Sunday, May 28, 2006

Cervical cancer cure controversy

Today`s Sunday Times reports that "earlier this month a federal health panel gave a preliminary green light to Gardasil, a vaccine developed by Merck. It has been shown to protect against two types of human papilloma virus, which is mostly spread by sexual contact and is the cause of about 70% of cervical cancers.

Medical experts believe the drug will work best if given to girls and young women before they become sexually active.

Many american conservatives recognise that battling a life-saving medical advance would be political suicide. But die-hards remain suspicious. “Premarital sex is dangerous,” wrote one on the Abstinence Clearinghouse website. “Let’s not encourage it by vaccinating 10-year-olds so they think they are safe.”

I say what an exciting medical advance - it may do away with the need for cervical smears for example as well as preventing 70% of cervical cancer.
But it is an interesting question! If you can remove the consequences of "sin" does that increase the likelihood of sinful behaviour?
Frankly I think it is an academic argument as any sexual activity raises the risk of cervical cancer so all women ought to have the vaccine before the commencement of sexual activity. So what will the conservatives do then - a pre-wedding night vaccination only??!
Reflect on the term "die-hard conservatives", will their attitude mean that some women will "die hard" when they didn`t need to?

Thursday, May 25, 2006


"Worse day ever" according to Ruth, Camp America can`t find her a camp to go to!! So suddenly 3 months of nothing to do and nowhere to go, what is the girl to do?? Well she`s gone to bed and is contemplating drinking bleach, but hates pain so will have to think of something else. Any comments gratefully received

Bike news

So you thought I`d forgotten - what happened to the plans to get the Moto Guzzi Griso? Well I went to try it out and firstly it had an exhaust that was bigger than a weapon of mass destruction - it was a joke exhaust! Then my little legs only just touched the ground because the seat was so wide and the handlebars were so far away I had to lean over the tank which was bigger than the american budgetary defecit.
So relief to the accountant (Anne) as we keep the old bike!
First pre-world cup friendly tonight yippee.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A surprising bible character

Reading the bible this morning whilst on the toilet - yes you needed to know that I`m sure - I randomly opened the word of God to Jeremiah 26 verse 18 which in my Holman Christian Standard Version reads "Micah the Moreshite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah the King of Judah".
Now imagine being a prophet called to bring a very negative message against the King and also being named Micah the Moreshite! ....................................and then reading about it on the toilet!!
God has a great sense of humour.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Raindrops are falling on my head

Well they have a drought in the south of england but here the roads are flooded and the garden is a swamp. It has been raining for most of the last week and the temperature dropped to 6 degrees celsius aargghhh!
Family news is that Debbie has been selected to compete in the long jump for her school at Gateshead stadium after her first two jumps ever were better than anyone in her year. She ended up coming 8th out of a field of 12 but was annoyed that she wasn`t allowed to measure her run-up! Anyway we are aiming for the 2012 Olympics where we are also expecting my niece Ellen to be running (she is currently 9 and finished her first 5 mile run racing her Dad - my brother - who struggled to keep up with her sprint finish)!
Jonathan had his 17th birthday with the cousins and has just done his English AS level on Chaucer - so we are well up on the contextual analysis of middle ages english. Ruth has 3 english exams to do over the next 3 weeks and then she is finished! We still haven`t heard from Camp America!!
Anne is applying for her new job this week , interviews have been set for the end of June. I am currently engaged in negotiations re my new Job which will be half time clinical and half time strategic medical management tho` much has yet to be agreed before I put pen to paper!!
Finally we are in a frenzy for the World Cup!!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Crazy world

Just a reflection on our crazy country!! This week I learnt that due to the rise in price of copper - mostly due to China`s rapid expansion of their power grid - that the scrap value of the 1 pence coin is now approximately 1.5 pence!!
Here in the North East we have had unremitting rain the last few days and the garden looks like an indonesian rain forest with the combination of warmth and wetness, but in the south east they are facing the worst drought in over a decade with hosepipe bans being enforced all over the place.
Anyway I have been offered a new job - the most significant change since becoming a Consultant 12 years ago - I can`t tell you the details as yet because it`s a secret and if I did I would have to kill you!! Rest assured that ultimate power is involved, lives are in the balance and resistance is futile, more travelling is promised etc watch here for more details!!
Jonathan is 17 tomorrow and today we will be going up to Newcastle to have a big family Pizza Express lunch in God`s capital - Newcastle upon tyne. We will be seeing Angus` sister Samantha and her family and then looking at Motorbikes for a bit!!!!
Other bits and bobs - for a great read of fantasy humour a la Princess Bride get the 10th Kingdom - absolutely hilarious book and very imaginitive!! For a top scary film watch the russian "Night Watch" the first of a trilogy.
Preaching on Sunday evening - topic is Life`s purpose and how to achieve it or practical holiness, or read the bible stupid!!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Old or new?? Over to you!

