Archives for category: Health

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
My deep seated fear of dentists comes from an event in my formative years that has left me deeply scared and general afraid of having my teeth prodded or poked in any way. While I was in hospital having my wisdom teeth extracted at the age of 17, I woke up on the operating table. I still have a vivid recollection of blood, my blood, and lots of it, and a general commotion amongst the staff involved. It wasn’t for long, seconds rather than minutes, and when I awoke in my hospital bed it seemed rather like a bad dream. My recovery was long and slow, and I’ve never felt less inspired by professionals since that moment.

I’ve had the odd brush (no pun intended) with dentistry in the intervening years. Some how I managed to maintain two of my milk teeth and about 10 years ago had to finally loose one of them (I still have the other and he’s doing just fine). That called for a visit to a dental chair, and not one that I enjoyed. The pain was long lasting and only served to reinforce my feelings on the subject.

Alongside the physical pain of dental work, there’s the financial pain as well. This is something that really grates on me. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that a trained professional deserves to be remunerated appropriately for their skill and execution of what is really minor surgery. What I don’t understand is why we bother getting the NHS involved ? It seems to me that NHS dentistry is a lost cause.

If you can find one (and it’s a big if), your friendly NHS dentist will be possibly the most overworked man on the planet. Because the cost of the service is subsidised by the taxpayer (via the government) it’s very reasonably priced, and as such in great demand. In fact, in some areas, mine included, demand is so high that the first available appointment may not be for a month. Of course, if it’s an emergency, there is a system in place for this too. A special number you call where miraculously they’ll find you a dentist. Of course, a pre-requisite for this is that they answer the phone. I’m sure you’re starting to understand the frustration. In the end, I’ve sadly thrown in the towel on the NHS dental system and shelled out the big bucks. There’s only so much pain one can take. I did some background research for good local dentists and paid 35 quid to talk to a receptionist. That said, a hour later I was sat in the chair and an hour after that I was back home with a wad of cotton wool in my gums, half a numb face and £100 quid and two teeth lighter.

They were a pleasure to deal with and I think this tiny dentists surgery tucked away a few hundred yards from home might just be the people to restore my faith in the dental profession. I’m sure the fact that they’ve alleviated my pain is clouding my judgement somewhat, but for now that was the best money I’ve spent this year.

I’ve kept the monster tooth, just to scare the kiddies with a Christmas and birthday parties. I might have it mounted.

Image

Take care, and brush your teeth.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

So now it feels like it’s properly April although after such stunning weather over the weekend you might well have thought it was summer already.

This one’s just a quick diary catchup, just so I’m keeping track of the comings and goings, the why’s and wherefores, the strikes and the gutters. In this case, that means what the hell have I been up to in the last week? I mean I’ve mentioned a few things, and there’s been a couple of photo’s, but I do appear to have somewhat slipped from the habit of writing an entry everyday.

In part this is because of the distractions that the new year has brought. Work has changed dramatically and so I’ve been re-aligning myself to it. Bizarrely, I’m starting to get a bit of a kick out of it again. Something that hasn’t been the case for more than a couple of years. However, I’m all too aware of the fragility of the place. Things can disappear as quickly as they arrive, and vicky verky (which roughly translated means vice-versa)

Perhaps I should resolve to return to 750words.com, which is after all, what got me into this mess in the first place. I might take a poke around at it if schedules permit, but let’s not count any chickens.

The other thing that’s diverted me is the use of instagr-am. Without doubt the coolest photography app on the iPhone, I find myself using it to document goings on without writing anything. I know they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but then they say all sorts of things don’t they. Many of which are just old wives and grandmothers tales. The immediacy of posting a photo to the blog is a big draw and apparently so much so that it is becoming my shorthand for writing an entry of any substance. It’s not a situation I’m particularly over-the-moon about.

I like words. No, that’s not right. I love words. They are solid concrete things that explain how the world around me looks, and feels and works and yet at the same time, they are malleable and as such I can bend them to my very will. I can use them to create beautiful structures, bold sentences and bull sh1t, as well as alliteration. (I see what you did there -Ed) They are immensely powerful and instantly disposable. Just like the old newspaper saying: “Today’s headline is just tomorrow’s chip wrapper” *. From Shakespeare to swearing and back again, words are a heavenly device, hence my feeling I should write more and photograph less.

