Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you all a truly wonderful Christmas 2013.

Happy Christmas!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #dog #FatherChristmas #Santa #SantaHat #SantaBeard #Lurcher #hound #sighthound #sunrise #sun #horizon #view #scenery #countryside #sea #fields

Barley enjoyed the 'fresh' Winter wind, and watching the sunrise whilst we were out walking this morning. He enjoyed seeing the sun say good morning, almost as much as he enjoyed wearing his Santa hat and beard. ;)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Grateful for My Life

I love living by the sea.
I love being able to walk in the countryside, in the fresh air, watching the sun rise whilst looking out to sea.
I am happy. I am grateful.

This morning. Beautiful. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #sunrise #sun #sunshine #sky #clouds #sea #countryside #scenery #view #landscape #horizon #noedit #nofilter

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

What are you grateful for?

Marks & Spencer Apologises after Muslim Staff Member Refused to Sell Customer Alcohol

I wrote yesterday about Marks & Spencer allowing their Muslim staff to refuse to serve customers alcohol or pork.

Today the story is on the national TV news.
I just watched both the BBC and Sky news reports about this story.

Apparently Marks & Spencer have apologised.
The Daily Mail headline made me laugh, and that's not something that ever happens when reading the usual nonsense the Mail prints.
They wrote, 'Not just any U-turn, this is a M&S U-turn'. 

The news said Marks & Spencer policy tries to ensure that any staff members who feel unable to handle alcohol or certain food products for religious reasons are given suitable roles.

A spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer said the branch where this incident took place had not followed 'internal policy' when the Muslim lady working on the till refused to serve a customer a bottle of Champagne.

The unnamed customer told the Telegraph she was 'taken aback' when the 'extremely apologetic' Muslim lady working on the till refused to sell her a bottle of Champagne and asked the customer to wait for another till to be available.

The customer told the newspaper, 'I had one bottle of champagne, and the lady, who was wearing a headscarf, was very apologetic but said she could not serve me. 'I was taken aback. I was a bit surprised. I've never come across that before'. 

Marks & Spencer said its policy wasn't just for Muslim staff members, it also applied for followers of religions other than Islam.

The Marks & Spencer spokeswoman said, 'Where we have an employee whose religious beliefs restrict food or drink they can handle, we work closely with our members of staff to place them in suitable role, such as in our clothing department or bakery in foods... '
As a secular business we have an inclusive policy that welcomes all religious beliefs whether across our customer or employee base'.

Marks and Spencer also said, 'This policy has been in place for many years, and when followed correctly, we do not believe that it should compromise our ability to offer the highest level of customer service. 
'We apologise that this policy was not followed in the case reported'.

Unsurprisingly the big supermarket chains are using this Marks & Spencer story to gain some free advertising.
Sainsbury's said that there is no reason why their staff, who do not drink alcohol or eat pork on religious grounds, could not handle the products.
Tesco said it made 'no sense' for staff who refuse to touch certain items for religious reasons to work on a till.
Asda said it does not have such a policy in place, 'but if any colleague had a serious concern about anything then we’d look at that on a case-by-case basis'.
Morrisons said they 'respect and work around anyone’s wishes not to handle specific products for religious or cultural reasons'.

I had no intention of mentioning this story again, but as it's made the TV news and is in all of the online newspapers I read, I thought it only fair that I say that Marks & Spencer have apologised.

It is all a bit crazy isn't it, these stories shouldn't even happen, let alone take up time on the news when other stories could be reported.
I mean, what next? Will Muslime workers refuse to sell bikinis because they expose so much flesh?
Or will a Christian refuse to serve a Muslim purchasing a headscarf because it could be considered a religious symbol.
Or a vegetarian refuse to serve anyone buying meat.
Or a vegan refuse to serve anyone wanting to buy meat, fish, cheese, eggs etc.
I could go on, and on...........

It is ridiculous.
Britain is a Christian country, or secular if you prefer, but whatever, it is not a Muslim country. So why are we constantly changing the rules to make Muslims feel comfortable?
If a Muslim person, whatever their nationality, does not like or agree with the way we live in Britain, then maybe they should move and live elsewhere. There are lots of Muslim countries to choose from.
And plenty of 'planes leaving daily from UK airports.

I don't really have anything more to say about this, I almost wish I hadn't posted about it yesterday, as it's not all that important, is it? At least compared to so many of the other reports in the news today.

Having said that, I do want to say one more thing - just to get the niggle out of my head, so here it is.
The consumption of alcohol is supposedly forbidden in Islam, with some Muslims refusing to touch alcohol in any way. And they don't eat pork.
I only have one Muslim friend who doesn't eat pork, and that's because he is a vegetarian, or so he says - I have seen him eating meat but never in his home. He enjoys a good booze-up too.
All of my other friends, who are Muslims, eat pork, and drink alcohol.
Having travelled extensively around the World, and visited several Muslim countries, I have never known a Muslim to refuse an alcoholic drink when they are out socialising. The Muslims I've met who obey the rules, more or less, mainly seemed to stick to the no-alcohol rule when in their own homes.
Interesting eh?
Or not.
I am not going to comment on this topic further. Honestly!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Marks & Spencer - Putting Their Customers Last by Allowing Muslim Staff to Refuse to Serve People Buying Alcohol and Pork


I was just flitting about reading various things online when I saw this news headline -
M&S tells Muslim staff they CAN refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork

Mmm, don't mind if I do.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #Westons #Westonscider #cider
Grub.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #food #lunch #meat #ham #gammon #sweetpotato #courgette #carrot #cauliflower Yummy, yummy in my tummy - yesterday.

I always used to say there's nothing that shocks me about the World we currently live in, but lately that's not quite so true.

I am shocked by this news. No, actually I'm not shocked, this type of news seems to be pretty standard practice lately in Britain doesn't it.
I am not shocked, I am bloody outraged.
I am incensed.
I am affronted.
I am infuriated.
But most of all I am seriously sad.
Sad that in Britain, which is a Christian country, Muslim beliefs seem to be given priority.
It just doesn't make sense to me.

It's been way too long.  #pub #beer #ale #realale #meat #food #beef #cameronstrophyspecial #blacksheepbeer #blacksheepbrewery #blacksheepbitter #stapyltonarms

It's ironic that in some Muslim countries it's illegal to be a Christian. You will be killed if you are a Christian. It is true that in Muslim countries freedom of worship is rare, and often illegal.
And yet here in Britain where we practice liberal attitudes towards all religions, there doesn't seem to be any realisation by the very people we are bending over backwards to please, that we are indeed liberal about people having the freedom to follow the religion of their choosing, without fear of prosecution or death.

