Far be it from me –

WARNING! To avoid risk of explosion, never mention these 2 facts about childhood obesity in the same sentence. OK?


Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

DANGER! The following two facts must be kept well apart – mixing them could be explosive.

Here they are:

Fact No. 1

New research published today shows that childhood obesity in the UK is soaring and around a half of children in the country don’t take even one hour of exercise a day.

Fact No. 2

The government is selling off two school playing fields every month.

WARNING!  To avoid serious risk of explosion, NEVER EVER be careless enough to mention these two facts together.

Oh shit. I think I just have.


Actually, obesity is likely to be linked to the soft drinks industry. Here’s an excellent article about that:

The demon drink: war on sugar


Related articles by Tom Pride:

How The Gove Stole Summer (with apologies to Dr. Suess)

Plans to test 5-year-olds is not the coalition’s worst…

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Ed, Can You Hear Me Calling (Out Your Name)

Earlier this year I let my Labour party membership lapse through good old fashioned disillusionment. A chance meeting with a party activist  left me so impressed  with his enthusiasm and drive that I signed up again and reinstated my direct debit. After some uncomfortable confrontations I decided to keep calm and carry on going to meetings but to my horror I had a struggle to get a ballot paper in the PPC selection process because of my earlier lapse in membership. That was quickly sorted and I cast my vote and indeed and very thankfully there is now a Labour candidate in my neck of the woods,   ahead of the 2015 General Election.   I was then involved in a clash because I aired my personal opinions (about something entirely different)  in the local newspaper and after some soul searching I decided to leave for good because  I value freedom of speech more than my membership of the Labour movement.   I’ve since had a flurry of mailings from Labour HQ and in irritation I did return one with  my reasons for leaving  written on it, with an invitation for Labour HQ to contact me if they wished to discuss the matter further.   No further letters have arrived.


Guardian computers confiscated and journalist given detention after repeatedly failing spelling test

Pride's Purge

(satire – but see my comment below*)

A Guardian journalist has had his computers confiscated and was given detention for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities on suspicion he was spending too much time on his computer instead of revising for a spelling test.

The journalist** was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.05am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the English Language Terrorism Act 2000 after his report card showed he had refused to even begin doing his homework despite being told again and again to do it.

The controversial law, which applies only to Guardian or Observer employees, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain Guardian journalists who repeatedly make the same spelling mistakes in their articles and refuse to revise for spelling tests and their end of year exams.

The 28-year-old was held…

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Mcvey still won’t answer us!

Why are we waiting?

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FAB Research Event: Feeding Healthy Minds – Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Children’s Brain Development

29 Oct 2013 – FAB EVENT – Feeding Healthy Minds – Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Children’s Brain Development

Organised by Food and Behaviour Research
Start Date: October 29 2013
End Date: October 29 2013
Duration: 9.30am to 4.30pm
Location: 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE
Venue: The Royal College of Surgeons

We are enormously proud to be hosting this opportunity for you to hear from some of the world’s leading experts on the role of nutrition in brain development and function, and its importance for mothers and infants.

Hear the latest evidence on how the diets that mothers eat before and during pregnancy can have a lifelong impact on their children’s health and development – and find out what kinds of diets are likely to promote the best, and the worst, outcomes.

The programme for the day has been designed for a multi-disciplinary audience of professionals, policy makers, researchers from academia and industry, and others concerned with the health, education and welfare of mothers, babies and young children. It will give all participants the chance to hear about and discuss the latest evidence and insights into the modern maternal diet and its lasting legacy.

For discussion:

Is it true that pregnant mothers whose diets are high in fat and sugar will have already programmed their babies to crave high fat, high sugar foods by the time they are weaned?
What are the likely consequences for their children’s behavioural and cognitive development if mothers consume a typical modern, western-type diet during pregnancy?
Which nutrients and dietary fats are particularly important in early life, and why?
Which ones are lacking from many mothers’ and infants’ diets – and what are the likely consequences for both the mothers’ mental health and their children’s future cognitive development and wellbeing?
What are the best ways to ensure an adequate intake, for mothers and for young infants?
Improving mothers’ and children’s food choices – what can be done, and who should be doing it?
This event will provide you with opportunities not only to learn from the latest research findings, but also to ask your own questions and get answers that may influence some of the decisions you have to make every day.