For the geeks who were wondering how that hangs together…. A photo in my library or taken from within instagr-am itself is posted to the instagr-am site, Twitter, Posterous, Facebook and if it has location info attached to it, checks me in on Foursquare all simultaneously. The Posterous entry can then also create entries for Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress. You can see the appeal. Click-post-disseminate. Simples.

None of this is telling you about my week though is it. It is just procrastination which avoids the subject and diverts us away from the stated aims. So let’s get to it….

Monday – work, Tuesday – work, Wednesday – work, Thursday – work (and WTC very poorly administered by Jugs), Friday – work. I would like to expand on the work details, but I’ve signed an NDA, so I could tell you, but the I’d have to have you “taken care of” to put it as politely as possible. Besides that, the Badman puts it so much better than I. You really should take a look at http://badmansjournal.blogspot.com/.

Friday night was a short bike ride (4 miles) with daughter on which I nearly died. I kid you not. At the time I was very concerned about my health and felt I might actually have been near some sort of heart malfunction. After some recuperation however, I’ve drawn the conclusion that there were actually four factors that contributed to my in-the-region-of-death experience (it wasn’t that near).

1: Illness. I’ve had a cold/flu thing over the last couple of weeks which I haven’t fully shaken off. It’s definitely on the wane now though. I suspect that my oxygen flow was far from at it’s peak with much coughing and spluttering.

2: Daughters Pace. She is after all, only 21 and as fit as a preverbal butchers dog. I probably shouldn’t try to out run her.

3: Weather. It was damn hot on Friday and I was no doubt a little de-hydrated, compounded by the fact that Fridays inconveniently fall after Thursdays (WTC). And finally…

4: Bike. Turns out the crank shaft bearings have gone, and so to keep pace with any normal bike, you end up pedalling almost double time, and there’s little or no free wheeling. It’s a (potential) killer.

Saturday started with some lawn mowing, and general garden tidying while daughter and Mrs G ran some town based errands. It then completely skipped over the Grand National which I had on my initial list as something to have a look at and then morphed into a spontaneous Bar-B-Q. Who knew?!! Mrs G, Daughter and I just thought as it was such a nice day we’d have a few friends round, open up the hot tub, fire up the bar-bee and crack a few tinnies, along with some carefully selected wines.

It’s on days like that that the hot tub shows itself as the sound investment it was. In fact, more of a cool tub on such a day. Having turned it down to a mere 30 degrees, it made for a most refreshing dip from the heat and was especially fun for the kids. The adults enjoyed the weather and frivolity. The bar-bee passed it’s first run of the year, and the iTunes DJ feature got a good testing. No party should be without it in this day and age. Most entertaining.

Sunday had the same weather again. We’d unfortunately had a rather sleepless night caused by some engineering works on the nearby railway. I understand that night time works are the least disruptive to the network, but they are still the most disruptive to our sleep patterns. On the plus side, Sunday meant we allowed ourselves a lie-in and I actually felt my cold/flu/thing lift a little.

So much so in fact, that Mrs G and resolved to cycle into the city and back out and over to her offices. The logic with a ride to her offices is in preparation for her daily commute. She’s intending to cycle with daughter and wanted to gauge the timing. Naturally after Friday’s events I wasn’t overly keen, but in point of fact, I had nothing to be concerned about. 2 out of 4 of my previous issues were dealt with (it was still hot and I have yet to have the crankshaft bearing replaced) and as a result, it was a most enjoyable outing. About 8 miles round trip – felt like 200 yards – a doddle.

For the final leg, Mrs G and I swapped bikes. What a dream it is to ride on a decent set of crankshaft bearings (said the actress to the bishop). The repair is imminent I feel.

And here we are, back at Monday. What does this week hold? Well at least one day will spent with the Badman in another Starfleet office. My diary has a few conference calls and meetings throughout but beyond that… I have no idea.

I’m hoping for a week as smooth as my new bearings will be. Have fun.

