Friday, October 26, 2012

My Random Thoughts!!

I can’t believe you’re doing that:
I love watching ‘Come Dine With Me’, whether it’s the English or Irish version, it doesn’t really matter.  I love seeing what some contestants call a well presented meal but I’d regard as rubbish, while others go all out and provide their diners with a wonderful meal, but still get low points because the entertainment maybe wasn’t up to scratch.  The interpretation of the idea of the night is so subjective that those who can’t cook can still win!  It’s the whole uncertainty of it I love!  What I also love is watching how some people prepare and present their meals.  What I don’t understand is how some people don’t poison their guests because of their ‘hygiene’ standards in the kitchen however.  I recently watched an episode where an individual was serving chickens and after taking them out of their pack, proceeded to wash them in her sink, splashing cold water all over clean dishes left to dry on her draining board.  She then proceeded to slop them down onto an empty surface where she de-haired them of the few stray bits left on the carcase.  After she had then plonked them in her cooking tray, she lifted a tea-towel and wiped away the wet surface.  She then continued to use the ‘same’ tea-towel throughout the rest of the afternoon.  Shock and Horror!!!!  Salmonella here we come!  Firstly, what went through my mind was not that the clean dishes were now splashed with contaminated water, not that she didn’t disinfect the surface after she’d placed the chickens in the oven, not that she used the same tea-towel she’d used to pat dry the chickens for the rest of her preparations, but that in the very first instance, she found it necessary to wash those chickens in her sink.  I know it has long been established that any germs on the outside of any fowl will be killed in the cooking process and therefore it negates the need to wash them before placing them in the oven or pan.  This woman was not young, certainly she was old enough to know better, wasn’t she?  How many people do unsafe things in the kitchen still, despite the widespread campaign on cooking and food preparation safety, I wonder?  Is it that the message is not getting through?   I really don’t know the answer, but watching this woman prepare and cook her meal made me really glad I was not sitting at her table.  I do have to add however, that none of her guests suffered any ill effects so maybe this time she was lucky, or maybe the show is edited so as to avoid all those boring cleaning bits.  I hope so is my thought on that!!!

Troica; Get stuffed!
I heard on the news on the way to work this morning that the Troica think we are doing really well!  Yipee!!  We may be in line to get another bailout after 2013, Yipee!!  It will come with conditions however, aawwh!!   But the most infuriating part of their statement is they are worried at the lack of job creation in this country!!  Well excuse me, but where do you think job creation is going to come from when you suck our country dry?  Where will our government get the revenue to sink into development and job creation when you take every penny and more out of the hands of those who may be able to create jobs in this country?  When do you think will come the time where small and medium sized employers in this country decide, ‘yes we’ll take a chance that things are finally getting better and start gearing up for the brighter future ahead’.  Ahem! That is not happening folks, because there is absolutely no spare money anywhere!  Because of the restrictions placed on our government in every area of the running of our Country, we, the people also have not a smidgen of spare money anywhere.  Christmas is coming but the only thing that’s getting fat are the geese!!  Oh, and the bond-holders as they laugh all the way to their bank – with our money!!!
So if your restrictions on the next tranche of money you say we need are anything like the last few years constraints, I say get stuffed!

Christmas is on the way, but what type will it be this year.
I had a workman in the house over the weekend and we were shooting the breeze about business and the conditions out there for anyone who is self-employed.  While he is managing okay at the moment, he said most of his mates have left Ireland for greener and sunnier climes because they have found business in Ireland so hard over the last few years.  What he recounted to me about some of his friends is just shocking!  Because most of them were involved in the construction business, most of them had lost their jobs or were trying to survive on a trickle of work out there.  While it is good news for anyone who wants work done, because we can bargain down any workmen or companies, the flipside of that is these very guys are trying to survive on less than half the income of the boom times.  Of course, that also means their families are struggling.  Most people we concluded would rather struggle and indeed suffer in silence rather than admit how hard life has become for them.  One of his pals could not even cobble together €2 to give to his son to go on a school outing.  That just makes me feel so sad that there are so many of our neighbours and friends and colleagues in the same position staying silent!  Life has become so cheerless and distressing for so many of our population.  With Christmas around the corner, instead of the usual cheer this time of the year brings, it will instead bring extra pressure and financial strain to many, many families out there.  And that is just depressing!  So as we start the run-up to Christmas in earnest this week (now that Halloween is out of the way), perhaps now is the time to think not only of our own families but of those in dire need who are suffering in silence.  What about getting back to the true spirit of Christmas and extending a hand of friendship and help to those we know are in need!  Now wouldn’t that indeed be wonderful.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Product launching for the women of Ireland

Welcome news for the women of Ireland! 