Ah the sun has been shining and I have been carving the turns on Black Beauty all week - blasting up the A19 feeling unsufferably cool in my black leather jacket going to meetings as part of the new Trust (Tees Esk and Wear Valleys Mental Health Trust). Part of the pleasure is using the bike for work, the other part is the complete feeling of freedom. But the question is should I change bikes again? As the current bike is 19 years old!

You see Moto Guzzi have brought out a new model called the Griso which is GORGEOUS - so over to you - compare pictures and let me know? These things are always a distraction from the meaty issues of life but why be deep when you can be superficial and go shopping???

By the way the Griso is the red bike not the model leaning on it!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

To live the dream

Today I am taking Jonathan up to St James Park to see the final game of the season - Newcastle against Chelsea the crowned champions. It is a game we have to win to guarantee european football next season. More importantly it is a farewell to Alan Shearer - the best centre forward england has produced in the modern era: a man who twice refused to sign for Manchester United and who dedicated the best part of his career to Newcastle United. Without a doubt he sacrificed glory for loyalty, personal gain for the joy of being surrounded by friends and his local community. Here is the tribute from the current manager Glenn Roeder.
He said: "I can't add anything about him as a footballer that hasn't already been said. But if I was allowed to choose my friends I'd certainly choose Alan Shearer because of how he is as a human being.
"Any club would miss him on the field. Given the kind of person he is, any club would miss him in the dressing room.
"He is a leader of men. People question whether he should have gone to Manchester United and say he would have won more trophies. He says 'I'm right in what I have done because I have lived the dream'. I agree with him. He has lived it. As a little boy he wanted to play for Newcastle United and he has done that for the best part of his career. He has put the people of Newcastle before himself and gratification of winning trophies and he would done at Manchester United.
"As he said to Alex Ferguson the other night, 'Maybe if I had signed, Alex, you would have won a few more'. I thought that was fitting.
"I said to him 'Alan, that (singing his name) makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck so who knows what it does to you?'. That's why he has lived the dream. In his eyes, it's better than winning trophies. To have the love of your own people must be a wonderful thing, it must be."
The king is dead, long live the king.
To have the love of your own people IS a wonderful thing - I thank God for the example of Alan Shearer who put relationship before personal achievement, character before career.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bellies gonna get ya!

Well Angus has left us for a night, so me and the big kids rented out "kiss, kiss, bang, bang" to watch, while Debs caught up with the new series of "Lost" and James hopefully went to sleep! As for the film, as long as you manage to ignore the use of **** in most sentences, its a great film, with some brilliantly funny lines and likeable characters.
Ruth finished her art A level today and celebrated by throwing out all her paint brushes. Jonny has had his annual skin head hair cut to celebrate the arrival of Summer. Ruth failed to notice it was Summer and fell asleep in the Sun and now has a red face and one red arm.
So tomorrow it will probably rain. Sorry no photos today!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Leyburn Food and Drink Festival - wow - made me proud to be english! Debbie and James went bungee jumping on a suspended frame over trampolines both of them doing backflips! Anne and I had Dales beers from the beer tent, we ate pasties and roast pork buns and saw the hairy bikers (if you don`t know them then watch it now - "The Hairy Bikers Cookbook" on BBC - two northern bikers cooking around the world!! It`s the North, it`s bikes and it`s great food - what more do you want??? See the website We came away with Ginger Whinger beer from Suddaby`s brewery in Malton, beers from Wensleydale brewery, asparagus from aforesaid Dale and lemon and passion fruit cake from Cinnamon Twist.
Inspired by the above we (Rollo and I) have planned a biking trip to the Lakes later in the month, going up Hard Knott pass to do a circular walk round the roman fort then returning down the Duddon valley to stay with my mother in Ulverston.
Yesterday was a blast from the past as we all hooned up to Newcastle upon Tyne to divide and conquer. Anne and the older three went with two members of the youth group to IXth Hour at the City Hall via Pizza Express, whilst I went to the church at Heaton where I became a christian back in 1983. I had been invited back to do some teaching on "Sexuality" - it was great fun for me to be back in the old place, to see some old faces and as usual lots of students. Numbers were way down for an evening meeting compared to the 1980`s - no-one in the balcony! Maybe that was my fault !!!!
So today we are off to a Food Fayre in Leyburn as the temperature is predicted to hit a balmy 16 degrees today. Bonne journee mes braves!