Thursday, 6 June 2019

Jimbo is no more

I'm sad to tell you that my partner, Jim, is no longer with us.
He gave up his fight against cancer on the 27th April after a long 14-month battle.
He was a trooper to the end and a great ambassador for CBD oils.
He will never be forgotten!

Anyone wishing to know more about Jim's legacy can read all about him here

Friday, 8 March 2019

Medicinal Cannabis, CBD and Jim's Legacy

Even though the high-strength version of CBD is now legal in the UK, as medicinal
cannabis, we have learned that not one prescription has yet been issued for it. This
is because N.I.C.E will not recommend it due to the lack of research into its use and
potential benefits. Neither will they accept the results of existing studies and
research from the United States, because their testing systems are not deemed to
be sufficiently rigorous.

If Jim, along with many others, had access to medicinal cannabis, it could help to
alleviate their suffering and potentially extend their lives and it should be a priority
for the Government to put money and time into cancer research with particular
emphasis on studying the health benefits gained from the use of cannabis-derived

Jim feels that if more people were informed of the potential health benefits benefits
of CBD and plant based diets, they too could improve the quality of their lives and
increase their survival outcomes, with or without chemotherapy and wants this to
be his legacy to other cancer sufferers.

Jim, aged 72, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in Feb 2018. He was offered
chemo but after thinking long and hard about it, decided not to have it. He was concerned
that the side-effects would be worse than the benefits, as his oncologist told him that each
session would not provide a cure and at best would only give him about three extra
months of life. It is a known fact that chemo' destroys the immune system at the same time
as it attempts to destroy the cancer, and it can also lead to a very poor quality of life, giving
very little in return.

Jim had learned about CBD (cannabinoids) when his mother was suffering from cancer
and had used it with some degree of success to help reduce the tumours on her arm.
Sadly, she passed away in November 2017 from old age.

So, he started using “over the counter” CBD oils and vapes and began a regime of using
alternative plant-based dietary supplements. Herbal teabags (8 different ones in a pint pot
including turmeric, echinacea, ginger, garlic and others twice daily), herb-based tablets
containing the same and cut out dairy foods by using alternative vegan products. His
oncologist said that these would not harm him although he was sceptical that any of it
would help with his cancer, but agreed that they may help to boost his immune system, or
at the very least, help his body to cope with any side-effects. When asked, he said that he
could not prescribe CBD because he did not know enough about it.

In April 2018, he told Jim that, in his opinion, he had only 6 months to live and then, in
October (by which time he should have been dead), they found a 0.5cm metastasis in his
brain. In spite of this, Jim was still feeling well and had experienced no side-effects.

However, the oncologist advised us to cancel our planned holiday to Tenerife because he
was concerned that Jim may have a “fit” on the flight, or become seriously ill whilst away.
The holiday was called off.

In November, he started to have problems with his coordination and dragging his right leg.
He was prescribed steroids to help to shrink the brain tumour and the oncologist
reluctantly discharged Jim from his clinic as he felt that he could offer little in the way of
further treatment. He told us to start planning for “end of life” care and Jim was referred to the palliative care team, but, as he was still feeling "well" two weeks later, all options, including hospice intervention, were temporarily put on hold.

The improvement on the steroids was almost immediate. Jim's walking improved and he
was able to enjoy and good Christmas with friends and family. In his own words, he felt “on
top of the world”! At no time until very recently has he suffered any pain and he stated that
he did not feel as if he had cancer.

He still manages to have a good social life and in particular enjoys participating in his
weekly “karaoke” sessions. Not bad for a man with terminal lung cancer!

Three weeks ago, on Jim's request, his oncologist agreed to a further appointment and was
amazed! He said that it was wonderful to see how well he was doing, especially as
he had not had any chemo. He also said that Jim had proved to be an inspiration
and given him food for thought about the use of alternative therapies. He prescribed
him some antibiotics for an outbreak of oral thrush (a side-effect of the steroids), took his
bloods and arranged a further chest x-ray. He has also had a further CT scan on his brain
and will go back to see the oncologist on the 11th March to discuss the results.