* For the American audience, I feel this one really needs a proper bit of explanation. Back in the day, the Brits used to buy “deep fried fish with french fries” on a Friday night as “take out”. The french fries would be wrapped up in yesterday’s newspaper. Waste not, want not. Today, Mr Health & Nanny State Safety, wouldn’t dream of allowing such a thing to take place, not least because newspaper ink is probably more toxic now than it was 30 years ago. Instead we have plain boring chip paper. Where’s the fun in that?


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

There’s a bunch of stuff going on that I’d like to share with you but I’m afraid I won’t. It’s been niggling at me since last week and it’s starting to annoy me. What’s more is that I’ve now found out that very sadly I wont be able to write about it for at least another week and even then it could be longer.

If it was some sort of super secret I wouldn’t mind but it isn’t. This is a self imposed vow of silence that I have to conform to or I’ll say something I really shouldn’t. As I’m sure you can tell, this is not a position I like to find myself in. Interestingly I have written about it at length, but it will for now remain for ever in draft, until such time as I feel it deserves the light of day.

Apologies for being so cryptic however this in part explains some of my recent silence on the blogging front. I’m trying to set all that to one side and focus on normality though and that dear reader is how we find ourselves here.

In other news: some colleagues from a previous role are having a get together tomorrow. I really wish I could be with them for loads of reasons, not least that it’s been far too long since I’ve seen any of them. Unfortunately current work commitments mean I won’t be with them this time, but they are trying to make it an annual event so I will be doing all in my power to be there next year. In the mean time I’m raising a glass of red to them over this evenings dinner (curry, if you wondering). All best and good luck and good health all round.

I’ve always loved January. Just because it’s my birthday month and that serves to brighten up what would ordinarily be a depressing month. So close to Christmas most people have no money left, are over weight from the merry making and generally feel depressed with cold weather and long dark nights. This year, I’m right with them. I was hoping for an International feel to the year, but so far, its been a really fudgy start to 2011. I’m hoping it all improves for all our sakes.

Ho hum. Glad to have you back. More coming very soon. Take care. G.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

So there’s 8 days left. That’s ages yet.  Hell, I’ve known years when I’ve been out shopping for presents still at 6pm on Christmas Eve.  In fact there’s something to be said for that being the best time to do it. It’s proper festive for a few hours. It’s also proper manic mind you.  It’s worth pointing out that the phrase “there’s something to be said for” and the phrase “I would recommend shopping at this time” are in no way related, and neither should they be. You’ve been warned.

http://www.satisfaction.com/christmas-countdown-generator/countdown1.swf?x=http://www.satisfaction.com

On the subject of days….  

1) Happy Birthday Jane Austin.  

2) There is one day in particular that will become of intense interest to a large number of people in the near future. I’m not talking about Christmas day, although of course that day is a good candidate for “Most interesting day of 2010”. No, the day in question has already passed and is in fact July the 24th 2010.

It says here:

“Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create a user-generated feature film, shot on a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald. The film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011 and will be available right here on YouTube. If your footage makes it into the finished film, you’ll be credited as a co-director and you could be one of 20 contributors brought to Sundance to celebrate with Kevin Macdonald.”

http://www.youtube.com/v/XMxuocCN1O0?version=3

A fascinating idea, and I for one am really looking forward to the results.  

Sadly, it doesn’t help me with my Christmas present aquisition problem.  To be more specific, the problem I have is that I’m waiting for arrivals for Mrs G, and the weather forecast isn’t looking too promising for road based deliveries. With any luck they’ll show up this morning and all will be well, but then one of them was supposed to arrive two days ago according to the online tracking system.

Online tracking is a double edged sword though. It lulls you into a false sense of security because you think you’re being well informed and you know where your package is. This isn’t the case because it relies on people updating the status of your package and this may not (and often does not) happen.

I recently had a package delivered from Germany. The tracking status showed it arriving in the UK at an airport near to London, 20 minutes before it was delivered to my front door. If only I could ship my luggage through customs that quickly I’d be a very happy air traveller. 

One of the other gifts is sitting in a shop in Bristol. I know it’s there, I’ve seen it. But it does require me travelling to Bristol to collect it and that’s a problem until Saturday, unless of course there’s a serious amount of snow/ice in which case it will continue to be a problem until the weather breaks. I may be worrying unnecessarily as this particular gift could possibly be available in Cheltenham, but I haven’t had the opportunity to wander round the shops there yet. If we do get the promised snow & ice, perhaps I’ll be doing that on Saturday instead of driving to Bristol.