I don't for one minute think we should be anti-Muslim, or anti any religion.
I am a lover not a fighter.
And I like to think that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people, but it's difficult to ignore the radical extremists.
It's those people, who headlines like this one about M&S allowing certain staff members to not do their job, are pandering to.
No wonder fanatical Muslim extremists think we are a soft country, and that we should change the way we live, and change our laws to Sharia law.
We seem to be slowly losing everything that is typically British.

Yes! Always yes!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #vin #vinrouge #wine #redwine #wineglass #blackandwhite

Britain is a Christian country, fact. And just because the number of people who go to church on a Sunday may be less than the number of people who attend Mosque, does not mean we are a Muslim country.
AS the saying goes, standing in a church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a mechanic.
We may not outwardly appear to behave in what non-Christians consider to be Christian behaviour, but that's none of their business.
We are not a Muslim country, we do not have to abide by any of their rules.
If you don't like how we live in Britain, it's simple, don't live here - it's not compulsory.

I don't care where people are born, I don't care if they're British Muslims, this is not a race issue.
It's about religion, it's about a fair society.
As I said we are a liberal country. So why don't people appreciate that they are free to do many things that they would not be able to do in many other countries.
It is headlines like this that cause trouble. I am a good example of this, I am a very peaceful, calm person, but reading this headline really wound me up.
Thankfully I am not the type of person who will go out and do anything stupid, but there are people who will use this as an excuse to misbehave.

We like red wine. We like it a lot. Liquid lunch.  It's not as nice as the wine we used to drink when we live on France.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #vin #vinrouge #wine #redwine #bottles #empties #emptybottles #emptywi

There is absolutely no need for Marks & Spencer to implement this move. They are causing problems where none exist.
Surely if a Muslim person has a problem with people buying alcohol or pork, then they must also have a problem working for a company that sells these products. Unless of course they are hypocrites.

No real ale number 2.  Had a pint of #ExhibitionAle Hubby had #Strongbow #cider #pub #peanuts #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk It was better than my previous pint.

Marks & Spencer are eejits. If there was an issue over their Muslim staff not wanting to sell alcohol or pork to customers, which I'm not certain there was, then all they had to do was inform their staff that they were not obliged to continue working there, and then every time they interview someone new ask them if they have a problem with this. If they say yes, then tell them the job is not suitable for them.

Why do some companies feel the need to complicate things?
Are they deliberately stirring up trouble?
I wish we could all live in peace and harmony.
But in Britain today it feels as though the beliefs and opinions of British Christians and non-Muslims are rarely considered, or worse still briefly considered and then completely ignored and/or overridden.

We've furnished the lounge!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #beer #englishbeer #britishbeer #ale #realale

What the feck is going on in Britain?
I am at a loss to understand this latest move by M&S especially considering that just a couple of days ago I read that they're having trouble reaching their sales targets.
Decisions like this are no doubt part of the problem, and quite frankly I don't think Marks & Spencer deserve to meet their sales targets.
As much as I am ranting about this, I do feel bad for the non-Muslim staff, because I'm sure this policy will see less customers willing to spend their money in M & S. Less customers, less money in the tills, less staff required.

What is going on?
If people who feel the same as I do, about this ridiculous decision allowing Muslim staff to refuse to serve customers if they're buying alcohol or pork, they are called racist.
It's absolutely crazy.

According to the news article I read this latest M & S policy will apply in 700 of their shops.
Customers who want to purchase alcohol and pork will be asked to wait and pay at a different till, if they have queued at a till being staffed by a Muslim who then refuses to serve them.

I married well.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #food #lunch #sausage #sausages #CumberlandSausages #beans #homemadebeans #potato #carrot #parsnip #egg #bread #homemadebread #homemadesourdoughbread #homemadesourdough #sourd

I just can't get over the craziness of this.
And isn't Marks & Spencer a Jewish company?
So wouldn't working for Jews be far more offensive than serving a customer a bottle of wine or a packet of bacon?
Yes, yes, I know, I know! I'm being ignorant, not all Muslims hate Jews. Hahaha! But some do, and they also like to chop and change the rules of their religion to suit themselves.
I'm too mad about this to think sensibly.
What a shame a powerful company like Marks & Spencer hasn't got the balls to say, if you don't like working here, you know where the door is.

Part of the problem with these ridiculous headlines that seem to be printed with greater frequency lately, is that us Brits tend to have a good moan about them, about how unfair it all is etc. and then that's it. Nothing. We don't do anything. I think partly because we feel powerless.
But surely we should do something, maybe we should be more like the French. Maybe.
I'm not suggesting we go out and riot or anything illegal. But we could put our money where our mouth is, as the saying goes, and not put our money in the tills at M & S.

£13.98 for 2 'Steak Club'meals or for 2 Steaks and a bottle if wine £16.99. ❓❓❓ I've been manipulated. Hubby sobs good. We had 2 steak and a bottler of red wine. Very warm red wine.  Steak was actually a surprise. A pleasant surprise.  It was very flavour

Having read this news, I will not shop at Marks & Spencer again.
The chances of me queueing up with a shopping trolley full of booze, bacon, sausages, or some other delicious pork meat are high, and I'm pretty certain the chances of me leaving empty handed are low, because a Muslim worker refused to serve me.
I'm certain because I have shopped in many different branches of M & S over the years, and all over the country, and even in branches not in the UK, and I have never been aware of any staff member working on the tills who was a Muslim.
But still, I would not appreciate wasting my time browsing the wine aisles, waiting for ages in the queue (M & S always seems busy to me, not sure why their profits aren't healthy) only to be told I can't be served. I would without a doubt leave my shopping and walk out.

They say no publicity is bad publicity.
Is that true?
This news headline about Marks & Spencer has definitely helped me decide to boycott them - for good.
I wonder how many other customers will feel the same.
If we feel powerless to do anything about the continued erosion of what we consider the British way of life, then maybe we should vote with our feet.

That's it!
One hastily written, knee-jerk opinion on the idiocy of M & S allowing their Muslim staff to still get paid for not actually doing their job.
I'm done.

Man it's warm outside.  Best thing to do is stay inside. And drink beer.  #YellaBelly #beer #ale #realale #pub #bar #TheWarrenInn #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk Bottoms Up!

What's your opinion about Marks & Spencer allowing Muslim staff  to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol and pork?

Friday, 20 December 2013

Porridge Oats, with Coconut Milk, Apricots, Prunes, and Honey

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I'm not sure I agree with that, but then that maybe because I often miss breakfast because I don't get up until lunchtime.
Rising late is not because I'm lazy, insomnia is to blame.
Thank God for coffee!

