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Chairman of the Board
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About cestrian

  • Rank
    Board Member
  • Birthday 07/07/1947

Basic Information

  • Country
    Chester, England

A Little Bit About Me

  • Interests
    World affairs, swimming, reading, music (Folk - Reggae), House Exchange holidays.
  • Occupation
    Retired teacher, but running my own letting business.
  • Biography
    Born inside the City Walls which makes me a Cestrian. Passed the 11+ & went to Grammar School then Teacher's Training College in Manchester.

    Taught for 3 years then got itchy feet & went to live in Oakland for a year.

    After 2 years back in the U.K I got itchy feet (& a very controlling boyfriend) & went to live in Amsterdam for a year running a "Back Packer's Hotel".

    Another 10 years in England & I did a teacher exchange with a bloke in Auckland, New Zealand. I was there when the French Secret Service blew up the Greenpeace ship "The Rainbow Warrior"

    Back home for another 10 years, then retired from teaching & put an ad. in "The Lady" saying "Job wanted, short term, remuneration not as important as a) an interesting job & b) in an interesting place".

    Six very interesting jobs later I packed it in.

    Now own 4 houses & rent out three of them so life is either very quiet or absolutely manic. I'm hopefully coming to the end of six months of mania.

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  1. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock and England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty both have COVID 19 symptoms and have self isolated. Their symptoms appear to be mild (as yet). My friend's son in law is still poorly, but still at home, as his breathing is O.K. so far, he has all of the other symptoms.
  2. Funny you should mention knowing the day of the week Rebel - without a definite structure to the week I'm all at sea. The only way I know is when I look at my medication blister pack and it tells me
  3. The Police Patrol boat at Greenwich sailed up the River Thames blasting out Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" - brilliant. In these depressing times this cheered me up. Every single news bulletin is full of doom and gloom so I needed to escape it if only for a moment or two. Boris has COVID 19 - which apparently means Dominic Raab is in charge, I sincerely hope not - to say the man's a moron is an understatement. Or it could be Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in charge - at least he has a few brains and seems to listen to the experts.
  4. The Republic of Ireland has just nationalised their health service in one fell swoop. There are calls for this to be made permanent. https://skwawkbox.org/2020/03/25/ireland-nationalises-its-health-service-in-response-to-cv-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR1Ajfqf5DBQ3qOoKklFlnxujJeya7TJRACW3WckAUd4dKCTiiXsmphQBjQ
  5. Anna - I think she rang the landline, but as that is switched off due to tenants thinking I'm "on duty" 24/7 she didn't get through. Sandy - I couldn't live in a condo where I couldn't escape from people I dislike. I feel your pain. Now to go for some coal - will I be left alone ? I bloody hope so Yep I was................left alone that is.
  6. Okay - I'm gonna have a mini-rant now. You may remember that my next door neighbour is also my tenant, we share a drive and both look out on the garden, Marco (Mr. Passive Aggressive from last year) has decided to stand in the middle of the lawn with a beer in his hand and talk to his mate who is standing on the road, no probs you might say but if I want to go out of my front door I feel I have to "run the gauntlet" of him trying very very hard to be my best friend. Yesterday I went to get some coal and his wife spoke to me (fair enough - she's nice), within 2 minutes he came rushing out of his front door throwing his clothes on as he came into the garden, just to talk to me....................wanker. No pal I don't want to be your buddy especially now that I've been on the receiving end of last year's attempt to bully me, and your condescending attitude to "women over 70" And at 7.00 p.m. there was a knock on my door - it was the wife again asking if I needed any groceries, I was a bit cross and gave her a list of the things I didn't need as I had ample stocks of everything, and enough pre-cooked meals in the freezer to last for two weeks at the very least. They keep offering help with grocery shopping etc., no matter how many times I tell them I have it covered. Nice thought at first, but I'm feeling "got at" at the moment. I suppose I was a bit spoilt by having Paul as a tenant for 14 years - I rarely saw him. And .....................breathe.
  7. My lovely optician told me that eating 2 ounces of spinach a day helps to prevent Macular Degeneration. I tried it but I'm afraid that only lasted a couple of weeks. All brassica can help but the darker the green, the better it is.
  8. On a personal level - when I woke up this morning I wondered if anyone I know had the virus, then I saw this posted by Sarah W. Stressed is an understatement. Kev has the virus. So he is locked upstairs. Thank goodness our extension is done as me and the kids are camped downstairs. He is so poorly. It's a scary thing to go through. Phone was going all night. Extremely impressed with the NHS ringing him to make sure he is coping ok. Stay safe people. Doubly worrying as Sarah has M.S. and is in a wheelchair, she's only in her late 30's and has two youngish children. I think she still has her carer so I hope that Kev. is being fed and watered. Update - Sarah's carer is still going to her house. Now this is a terrifying situation. Sarah is the daughter of my lovely (and crazy) friend Karen who died only 4 months ago. The extension's only just been finished thank goodness for that.
  9. Although 4,000 patients is scary when you consider that London alone has a population of over 8 million I think they're trying to make sure that the hospitals can cope better by moving non COVID 19 patients out. NHS staff and G.P.s say that they still don't have enough protective clothing/masks etc. These things need to be co-ordinated, it's no use having beds etc., if the doctors, nurses and all medical staff are themselves in danger of catching the virus.Not to mention all of the others such as cleaners, care staff, nursing auxilliaries, pharmacists and anyone else in contact with people who are ill or vulnerable. 3.5 million testing kits will be available within the next few days this means that front line staff who think they MAY have the virus and have stayed at home self isolating will know whether or not they can return to work. We haven't heard much about Australia - are the authorities dealing with it ? Are many affected ?Are you self isolating ? Jacinta Ardern's on the news (I know she's a Kiwi) I wish we could vote for her as president of the World. Didn't I read that one of your idiot politicians stated that the Christchurch massacre wouldn't have happened if immigrants were banned - true, but as that racist pr*ck was Australian I think he missed the point.
