The Good Life

“Lack of pep is often mistaken for patience”

Kin Hubbard

There was a BBC comedy called ‘The Good Life’ – that was about two couples who were direct opposites to the other, and that is what made the comedy, comedy, and so very funny, but what I am telling now is not comedy per se, just about the Good Life that causes illnesses such as Gallstones.

The populace at large in the Western World is eating better and richer food than ever in the history of mankind. Yes, we are eating like the kings and royalty were in the olden times, every day. We were talking about this the other day with friends and I mentioned that not so long ago there were foods that were considered to be special treats for very special occasions which were consumed only ever a few times a year; what I mean is the rich fatty foods — the kind of gallstones and other illness building nosh. People used to eat simple dishes most of the time, only eating rich foods in the events of joy and merriment such as weddings, feasts and such like when the buffet table was laid out in great abundance and variety.

When I was working in a hospital in Sweden, to see if I suited and wanted to be a nurse, the thing that surprised me the most was, that when the patient had been registered in, the first person even before the doctor to meet him/her was the dietician, who would chart the eating habits, the foods eaten and diet of the said patient. And, without an exception, everybody’s eating habits and the foods they ate were drastically changed. The dietician would put together a schedule of the recommended foods for the patient with the right amounts nutrients and other health promoting factors taken into account.I changed my own eating habits and what I ate, dramatically, from that time on. Here is a link to very interesting study in WHO Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases.

Since that time I have eaten daily vast amounts of fresh fruit, berries, vegetables and eating a mixed diet of varied meats, fish at least twice to three times a week. I began to use good quality olive oil and less salt and sugar as well. Although, how pure & clean the nature where they grow, is particularly after the Chernobyl ‘accident’, another matter altogether! That nuclear incident is still affecting Europe very much. It’s rarely mentioned in the media these days but the affects and the consequences of it are very present with us still. Isn’t it rather odd that all this so-called healthy foods – fruit, vegetables, et cetera – are so very expensive everywhere, and yet, they are the foods that are promoted and advised by the health ‘experts’ for the populace to eat in huge quantities! Mind-boggling as to why then they are so costly even in the countries that produce them.

Stamina or pep, whatever one calls it, is most necessary in order to keep one’s vitality in the art of living & life as is also to have an attitude of courage, contentment and guts. I am saying this as there since a few weeks back I seemed to have been suffering from something that I just could not put my finger to. I thought, maybe, it is the tail-end of the hay fever with the last of the weed pollen before the autumn sets in? But no, not that either. I do have love/hate relationship with the nature.

The what?! I wrote about it in this entry: ’Nature of the Nature: Hay Fever’. And the reason for my lack of stamina, which is so unusual as it rarely happens – wheat sensitivity – at present suspected, but to be confirmed. I know that the Wheat Intolerance – affects among other things: the gastro-intestinal tracts = stomach and the Wheat Allergy – affects the lungs etc., and can lead to an anaphylactic shock. So I know it’s not the allergy definitely, but most likely the first mentioned. Although, to what extent I am to avoid the wheat and/or other grains. I have to sort this out and get me menu corrected.

It may be it is the nasty thingies that are put aka sprayed on wheat to make the harvest to be huge, makes it so that people do become allergic to the whole thing more than the ‘wheat‘= the grain itself. I just wonder with all these sensitivities which are so common world over nowadays that, you see. People have been eating wheat for thousands of years and now suddenly, we are getting so highly sensitive to it!

Hmm… makes me ask questions.

I think also that the pollution, the fertilizers etc., and whatever GM- Genetically Modified stuff are done to the food we eat, is causing a build-up in our bodies and hence the feeling of unwell, ill-health and so on in the populations round the world. Hmm…


I think that the feeling of unwell last autumn that I thought was wheat that caused it, was a kind of prelude to what was to follow in these past few months. It was the food poisoning in June this year that set the show on the road – so the say – with the most horrendous pain and agony-ivy, and then the rich & fatty meals eating out other times that put the finishing touches on this Finn’s gallstones!! There is a whole selection of them in me gallbladder apparently – the ultrasound showed them, you see. I did ask the doc doing the ultrasound what the inside view was like in me guts and he said that it was jammers with a row of pepper-sized gallstones!