Speakers and Presentations:

Early Life Nutrition and Mental Health: An Overview
Dr Alex Richardson (Founder/Trustee of FAB Research; Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford; Author of ‘They Are What You Feed Them’)

The Essentiality of Omega-3 DHA for Human Brain Development: The Marine Food Chain and the Implications
for Maternal Nutrition
Professor Michael A Crawford (Imperial College, London; Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition)

Dietary Needs for Omega-3 During Pregnancy and Infancy
Professor Sheila Innis (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics & Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Foods, Nutrition and Health, Child and Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia)

Omega-3 and the Brain: Fish and Seafood Intakes During Pregnancy and Child Development Outcomes
Captain Joseph Hibbeln MD (Acting Chief of Section of Nutritional Neurosciences, Laboratory of Membrane Biophysics and Biochemistry, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA)

Breastfeeding and Children’s Intelligence: Omega-3 and Gene-Nutrient Interactions
Dr Pauline Emmett (Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health in Bristol. Former head of Nutrition Research for the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) based in Bristol)

Effect of inadequate iodine status in pregnant women on cognitive outcomes in their children. Findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
Dr Sarah Bath (Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey)

Translating Research into Practice for Families and Children – A Dietitian’s Perspective
David Rex (Dietitian, Health & Social Care – Children’s Services, Highland Council, Inverness)

If you have any enquiries, please phone us on 01463 667318 and we will be happy to help.

Contact Information: Fiona O’Fee or Ruth Whitfield admin@fabresearch.org 01463 667318

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It Wasn’t Me

For the first 37 years of my life I suffered in silence. Emerging from a dysfunctional childhood and adolescent depression I moved into adulthood only to be come ensnared in a violent marriage which brought me to the brink of insanity. Only by walking away did I postpone for 6 years what was to be a highly terrifying descent into psychosis, a six month stay in hospital, culminating in 6 horrendous treatments of Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). During the next 6 years I stumbled in the darkness of my soul and insult was added to injury when 10 years after my psychotic breakdown, I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, caused by the ingestion of enormous quantities of neuroleptic drugs. I faced surgery twice and recovery from the second operation was both slow and painful. Seven years after my breakdown I’d given up the cocktail of medication. Withdrawal was far from easy and since 1993 I’ve relapsed on six occasions. I call that recovery. Others do not. Through talking therapies and cathartic writing I have broken my silence and found my voice. No one could hear my headaches or see my optical migraines. Now I know it is my responsibility and mine alone, to ensure that my mental well being remains constant and continual. By nurturing my psyche with good music, good nutrition and company of positive people – and by avoiding negativity as far as I can -I can achieve good health. I understand that the vagus nerve responds well to this regime and blood pressure and heart rate are attuned accordingly. More and more of us are now acknowledging the link between early life trauma and adult psychosis and the move towards demedicalisation of mental illness is gathering pace. Talking about distress and verbalising my pain has helped me process and absorb traumatic events and see, that once delusions and hallucinations have dissipated, the pain is unprotected – and hurts intensely. Without the cloak of madness I am vulnerable and raw, exposed and stinging. Healing comes when crying and talking clear and clean my psyche and allow new and happier memories to replace the wounds with genuine emotional growth – and understanding that it is a sign of strength, not weakness, that I survived those traumatic times and can now move forward, without looking over my shoulder.

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1, 2 but never 3

Some time ago my eye was caught by a glossy advert in one of the Sunday supplements, for a deal with the Internet Provider “3”. Take out a mobile broadband contract for 24 months and at the end of the contract a smart Samsung netbook is yours. I was quite happy with that deal and the Samsung netbook is brilliant. Hindsight etc, but I took out another short contract subsequently, for the mobile broadband alone. Circumstances meant that I cancelled my direct debit a few weeks after the contract actually ended. After a frenzy of tweets, a couple of direct messages and two emails I found my only option was to phone up this Internet Provider and talk to them at a cost of 5p a minute. I kept the conversation as short as possible but was going to be put on hold so I explained I wasn’t acceptant of that and hung up. There was an outstanding balance of about £12. This company has been relentless in its pursuit of me. For more than two weeks they’ve called twice a day and left messages for me to phone them back. I’ve dialled 1517 and selected option 3 to delete. Persistently. Yesterday came the piece of paper I’d been waiting for. A letter from Credit Control politely explaining that my contract had ended but I still owed this small balance and better still there was a neat tear off section for me to fill in and attach to my payment. Which is now in an envelope ready to post with a second class stamp, to Glasgow.
Meantime I am selecting option 3 on my telephone and deleting the messages instructing me to call them.
The moral of this story – for me – never enter into any contract with them again. I would rather eat soap.