We don't know what they will show - it may be worse or it may be better - either way, we
are prepared to deal with whatever comes. What we have seen is a complete turnaround in the way the oncologist is dealing with Jim. No longer is he pessimistic, but rather very optimistic and happy to do whatever he can to assist Jim in his quest to remain "chemo-free"!

Jim decided to go his own way, choosing “quality of life” over “quantity” and in doing so
has beaten all the odds by surviving stage IV lung cancer with brain mets for over 12
months, without chemo. His positive outlook and sheer stubborn attitude are what has
got him through it. He is determined to beat it and at the very least "go down fighting"!
Positive mental attitude and a willingness to keep up his strict regime have gone a
long way in winning the battle. With the help of CBD and his plant-based remedies,
his immune system has been able to keep the symptoms of his cancer under

Jim, aka, "OldGitJimbo" is my partner.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Government Apprenticeship Scheme and the WASPI Woman

In the summer of 2017, the Work & Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, managed to cause outrage and indignation to many, if not all, WASPI women, by suggesting that they should take out an apprenticeship if they were having difficulty making ends meet.

He recently re-iterated this in the House of Commons during his statement on pensions in response to a question from a member of the opposition on behalf of the WASPIs.

Here's an extract from the publication by the House of Commons library No 06113, 4th January 2019 which show the actual take-up of apprenticeships by people (not just women), in 2016/17.

Only 4,000 people, both men and women, aged 60+ signed up for an apprenticeship in 2016/17. That's only 1% of the population!

Not only that. Another publication by the Department of Education, a survey on Learners and Apprentices 2018 shows the numbers of people who failed to complete their apprenticeships and their reasons for it.

      Note the small print at the bottom - “it was already known that many            learners and apprentices do not complete their training.”

        Here is a summary of the official statistics as stated in the summary

Note how many more women than men cited “personal or domestic problems” as their reason for not completing. More evidence of inequality!

 The final sentence clearly states that “these issues disproportionately impacted on women and those aged 25 and over.”

If ever there was proof enough that apprenticeships for WASPIs do not and will not work, this is it!

 And here's more evidence of personal challenges faced by these older apprentices.

 So, Mr Guy Opperman, Work & Pensions Minister, you already know that your so-called solution simply doesn't work, but then again, we could have told you before your department spent all that money commissioning the survey!

What do you think? The evidence clearly shows that there is no benefit whatsoever for a WASPI woman in taking up an apprenticeship. Unless, of course, she is 100% fit and well, leads an extremely quiet and non-disruptive life, has not experienced a recent change in employment, is fully able to understand and absorb new information, is not physically disabled and has no mental or emotional difficulties.

How many WASPI women do you know who can satisfy all of those criteria?

Answers on a postcard........!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Why Banning The Burka Wouldn't Help Integration

Image by IB Time UK

Unless you've been asleep for the past week, you will know all about the furore unleashed by Boris Johnson's comments on women in burkas.

Opinions currently differ over whether banning the burka is a good thing or not - some say that an outright ban would be the solution. Take away the problem and then we can all forget about it. Others, including myself, feel that it should be a woman's right to choose how she dresses, so long as she is making the choice of her own volition and not because she is forced to.

However, I have recently experienced something that has made me question the whole subject of the integration of ethnic minorities into our western culture and I have come to the conclusion that it is not that these group of people are unable to integrate - they simply don't want to!

Just last night, my partner and I were leaving a friend's flat, in Blackburn, Lancashire. She is Blackburn born and bred, British and white. She lives next door to an Asian family and they share an access pathway to their respective flats.

As we were leaving, a car pulled up outside on the road and a young Asian lady, in her late twenties, wearing normal western clothes, got out of the car and walked up the pathway towards the flats. My partner, who is always polite, said "Good evening" to her and she totally ignored him. Personally, so far as I am concerned, if someone chooses to ignore you, you don't bother to push the issue, but Jim being Jim, said to her "Why are you ignoring me?".