Quite galling really – innit?!!

Tis for now, Rii xx

*I think that a lot of the time when there is a lack of stamina or pep, it is food related and not depression per se; so really the patients should be given allergy/intolerance tests by the dozen and then as the last resort the pills!

Some Handy Links:
Wikipedia Portal: Health online

Bloodindex – Find nutrition values for common foods

WORLD HUNGER online site

GRAY’S Anatomy or GREY’S Anatomy

Gray's Anatomy

is a medical book first published in 1858,
the 20th edition of the same

was published in 1918.

The edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn.

The English anatomist Henry Gray was born in 1827. He studied the development of the endocrine glands and spleen and in 1853 was appointed Lecturer on Anatomy at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London. In 1855 he approached his colleague Dr Henry Vandyke Carter with his idea to produce an anatomy text book for medical students. His death came just 3 years after the publication of his Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical.

Henry Gray (1827–1861) was an English anatomist and surgeon and also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) at the young age of 25. In 1858 Gray published the first edition of his Anatomy, which covered 750 pages and contained 363 figures. He had the good fortune of securing the help of his friend Dr. H V Vandyke Carter, a skilled draughtsman and formerly a demonstrator of anatomy at St. George’s Hospital. Carter made the drawings from which the engravings were executed, and the success of the book was, in the first instance, undoubtedly due in no small measure to the excellence of its illustrations. This edition was dictated to Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, Bart, FRS, DCL. A second edition was prepared by Gray and published in 1860.

He held successively the posts of demonstrator of Anatomy, curator of the museum, and Lecturer of Anatomy at St. George’s Hospital, and was in 1861 a candidate for the post of assistant surgeon. Unfortunately, he was struck down by an attack of confluent smallpox, which he contracted while looking after a nephew who was suffering from that disease and died at the early age of thirty-four. (Wikipedia)

Gray’s Anatomy has been an international bestseller for 100 years; its appeal is not only to physicians and students, but to artists and the medically curious. As the new Introduction by Dr. Crocco states: “Every living physician today has been exposed to Gray’s Anatomy and nearly everyone has used it. It was Gray’s Anatomy that occupied most of the embryonic physician’s waking hours, whether at home or at the side of his cadaver. “There have been many imitations, but few real competitors. There have been dissection manuals and pictorial atlases brilliantly illustrated with exquisite photographs. There have been synopses of anatomy and there have been monographs on various regions of the body. However, there is only one Gray’s Anatomy. (Random House Publishers)


will be on its fourth season this autumn. Season one began airing March 27, 2005 and ended on May 22, 2005. The first season was shortened by the network to nine episodes instead of 14. (The original season finale was “Bring the Pain.”)

Meredith Grey, daughter of the once-renowned surgeon Ellis Grey, becomes an intern at the Seattle Grace Hospital. She meets fellow interns Cristina Yang, Isobel “Izzie” Stevens, and George O’Malley who will be her closest friends during the intern program. Other characters include Dr. Miranda Bailey, who is nicknamed “The Nazi” due to her “tough love” capability; Alex Karev, another intern who is not very popular with the other interns (especially Izzie); and renowned surgeons Dr. Derek Shepherd and Dr. Preston Burke.

The chief of surgery is Richard Webber, who was once more than close friends with Meredith’s mother. The season chronicles the first few months of the intern program and the day-to-day life of a surgical intern. Recurring plots include Meredith’s battle to keep her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease a secret and her relationship with Dr. Shepherd. Others include George’s infatuation with Meredith and a power struggle between Dr. Burke and Dr. Shepherd in the hospital. The season’s end introduces Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd, Derek’s estranged wife. – Yes, occasionally, I do watch this series, though, I prefer ER of ‘medical series’ on television. (Wikipedia)

Nu, which one are You for, Gray’s Anatomy or Grey’s Anatomy?

Tis for now. Rii xx


I have a friend whose friend is a biology professor. Her students think Gray’s Anatomy is a book of scripts for Grey’s Anatomy!! Bright bunch, eh?


