James Miller


Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Coeliacs, Dandruff, Insect Bites and Migraines

For most of my life, I’ve suffered from very bad dandruff. I’ve also occasionally had migraines induced by bright lights. One place where I go four times a week, which is a particular real-tennis court, used to cause one every month or so!

A year ago, at 55, I was diagnosed as a coeliac and have since stuck to a virtually gluten-free diet.

No dandruff! And no light induced migraines!


Whereas, my wife of 36 years was the one who always got bitten by foreign insects, I’m the one who now gets the attacks.


What Is The North For?

The trouble with the North is that they like it soft with lots of subsidies and an easy life.

A report today says that the North/South divide in the UK is getting worse.

The trouble with the North is that they like it soft with lots of subsidies and an easy life.

A friend commissions a lot of specialist manufacture.

He’s tried the North and they all want long runs, so they can run their Mercedes. So he gets it made in Southend a lot cheaper, where they run Mondeos and don’t have the restricted practices of the North!

I wonder how long this debate goes on before the coal mines are brought up? They should have been shut years ago, because of all the pollution they produce and the global warming they create!

Sunday, June 27, 2004


Olympic Airlines

Now don’t get me wrong, but I love Greece!

You can’t say though that my wife and I have any affection for their national airline!

We recently flew to Thessaloniki for a weeks holiday at a place called Sani, which is about 45 minutes south of the airport. The hotel was excellent and I had only one reaction in the whole holiday, when I inadvertently ate a small cake, which my wife thought was rice-based. It wasn’t. One memorable meal was a superb fish grilled in a little olive oil with a couple of tomatoes. The fish cost about six Euros, which isn’t much at all!

So if you’re a coeliac and are thinking of going to Greece then if you’re careful it isn’t too difficult to stick to a gluten-free diet, especially as a lot of chefs will show you the kitchen.

But the airline!

I requested a gluten-free meal directly with them and their people in London said this would not be a problem. On the flight out, the stewardess said that they hadn’t been told and that I couldn’t have ordered one. So she served me nothing! Not even coffee or a drink! I was a troublemaker! Coming back, I thought I’d chance it as I suspected there would be a limp salad and perhaps some orange juice. Guess what! The starter was pasta and so was the main course!

So Olympic go down as one of my airlines of last resort!


Coastal Holdings Inc.

This is an e-mail I have just sent to Coastal Holdings Inc.

I am getting serious spam about your company. I have received approximately 100 messages to various generated e-mail addresses that I control. This is completely unwarranted and if it doesn't stop I shall be informing the Securities and Exchange Commission. Incidentally your company may well be guilty under the UK Harrassment Act.

The Harrassment Act is interesting. If you constantly annoy someone with lots of phone calls, e-mails or other messages, then you are guilty of harrassment. They may not be sending the messages themselves, but I would like an explanation as to why someone is!

Do the senders want to hike the share price?

If so they are doing it the wrong way!

For instance I am getting e-mails to our stud at Freedom Farm to all sorts of generated names. Perhaps someone has been paid on the number of e-mails delivered and someone is ripping them off by generating the names.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Problems with Family Law

Because Celia is a barrister working with family law, I meet many barristers, solicitors, judges and others who work in the same field.

Looking from the outside, I have come to the conclusion that the real problem is not the laws, but the fact that the Government does not put enough money into this Cinderella part of the legal process. Courts have been closed, good social workers are leaving due to poor conditions and salaries, extensive form filling is now rife and legal aid rates have been reduced so that good legal practitioners have moved to more lucrative work.

Unless the Government increases funding and makes access to the Courts and legal processes easier, the situation will worsen as in the next few years, many dedicated legal personnel will retire and new law graduates are not showing any inclination to follow them, preferring such branches as tax, commercial and intellectual property rights!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004



Philip Stephens in the FT is so right in his article about UK politics.

I’ve been a left wing Tory all my life (I’m 56!) and feel now I have nowhere to vote unless they regain the centre, apply sensible efficient monetarist policies to such things as crime and punishment and ditch things completely like capital punishment and opposition to Europe.

