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Everything posted by BallaDoc

  1. One of these days I must get round to setting up a Facebook account. And a Twitter and Instagram account...
  2. Sorry, missed that thread as I don't usually log on at the weekend
  3. WTF is this? Looks like a cross between an 18th century schooner and the Death Star. The greyed-out windows make it look a bit sinister. I believe a photo of this ship also appears in this week's IOM Examiner.
  4. I agree with you - but here's the other side of the argument: "The days of the 'bobby on the beat' in Oxford are officially now a thing of the past, a top city police officer has said. Acting Inspector Neil Applegarth, head of neighbourhood policing in Oxford, has said a targeted approach is more effective at tackling crime. Mr Applegarth, who is based at St Aldates Police Station, said that modern-day efforts were directed towards more focussed police work." https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/16390238.top-oxford-cop-says-bobby-beat-thing-past/ It's the age old tension
  5. There seems to be an epidemic of this sort of thing. The toilets in Ballaugh had a notice on them for a long time (possibly still do, I'm not sure) saying "toilets closed due to repeated vandalism". I can't imagine it's the same people.
  6. Netcetera is based on the island, near the airport. https://netcetera.uk/ I use them for my website, and they are good, although they have a slightly bizarre billing system which seems to operate by telepathy: you think about paying them some money and then before you know it and without any warning, said money is extracted from your credit card, so just watch for that.
  7. Our Manx Telecom internet has now been down for over 24 hours, the Manx Telecom website says under "network status", "there was a problem yesterday but our engineers have now fixed it" but clearly they haven't fixed it, at least not for us. I believe the Sure network is still up and running. Does anyone have any views about whether Sure or Manx Telecom are more reliable overall?
  8. I agree in principle, but in practice that can be very difficult, especially if granny/grandad has dementia and the adult children both work full time and have young children of their own to look after, as was the case with us. My mum's dementia had probably been deteriorating for several years, unnoticed by the rest of us because my dad was taking care of her and keeping the lid on it. When he died, her dementia was unmasked (that's very often the case), she started wandering the streets at night looking for him, she couldn't remember how to turn the oven on and off, she became increasing d
  9. According to manxwildflowers.com there is a specimen of Ozark Witch Hazel in Silverdale Glen. It's a large shrub or small tree, not native to the island so presumably brought in and planted at some point, it should be in flower right now and the flowers are very unusual and distinctive and look like the picture below. I was in Silverdale Glen today and I couldn't see it anywhere. Has anyone come across it (particularly those of you who live Down South)? I'd like to photograph it for my book on Medicinal Plants.
  10. That's an interesting use of the word "sustainable". Every year the IOM imports around 25 million litres each of petrol and diesel, a similar amount each of kerosene and gasoil (heating oils), 110 million cubic metres of natural gas (to heat homes and generate electricity at the Pulrose power station) and an unknown quantity of food - at least, unknown to me because I wasn't able to find any figures, even from this Tynwald paper which didn't seem to want to talk about it: https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/Tynwald 20142016/2014-GD-0076.pdf This is anything but sust
  11. One thing which frustrates me about these population debates is that almost nobody is willing to stick their neck out and say what they think the IOM population should be. For example, it was 40,000 in 1821, 63,000 in 1980 and 85,000 today. So does that mean that today we have too many people? Or that in 1821 we had too few people? Or do we still not have enough people and we need more? Getting more people of working age onto the island to support the retirees seems to me to be a glorified pyramid scheme, because many of those young people will stay on the island and grow old themselve
  12. So do I. These are my last year's Frankencarrots: not, as you might think, genetically engineered, but mainly a result of over-manuring them and not digging the ground properly.
  13. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about genetically engineered food, both among its supporters and detractors. I don't have a problem actually eating genetically engineered food because I think it's inherently just as healthy (or unhealthy) as any other sort of food. It all gets broken down to its component molecules inside the body anyway. However, I do have a problem with the system within which it operates. Genetically engineered plants are bred to be resistant to pesticides and herbicides and to require the soil to be supplemented with artificial nutrients, which encourages
  14. We moved in to the Haven Homes development at North Shore, Ramsey in 2017. In our row of 10 houses, all of them are showing as "sold" on the developer's plan but two of them have never been occupied. I don't know why.
