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Poison dust – preparation for guests – finished my talk!

Tuesday 23 August 1664

Lay long talking with my wife, and angry awhile about her desiring to have a French mayde all of a sudden, which I took to arise from yesterday’s being with her mother. But that went over and friends again, and so she be well qualitied, I care not much whether she be French or no, so a Protestant.

I just had to buy this book. It was for sale at £1.25 from Amazon so what’s to lose

Here is a curious prejudice highlighted in the simple act of protesting about the possibility of a foreigner as I suppose the French were at that time being engaged in the house. My lack of historical understanding prevents me from understanding the nuances here.

With regard to my own wife, it is very strange that people who live in Somerset cannot detect that she has a French accent. We have now turned it into a sort of game. If someone asks her where she is from they have to guess. We’ve had the following, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, pretty much everything you can think of. The locals are just not tuned to a French accent whereas people who have  travelled or are from larger cities such as London pick up her fairly heavy accent instantly. I’m not blaming anyone for this, just commenting.

I have not so far managed to finish my speech for the doctors. It is the last 20 min before lunch I don’t want to give anything heavy but I don’t want to be trivial either. In such a brief time if I can make three points that people will actually remember that I won’t be doing too badly bearing in mind that I’m on the tail end of three hours of learned discussion about trauma.

I arose early. It is actually 5:45 AM as I deliver these words. I have quoted a modest sum for clearing a garden which is more like an enclosed jungle. With very hard work sometimes I just go into a zone and float through the job even though it involves cutting down trees, dragging material, dealing with horrible brambles. I think if you’re in the correct state of mind you can cope with almost anything. I was thinking about the priorities of the job and I decided that I should do the major stuff first of all, cutting down trees etc and then see what we have. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got to do until you start the job or in the well-known phrase you can’t see the wood for the trees.

Interestingly, I look an age now when people do not believe I can do the strenuous garden work that I claim to. The last person asked me if I was going to bring someone else in to help obviously thinking I was not up to the job. After I have felled the first couple of trees and strimmed a 50 yard length of rough ground they go silent.

I was reading about the shocking number of identity thefts that are going on with the British public. In 2016, 173,000 frauds were recorded. Identity fraud now accounts for more than half of all fraud. The first time you know anything is wrong is when you receive a credit card statement for goods that you did not order. Apparently all the fraudsters need is your name, address and date of birth. There is a downside to all technology and contactless cards are very convenient except if you lose them. A person can go on a spending spree even after you cancel the card  so I suppose if you want to be ultra-cautious you can ask for a credit card without the contactless facility. I don’t think they do this any more for debit cards.

I went to see a garden in Peasedown where someone wanted me to take down a very tall Yew hedge. When I spoke to him on the phone I noticed that he was wheezing and I wondered why perhaps it was a lung disease from having been a miner. Anyway, I arrived and gave him a quote for the job but afterwards I realise that I’m allergic to the very fine dust that this bush gives out. The poison is called Taxine. it has a list of symptoms as long as your arm. Breathing difficulty and variations in heartbeat are only two of a dozen. I do not have the requisite breathing apparatus so I must turn down the job regrettably. I don’t know whether I’ve got the heart to tell in that his own breathing difficulties because he breathes in the poison through the window.

On Saturday we have guests, and Francoise uses the opportunity to clean the whole house, not just a casual clean but of the clean of everything that might contain does contain all will contain bacteria and diverting any form. I’m actually teasing her a bit because when guests come there is a tendency, deep-seated I’m sure, to clean the house and make very nice food more splendid than we would normally eat. The theme for the meal on Saturday evening will be “things we have grown on our allotment”.

I read in the New York Times today “in what may be the largest so far in a lawsuit tying a ovarian cancer to talcum powder, a Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $417 million in damages to a medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s trademark Johnson is Baby Powder on her perineum for decades.

Eva Echeverria, 63, of East Los Angeles is one of thousands of women who have sued the consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson claiming baby powder caused their disease, pointing to studies linking talc to cancer that date to 1971, when scientists in Wales discovered particles of talc embedded in ovarian and cervical tumors”

This is just a reminder of the incredible consciencelessness of the pharmaceutical and chemical companies who sell things to people and making great claims without actually testing them. It means that the public act as guinea pigs for any new offering which has been on the market for say less than five years. You can dig around the alternative media but have a look at the so-called vaccine Gardasil given to girls aged 9 for conditions they do not have, but just might have in the future. For goodness sake the body has an immune system which given half a chance will do its stuff. Why interfere with it for profit (well, there is your answer I guess).  If you type into Google “vaccine dangers” you will get a return of 576,000 results.

I have finally finished my talk having had it twirling around my head for a week or so. It was actually very easy to finish because all the points simply needed to be juxtaposed and placed in the right order. It contains my usual anarchistic breed of humour which I hope the doctors and staff attending will find a relief from discussing aspects of trauma. I believe in finishing talks at least a week before you have to give it so that it can settle itself and when you give it it sounds like you are familiar with the subject. Lack of preparation is an insult to the people who are listening because it means you don’t respect them enough to bother.