The young lady immediately flew into a rage and shouted at the top of her voice "Why are you speaking to me? I don't know you!" to which Jim replied, "I was just being polite by saying "Good evening" to you."

Immediately after this, the front door to her flat flew open and a very angry young man stormed out and verbally attacked Jim whilst shouting "Why do you speak to my sister? You have no right! You should go!"

Again, Jim calmly replied "I was just being polite. I said "Good evening".

By now, I was becoming slightly concerned for his welfare. He is 71 and has terminal cancer. I ushered him into our car and as he got into it, the Asian man flew at the window, which was open, and grabbed Jim threatening to hit him!

By now, there was a group of about six people, all Asian males, stood on the pathway, shouting and gesticulating about how upset they were because Jim said "Good evening" to the Asian lady.

Fearing that they might damage my car, or worse still...Jim, I started up the engine and as I did, the original young man stuck his face into the car and shouted: "Get the f**k out of here!". So we haste, unfortunately, leaving our friend, who presumably knows them, to try to pacify the baying crowd on her pathway.

It was very scary and I can only draw the conclusion that, in this particular instance, this group of people simply did not want to have anything to do with us. So, even without the burka, how on earth are we going to get certain "ethnic minorities" to integrate into our society when they really, quite obviously, don't want to!

Could someone please explain what is so wrong about saying "Good evening" to someone, even if you don't know them? Is it really so wrong to be polite to people? Or am I missing something?



Monday, 6 August 2018

In Which Countries is Euthanasia Legal?

Presently,  human euthanasia is legitimate in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, India and South Korea. Assisted suicide is lawful in Switzerland, Germany, South Korea and Japan.  In the US states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Washington DC, and California, assisted suicide is also legitimate.

An assisted-dying scheme in the Australian province of Victoria will become effective in mid-2019. Assisted suicide will be dying with the assistance of someone else, usually a doctor. The term is frequently utilized conversely with physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which includes a specialist “knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge and means required to commit suicide, including counselling about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or supplying.”
Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland allow doctor involvement in the patient’s death. In the United States, six states permit medical assistance in passing on.
Euthanasia is portrayed as a non-treatment decision (NTD), which incorporates withholding and pulling back life-sustaining treatment, followed by death from the underlying illness. It is designed to assist the person to die rather than carry on with persistent, intolerable pain. The lawfulness of this varies throughout the different nations. It is defined as willful, non-deliberate, or automatic. Willful euthanasia is legal in a few nations. Non-willful killing (patient’s assent inaccessible) is illegal in all nations. Automatically euthanising without the patient’s consent or against their will) is also illegal in all nations and is typically considered to be murder.
In April 2002, the Netherlands was the first country to legitimize euthanasia and assisted suicide. There are very strict rules and conditions: the patient must be suffering considerably, they must be terminally ill and the request must be made in “full cognizance” by the patient.
Belgium passed a law in 2002 legitimizing euthanasia, becoming only the second nation on the planet to do so. The law says specialists can assist patients with ending their lives when they openly express a desire to die if they are enduring interminable suffering. Patients can likewise be euthanised where they have overtly expressed it before entering a coma or comparable vegetative state.
Neither in The Netherlands nor in Belgium is there a necessity that the patient is at death’s door. The two key components of the laws in the two nations are that the misery must be (subjectively) “excruciating” and that there (objectively) is “no prospect of change”.This potentially opens up euthanasia for those who are chronically and mentally ill. In The Netherlands, there is a lower age limit of 12 years, but there are no such limits in Belgium.
Colombia’s Constitutional Court decided in 1997 that “no person can be held criminally responsible for taking the life of a terminally ill patient who has given clear authorization to do so.”The court characterized a “terminally ill” individual as one with sicknesses, for example, “cancer, AIDS, and kidney or liver disease being the “cause of extreme suffering”. The decision particularly declined to approve euthanasia for individuals with degenerative diseases, for example, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or Lou Gehrig’s illness. The nation’s parliament passed a bill legitimizing euthanasia on 20 February 2008.
In Canada,”doctor-assisted dying”, is legal for all people over 18 years old who have a terminal illness that has advanced to the point where natural death is “reasonably foreseeable.”
In every one of the six American states above, a patient may request doctor-assisted suicide on the basis of having only six months to live.
Physician-assisted suicide (PAS), involves a specialist “knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge and means required to commit suicide, including counselling about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or supplying.”
Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland enable doctors to physically aid the demise of patients. In the United States, six states permit therapeutic assistance to die.
Doctor-assisted suicide is frequently mistaken for euthanasia. In instances of euthanasia the doctor oversees the methods for death, for the most part, a deadly medication. In doctor-assisted suicide, it is required that a man of sound mind intentionally communicates his or her desire to die and demands a sufficient dosage of medicine that will end his or her life. The main defining adjunct is that doctor-assisted suicide requires the patient to self-administer the medicine.
Assisted-suicide is legally supported in Switzerland’s penal code, even though there is no law about it. A specialist must analyze the patient and compose the deadly solution, however regularly does not take an interest past that. Rather, the patient is given control by a right-to-die organisation  (like EXIT), which at that point utilizes its own particular strategies to help the demise.
Recently, the UK Supreme Court has decided that where a patient is in a lasting vegetative state, or minimally conscious, specialists may, with the agreement of close relatives, pull back sustenance and water to enable the patient to die. As this is simply starving the patient to death this controversial law will most likely prompt dissent from pro-life associations in view of the length of time it can take for the patient to die – in some cases up to a month from the sustenance being withdrawn. No-one can deny that this is a horrible way to die, even if the patient appears to be unaware of the process. It is euthanasia in all but name and no doubt further discussions and possible legislation will take place in the future.