Cuppa.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #cuppa #tea #greentea #mugoftea #drink #caffeine #yum #yummy

This morning though I fancied some fresh air and exercise, so I got up early especially to go out for a lovely long walk with Mr.R and Barley.

3. Three. Us.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #feet #dog #dogpaw #paw #boots #frost

Barley had a seriously good run. 
He is so beautiful to watch as he pounds across the fields overlooking the sea.

Too fast. We need F1 photography kit to catch this boy. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #dog #rescuedog #Lurcher #sighthound #hound
This morning. Up early. Dog walk. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #scenery #view #countryside #sea #field

When we got back we were all cold and hungry, so I made breakfast.
Today I fancied porridge, so that's what I made using coconut milk, lots of apricots, prunes, and yummy honey. It was seriously warming and delicious.
Porridge is definitely one of my favourite breakfasts, it's so tasty, and it's good for health.

Mmm!  Porridge with coconut milk, apricots, prunes, and honey.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #food #breakfast #porridge #oats #porridgeoats #apricot #prunes #coconutmilk #honey

What's your favourite breakfast?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Charity - Shouldn't it Begin at Home?

We are charitable people, or at least I like to think we are.

Mr.R and I have always been generous people, not just in what you may think are the traditional ways to be charitable. 
Yes, we have given money to causes we believe in, but there's more to being generous than throwing cash at a problem. 
Over the years we have also given our time, and sometimes just helped by listening to someone in need, just by being there when another person needs someone to show they care. 

4 hours sleep last night and I'm sitting here doodling notes on Christmas presents for cats.  I need help!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #note #notes #doodles #reindeer #cat #santa #FatherChristmas #christmastree

Anyway, this blog post is not about how generous, charitable, or bloody wonderful we are - although we are all those things. ;)
It's about TV. 
Yep, I bet you didn't see that coming. 

I like watching TV.
Yes, yes, I know the 'idiot box' rots the brain, but I like it.
I like watching TV, well, when I say I like watching the tele what I really mean is I like to have the TV turned on whilst I sit in front of it, despite the fact that I'm not actually watching whatever programme is being screened. 

More often than not I am messing about online, so I guess the TV is just a background noise. Although most of the time I turn the sound off, so it's not noisy either. 
Having said that, I am currently typing this ramble in complete silence, with no bright light glaring from the TV screen - because I have turned it off. 

Grrr! I'm taking way too long to get to the point.

Oh dear! My handwriting is not good.  Thankfully I don't have any friends, so I didn't have to over exert myself addressing envelopes. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #letters #stamps #postagestamps #envelopes #box #cardboar

What I want to say is that, what I want to say is going to make me sound like a seriously tight, mean, uncaring, and probably nasty person.
I am not. I am nice. 

Nice is a strange word these days. It's always seems to be used as a negative word. 
Whatever. I like the word nice. I think it should be used more, and understood as a positive word. 
But, I digress. My feelings about the word nice, it's definition etc. are for another post. 

So, back to this blogpost. TV. Or more specifically, adverts on TV. 
It's December, so predictably, and understandably the majority of the adverts that are being aired are related to Christmas. Apart from Christmas ads there are lots of charity adverts. 
They are beginning to....... I don't know what word(s) to use. I can only think of annoy, irritate, bug me, frustrate me..... and various other similar words, but none of them accurately describe my feelings when I see yet another charity advert on TV asking, no, pleading, for money. 

As I said, I am nice, and I am a generous person. 
So, you may think TV adverts asking for money would be right up my alley. 
And I'll tell you why. 
I think the adverts are badly shot, or filmed, the voice-overs are seriously depressing, and then the 'punchline' is always roughly the same, it's predictable.
It goes something like this, 'If you send us just £??? in return you will receive blah blah blah.......'

Grrr! It makes my blood boil, well not boil but get a touch warmer than is considered normal temperature. 
The whole premise of these charity adverts is to persuade people to give their hard earned cash to the cause. The ever-so-important cause that is desperate for your money. 
So, I want to know, if they are so desperate to raise funds for their good causes, why do they then blow a large chunk of the donations they receive on sending you tat, that you more than likely don't need or even want?
It's ridiculous. 

✨✨ Christmas Angels!  I like this stamp, which was on the first Christmas card we revived this year.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #letters #stamps #postagestamps #envelopes #angels #Christmasangels

Today just before lunch I was sitting watching the idiot box and there were 3 charity adverts on in just one lot of ad breaks. 
The first advert was a WWF ad for polar bears. They were asking for 'as little' as £3 per month to help save the polar bears.
In return for your money they will send you -
A beautiful, cuddly toy polar bear
Polar Bear adoption certificate
3x 'Wild World' and 'My Polar Bears' updates
Stickers, polar bear facts, bookmarks and lots more...

This is what I'm talking about, the needless stuff that these charities spend your donations on.
If I choose to donate my money to help polar bears then I want my money to help the polar bears. I do not want my money to be wasted on crap; cuddly toys, stickers, certificates etc.

It wasn't just the WWF Polar Bear ad that I noticed today, I also watched a charity ad for WaterAid.
They were asking for £2 a month to help stop children dying from drinking dirty water.
No doubt it's a worthy cause.
I can't believe that in 2013 there is any human in the World who does not have access to clean, safe drinking water. It is unbelievable.

WaterAid is an international organisation. But why do their adverts always feature African children?
Yes, I know the water shortages in Africa are serious. But there are actually children in the UK who do not have clean safe drinking water.
Maybe an advert aired on British TV should not only show poor little African children, but also a British child who is also in desperate need of fresh water.

Good things come in small packages. ✉️ #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #envelope #brownenvelope #post #package #MadeinChina

The third charity advert that was aired in just one lot of ad breaks was for the Salvation Army.
By the time the Sally Army ad was screened I'd had enough of being made to feel guilty for having so much, while others have to little.
That wasn't exactly what the Salvation Army advert said, but that was the tone, and how it made me feel.

Three adverts in one lot of ad breaks!
I know they have a job to do, and I know this will sound bad, but watching, listening to these ads is seriously depressing.
No wonder suicide rates rise at Christmas.

23. All resent from the same sender. That's what happens when you go on holiday for 2 years. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #letters #post #mail #envelopes #blackandwhite

Hmm, being contrary by nature, I am now feeling that everything I've written so far is not what I truly think at all.
I actually think the opposite.
It's not easy being me.
No doubt Mr.R would add that it's not easy living with me either.

Isn't it clever how just writing something slightly negative about charity makes me feel and sound like a bad person.
It's not the concept of charity that I have a problem with. It's pretty much everything else.
The money they spend on nonsense, the predictable way they try and tug at our heart, the long-winded
way they ask for our cash.
I think I'd prefer it if they were more like the ad that says, 'it does what it says on the tin'.