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Labour urged to bring back heavy hitters like John Prescott to deal with egg throwers

Pride's Purge


Ed Miliband must “bring back the heavy hitters” like John Prescott to strengthen his team and beat the shit out of anyone throwing eggs or thinking they can have a go, an influential former MP said on Tuesday.

Chris Mullin, a former Foreign Office minister under Tony Blair, suggested a return for former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who he said was someone with a “very credible left hook” who the public trusted would be able to “punch the lights out of any joker trying it on”.

Senior Labour figures have voiced concern over the apparent summer silence from so-called party heavyweights over the egging Ed Miliband got, none of whom were prepared to go outside and knuckle up with the guy responsible – some even suggesting a shadow front bench reshuffle could be imminent to get rid of the lightweight yellow-bellied wusses.

Mr Mullin said:

I think…

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A SUMMER SQUALL – Sat 24 – Mon 26 August
We’ve been quiet, getting this year’s Summer Squall ready, and now we’re nearly there…
Thanet Open Studios kicks off the fun this weekend (17/18 August) with artists in Ramgate, Margate, Broadstairs, Birchington and Westgate opening their doors. http://ramsgatearts.org/squall/open-studios
The Squall bursts into life at 10am on Saturday 24th when doors open at the UpDown Gallery for the Open Art, selected by Piers Secunda, Cedric Christie, Margaret Buck, Ben Weidel-Kaufmann and gallery owner Kate Smith. http://ramsgatearts.org/squall-event/open-art-exhibition
On Ramsgate harbour, there’s a host of activity! Toc de Fusta from Spain, The Caravan Gallery, Sunbeam Walkies, our open air stage programmed with music and dance, The Barber of Seville (or Salisbury)…have a peek at the programme to see all that’s on around town. http://ramsgatearts.org/a-summer-squall
We have a Fringe programme for the first time! Some of town’s best bars and groups are putting on events in celebration of summer and the Squall. http://ramsgatearts.org/squall/fringe
But we need your help…Urban Exposure is a whole new concept for the Squall and we still need to raise £1500 to make this amazing day for Thanet young people happen. Jestressflo use freerunning and creative activities to captivate and enthuse young people. We’ve teamed up to present a day of tryouts and inspiration, culminating in a parkour freerunning display at 8.30pm A huge scaffold tower, lights and action – please, we need to make it great for them. If you can donate just £1 it will help us reach our target. Here’s the link http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/urban-exposure-at-the-ramsgate-summer-squall
AND….volunteers….we still need stewards for events, so if you can help for 2 hours, please get in touch urgently. It’s a great team and fun to be part of it all. Please contact suegyde@hotmail.co.uk
We can hardly believe we’re here again! We’re indebted to Ramsgate Town Council, Thanet District Council and Arts Council England as major supporters and to London Array and Thorley Taverns. There’s a huge number of people who make this happen with help in one way or another. Thanks to all, and here’s to seeing you, your friends and contacts at the Squall!
The Trustees, Ramsgate Arts
Ramsgate Arts
Creating inspiring new activities for local people and visitors

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Registered charity 1150096

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She’s Got A Ticket To Ride (But She Don’t Care)

It comes to something when a patient is asked to pay a General Practitioner to write a letter to the Department of Work and Pensions. A General Practitioner is surely there to oversee the mental wellbeing of a patient? Shouldn’t a standard letter, sent on behalf of a patient, to the DWP, or indeed any part of HMG, be sent by electronic mail, or by Royal Mail, for the cost of second class stamp? I’ve reluctantly agreed to pay £16.50 so that my GP can convey some information on my behalf. Once again, I shall think very carefully about approaching a General Practitioner for any help in relation to any aspect of my mental well being.

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The Life of Ryan"

Welcome to The Life of Ryan

The Isle Of Thanet News

News for Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs and villages. Winner of KPBA Kent news website 2018, highly commended 2020. Winner commitment to the community 2020

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Putting hoof to keyboard to bring you views from the farmyard on public health, public mental health and related issues. And goats. These views are my own, and do not represent those of any organisations or endorse any political perspective - but whatever I'm eating may have been stolen.

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