Friday, 20 July 2018

What Do Rabbits Eat and Drink?

So, you’ve got yourself a rabbit and you’re asking yourself, what you can safely feed it? Or maybe you’re just randomly interested in what rabbits like to eat and drink. If you want to have a happy, safe and friendly bunny, read on.
The most important thing your bunny needs is fresh, clean water…and lots of it. Water is the ONLY liquid it needs to survive. Ideally, it should be changed twice daily and served in a ceramic bowl that cannot be tipped over. In warm weather, you can also add a couple of ice cubes to it. Without water, your rabbit would be dead within three days…that’s how important it is!
Rabbits need water to keep their vital organs functioning and their blood healthy. It also helps their digestive systems and flushes away the excess calcium that they build up. They do drink a lot of water, but if you notice that they are drinking excessively, it is possible that they are in pain or in distress. It is always a good idea to take them to the vet to be checked over.
80/90 per cent of your rabbit’s food should be fresh hay. It gives them fibre and also helps to wear down their teeth. Not only that but it helps to keep them occupied. You could also add some foraging material in the form of tree bark, twigs and sprouts, seeds and small amounts of fruit (but only as a treat). In addition, you can feed them with certain plants, herbs and weeds. If your rabbit has his own enclosure, you could even have some live plants growing there for him.