They should be more open and honest. Don't bother making adverts with beautiful, big brown-eyed children, or cute fluffy polar bears, just say what's what.
Say, we need to raise £???.
We will spend no more than 25% on admin etc. and the remaining 75% will be spent helping the cause.
We will account for every single penny raised.
This would definitely be a better way to raise funds.

23. All resent from the same sender. That's what happens when you go on holiday for 2 years. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #post #letters #lines #straightlines blackandwhite

Britain is a generous country. We do help when needed, and often when not needed, as in the case of giving tons of money to India, despite them saying they didn't want it.
But once again that's a topic for another blog post.

Britain actually seems to be far more interested in helping anyone and everyone as long as they are not British, and in need.
It's a funny World isn't it.

We, by which I mean the UK, give millions of pounds every year to Africa, and various other places in the World, but does this money actually help those in genuine need?
I highly doubt it.

Hopefully some of the cash does trickle down to the needy, but I think we all know what happens to most of the money. It is stolen by corrupt officials to further fund their lavish lifestyles.
We know this. Our government knows this.

So maybe, instead of asking the general public to dig deep in to their pockets once again, the overpaid heads of these charities should tackle the real problem.
Maybe they should contact our Prime Minister and politicians and demand that the money that's donated to good causes is properly accounted for, that it is spent on helping the vulnerable people who truly need it, and that it's not spent on private jets or other luxuries for corrupt officials and/or dictators.

Let's surf!  No!  blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #beach #stones #pebbles #sea #waves #england

I used to think that, although it would be better if all of the charity money (minus the running costs of the charity) that was raised went to help the people it was donated to, even just a very small proportion reaching them was better than nothing. But now I'm not so sure.

If we continue to give cash to these charities, which then gets stolen by people who should know better, then what are we doing, who are we actually helping?

If we all stopped donating to charity until the charities agreed to do everything they could to make sure the cash wasn't being pinched, then would anything change?
Would things be better or worse?
I don't know. But I do know that what's currently happening is wrong, and it should not be allowed to continue.

Your country needs you - to donate your unwanted items. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #charityshop #sign #words #people #candid #highstreet

Charity seems to be very different these days, to how it used to be.
It doesn't feel different to any big business.
It feels to me as though they've lost sight of their purpose.

I remember when I was a child there would be volunteers wandering up and down the high street rattling their charity tins as people walked by.
They were never aggressive, they simply accepted your loose change if you wanted to donate, or they left you alone to go about your day.

Nowadays charities seem to be far more aggressive.
No longer are there volunteers gently shaking their money boxes as you walk by, now they are paid to ask you for your money, and often they do so in a very aggressive manner.

Then there are the other people who work for these charities, they do no do so out of the goodness of their hearts, because they passionately care about the charity and its cause.
They do it for the money, and I don't mean the donations. I mean their wages, which are all too often obscenely high, especially considering what they actually do to earn them.

2013. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #coin #money #silver #Sterling #2013

Obviously I realise most people aren't independently wealthy, they can't work for free. But many years ago the people at the helm of these charities would take a modest wage. Now they make a small fortune. It's not unusual for them to earn 6 figure sums. And where is this money coming from? Your donations.
Does that seem right to you?
Shouldn't the bulk of the donations be spent on the 'good cause' they were originally gifted to?

It's not just the high wages of the charity workers that I have trouble understanding, it's also the simple fact that the majority of the well-known charities now seem to be far more interested in marketing and publicity than anything else.

Rainbow. Last night.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #rainbow #sea #view #scenery #countryside #England

One more thing that I seriously do not agree with when it comes to the way a lot of charities run their businesses, is the hard-sell once you've been generous enough to donate.

I know from personal experience that despite what a lot of people may think, some of the well-known charities that operate in the UK are not necessarily the 'good guys'.

I am aware of several charities that once they have received a donation from you, will then sell your personal details to other charities.
These other charities will then bombard you will mail, and phone calls.

I also know of several charities who have used heavy handed tactics to prey on vulnerable pensioners, persuading them to 'gift' the charity their property in their will.
The charity offers a 'free' will writing service in the comfort of your own home. This is done is with one aim, to encourage you to leave everything you own to the charity.
Without naming the charities involved or going in to detail, my family has been targeted by unscrupulous people, and it was so serious that the police were involved.

Time for Tea. Left behind in the house by previous owner. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #cups #teacups #salt #pepper #shadow #blackandwhite

So, as I said at the beginning of this rant, I am generous. I have, and do give to charity. These days I am just careful how I donate, and to whom.
But I am not a fan of the numerous TV adverts begging for cash (which must cost a fortune to make?) nor the cold-callers, and definitely not the heads of charities who use their positions as just another great thing to add to their CV to help them get a 'better' highly paid job when they leave the charity, and all the while they're receiving obscenely large pay cheques.

This. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #view #sea #pinksky #pinkskyatnight #trees #countryside #clouds #moon

Finally, as much I realise that we in the UK are blessed in many ways, compared to many other countries in the World, I do wish that the saying 'Charity Begins at Home' was more closely followed.
Surely we should sort out our own problems first, before we even begin to help other countries?

I only added the photos to break up the text, not because they are relevant - I don't have any photos that would be appropriate for this blog post. :)

Do you give to charity? 
Time? Money? Other?
What do you think of how a lot of charities are run?
I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Treat Your Wife Like A Thoroughbred

I love living by the sea, although I'd prefer it if it was the Mediterranean rather than the North Sea. Haha!
Recently whilst out walking with Mr.R and Barley our rescue Lurcher, we came across a field overlooking the sea which is home to three beautiful, and very big horses.

They've got a nice view. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #horse #horses #view #scenery #sea #seaview #countryside #England

As soon as we walked towards them all three of the horses came wandering over to us.
Barley wasn't particularly interested in them, he much prefers to play with animals his own size. 
They've got a nice view. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #horse #horses #view #scenery #sea #seaview #countryside #England
The horses were very interested in us, and tame, Mr.R stroked them, but as soon as they realised we were empty handed they all wandered off again.
That'll teach us for not having any suitable treats in our pockets.

They've got a nice view. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #horse #horses #view #scenery #sea #seaview #countryside #England #gate #field #chain #rust #rusty #rustychain

If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you'll never end up with a nag. Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

An Independent Scotland Would Cost the Rest of the UK Millions of Pounds

Scotland want devolution.
I say, let them have it.