Blu rose

It is not that I do not love the nature, but the nature does not love me! Love unrequited and one-sided is always tough and hard to bear. How come, you may wonder? Well, the fact of the matter is that ever since having the children, the extra bonus* was getting a curlier hair – no perms needed, great saving – though I aim for the straight look, if you know what I mean. The opposite ‘effect’ was becoming very allergic to anything and everything – I mean, nearly every thing – that grows for the whole season the ‘ting’ keeps growing. That is, from the month of March until the end of September, depending on the climate in question, I am in a terrible state of sneezing, wheezing, coughing, tears running, not because of emotions, but of all the pollen. Here is The Times of London online take on the subject.

It is not pleasant, may I say. Hay fever is a dreadful ailment. I remember when I was growing-up that whenever I heard that somebody was suffering from the condition and of sinusitis, – inflamed sinus cavities – I used to think: N’ah, it’s nothing. What’s the fuzz? No big deal. No longer for years have I thought of hay fever as trivial, as it does wear one down seriously and affects your daily life in a big way.

The head is about to explode with the all that pressure on the sinuses and then all the rest of the symptoms. There is medication and that is great, but the downside of that is that they make one feel really drowsy when taken in full doses to have any effect. Then one increases the amount of coffee to stay on the feet. And voila, the spiral is going round and round in its merry way – coffee – medication – coffee – medication…

One day I was walking along the most gorgeous lakeside scenic promenade with an outstanding view any which way one looked. Lovely. Yes, but rather more unlovely for one suffering from hay fever. Not nice. At one point we had to seriously fight for our breath – the air was so thick with pollen flying around us that were coming from the alder trees above.

Tis for now. Riihele xx.

The piccie is one that my elder sister took of her rose and to one which I gave a makeover so that it looks like it is seen through the eyes of a person suffering from a severe dose of hay fever!! Sneeze to Your Health!

* Of course, them dahlings are The Massive Extra Bonus, absolutely worth all the trouble and strife,. Would not want to hand them back, would I now.

The Dead Sea Spa – Nothing Like The Mud


“Mud! Mud! Glorious mud! Nothing quite like it
for cooling the blood.
So, follow me,
follow, down to the hollow,

And there let us wallow in glorious mud.”

The Hippopotamus Song
Words by Michael Flanders
Music by Donald Swann and Michael Flanders

When I filled years a couple of years ago, I decided to follow The Hippo down to the hollow ,ie. to the Dead Sea. No better place for wollowing: relaxing, treatments and chilling. I gave meself a present of a holiday by going to a spa for a week at the Dead Sea in Israel. I was in this hotel in Ein Bokek which lies in the southern end of the Dead Sea. Here are some fun facts & history of the region. And a great link is in here for the absolutely gorgeous photographs of the area. (Press the: Photo Gallery link and – voila!

The uniqueness of the Dead Sea has been known for centuries. This is the only place in the world with this particular combination of exclusive spa benefits: peculiar sun radiation and climatic conditions, enriched oxygen atmosphere, mineral-rich salt sea, thermomineral springs, and mineral-rich mud.” (Dead Sea Guide)

As far as the treatments were concerned during my seven-day stay there I had :

  • 4 full body hot mud treatments
  • 4 full body hot oil treatments
  • 2 facials
  • 2 pedicures
  • 2 manicures
  • 2 full body goarse salt treatments
  • et cetera

You understand by that shortened list that I did feel very much like the Cleopatra and Queen Esther by the end of the pampering! Absolutely, so true, I did indeed. Here is a modern twist of the lessons to be learned by the Queen Esther story. I have the book, by the way. I came back to Jerusalem so very much rejuvenated, refreshed and beautified that my friends hardly recognized me! I went back to the same hotel with my daughters a few months later to have some more of these fabulous treatments. It is nigh impossible to get me Misses up in the morns, but while on the spa holiday here the surprise to me was that they would announce at 8 o’clock in the morning: “Oh, I must dash for my mud treatment!” And off they went, leaving their mama stunned, thinking, if it only had been as easy to get them off to school each morning.

Tis for now yet again. Riihele xx.