Herbs, Vegetables and Plants
You can ring the changes by feeding a variety of fresh, pesticide-free vegetables on a regular basis. Feed him approximately 1 cup of vegetables per 4lbs of body weight daily.
Here are a few suggestions to try:
  • Artichoke(leaves)
  • Asparagus
  • Baby sweetcorn
  • Basil
  • Borage
  • Broccoli (leaves only)
  • Brussels sprouts (limited)
  • Butternut squash
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Carrot (tops, but sparingly as they contain a lot of calcium)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chickweed
  • Clover (leaves and flowers)
  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey
  • Coriander
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Kale (a little)
  • Lavender
  • Dark leaf lettuce (not ice-burg)
  • Mint
  • Nasturtium
  • Nettle
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peas (including leaves and pods)
  • Peppers(all colours)
  • Plantain
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish (tops, limited)
  • Rocket
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Spinach (occasional)
  • Swedes
  • Thyme
  • Turnip (occasionally)
  • Watercress
  • Yarrow
  • Plants
  • Agrimony
  • Apple (leaves and twigs)
  • Blackberry (leaves)
  • Burdock
  • Calendula
  • Echinacea
  • Hawthorn
  • Hazel
  • Lemon balm
  • Pansies
  • Raspberry (leaves)
  • Roses (leaves and flowers)
  • Strawberry (greens)
  • Tulips
These can be purchased at most supermarkets and should be high in fibre and low in protein and not mixed with anything else. As your rabbit gets older you should reduce the number of pellets gradually. Just a small handful daily is sufficient.
These should only be fed in moderation and as the occasional treat, up to two tablespoons a day. This is because they contain a lot of sugar which is not good for your rabbit’s health, but they really enjoy the taste!
However, don’t give them any pips, stones or plants unless it is in the preceding list.
Try some of these:
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • KiwiFruit
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Nectarines
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
Forbidden foods (Never to be given)
Bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels, yoghurt chips, chocolate, milk or cereal. Potatoes, avocado, daffodils, rhubarb, lilies, mushrooms, sweet peas, iceberg lettuce, broad beans, buttercups, kidney beans, jasmine foxgloves. All of these can make your rabbit very ill and sometimes it can be fatal.
So, as you can see, your bunny doesn’t need much to keep him healthy, but by feeding a varied and interesting diet he will be one very happy bunny too!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Health Benefits of Turmeric For Dogs

Many of us know of the health benefits of taking turmeric, in moderation, as part of our daily routine but have you ever considered that is can also be good for your furry friend? Yes, even dogs can benefit from a daily dose of turmeric in their diet and it certainly won't harm them!
The healing part of the turmeric herb is in the root. Turmeric contains the compound known as curcumin, which also gives it its bright yellow colour. It helps to boost the immune system and can also help with the following conditions:
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Infections
  • Heart conditions
  • Cancer
  • Aids digestion
  • Parasites
  • Eye health
  • Diabetes
  • Liver health
  • Allergies
  • Epilepsy
  • Pain-relief
  • Diarrhoea
  • Memory
With all these possible benefits, turmeric truly is a wonder-herb! Many dogs, particularly older ones, suffer from joint diseases like hip dysplasia and arthritis. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties can significantly help to reduce the symptoms and give pain relief. Studies have also shown that cancers, allergies, dental disease, digestive disease and more can be treated with the herb, which helps the immune system to heal the body by increasing the number of white blood corpuscles.

It has been shown to effectively shut down the blood vessels that feed cancer and can also help to shrink and kill the cancer cells Cancer Research UK  Turmeric is extremely beneficial for dogs as well as humans, but, like everything else, too much of it can be bad for your health so you need to be aware of the possible side-effects and take the necessary precautions.

If your dog is on blood-thinning medication, please be careful as turmeric is a natural blood thinner and too much could cause internal bleeding. ALWAYS consult your vet if in doubt! In any event, the best way is to start with small doses, as little as a quarter of a teaspoon daily mixed in with his food until you begin to see results and then increase slowly until you reach the optimum dosage.
If your dog becomes nauseous, constipated or excessively hot then he, or she, may not be a suitable candidate for turmeric therapy. Also, turmeric and aspirin should not be taken together so do not give both of these at the same time.
Turmeric Paste Recipe for Dogs

½cup turmeric powder
2cups water
¼cup coconut oil
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Warm the turmeric powder, water, and coconut oil in a pan on a low heat until it thickens. 
Add the black pepper when cooked and extra water if too thick. 
Allow cooling. The paste can be stored for up to a month in your refrigerator.
Mix a small teaspoonful with your dog's normal food on a daily basis and increase gradually depending on the results. The maximum recommended dose for larger dogs is one teaspoon daily.

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