I was browsing a government website earlier today, when I came across a post about Scotland wanting independence.
I read a few of the comments posted by users of the website, and then I posted my own comment.
I was limited by the number of characters I was allowed to use for my comment, which may or may not explain why my comment isn't particularly enlightened or thought provoking.
Anyway, after I'd written and posted my comment about Scotland wanting to be independent, I thought I'd copy and paste it to my blog, so here it is below.

'Scotland want to be independent. Let them. 
I read that not only do they want independence, but they also want to be free from paying off the UKs debts. 
Ha! I bet they do. That's not on. 
They helped make the deficit, they must help pay it off. 
And as it's been suggested that independence will increase the price of food in Scotland, they must not be allowed to ask for any assistance, financial or otherwise, when they realise they're struggling to feed themselves. 
No subsidies, at all, ever.'

The design above is what the Union Jack flag could look like if Scotland leaves. 
Scotland leaves, Wales must surely go on. 
The green is obviously for Wales, who are not currently represented in the Union Jack because Wales was part of the English Kingdom when the flag was designed. 
I like this design which surprised me because I don't like the colour green, unless it's for trees and vegetables.

I could write loads more words about this subject, as it involves so many issues, and I have thoughts and string opinions on all of them, but for once I thought I'd try to write a short blog post that doesn't wander miles off topic as I am usually prone to doing.
Mission accomplished I think. It's short, and to the point.

Scotland want devolution. Cool! Let them have it.
I wonder how long after becoming independent Scotland would hear the expression, 'Be careful what you wish for, it may just come true' ringing in their ears?

Actually I'm not being completely serious when I say let them be independent, the ramifications to the rest of the UK would no doubt be unfavourable. An independent Scotland would cost the rest of the UK millions of pounds.

The flag above is another possibility for the design of the Union Jack if Scotland leaves.
Gone is the blue signifying the Scottish flag, which is replaced with black, and the white is replaced by yellow, apparently honouring St.David Wales' patron saint. 
I don't like this design, which once again surprised me because I like red, black and yellow, which is why my doodle of this design is especially rough. 

Possible new Union Jack flag designs aside, what do you think about Scotland becoming independent?
I'd be interested to hear your opinion.

Delicious Prawn Stir-Fry

Mr.R enjoys cooking, which is good because I am not a domestic goddess.
Although I do have the body of a god - Buddha.

Mr.R definitely looks after our family very well when it comes to food.
Every day he cooks lovely meals for the two of us, as well as cooking food for our dog, Barley.

Yesterday we ate a very tasty prawn stir-fry for our lunch. It had so many ingredients in it, it was bursting with vitamins and minerals, and all things good.
Actually it was two separate dishes, one of which was beansprouts with kale. I love kale, it's so yummy.
The other stir-fry had a load of ingredients including, prawns, mushrooms, carrots, sweetcorn, peas, lettuce, courgette, aubergine, tons of onions, garlic, and ginger, lots of spices, and a few other things.

Yummy! #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #food #lunch #stirfry #beansprouts #kale #prawns #mushroom #sweetcorn #carrot #peas #courgette #aubergine #lettuce #onion #garlic #chopsticks

I always thinks stir-fry tastes nicer when eaten with chopsticks, which is what we used.
Mr.R ate all of his lunch using chopsticks, whereas I only ate about three quarters of my lunch with chopsticks before I swapped to a fork. Not because I can't successfully use chopsticks, but because I am a very slow eater which means that usually by the time I am about half way through my meal the food is almost cold, so a fork helped me scoff down the remainder of my stir-fry before it went completely cold.

Chopsticks. Somehow a stir-fry tastes nice when eaten with chopsticks.

Many years ago, and for many years now, we always ate the largest meal of the day for dinner, in the evening. But when we moved to the South of France about a decade ago, we were rarely hungry in the evening, so we weren't eating much food at all and our daily intake was unhealthily low, which is when and why we switched to having our largest meal of the day for lunch. To this day we continue to eat the bulk of our daily food for lunch, with a smaller meal in the evening, usually a sandwich or sometimes soup.

The French tend to eat lunch early, we often found restaurants completely full just after midday.
That's not something we ever enjoyed, much too early for lunch, for us.
We don't have a strict routine, or any routine really, when it comes to food, we eat when we're hungry.
Lunch being our main meal of the day, is consumed from any time between about 2pm until 4pm. I guess it is roughly by around about 3pm that we've chowed down on whatever lovely lunch Mr.R has cooked us. The latest we've ever eaten lunch was at 8pm, but that was because I was cooking, see I told you I'm no Nigella Lawson.

Chopsticks. Somehow a stir-fry tastes nice when eaten with chopsticks.

Ha! I seem to have wondered off topic slightly from the delicious prawn stir-fry we ate for lunch yesterday, to France, mealtimes, and daily nonsense.
So, I shall stop now, other than to say once again that yesterday Mr.R made us a seriously delicious prawn stir-fry for our lunch.
I married very well.

Do you enjoy cooking?
Do you like stir-fry? If so, what are your favourite ingredients?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Barley the Lurcher

We've had our rescue dog, Barley the Lurcher for about 10 weeks now.
He seems to be settling in very well.

It feels as though he's always been a part of our family, and neither myself or Mr.R can remember a time when Barely wasn't with us.

We all enjoy taking lovely long walks by the sea where we live, which is good exercise, but can be quite tiring.
Barley knows the answer for tiredness, curling up on the sofa for an afternoon nap.

Aww!  Curled up cosy in the corner. #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #dog #rescuedog #lurcher #sighthound #hound #furryfriend #furbaby #mansbestfriend #lurchersofinstagran #lurcherlove #blackandwhite

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Kate Moss Playboy 60th Anniversary Issue

Kate Moss is never short of publicity, and for the past couple of days she has been all over the media with her recent Playboy cover shoot and editorial to celebrate the magazines 60th birthday. 

I don't know Kate Moss, but I've always thought she's a cool chick. 
She doesn't sell herself the way a lot of famous people do. But then that's mainly the domain of 'celebrities' and not of someone who's famous. 

I see the difference between a famous person, and a celebrity as: famous is someone who has talent or works in a specific field, eg singer, actor, or in the case of Moss, a model. 
A celebrity is someone who is in the limelight for their antics and not their talent, eg a reality TV 'star'. 

Anyway, I consider Kate Moss to be a 'proper' famous person. She is a very successful model. 
Whether you like her or not is irrelevant, she is successful and famous because she's worked hard to be where she is today. The fact that she still gets booked to front so many high-end fashion campaigns proves she is doing something right. 

As I said at the beginning of this blog post, I've always considered Kate Moss to be a cool lady. 
She's known for keeping her private life private, and not flogging photos of her family to the highest bidder, be that Hello, Heat, or some other well-known magazine etc. 
I remember hearing her say, in a rare interview, that she credits her former lover Johnny Depp for his advice on how to keep her life private. Kate said Johnny Depp told her, 'Never complain, never explain.' 
That sounds like good advise, and something Kate Moss has definitely followed. 

