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Showing posts from April, 2017

I'm Still Standing

This is an adapted version of the talk I delivered on Saturday 22nd April, 2017 to #TADtalk2017, a day conference for people with diabetes organised by a group of specialist doctors and sponsored by diabetes charities and medical companies. The pictures are taken from the accompanying powerpoint. 

The title of my talk was Diabetes: Something or Nothing, but as it's one of my blog posts, it needs a song title. Elton John's I'm Still Standing fits the bill perfectly. It is, of course, an 80s classic with an iconic video starring a young Bruno Tonioli. But it's a brilliant diabetes song. Not only are the lyrics about resilience in the face of adversity, but it's musically subtle and very appropriate to diabetes: the melody switches from major in the verse to minor in the chorus, reflecting the everyday ups and downs, triumphs and disasters of life with diabetes.

My aim was to demonstrate that Type One diabetes, whilst a serious and burdensome condition, is no barrier to…

Fame: My weekend at #TADtalk2017

I'm writing this as my Virgin Pendelino train speeds northwards, taking me home from a weekend in London, where I enjoyed the honour of being an invited speaker at #TADtalk2017, a wonderful day conference for people with diabetes organised by our very own Dr Partha Kar, a thoroughly modern consultant who has done so much for us.
I've been scrolling through a seemingly endless roll of tweets from people who attended, all saying nice things about the speeches made by me and five other people for whom Type One diabetes is part of their lives. 
There's something truly uplifting about knowing that some carefully chosen words and a few Powerpoint slides have been enjoyed and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to comment, either online or in person. And I managed to get the best selfie ever:


Compared to the other speakers, I was just a "humble peasant". I haven't run any marathons, cycled coast to coast, raised any money, led medical or nursing…

Roll Away the Stone: Easter for sceptics

This is my attempt to give a rational, liberal Christian take on Easter, the festival which more than any other defines Christianity.

As is my silly habit, I've given it a title taken from a song: Roll Away the Stone, a wonderfully exhuberant piece of glam rock by Mott the Hoople from the gathering gloom of November 1973, has nothing to do with Easter, but works well as an Easter song. Read on, then click on the link above and enjoy the feelgood factor.
Easter is arguably the most difficult festival for Liberal Christians like me to observe. Celebrating Christmas is easy, especially if you ignore the “minor detail” of the paternity of Baby Jesus. It’s a story which demands no understanding other than that of the birth of a child, an event traditionally and easily seen as a cause for celebration. The appealing details of the tired refugee parents, the stable, the animals, the shepherds, the angels and the Wise Men are easy to depict as images, however much they are based on specul…

Guest post: Football and diabetes, by one who knows

Rightly or wrongly, I've been keen since I started my blog (two years and 46 posts ago) to write about all the things that interest me, rather than just one theme or topic. I have varied interests and like to reflect that in what I write, even at the risk of being a "Jack of all trades and master of none". 
Football is a lifelong love of mine: I have followed my home town team, Bolton Wanderers, through their good times and bad since the days when I lived within walking distance of their Lowryesque old ground, Burnden Park, as a child. I was a keen but distinctly average player at school and university, the height of my career being a season playing for the second string of a small town club in rural France in the late 70s. I owe my fluency in spoken French as much to that year as to the three years of my degree course.
However, I have only written about football once on here when I wrote here about the decline and fall of Bolton Wanderers in 2015, so the chance to post…