy a relaxed breakfast while looking out over to the island through the early morning rain and resultant rainbows.breakfast this morning was indeed a lovely experience. Mrs Me didn’t even moan about two fried eggshell had hidden under the scrambled eggs, bean, mushrooms, sausage, etc., etc. Yum Yum.

We then planned to our 3.2 laps of the Oceana but the maintenance men had other ideas and closed parts off. So, that plan thwarted, we went ashore and elected to walk into town instead of taking the shuttle bus.

I have to say,Santa Cruz de la Palma, the capital of La Palma, where we were berthed (see, I know all the nautical terms) is quite the nicest of towns and probably one that I / we would happily come back to for a few days. The town just felt welcoming, relaxed & happy; especially the bars. Of course there were other shops but I was canny. Leaving for town so late meant that before long it was siesta time and most of the shops shut for lunch until 17:00. What a result. During this time, I did find a rather nice jewellers who had a stunning array of pendants and gold chains which of course I did point out to Mrs Me: this was when she realised it was siesta time, and smacked my, already cauliflower, ear. 😦

After such trauma, I clearly needed to find a bar where we could sit, relax, enjoy a beer and watch the word go by; a world by the way that consisted mostly of passengers and crew from the Oceana. But would you believe it, we had found a bar that, itself, was closing down for a siesta. So we finished our beers and headed back to the boat.

We reached the boat just as lunch was finishing. Crickey I thought, what am I to do. It’s another hour until tea time (sandwiches & cakes), how am I going to manage? Well, fear not. All we had to do was head to the sun deck where we found the Horizon Grill. Here they would cook just about anything that goes with chips to order. So, fish, chips and mushy peas were ordered, cooked, delivered and consumed, and all washed down with a nice glass of Rioja. Lovely.

Looking forward to this evening, we have two birthdays that I know of; one on our table and even more importantly, my new hero who is 100 years young today. What a legend. I just so want there to be 100 balloons over his table.

Anyway, we’ve checked the charts and it’s quite a short trip, by-passing Tenerife (why I thought we were going to Tenerife I have no idea) to our next port of call, which is Gran Canaria. Perhaps we’ll see some whales on the way!