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?