Laughter is Medicine


Laughter is by definition healthy,” said Doris Lessing, a British author born in Persia.

I came across an old article on the medicinal benefits of laughter. ” Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study. ” I am quoting the University of Maryland School of Medicine site in here and it continues: ” It improves circulation. When you laugh heartily, every organ is being massaged including your heart, lungs and digestive system. Headaches can just go away. When you laugh the endorphins released make you feel this elation. It makes those big decisions seem so much less important.”

The article I have is entitled: “Go On, Laugh Your Heart Out” by Nicholas Bakalar which was published in The New York Times on March 8, 2005. I found it so interesting that I printed it out and had it tucked away safely for a further reference. So twas good forward planning as I was going through my stuff today, I found it there and want to share it on my blog with the others. I am going to use some other sources as well to get a fuller picture on the topic. BBC Radio 4 has a very interesting show called the “Woman’s Hour” and there was a couple of years ago a programme on laughter, too.

I am quoting the NYTimes article as follows:

“Laughter may be good for your heart. A new study demonstrates that laughing causes the tissues that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to expand and thereby increase blood flow – exactly what aerobic exercise does.”

That sounds amazing! Then I found this site on the net: University of Maryland School of Medicine on which the above mentioned article of the NYTimes is based upon. The Maryland site has this interesting survey for one to fill in to find out how one is doing as regards to the humour, laughter & health. Here is just a nugget of the study:

The endothelium has a powerful effect on blood vessel tone and regulates blood flow, adjusts coagulation and blood thickening, and secretes chemicals and other substances in response to wounds, infections or irritation. It also plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease.”

One thing that I do find such a laugh is that these days people would need to be taught how to laugh through the Laughter Therapy! Absolutely mind-boggling to me, so it is. Why? Well, I tell you – I have never forgotten ‘how to’ have a belly-aching laughter at least once a day for the and because of the goings-on of ma life! I for sure, do not have to watch comedy on the Box for entertainment as I have it right where I am. The heartest laughs are reserved for me own blond-moments, actually.

DO NOT FORGET to laugh Me Dearest Fellow Bloggers! Riihele xx

Incidents and Such Like ~ Train


The hard thing about travelling by train in some countries is the fact that the stops are not announced beforehand, in advance, but one has to figure them out by oneself. We were happily chugging along in this train between Edinburgh and Glasgow when we in our intensive nattering forgot all about keeping track of the stations and their names. Then we were in a station and just about to move along when we suddenly discovered that this particular station was our one to get off the train where somebody had come to collect us. It was also getting late and soon it would be dark.

Oy vey! What to do? There was only a couple of seconds for quick thinking and then I said to her:

“Let’s jump off the train! We are in the last carriage we can do it!
We will just chuck off the bags and then jump ourselves!”

So we did to the utter amazement of the rest of the people in the carrriage. The train was getting on in speed and there was not a second to waste.

First went all our luggage to the side of the track and then ourselves with no harm to either of us.

So far so good.

Then, we heard as we were clambering up the side of the track to the road on the top, this fiercely angry Scottish voice booming loudly over the whole station area:




Well that was us, of course.

We are not going there!‘, was our joint decision.

The angry voice got absolutely hopping mad and continued with the same words over and over again.The train had stopped. To our good luck nobody was looking up at the road where we were walking along, as we had to make our way back to the station to meet this person collecting us. He was more astonished than we in our bumping into him OUTSIDE the station than what we were, I must say!

He said:

“What are you doing out here? I thought that I would meet you inside the station.”

We just pointed out to him that livid voice ringing in the area still calling us to go the stationmaster that it is us that had jumped off the train and that we were not going to go to see anybody! He had a good chuckle about the incident and told us to hurry into his car and that we better head off the area double quick!!

Tis for now. Riihele xx.

The PS.
of this incident was that we had to get tickets to go on to Liverpool to meet the gang and ‘how to’ was the dilemma in this poky little station where everybody knew everybody?!

The chap that did the chauffering for us told us ‘to keep very low profile’ and that he would go the station to buy the tickets and hand them over to us.
And so he did. We were only too glad to see the back of that place and head off to other adventures!