Re: the ear-ache. I suspect I’ll be getting a second opinion at some point. Very painful this morning and I suspect an infection in my middle ear. You can’t beat a bit of paranoid self diagnosis to wind yourself up with, but I’m not panicking just yet…

 


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Luckily for me, it’s not very often that I have to go to the doctors. Now I’ve said that I’m certain to have to spend all of Christmas and New Year laid up in a hospital bed for some (as yet) unknown reason, but for the most part, visits to my GP are few and far between.

For the youthful and spritely among you, here’s a warning. You get to a certain age. You live to a point in time…  It’s an indescrimate point, but you may well be lucky enough to reach it. You’ll know when it is because suddenly you feel like you’ve started to fall apart.  Things start to get a bit harder to do. Recovery starts to take a bit longer.  It’s not much fun.

I’m glad to say, I’m not there yet, but I know I’m not far off it. And so it is, that you have to start taking proper care of yourself.  Gone are the days of dancing all night, sleeping for an hour, working all day and dancing all night again. You just can’t do it.  Some of us couldn’t dance in the first place, but that’s another story.

My most recent adventure that has led to me visiting my local doctor was our holiday abroad. I’ve been lucky enough to spend countless hours on aeroplanes in the past without so much as a sniffle, but this time on our return flight and as we descended into the frozen wastelands of Manchester, some invisible demon decided to stab me in the ear.  I’ve had the old “suck a boiled sweet to help your ears pop” treatment on plenty of occasions, so I put it down to just a particularly harsh equalising of pressure and tried to think no more of it.

I stayed slightly “deaf” in my right ear for a couple of days, and then it eased and disappeared.  Only to reappear two days later and now to be a near constant source of irritation. So this morning I traipsed off to see my local GP and wonder at the buffoonery of modern doctors practices.

It’s always bothered me that they are “paractices” after all, you think they’d know enough to be able to do it for real before becoming a doctor, but that’s the english language for you. As I’m sat waiting for my scheduled appointment (which by the way can never be on the day you ring up for an appointment, it always has to be a minimum of 24 hours later – why is that!?). Anyway, as I’m sat waiting, it becomes aparent that one of the doctors hasn’t arrived for work today, and in fact has called in sick (I wonder who carried out the diagnosis?) and so the receptionist is busily trying to send people home and making quite a loud noise about it in the process.

Another thing about GP’s surgery’s is why do the receptionist’s employed always have to be “busybodies”? or at least that’s how it seems.  They need to know everyone’s most personal business (which I always understood was a private matter between the patient and doctor) and they seem to be in a permanent state of agression.  Perhaps that’s just my perception or possibly just my local surgery…  who knows.

Where was I?… Oh yes, so plenty of noise going on in the waiting room.  It transpires that the system for calling the next patient is a small tinny sounding speaker in the corner of the room.  This is fine if your hearing is perfect working order. Not so useful if you’re being a “bit deaf”.  Needless to say, I waited and I waited and I waited.

In the end, a doctor actually walked into the room and asked for me by name in a loud voice.

Ever so slightly embarrassing.


Upshot of the visit?  It’ll get better in a day or two. The pressure will re-equalise eventually.

On a related note, I’ve decided that when I reach my Nan’s age (she’s 90+) I’ll follow in her footsteps and join the “None so deaf as them that don’t want to hear” gang. Fun times for the OAP’s.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Sad state of affairs when there’s a day with no blog entry. Well not a proper one at any rate. Those that know will recall I started off here by trying to rebuild my writing muscle by exercising it properly. The method of training was to write at least 750 words every day as driven by the 750words.com website and it served me very well for a couple of months. Got me into a routine that I doubt I could break very easily now – at least not without a good holiday off the grid completely – and even then I’d want to write about it.

But this is of course only one muscle. There are many more that also need attention. So, if you’ve tried that and liked it, you might also like buster’s latest offering: Health Month, The Game healthmonth.com. Here’s this spiel, and very good it is to….

You want to be healthier. You even know how to do it. If you had to.