  15. A golden opportunity to join the food revolution and boost the island's economy: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=60351&headline=Golden opportunity to join the food revolution and boost the island's economy&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2021 So says billionaire entrepreneur and island resident Jim Mellon, whose big idea is for farmers to have "bioreactors in which cells from a cow are fed a cocktail of nutrients growing into edible tissue", also known as cell cultured meat. He is so keen on alternative approaches to current intensive farming methods that he has writt
  16. That's interesting, and probably true, although I'm sure Tesco employs top creative accountants to keep its actual tax burden to the minimum possible, so it won't be anywhere near 10% of turnover. However, that doesn't alter the fact that when you pay money to any large corporation based off-island, a significant portion of the money will go off island (after all, that's why they are here).
  17. I guess this is a variant of the "tragedy of the commons" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons I totally understand that Tesco sells the cheapest food on the island, that's why most people go there, and buying higher priced stuff direct from the producer seems like a luxury. And yet, over the long term, a significant portion of the money paid to Tesco gets siphoned off to pay the Tesco executives and shareholders, leaving the island, and the people on it, slightly poorer. On the other hand, money paid to local producers mostly gets re-spent locally by them, creates
  18. We should support our fishermen and farmers by buying more food locally e.g. at the quayside or the farmers market (both of which are alive and well in Ramsey)
  19. All of the above are partially but not completely correct. There is no receptionist on duty between midnight and 8 am, it's just the doctor and the driver. The latter drives the doctor to any home visits, but these are few in number, so most of the time the driver gets to sleep. Between midnight and 8 am any incoming calls go straight through to the doctor. About half the MEDS overnight shifts - the weekday ones - are filled by a doctor who works shifts, just does the night shift and is able to sleep during the day. The rest are filled mostly by GPs who are normally working or spending ti
  20. As you say, it is in part a numbers game. There are some 85,000 people on the IOM. If only 1 in 10,000 of them is unreasonable or inconsiderate and phones the doctor in the middle of the night unnecessarily, that's 8 or 9 people phoning through the night, which wrecks my night and most of the following day, which makes me not want to do it any more, which is why I don't do it any more. In theory, there should be very few people phoning MEDS in the middle of the night: if you have a life threatening emergency you should go straight to A&E, and if it's not life threatening, wouldn't it at
  21. Difficult to know where to start sometimes, but here are my top three suggestions: 1. Learn where the "delete" button on your phone is. In these strange days of lockdown, GPs are having fewer face to face consultations and more virtual consultations, including asking patients to send in selfies of suspicious moles or rashes. This usually works well, but my heart sinks when I get a batch of 10 photos, all blurry, and showing a barely recognisable part of the body (is it an elbow? A heel? A breast?). Just send your best 1 or 2 photos please, and hold the phone at least 10cm away from wha
  22. Sorry to sound a discordant note, I don't like Trump any more than anyone else, but he was not a cause but a symptom of a deeper discontent - just like Napoleon was a symptom of French discontent in the 1800s and Hitler was a symptom of German discontent in the 1930s. He won 74,222,958 votes, or 46.8 percent of the votes cast. Those 74 million people are unlikely to just go away or start holding hands and singing kum-ba-ya. Like he said, he'll be back. In some form or another. Maybe even as, literally, a different person. Watch the next election. Don't yet rejoice in his defeat, you
  23. I can understand the frustration but be aware that there is some frustration on the GP side as well. In the old days, GPs were singlehanded (apart from the GP's wife who would often double up as the practice nurse/receptionist), there was no computer, and the GP would make very brief notes on Lloyd George cards which were about 3x5 inches so he could read/write on them and make eye contact with you at the same time. When I was a kid, my family's GP was like that. The problem is, times have changed. Medicine has got vastly more complicated than it was in the 1960s, we order far more
  24. http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=60084&headline=Public asked for their views on primary care&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2021 "The process of developing a future vision for primary care has started" - great stuff - and "The Health and Care Transformation Programme is asking the public for their views on how general practice (GP) services, dental services, pharmacies and opticians can best support them with their health and wellbeing." Following decades of experience, I have learned to become a bit wary of statements which contain the words "vision" and "transformati
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