Sunday, 14 May 2017

Paths Through Addictions

I've recently drafted this diagram to help outline what I feel are my own paths through addition to both alcohol and nicotine. I feel very lucky to be able to say I've recovered from both - five years free from smoking and ten years free from drinking.

After unsuccessfully trying patches & gum a few times, I quit thirty years of cigarettes by using Champix tablets over two months. Effectively they "switched-off" the part of my brain that craved nicotine.

Interestingly, my escape from alcohol ten years ago involved a massive last binge (and prolonged hangover/withdrawl) with a very powerful movie* as a background narrative, and transferal of addiction from booze to fags in the first few weeks. After that period there was almost no temptation to drink again (I did have a couple of 12 hr curiosity lapses 6 months apart in the first year which only reinforced my determination each time). It has, since then, felt that the part of my brain which craved alcohol has been switched off too.

I'm keen to get any and all feedback, in the comments below please, to refine the diagram and answer anything I haven't explained adequately. Thanks.

* Touching The Void - which shows the extent to which people can recover from trapped situations.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Cheesy Chicken & Vegetables

Chicken breasts - 4
Cheese - grated 200 gm
Carrot sticks - a bowl
Mushrooms - 6 medium
Sweetcorn - half a small can
Green beans - pack trimmed
Peppers - one large diced
Cream - large dash
Milk - a cup or so
Chilli powder - sprinkle over
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Chicken Stock - one cube mixed in water
Mixed Herbs - to taste
Parmesan - to sprinkle over near end of baking

Made this after New Year to use up stuff in the fridge that needed eaten.

Dice meat and chop veg. Mix with other ingredients except Parmesan.

Bake covered at high heat for 1 hour stirring halfway. Reduce to medium heat and and bake uncovered for another half hour, sprinkling the Parmesan on halfway through to brown.

Serve with lettuce and tomato salad with vinaigrette. Yum yum :-)

Sunday, 14 August 2016

We're not using bus-stops efficiently, making delays, congestion & pollution worse...

It seems to me that we aren't using bus stops efficiently. The photos show examples of buses using the rear half of stops in both Glasgow & Edinburgh. Let's go through this step by step -

  • The stops are planned by the local authority and then painted on the road. 
  • A route number flag needs to be displayed on a pole and/or shelter to inform us. 
  • These flags are very often NOT positioned at the front of the painted space.
  • The passengers tend to queue around the flag with information.
  • The drivers tend to stop at the flag/passengers.

All of this results in only half the stop being used and unnecessary tailbacks of buses waiting to use the stop - for health and safety reasons drivers can't let passengers on or off unless the front of the vehicle is within the designated stop area.

So let's move the flags to the front of the bus stops and encourage drivers to pull as far forward as they can each time. By doing this we'll reduce congestion & pollution and speed up journey times.

If you spot further evidence of this phenomenon please let me know!