Sunday, July 09, 2006

A busy weekend

This has been a busy weekend. First my younger daughter has decided that the daily commute through the New Forest is too much for her and that she wants to buy an apartment in Southampton. She has put in an offer for one here . We went to visit yeaterday, and it certainly is a pleasant flat.

As soon as we got back I spent a couple of hours going through old casenotes. There is a project in England looking for prognostic factors in Multple Myeloma. Unlike CLL, deletion 13q is a poor prognostic factor. However when it is detected by FISH the significance disappears. It has to be detected by conventional cytogenetics. The samples are being tested by our local cytogenetics laboratory at Salisbury. The MRC Myeloma 9 trial provides for the clinical details of most of the patients, but there are still hundreds of tests that were completed before the trial started, and the study would benefit from details about these patients. So, I was despatched to the bowels of the hospital to examine old casenotes.

When I returned my eldest son had turned up with a large white van, into which were packed many boxes of books, CDs, DVDs, kitchen implements, clothes, Hi-Fis, ornaments, pictures etc. He will be moving to Seattle for a year at the end of August. He has rented a house in the Green Lake area of the city, he has got his three girls into schools, he thinks he will be able to manage with a pool car and a bike. He has sytill to rent out his house in Kent and to find a church, but he is well on the way to being ready. Yesterday, he sold his car. It was quite a feat of manual exertion to transfer his freight into our loft for a year. Unfortunately, I haven't lost any weight.

We had our usual discussions about the state of the NHS (certainly getting worse), teh state of the Labor Government (even he, a longstanding Tony Blair supporter expects the Conservatives to win the next eletion) and the state of the English football team (we are both agreed that it was nonsense to take Walcott, that Sven should have played Crouch and Rooney together up front, that Lampard has been awful since his baby was born earlier in the year, that he should have played Carrick and Lampard in midfield, that Beckham should make way for Lennon, and that the Portugal-France game had exposed the reliance on gamesmanship and cheating of the Portuguese.

He advanced his theory, that the nature of a nation was dependent on the type of alcohol that they drank. In the far north it is all grain spirits, which leads to silent introspection, depression and suicide - examples Russia, Sweden, Finland; in middle Europe beer drinking is associated with the Protestant work ethic, industriousness and efficiency - examples northern Germany, Denmark, Holland, England; while the south is the wine drinking area, associated with Catholic langour (or even laziness), dishonesty, organized crime and passion.

Far too general for my liking, and where do you place Ireland?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness the World Cup is played only once every four years! Now we can go back to REAL sports, which do not include mind-numbing 0-0 tie games that have to be decided on penalty kicks.

Steve Madden said...

I think Ireland is that big lump of rock to the left of England :)

Jim McVey said...

I appreciated your conversation with your son. It was most illuminating. I was hoping you might have an opinion on Zidane's headbutt. The Italian must have aired a very potent remark to create that reaction. For what it is worth, that form of gamesmanship should be cause for both players to be sent off. The proving of it would be difficult. However with the state of technology the Ref. could carry an instant replay screen and the incident would be available to him and linesmen for a judgement call. It would have solved the Hand Of God incident and perhaps the Rooney incident. Such gamesmanship has to be stopped, even if the game has to be slowed.
In my experience the Irish love a fight their tipple is Porter, Guiness and Irish Whisky. They are adaptable though, there were Irish at the Alamo, Norwegians, a couple of Scots, 33 from Tenesee, I believe the Lieutenant was English, but no Texans. No point to this, but as I always tell my older American friends, (I am a young American 16 years now,) there must be something decadent about a country where Whisky is sold in gallons. Oh! we are the world's melting pot, so you can test all your theories in Seattle.
I too like Blair, he is well liked here. I feel cheated not a word about the Scots.
Beware America is the land of stuff, it multiplies, that's why we have double garages.

Jim McVey said...

I see you didn't get a mention either Steve. However if one is going down to England, Ireland is on the Right. Brilliant! just like the Guiness advert.

Terry Hamblin said...

I think the Scots would be linked with the Swedes and Finns. Grain alcohol and morose mood. Think Gordon Brown.

As for Zidane's Glasgow kiss - what do you expect from pampered young men who are treated like Gods? Zidane has a record of this sort of reaction, his career includes 12 red cards and even as an apprentice felled an opponent with a headbutt.

Zidane's family have been criticized by Algerians as French sympathizers, so the acusation that he was a son of a terrorist may have been particularly cutting.

Steve Madden said...

The Finns (sigh) some of my favourite people, christian names all end it a vowel (Uha, Unto, Raimo, Anna) I love them.

But Terry I take your point, the Finns will drink until everything has been consumed, fight each other, get up in the morning, work thier bums off then do it all again. Helsinki must be a riot.

Jenny Lou said...

I liked Zidane's headbutt. Kudos for an emotional outburst. I have a good friend from France who owns a great restauant here and I have gotten another side of Zidane's reaction. The French were upset about it but said, and this is a quote, "He was just being a man." Nuff said----