  10. Hi Jenny - nice to see you back. My medical problems were/are of the "fixable" variety ..............I'd hate to have a viral problem. I hope everyone is safe and well.
  11. “On hearing ill rumour that Londoners may soon be urged into their lodgings by Her Majesty’s men, I looked upon the street to see a gaggle of striplings making fair merry, and no doubt spreading the plague well about. Not a care had these rogues for the health of their elders!” Samuel Pepys Diaries - London 1664 No real change in 2020! The more things change the more they stay the same. I live on my own too and although that's the way I like it I must admit that I get stir crazy if I have to stay in. Guess I'll be going stir crazy then.
  12. Sandy - that's a scary story. I've had a few people checking on me, my brother in Canada even rang me yesterday for the first time in over 3 years Catherine from down the road knocked on my front door to check I was OK (the curtains had been closed at 11.30 a.m. and she thought I'd died !). My mate Tony rang yesterday - he NEVER rings unless it's to tell me what time we're meeting etc. My younger brother is now officially out of work and although he was told to apply to Lidl for a job, none of them are driving jobs and from what he said they're either warehouse or front-line jobs. Not a lot of use to a 63 year old asthmatic with COPD. I told him to check the website anyway, nothing ventured nothing gained. The Government seems to have completely forgotten about people in the "gig" economy and eventually said they could apply for "Universal Credit" and get the princely sum of £94.00 a week. That's after they've lost your details, given misleading information so that (a couple of weeks later when you realise you've been misinformed you reapply) and even when you do finally get through to them the wait for money is 5 or 6 weeks. The Tories have no idea about the lives of poor people and they don't really care. My tenant Maria's been trying to get some sense out of U.Credit for 5 weeks without much success, pushed from pillar to post No benefits after February 24th. so no rent for me. As if her father dying wasn't enough to deal with. I'll wait until it's all sorted so at least she won't have to worry about the rent. When I heard a small (twin engine) plane fly over late last night I realised that I hadn't heard a plane for weeks - nothing delivered from Airbus and no flights in or out of Liverpool. Andrew Cuomo on T.V. - thank goodness there are a couple of "grown-ups" over there.
  13. It's just been on the news - "gtech" a factory that usually makes vacuum cleaners has been asked by the government if they can make 30,000 ventilators - after a week they have one small glitch to sort out and they'll be up and running. Production of 1,000 per day is supposed to start on Monday, so that's 7,000 p.week. Just like everywhere else protective clothing and masks are in short supply so there's a way to go yet. I know who to go to when I need a new vacuum cleaner.
  14. That's about it Sandy.
  15. A bit long but very informative. There's a private hospital (The Nuffield) in Chester, they usually deal with the "easy" stuff - hip replacements and such, but as all nurses are fully qualified and their doctors and surgeons work for both systems the change should be easy to implement. COVID 19 patients will be confined to the N.H.S. hospital as they have the intensive care facilities. Good to see they don't intend to make a profit from this. Looks as if my surgery will probably be on hold. I'll know more next week. Coronavirus: 8,000 more hospital beds and 20,000 extra staff join COVID-19 fight Ganesh Rao, news reporter Sky News2 hours ago Nearly 20,000 fully qualified staff will join the NHS response to coronavirus after a deal with the private sector which will include 8,000 more hospital beds being made available. National Health Service will also gain access to nearly 1,200 more ventilators and other critical care facilities that have come under intense pressure as the coronavirus crisis intensifies. The deal will give the NHS access to 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and more than 8,000 other clinical staff. In London, which has been hit the worst by the coronavirus outbreak, the NHS will now have access to 2000 hospital beds, and over 250 operating theatres and critical beds. NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said they were dealing with an "unprecedented global health threat." He said: "The NHS is doing everything in its power to expand treatment capacity, and is working with partners right across the country to do so. "But it is absolutely vital that this is matched by successful and comprehensive adoption of the public measures needed to cut the spread of the virus. "We all have to play our part to help offset the enormous pressure that our nurses, doctors and other specialists will otherwise face." Earlier in the week, NHS England suspended all non-urgent surgery for three months from 15 April to free up staff and up to 30,000 beds to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. The private healthcare sector has said it will be provide the use of its capabilities to the NHS "at cost" - meaning without any profit - for a minimum of 14 weeks. David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said: "Independent hospitals are boosting emergency capacity to put at the disposal of the NHS over these coming weeks. "We have worked hand-in-hand with the NHS for decades and will do whatever it takes to support the NHS in responding to this pandemic." Spire Healthcare, one of the nation's largest private hospital operators, said the entire capacity of its 35 hospitals in England will be made available to the NHS from 30 March. Spire said it will also be suspending non-urgent elective surgery for those above the age of 70 to protect vulnerable patients whilst also creating additional capacity to support the NHS. Separately, tens of thousands of retired healthcare professionals are being urged to return to work to help the NHS through the pandemic. Up to 65,000 former doctors and nurses are being told "your NHS needs you" in the hope they return to fight COVID-19.
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