It has just never quite become important enough to be prioritized over all the great, fun, and tasty reasons to be a little less healthy (oh sweet unhealthiness). That, and changing habits is not only difficult, but sometimes scary, right? You wonder if people will still like you if you say no to that 6th drink or that office cupcake.

Health Month is about taking the SCIENCE of nutrition and behavior change and combining it with the SOCIAL GAMES of the recent social web to help people improve their health habits in a fun and sustainable way. We’re happy to leave behind the sketchy get-thin-quick schemes and boring fads that you can’t relate to (and half-suspect of being more harm than good anyway).

The formula for living healthier has 4 ingredients: 1) the information (you have most of that, and we can help fill gaps), 2) the ability (you have that too), 3) the motivation (who doesn’t want to be healthier, at least a little bit, right?), and 4) the fun and sustainable trigger. The reason. The self-challenge. The game that helps you live healthy, not because you have to, but because it’s fun.

Basically you set yourself some rules and then you have to live by them. The system gives you 10 lives to start with and when you don’t abide by your rules you lose a life. You also win points and fruit (virtual not real) as the game progresses.

Each morning there’s an email in my inbox asking me to report yesterday’s achievement’s. There’s no point in lying about it just to save a life – you’re only cheating yourself. I’m doing reasonably well this month having so far gone for 12 days without losing a life. I did slip a little earlier in the month, but I’m more focused again now. If you stick at it, it definitely works and anything that helps you get healthier has to be a good thing.

Health Month is all about designing your own health rules, and then trying to stick to them. We provide the points and the motivation.

Here’s how it works:

Before the game starts

• Choose your rules
• Make your bets and promises
• Choose how you want to play
• Games with 3 or fewer rules are free
• Games with 4 or more rules are either $5 per game, or $50 per year to become a member
• If you can’t afford to pay, you can also seek sponsorship. Every paying player can sponsor one person per month, or they can choose to pay for you

• Introduce yourself to the other players and wait for the game to start After the game starts
• Mark off your rules every day
• Get points
• Share your progress

We all know how to be healthy. This game is about finding your limits, giving you incentives to make new habits stick, and helping you learn what works for you.

It also has links to all the social networks, facebook, twitter, flicker, tumblr and even foursquare. Interestingly, foursquare offer a merit badge for successfully completing a month so I’m well on my way to becoming a “Healthy Fox”

None of this explains my lack of blog entry yesterday, but it’s no big mystery really. I just got very busy at Starfleet.  It’s an odd thing when you feel that you’re achieving nothing, you’re swamped with work all of which seems futile and leaves you with no desire to even start it let alone get it done. Given that set of circumstances there is only one true course of action.  Stop procrastinating and get on with it.  I’d like to think I’m not a very good procrastinator, although in truth I’m probably as good as the next man. But I digress…

Ahhh..  see what I did there?…

So there we have my brief thoughts for today – onwards and downwards. Things to do. Go and get yourself healthy. Toodle pip!

 


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

It’s 86 days since the King of Smo was slain, and don’t I know it. 

Don’t worry, he won’t be resurrected, it’s just that daughter and I went for a 5 mile bike ride last night and combined with the first of the real winter weather I was coughing and spluttering like a car with an almost empty fuel tank.  I know that this is a good thing though. The accumulated tar and gunk from 20 years of ingesting the “nicotine death weed” takes a while to recover from (yes, it’s really called tobacco, but psychologically it’s better to give it a dangerous and off putting name). In fact “a while” is a bit of an understatement. What’s causing all this is the “cillia” in my lungs, which is slowly regenerating.

For all you smokers, there’s nothing worse than a reformed smoker ramming it down your neck, but honestly, I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t worthwhile. Please…. pack it in, for the sake of your kids and your own health. You’ll feel better for it eventually. I promise.

