Monday, August 03, 2009

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Sean and I have just spent a week at the Old Mill in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. We were joined by Sean's son Anselm, and the Elwes family. Yarmouth is a pretty, twee little town where most people don't bother to lock their doors. Sean and I visited the Tiger and Lemur sanctuary, and I enjoyed that a lot. I took pictures of the Tigers because "The Tiger who came to Tea" is Wendy's favourite book at the moment.


Wightlink have new ferries. They are bigger, but as they can transport more vehicles, it takes forever to load and unload. The service which was once every 30 min is now once an hour. To top it off, their prices have gone up too.


There was quite a bit of rain and I think it dampened the plans of the youngsters, but I was OK. I spent the first 3 days mostly sleeping because the journey had done me in. Another factor in the "wiping out" process is that on the Sunday before we left, we had taken Wendy to the festival in Dover commemorating the anniversary of 100 years since Louis Bleriot flew over the English Channel. Only a hundred years, and look how far aviation has come! And how many changes the human race has had to adapt to!

Sean bearing ice cream

Sean doing what he always has to do on holiday - keeping in touch with the office.

Talking of Adaptations - My ME Theory
I have my own, unproven theory about ME. ME often happens after a person is ill with one of an assortment of different germs like Glandular Fever (mononucleosis) or a tummy bug or chicken pox. There are many germs that have precipitated ME, so a single germ cannot be blamed, and I think that is where people start thinking "its all in the mind". If the illness is real - and you'd have to have extreme ostrich-like tendencies to believe that it isn't - the clue can't be in the germ per se.

If not in the germ or the mind, where else could the trouble start? It starts within the person themselves. I believe that the human organism has been exposed to far more stressors than at any other time in history. Could it be that chronic exposure to toxins such as petrochemical fumes, dieldrins, esters, organophosphates and the like, have an as yet undefined impact on the immune system? Throw chronic stress into the mix - and chronic stress the human body has to cope with that it didn't 100 years ago include: unnatural sleep/wake rhythms because of electric light, working all hours, living in the city with all its fumes or in the country near sheep dip or pesticides - and there is your recipe.

So the response to a germ against the background of stressors the human body is trying to cope with, combined with any precipitating factor, and the immune system tries to protect the body by causing a 'flu like reaction. The commonest symptoms of ME are 'flu like, such as sore throat, swollen glands, low grade fevers, sore muscles, aching joints, intense thirst, cognitive problems, headache, nausea, sensitivity to noise and light, prostration with an overpowering need to sleep even though sleep doesn't do any good, and malaise. It seems to me that the immune system gets 'stuck' in its protection response mode.

This is just my own, personal theory. There are dozens of ME theories, and many 'pieces to the puzzle'. I don't think there is one single cause. Wouldn't it be great if there was? Find the cause, find the cure and hey presto!

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