So, Kate Moss, a woman who values her privacy, and agrees to appear on the cover and several pages in Playboy magazine. 
This job is not like her usual jobs where she is being photographed to advertise clothes, accessories, or makeup. 
The Playboy shoot is all about her. 
What was she thinking?

It's none of my business why Kate Moss decided to do the Playboy spread. 
Hmm, maybe spread is not the correct word. I don't know, I haven't seen the photos. 
I'm not a prude, and I truly believe in 'live and let live', 'each to their own' etc. but I was a little surprised when I first read that Kate Moss was going to be appearing in Playboy magazine. 

I don't understand why she did it. 
I guess it could just be that she wanted to do the Playboy photo-shoot now, before it's too late. She is 39 and we all know that's considered old, and possibly past-it by the majority of the media. 
Maybe she wanted the photos as something she can look back on when she's 90? 

It's been reported that Kate did the Playboy shoot to celebrate her 40th birthday, which is in January 2014. 

Yesterday the newspapers were full of photos of Kate Moss attending the 60th Anniversary Party of Playboy.
There were also lots of photos of Kate Moss attending the British Fashion Wards 2013 after party, with various other famous people including Tom Jones, Sienna Miller, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Rita Ora, Alexa Chung, Matt Goss, Harry Styles, Daisy Lowe, Laura Bailey, Poppy Delevingne, Dermot O'Leary, Bob Geldof, Noel Gallagher, Sir Phillip Green, Jack Whitehall, Donatella Versace, Mary Charteris, Jo Wood, Marc Jacobs, Henry Holland, Miuccia Prada, and Fiona Young.
I'm not sure which of these famous people went from the British Fashion Awards 2013 party to the Playboy 60th Anniversary party, as I've read conflicting reports in the news, but some of them did attend both parties. 

As I said I'm not a prude, but there's something uncool about Kate Moss posing for Playboy magazine.
And it seems uncool to me that the Playboy party was attended by famous females. 
Sometimes I think women are their own worst enemies. 
Women are too often treated as possessions, pieces of meat, playthings, and then someone as famous as Kate Moss poses for Playboy magazine. And her fellow famous female friends attend the Playboy celebrations party. 
Women are considered second class citizens by a lot of people. They are treated as sex objects, belittled and abused daily. 
I'm not sure Kate Moss posing for Playboy, and so many other women attending the party were thinking about anything other than what they were going to wear, or maybe just looking forward to a night out. 
But by attending the Playboy party aren't they just confirming what some people think, that women are sex objects to be used and abused. Aren't they saying the degradation of women is fine - with them.  

Playboy magazine is not a high end fashion magazine, it's a porn magazine. 
Playboy is pornography, it's wank mag. Nothing more, nothing less. 

I don't necessarily agree with the view that pornography causes men to rape women, and I truly think that women should be able to wear want they want, behave how they want, and say want they want, without their clothes or actions, being used as an excuse for sexual harassment or worse. 
But unfortunately that's not how the World is.  
There are those who think a scantily clad women is cheap, easy, fair game - you name it, we've all heard the derogatory terms banded about by ignorant people. 

For the 60th anniversary issue of Playboy magazine Kate was photographed by fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
I've only seen the cover shot via online news websites, and I don't think it's particularly good, and it's definitely not the best shot of Kate Moss that's ever graced a magazine cover. 
In reality I'm sure she looked fabulous in her bunny girl costume of classic black satin, complete with a fluffy white pom-pom bunny tail, white collar and matching cuffs, and black satin bunny ears. 
Of course she looked good, she is seriously photogenic, she has beautiful bone structure. 
Kate Moss looks fab even without photoshop - for all those people who say she looks rough and they don't know how she became a 'supermodel' blah blah blah...........

I'm conflicted about how I really feel about Kate Moss posing for Playboy.
Part of me thinks good on ya girl. If that's what she wanted to do then good for her for having the balls to do it. Not literally though, I don't think Hugh Hefner would like that. 
But I also think, No! It's not cool, it's not a good thing, I wish she hadn't agreed to do it. 
What is cool though is the fact that Kate Moss won't give a toss about my opinion, or what anyone else thinks about her posing for Playboy magazine. She is always true to herself, and that's something to be admired. 

I think that's enough of me rambling about Kate Moss and her Playboy photo shoot. 
I've read this through, deleted it a few times, rewritten it, and I'm still not getting anywhere with what I wanted to say. Hey-ho I'm posting it anyway. 

Disclaimer: I realise that this blog post is not particularly coherent. That's because my mind is foggy as I didn't get any sleep at all last night, I literally lay awake watching the hours pass. 
And no, my lack of sleep wasn't because I was engrossed in the Kate Moss 60th Anniversary Issue of Playboy, although I know it's an edition that will keep lots of people up. 

By posing for Playboy, do you think Kate Moss is endorsing pornography?
Or do you think it tasteful, and just a bit of harmless fun? 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Red Wine IS Good For You

It's been known for a long time that red wine is good for your health.
Well, here's some good news if you're a red wine lover, or a lover of red wine - Haha! I couldn't resist, I just love red wine.
Anyway, if you enjoy drinking alcohol, and specifically red wine, then you may find this research interesting.

Facebook Wine
Barton and Guestier Pinot Nou=ir
I read an article recently which stated that red wine is not only good for your health, but to not drink red wine is detrimental to your health. Hooray!
Isn't it nice when you read something positive?
You could even use this positive news as a reason to celebrate, maybe with a glass of - red wine. Cheers!

Hardys Wine
So, as I was saying, I read an article about the benefits of drinking red wine.
The article was written by Tony Edwards, a science journalist. He compiled lots of leading research on the effects of alcohol, and the results were positively interesting.

Tony Edwards actually wrote about alcohol in general being good for you, but as a fan of red wine, I'll more than likely focus on that in particular. His article says that not only is the consumption of alcohol not as harmful as we may have been led to believe, it may prevent illness.
The article also said what they always say, booze must be drunk in moderation.


That word always makes me think of Oscar Wilde who said, 'Everything in moderation, including moderation.'
He also said, 'Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess'.
I love Oscar Wilde, so I'm not going to disagree with his words of wisdom. :)

Back to what science writer Tony Edwards wrote about alcohol, in particular red wine.
He started his article with a joke. This was followed by, 'Let me tell you this: if GP's fail to recommend alcohol to at least some of their patients, they should be had up for medical negligence. That, at least, is the logical conclusion I've drawn from an in-depth study of around half-a-million scientific papers about alcohol.' 