On the plus side and as a reminder, all of this has happened already:

  • Just 20 minutes after my last cigarette, my blood pressure and pulse rate dropped to normal and the body temperature of my hands and feet increased to normal.
  • A mere 8 hours after my last smoke, the carbon monoxide level decreased and the oxygen level in my blood increased to normal levels.
  • Just 24 hours after my last cigarette, I substantially lessened my chances of having a heart attack.
  • Two days after my last cigarette, I noticed that my ability to taste and smell was enhanced.
  • Three days later, my breathing became noticeably better because my lung capacity was greater.
  • My circulation has improved and my lung functioning has increased by up to 30% since quitting.
I’ve still got all this to look forward to:

  • One year after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
  • Five years after quitting, your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
  • Ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smokers. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
  • Fifteen years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmokers

Smoking is a habit introduced to the human race many thousands of years ago. It was introduced to the western world some 400 years ago. Clearly it is a dinosaur of recreational pastimes. 
As for what really happened to the dinosaurs…. Well that’s obvious isn’t it:


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

This week is going to be a bit of a dog’s dinner I think. Monday should be fine, but there’s a couple of pieces of work that I absolutely have to get done and out of the way today. The reason being that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will see me travelling to my local Starfleet office to participate in three days of education.

More mixed messages from the powers that be in the academy – last weeks galactic communication informed some of the populus that insufficient volunteers have been found for planetary exploration and that the “away team” will be hand picked whether they like it or not. Clearly a depressing message.

I’m being trained in the usage of some of the latest equipment to be issued to the crew members and recently installed on my communicator. You might think that if starfleet are investing three days of time training me to use this equipment that it’s unlikely that I would be in the “away team” as operators will be required. Don’t be fooled for a minute. Captain kirk is reactionary and forward planning is not on his agenda.

One thing I do know is that the trainor is an interesting character with a wide range of ties to smile at, so there will be some entertainment at least.

Another reason for a messy week is my health. Worn out and rough last night complete with sniffles, this has increased to full blown man flu and I really want to get that shifted before spending time, travelling back and forth to starfleet. I’m pretty sure it’s something more than just Autosomal Cholinergic Helio-Ophtalmologic Outburst syndrome. I suspect this is a combination of huge chunks of car travel last week, plus a further 8 hours out of 24 doing the same again this weekend, too much sunshine/sunburn and not getting enough fruit and veg. So today, I think I’ll start the day with orange juice, expresso, a lemsip and a banana and see where I go from there.

Four movies I’ve been trying to catchup with and sort of have now – thanks to a pretty relaxed Sunday. A Serious Man, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Informant!.

A Serious Man. The Coen Brothers – famed for The Big Lebowski, among many others, have scored a goal again here with the critics, but be warned, it’s confusing. Did I fully understand it? No. Did I enjoy it ? Yes. So it’s definelty one I’ve got to go back and see again, and possibly again after that as well.

The Men who Stare at Goats. Based on an allegedly true story it’s all about a reporter on the hunt of a story. What he finds is the “New Earth Army” which is basically soldiers with super powers (in their heads). It’s a magical, whimsical piece with plenty of smiles and the odd chuckle. Ewan McGregor plays the reporter, the awesome Jeff Bridges plays one of the original members of the Army and George Clooney is his mentee. On top of this is Kevin Spacey taking himself extremely seriously turns this into a gem.

The Informant!. If as it claims this is the true story of a compulsive liar informing to the FBI about alleged price fixing of corn syrup – then it’s a truly amazing story. It took me the best part of the first act to actually work out what the hell was going on, but once I had it nailed I couldn’t stop watching. Set in the 80’s (everything seems to be 60’s, 70’s or 80’s of late, guess that’s the times we’re living in) there’s a very interesting commentary by our lead which is pretty much a juxtaposition to which ever scene we’re watching. So an important meeting with someone from Japan, would be accompanied by his views on tie colour for instance – very odd, but very enjoyable.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Halfway through and I feel like I missed a bit – got to go back and start again – so a typical Terry Gilliam Film. Looks beautiful though.

Of the four of them – The Men Who Stare at Goats is the most accessible and I think, certainly the one with most mass appeal. The Informant! and A Serious Man take up a lot more of your concentration. As for the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus’ – well I’m lost, but I’ll have another crack at it when I can be completely undisturbed.

Finally, make sure you’ve booked a space in your diary for Thursday night and ITV at 8pm. Our future leaders will be having their first live TV debate – I can’t wait to see how high Simon Cowell has his trousers!!

Hello Coffee…. It’s life Jim, but not as we know it!