Women’s intimate health is an area often overlooked by us females because of the nature of the ailments.  Often embarrassing and distressing to discuss, women have, for years in some cases, suffered in silence with complaints that can be cured if only they found the words or courage to open a dialogue either with their doctor, health care provider, pharmacist or indeed their close female friends.  In the next few issues of this health column, we plan to open discourse about female health by presenting you, the female reader with information on how to identify conditions and more importantly the treatments available to help alleviate and cure ailments so that you can continue to live your life to its fullest without worrying about that ‘embarrassing’ condition.  In this issue we discuss Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), what it is, how to identify it and more importantly the newest treatment available over the counter to cure it.
If there is one thing us women are good at, especially with the explosion of health sites on the internet, it is self-diagnosis.  This is especially true of conditions that cause us to feel awkward or embarrassed when discussing them with our doctor.  One such condition often misdiagnosed is Bacterial Vaginosis.  Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a condition caused by an imbalance in the different types of bacteria normally found in the vagina.  However it is often identified as ‘Thrush’ by women themselves, because the symptoms share some of the same characteristics.  As a result, treatment will not always result in the problem being resolved. 

The Background:

The vagina normally contains many different types of bacteria – some of these bacteria are considered to be good or friendly because they help keep the vagina healthy and others are potentially harmful. There is a delicate balance between the two.  Lactic acid bacteria (also known as lactobacilli) are friendly bacteria. They produce small amounts of acid which means the vagina is normally slightly acidic (with a ph level of 4.5 – 5) and this helps to keep the numbers of harmful bacteria under control.  If the harmful bacteria are not kept under control, they overpower the good bacteria and can cause BV.  Simply put; that’s it!  There is no more untoward reason for this type of common infection.  It is not a sexually transmitted condition, it is not an indication of poor hygiene (in fact, excessive washing can make the condition worse) and above all it is very common. 

What are the symptoms of BV Bacterial Vaginosis.

Typically, BV causes a watery, grey white vaginal discharge which can have an unpleasant (fishy) smell. This is different from the natural and quite normal odourless discharge from the vagina.  In 2006, a treatment for BV was launched in Denmark and has been transforming the lives of women suffering from long-term BV ever since.  Because of its common misdiagnosis, prior to this treatment being introduced, BV was a recurring condition. This treatment was launched in the UK last year and is now launching in Ireland which is fantastic news for women. In test case studies available at, some women have been suffering in silence for decades but having been involved in the trials of this new treatment have reported a vast and liberating improvement.  The trials and evaluations conducted prior to the release of the product in the UK also found that women suffering other symptoms also reported improvement in their conditions.  These included women with odourless vaginal discharge, women suffering with vaginal itching and irritation and women suffering from vaginal dryness.
 Anna Britton, MD of Concept Healthcare, the company responsible for bringing LadyBalance to Ireland told us “Some of the stories we have heard from users of LadyBalance have been heart-breaking, with a recent case study highlighting that one lady was in fact suffering in silence for 30 years, while another for years thought she’d never feel normal again or have a normal sex life, as physical intimacy with her partner was too painful.”  Anna continued “I think it is important to ‘normalise’ women’s issues and not be afraid to talk about them.”

Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infection in women of reproductive age, accounting for 45% of all vulvovaginal infections and affecting up to 20% of pregnant women, while up to half of post-menopausal women suffer from vaginal dryness.  Vaginal dryness can affect more than sexual intimacy often having a detrimental effect on everyday life; it can be uncomfortable to sit, stand, exercise, urinate or even work in extreme cases.

Mr Simon Emery, one of the UK’s eminent Uro/gynaecologists has been working with Anna Britton to bring LadyBalance to the attention of both the medical profession and to women in general.  Speaking to us, Simon Emery said “I see great potential with LadyBalance, helping to empower women to get their lives back, restoring both their physical and emotional wellbeing.  The beauty of LadyBalance is that it can be used to treat an existing infection or prevent future infection.”

LadyBalance is available in Ireland now as an over-the-counter medication which is fantastic news for women, both young and not so young.  Available from chemists and pharmacies nationwide including selected Hickeys Pharmacy Group, Health Express, Tesco Pharmacy, McCabes Group to name a few, it is an over the counter discreet elegant package of 12 pesarys.  Said Anne, “We wanted to make the sure LadyBalance was presented in a ladylike, tasteful and inconspicuous packaging ensuring women could pop it in their shopping trolley or basket without the risk of embarrassment.  I think we have succeeded in that.” For more information about BV and LadyBalance please visit