The other problem is the ‘Hop off you Frogs!’ style in the tabloids.

Unless a party panders to this minority, they get lampooned and humiliated.

It’s strange (and gratifying) really, how over the last few years the FT has become the most unbiased and sensible newspaper on most mainstream subjects, by just following a scientifically correct view on everything!



The Government is seriously thinking about banning farmers from spraying near schools and houses. To some this might seem a good idea, but it is yet another assault on the countryside by those that feel it should be a museum, where everything is as it was in the 1920's.

Now we’ve lived in the country for many years.

The only thing we’ve had sprayed that affected us, was chicken manure. That’s supposed to be user-friendly. Spraying like that is now illegal, as the manure hadn't composted properly.

Can’t the BBC keep some of these hysterical people who propagate unscientifically correct ideas off their sofa in Breakfast Time? They probably smoke anyway, which is far worse! Do they suffer badly from grass pollen too? Perhaps farmers should grow concrete!

Oh! dear!


Extra Cost of Summer Holidays

One newspaper says that the Government is going to stop this.

But, my wife and I never take package holidays. We always book direct with the hotel and use low-cost airlines. In June and September costs are substantially cheaper than August.

Is Tony Blair going to legislate against supply and demand throughout the rest of the world?

It’s just spin!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Incinerators and Wind Farms

Both are blots on the landscape, but the Green Police hate the first and love the second!

They argue against the first on the grounds of pollution. Just remember, that the worst incinerators in this country produce air pollution at a level several hundred times less than you get from one cigarette!

But both generate electricity! The difference being that an incinerator creates power all the time, whereas a wind farm doesn't. Oh! And you can put incinerators where they are needed, whereas wind farms have to be sited so that they intrude on the countryside.

So would I have either on my land?


That's the real problem. Nimbyism!


Islamic Dress

A case has been brought to Court so that a fifteen year old girl can wear full Islamic Dress to school.

Nearly, all other symbols are just that and are worn with pride. Take the D-Day veteran with his medals.

Covering Islamic women is designed to keep them under control within the faith.

And that faith is now seen as something which doesn’t work economically, mainly due to the fact that only half of the population can pursue fulfilling careers, that are to the general good of the economy.

Where is the outward and forward looking Islam of the Middle Ages? Women were then a full part of the society!

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Wheat-Free Diets and Intelligence

Dr. Stuttaford in The Times is right when he says that more research is needed into wheat-free and other diets and their effects on intelligence.

I have to declare an interest here, in that two years ago at the age of 55, I was found to be suffering from coeliac disease. As I learn more of the symptoms, I find that I have probably suffered all my life. So, I don’t have it seriously, but I have suffered from tiredness and general miserableness on and off over the years. I was definitely a child who ‘failed to thrive’ being a rather thin and puny specimen!

Since changing to a gluten-free diet, I now feel so much better. I have more energy, don’t get tired, eat much more heartily and don’t feel the heat anymore in addition to having a quiet gut.

Could this well-being be one of the reasons why if you get a child’s diet right, they perform better? And that applies to everybody and not just those who have a gluten allergy!

The best thing about the last two years, is that as I now feel better, my real tennis handicap has improved by four points!

So eat healthily and stop smoking!

Monday, June 07, 2004


1966 and All That!

The 1966 and the Euro 2004 teams are a very similar blend of good but not great players!

Where the 1966 team differs is in the manager. Sir Alf could take a team of donkeys and make them play like lions!

After all look how he won the Championship in 1962, with a team containing no stars. Every player was played to maximise his potential and the rest is history!

If Sven can do this with the Euro 2004 side, they will win!

As a footnote, I’m an Ipswich supporter and saw that 1962 side. Any team would love to have a pair upfront like Crawford and Phillips!


Excessive Drinking

Newmarket has had a bad problem with drinking.

Lately, two pizza chains have opened quite large restaurants. It seems that many of those who frequented the worst pubs now go to these restaurants and have a meal instead. No bad behaviour either!

Perhaps, more affordable food is a solution.

Watch the statistics.