Half-a-million scientific papers about alcohol? Wow!
He's obviously done his research. And from the information in the article it does indeed appear that booze is not something we should feel guilty about enjoying. Responsibly of course.

Winery Road

The article says that the evidence suggests that if red wine were used as a preventative and therapeutic medicine that the rates of disease would fall, substantially. And that red wine may be one of the most effective 'medications' in history. 
It also said white wine, beer, lager, and spirits would have the same positive effect but to a lesser degree. 
The article even went as far to say that by drinking booze, lives would be saved, which would obviously have huge economical benefits. 


It is clear in writing the article that Tony Edwards is not suggesting we should go out and get absolutely hammered without any thought to the possible results on our bodies or lives.
He is simply passing on what he's found out about alcohol consumption in regards to health.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

It is a shame that in these days of 'sue culture' the author had to even mention anything about the potentially negative side-effects of excessive drinking. But it's pretty much standard form these days, when no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions, they just want someone else to blame when anything goes wrong.

I didn't intend to ramble on about that, but I couldn't help it. It bugs me that anything and everything that's written nowadays, or even photos and videos that are shared online, have to include some kind of disclaimer. It is ridiculous.
In my youth we were told, 'If so-and-so told you to stick your head in the oven, would you do it?'
Now it seems we need to be constantly reminded to use our common sense.


So, back to what the science journalist and writer Tony Edwards discovered from studying lots of scientific papers about alcohol consumption.
He wrote that too little booze won't have the positive effects that are possible with the correct amount. And that too much alcohol may make you unwell. 
He said for possible positive health benefits that drinking alcohol, red wine, should be done every day preferably with your evening meal. 


Drinking every day goes against what most of us are told by the so-called professionals healthcare workers.
In the UK it is common practice for GP's to advise patients to have a couple of booze-free days a week, in order to give the liver a break.
Unfortunately, booze-free does not mean we get it free of charge. If only! :o


Apparently the scientific studies show that moderate daily drinking is the best for your health.
So, drink daily, but moderately.

That's where this good news gets a little confusing.
What is drinking moderately?
The answer is, there is no answer.
Obviously a moderate amount of alcohol is a different measure for each individual, depending on various factors. It depends on the general state of your health, your age, what you've eaten etc.
There are so many things to consider that it's pretty much impossible to say what the correct measure of alcohol is for you to receive any possible health giving benefits.


We've probably all heard of, or maybe know(n) people who drink alcohol like it's going out of fashion, and who suffer no ill-effects to their health, and others who never touch a drop of booze and yet they have cirrhosis of the liver.
The effects of alcohol consumption are dependant on so many other factors in your body and lifestyle.


I know there are many negative aspects of drinking alcohol, and some people abstain for religious reasons, while others just don't like the taste or the effect of drinking booze.
Yes, alcohol consumption can be a factor in what the media seem to like referring to as a breakdown in moral and social behaviour, resulting in part to 'Broken Britain', and a rise in violence, and crime. Alcohol is also often blamed for the breakdown of families who suffer its potentially devastating effects, and the NHS is repeatedly reported to be burdened by booze-fuelled accidents and incidents. 

But I don't think this is specifically a modern problem, people have always enjoyed drinking alcohol, and sadly they've also always enjoyed violence and everything associated with it.


The government often portrays alcohol in a negative light, which is ironic if you consider how much money they make from booze, and that the big supermarkets in Britain who control so much government policy are the largest sellers of booze.
But as we know, politicians never do what's best for the people they work for, supposedly the people who voted for them, and who pay their wages. I say supposedly because I'm not sure politicians are actually aware who they work for, I think they think they work solely for their own benefit, but that's a whole different post.

Oops, wandering off topic again - slightly.
Alcohol is not the bad guy, or gal, and that's what I interpret from the article written by Tony Edwards.
Alcohol is good for you.

We like drinking!  There is an empty bottle of olive oil in there too. It's not all booze bottles.  We're helping to keep the recycling men employed.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #recycling #empties #emptybottles #emptyw

It's obvious by this stage that I'm never going to finish this blog post unless I stick to what I initially intended to write, so I think I'd better list the positive effects of drinking alcohol, red wine, that Tony Edwards discovered whilst researching scientific papers about alcohol.
He wrote a long list detailing various diseases and other bodily issues and the effects that drinking alcohol had on them. Below is a little of what he wrote.

Health Benefits

1. Heart Disease
For 13 years Harvard University experts monitored 12,000 men who had high blood pressure. The men were all doctors. Some of them were drinking a lot more than the accepted amount of alcohol units. 
The study concluded that the more the men drank, the lower their risk of having a heart attack. 
Drinking a medium glass of wine a day (10-15 grams) reduced the risk by almost 40%. 
However drinking 2/3 of a bottle (over 50 grams) the risk went down even lower to nearly 60%. 

Oxford University found similar results in its study of British doctors. Once again some of them were drinking more than the recommended amount of wine. The study found that alcohol consumption appeared to reduce the risk of ischaemic heart disease, in most cases this was irrespective of the amount drank. 

Evidence from over 50 years worth of research suggests that alcohol reduces the risk of heart disease. Not only that, but people who already have heart disease may receive health benefits from drinking alcohol. 

Half a million Americans involved in a 9 year study showed that alcohol 'significantly' prolonged the lives of those already suffering from heart disease. Even the people who drank more than 2/3 of a bottle of wine a day (56 grams), benefited. 


2. Common Cold
Wine, and other alcohol successfully helps prevent the common cold. 
A 2002 joint research study between Spanish universities and Harvard University produced interesting results. They found that red wine drinkers were almost 60% less likely to catch a cold, and white wine drinkers were even better off with 88% of them reducing their risk of catching a cold. 

A 1993 British placebo study carried out in the Common Cold Unit, infected 400 drinkers, and a small number of people who were teetotal with a cold virus. The teetotal people were the most likely to contract a cold, while the drinkers who drank just over a glass of wine a day (20 grams) had almost 10 times fewer symptoms of cold and fever. 
There is reportedly no drug, or herb available that comes anywhere close to that level of protection. 


3. Breast Cancer
A study in 2008 on 1,500 women in Southern France who had breast cancer in the previous 2 years, analysed their lifestyles in detail, including the type of alcohol they drank, the quantity, and the frequency they drank. The study also used a control group of healthy women for comparison. 
The results were surprising because it appeared that none of the breast cancer cases had any links with alcohol intake, no matter how much alcohol they usually drank. 
The study found that drinking a medium glass of wine a day (15 grams) actually reduced the risk of breast cancer by 42%. The study also found that drinking every day offered the greatest protection, but that there was no benefit if they drank sporadically. 
The researchers concluded that, 'Low and regular consumption of wine reduces the risk of breast cancer.' 
The findings of this 2008 study were strengthened two years later by a University of Ottawa study that was carried out on women who were at risk of one specific type of breast cancer, the BRCA1 genetic mutation. The study found, 'Compared with non-drinkers exclusive consumption of wine was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer.'

