Thank you for delivering me safely to my parents.
Thanks for all the eye tests and glasses.
Thanks for making sure I had healthy teeth despite my attempts to avoid brushing.
Thanks for looking after my sisters as they gave life to my nieces and nephews.
Thanks especially for nurturing the twins when they entered the world.
Thanks for saving my Dad’s life.
Thanks for helping our family through my Dad’s journey with dementia.
Thanks for saving my life. Twice.
Thank you for safely delivering my two wonderful children into the world.
Thanks for saving the lives of many of my friends, multiple times.
Thank you for doing all this for free.
Thank you for making sure we’re a healthy nation.
Thank you to all the staff for being so committed to doing the very best you can for patients, sometimes under immense pressure, with insufficient resources and inadequate pay. You are all heroes.
Below is my presentation from this year’s WordCamp US in Nashville, TN. In the spirit of democratising publishing I wanted to help non-developers and individuals/small business owners to have better performing websites with minimal effort.
I’ve been wanting to get back out on my mountain bike for months. As much as pulling the kids along is great fun(!), there’s nothing quite like shooting through the trees, twists and turns of a good single track. So I made a last-minute decision to go for a ride today, and what a lovely ride it was.
Autumn is coming and there was a low sun pouring through the trees.
After spending some time working in town I walked home the scenic route. Minster Pool was unusually calm and the setting sun provided just the right amount of illumination to show off those first few yellow leaves of autumn.
It’s no surprise that Star Trek TNG was a God-free zone, given creator Gene Roddenberry was an ardent atheist. Some of his thoughts on religion were worthy of so-called “New Atheists”:
For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.
I credit Star Trek with guiding a lot of my philosophy on life – my atheism and socialism – and I’m excited for the franchise. It’s welcome news, to me, that Star Trek Discovery will continue the future free of religion that Roddenberry envisioned.
On Saturday I’ll be going for a walk, and I need your help.
With me will be – at least – sixteen members of my family, all doing the Alzheimer’s memory walk in remembrance of my Dad.
Amazingly we’ve already beaten our target of raising £500 for the Alzheimer’s Society. The charity helps people with dementia and their families to deal with the effects that this horrible, incurable disease has. They also help fund research into the condition in the hopes that we might find a cure one day.
However, I want to raise much more than that. Here’s why…
Figures compiled just two years ago show that while combined government and charitable funding for cancer research reached £544 million, just £90m was spent on dementia research. The figures for coronary heart disease and stroke were £166m and £56m respectively. In contrast, the combined health and social care costs for dementia totalled £11.6 billion – more than cancer (£5bn), stroke (£2.9bn) and heart disease (£2.5bn) combined.
Dementia is a devastating incurable disease that causes a huge amount of suffering for families affected. Unless you’ve been through it it’s hard to articulate how painful it can be to experience.
We need more funding for the invaluable support the Alzheimer’s Society provides, and for the scientific research to end this disease once and for all.
Will you help me, by sponsoring me and my kids, Mom, sisters, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunties and cousins to do the memory walk this Saturday and help us fight Dementia?
The good: Staff were friendly, the bed was comfortable and my room was reasonably well lit. All the usual refreshments were in the room, too.
The not-so-good; The floors throughout were wonky and creaky, coupled with a low ceiling made it feel a bit like a fairground crazy house. There is no lift, and access to the top (and my room) was via a long spiral staircase – not good when you have a big suitcase, and no assistance was offered. I could hear my neighbours pretty well from across the (slender) hallway. Better sound proofing wouldn’t go amiss.
Improvement needed: There needs to be more attention to detail in the rooms. By way of an example, on my room the TV didn’t work, the bathroom mirror light didn’t work, the bathroom extractor fan was noisy and blocked a lot light from the main bathroom light, and there was a mess of cables around the table for the kettle, hair dryer and so on.