Further evidence of the benefits of drinking red wine in relation to breast cancer was reported by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 2012. 
Studies on mice have also shown that the natural ingredients of red wine can reduce breast cancer tumours. 

Tony Edwards wrote that although these 4 studies found that drinking red wine does not cause breast cancer, there are the same number of studies that found the opposite to be true. 
Also Cancer Research UK is convinced that drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancer. 
Currently the evidence is that alcohol is not good news for breast cancer, with an approximate increase in risk of 10% for each measure of spirits or 1/2 a pint of beer you drink.

We like red wine. We like it a lot. Liquid lunch.  It's not as nice as the wine we used to drink when we live on France.  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #vin #vinrouge #wine #redwine #bottles #empties #emptybottles #emptywi

4. Diabetes
In 2009 researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada analysed 1,500 studies on the link between the consumption of alcohol and diabetes. They concluded that drinkers have a 13% lower risk of becoming diabetic than those who were teetotal. 

A study in Holland examined the data of 370,000 people, who had their health monitored for 12 years. It concluded that drinking between 1/2 of a small glass of wine and two large glasses of wine (between 6 grams and 48 grams) the risks of becoming diabetic were reduced by approximately 30%. 

There is some evidence that women who drink moderately benefit by nearly double the reduction in becoming diabetic than men do. 


5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Currently there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, at least that's what the NHS says. But that's not true if you believe these two studies. 
Two separate Scandinavian studies carried out in 2009, which involved 3,000 women, found that those who were teetotal had 40% more risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis, but those who drank heavily had a 45% less risk. 

So, rheumatoid arthritis can be cured, by booze?


I've realised that I'm close to typing everything that Tony Edwards wrote in this particular booze article, so to make this blog post slightly shorter, I'll just list the remaining health benefits, without mentioning the relevant studies. At the beginning of this blog post I linked to the Tony Edwards website so you can click on that link if you want to read what he actually wrote.

So without going in to all of the details, here are a few other conditions that may be helped by drinking alcohol.
6. Osteoporosis 
7.Stomach Cancer 
8. Prostrate Cancer 
9. Macular Degeneration 
10. Sexual Satisfaction 
11. Bowel Cancer


Any list about the effects of drinking alcohol on the human body would not be complete without mentioning the liver.

12. Liver
The liver is without doubt the one internal organ that doctors always mention when talking about alcohol being bad for you. 
The negative effects of alcohol on the liver are thought to be caused by ALD, which stands for Alcohol Liver Disease. 
The facts are that ALD is not as widespread as doctors say it is. 
Danish researchers who tracked the health of 13,000 people for a 12 year period in the 1980's, while specifically looking for a link between drinking alcohol and Alcohol Liver Disease ALD, predictably found that consuming 2 pints of beer a day (about 35 grams) resulted in a risk of ALD. 
Less predictably this increased risk only applied to a small number of people. It found that 93% of the drinkers had absolutely no sign of cirrhosis, even those who were drinking approximately 2 bottles of wine a day (over 120 grams).

In 1997 Italian doctors discovered similar results in a study they named, 'Dionysos'. 
Dionysos was an intensive study of the people who lived in two towns in Northern Italy. Of the 7,000 inhabitants some of them drank quite heavily, over 100 of them knocking back more than one and a half bottles of wine a day. The majority of the heavy drinkers had no symptoms of ALD. 
The experts concluded that this lack of ALD in the heavy drinkers was because of their genes. 
They found that the heavy drinkers in the Dionysos study who were more likely to have cirrhosis had specifically unusual variants of the two genes which are responsible for detoxifying alcohol in the liver. 

So, basically, it's all in your genes. You may get Alcohol Liver Disease even if you only drink a small amount of alcohol, and you may never get ALD even if you drink like Oliver Reed.


Tony Edwards also found that in regards to ALD, some forms of it may actually be prevented by consuming alcohol, such as Steatohepatatis, Fatty Liver Disease.

In 2012 a large US wide survey found that alcohol is actually beneficial for Fatty Liver Disease. 
The lead author Professor Jeffrey Schwimmer of UC San Diego said, 'Our study showed that people with modest alcohol intake - up to 36 grams of alcohol daily (roughly half a bottle of wine) had half the risk of developing steatohepatitis than people who drank no alcohol.' 


So, I think what we've learnt from the article by Tony Edwards is that alcohol, and in most cases specifically red wine, is not only not bad for our health, it's good for our health.
I'll drink to that. Cheers!


And that's just about all I have to say for now.
I'm not going to write the usual things you may expect someone to write at the end of a blog post like this.
I'm not going to write that you shouldn't drink alcohol excessively, or that these are my views and not suggested advice, and I'm not a health professional etc.


You are a adult, a grown-up, it's up to you to do what you consider is best for your health.
Unless you are not a grown-up, you're a child.
Well, then to you I say, why are you reading about the possible benefits of drinking alcohol, specifically red wine?
Surely you should be doing your homework, or tidying your bedroom, or helping your parent(s) with whatever it is they've asked you to help with....... or any of the other things that co-called adults say to children.


So, that's what I'm not going to end this blog post with, I'm just going to say that what I personally concluded from reading the full article by Tony Edwards is that it's nice to read something positive about alcohol and human health.
It makes a refreshing change to the usual doom mongers opinion on drinking alcohol.
We are all too often fed bad news about so many of the things that are pleasurable in life, so I wanted to end on a positive note.


Having said that (ending this blog post on a positive note) I am contrary by nature, and a fan of conspiracies, so despite enjoying and being cheered by the majority of the article written by Tony Edwards about alcohol being good for health, reading it did feel a little bit like a mini (brainwashing) advert for the benefits of drinking alcohol, particularly red wine.

So, I'm taking it all as I take everything I read, with a large pinch of salt - and most definitely a large glass of red wine.

All of the photographs used in this blog post were taken by either me or Mr.R during our World travels. Our little friend 'Duck' in most of the photos, he was our travelling companion, aka the responsible adult.

Yes! Always yes!  #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blogspot.co.uk #vin #vinrouge #wine #redwine #wineglass #blackandwhite

What are your thoughts about this evidence of the possible positive health effects of drinking alcohol?
Do you enjoy drinking?
What's your tipple of choice, beer, spirits, wine?