Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Time and Renovations

I've been intrigued by these somewhat decrepit buildings on Finchley Road near Swiss Cottage. They look like they once had interesting architecture, with that ornate rooftop pediment on the right-hand building. But time and renovations have not been kind.

My stepsister came through with some amazing news yesterday -- she's able to loan us a car for our visit to Florida in December, which means we won't need to rent one! This is HUGE. The rental car was going to cost us something like $1,400 and that's before insurance. I definitely owe her a bottle of something.

(I forgot to tell her that our plans involve driving to Vero Beach. Fortunately she's not the type to be concerned about extra mileage.)

When I wrote about my problems with gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) yesterday, some of you mentioned that I may need to make dietary changes. I'm already in the process of working out what I can and can't have. Martinis (which were infrequent anyway) are definitely out for the time being, and I've reduced alcohol drastically. Coffee is another issue -- I usually drink three a day but I may need to make it weaker. The coffee in our staff lounge at school comes from a machine and it's thick enough to stand a spoon in*, so I need to come up with a suitable coffee/water mix that gives me a little boost without stripping out the lining of my stomach.

So, how about that marriage equality vote in Congress? It looks like Dave and I won't have to worry about the status of our marriage in the USA despite a Supreme Court majority the likes of Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. I'm impressed that the world has evolved enough that even some Republicans could bring themselves to support this measure. (In the UK it's not an issue at all, so I'm not concerned about our legal status here.) Maybe there really is hope for bipartisanship?

*re. that spoon -- not really


Andrew said...

I've been thinking of late that proper coffee in a empty stomach is not a good idea. That's not for any real reason but just a thought. Strong coffee from a machine??? Well, I never.

I wasn't aware of the parliamentary vote on marriage equality. What great news with a resounding vote.

River said...

It looks as if all those buildings had the same rooftop pediment originally, and were probably two shops, now divided into four.
The GERD thing interested me enough to google it and I learned that the dry cough I have most of the day might be from reflux, not my asthma, so I am trialling an antacid chewed after each meal and it seems to be working. I'm no longer sucking on my inhaler half a dozen times a day. So thank you for that.

Rozzie said...

Hi Steve. I've never posted here before, but here goes.

Your"GERD", that we Aussies just call acid reflux, can be mitigated to a large extent by simply lying on your left side. I was told that years ago by a doctor friend and it certainly works for me.
It's all about the anatomy. If you lie down relatively soon after eating, on your back or right side can mean the food wants to slide back up a bit. But there's a large bulge of tummy on the left that can pretty much take all tummy contents. Unless you have had a truly massive meal, in which case you'd be best sleeping in a chair (ugh).

Cheers, mate.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Imagine a restoration of that row of buildings with contemporary shops below. Ah well. I hope I wasn’t a bore with the diet info that worked for me and I hope you get yours resolved soon. Just the thought of that strong, bad, machine coffee makes my tongue hurt. The marriage equality vote is reassuring.

Lynn Marie said...

My GERD/acid reflux manifests in coughing also. Diet does make a difference. It takes a while to pin down the worst culprits. For me simply eating less helped a lot. I've gradually cut down on coffee, to the point I drink a weak half cup of decaf every morning. Even with that small amount it's crazy to begin the day with a dose of acid (not that kind!), but I can't seem to let it go altogether.

Ed said...

In my area, towns are full of similar looking buildings. I always ponder how beautiful things must have looked back in the day and compare it to the blahness of todays architecture.

Yes, rental cars are not cheap like they were just a handful of years ago. I have been in shock the last couple rentals I have paid for.

Marriage equality has been something that I have changed my mind on over the years and am in favor of these days. I really don't know why I was against them in the beginning. Fear, ignorance, assuming people would take advantage of others, I guess. But as I have seen states pass laws, seen it in action, and come to know people it affects, in my personal life and here online, I have realized that it is a good thing to have.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Sorry to learn about your issues with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Why must Americans insist on omitting that vital "o"? It's almost as bad as "sidewalk" but of course not quite... If only those buildings could tell their story - the fancy parapet looks unbalanced as if half the building has disappeared.

Bob said...

It's nice to see some Republicans come down on the right side of history.

Ms. Moon said...

There was a lot of noise about the Mormon church supporting the bill but I listened to a podcast yesterday about how the truth is much less groundbreaking. I think it explains a lot about how the bill got passed.
BUT- yes. Thank goodness it got passed.
Hurray on the car and hurray for your sister-in-law!

Ellen D. said...

Sounds like you are on the right track to get relief from your GERD/GORD. Hope it helps!
Good news on the Marriage Equality Bill!

ellen abbott said...

All the bill does is force states to recognise same sex marriages as legitimate, it does not compel the states to allow same sex couples to get married. They can refuse to issue marriage licenses. So if a state decides it won't allow it in their state then the couple must go to a state that will allow them to get married. Once married, their home state must recognise it. Better than nothing I guess.

I limit myself to two cups of coffee a day in the morning on an empty stomach, not be design, it's just that we don't eat breakfast until we've been up for a while. We like it strong but not thick. My sister makes her coffee, when she drinks it, weak, more like the tea she prefers.

NewRobin13 said...

So kind of your step-sister to loan you a car for your Florida journey. That makes things so much easier in every way.
I'm hoping that a change in diet will help the GERD issues, Steve.
I was so surprised that Congress passed the Marriage Equality vote. I loved that good news. We need news like that everyday!

Red said...

You may also need an ant acid medication. It works at this house.

Pixie said...

The problem with coffee, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and fat, is that they all relax the cardiac sphincter at the top of the stomach, allowing stomach contents (which contain acid) to flow back up into the esophagus causing irritation and heartburn. Even worse though, the acid can damage the lining of the esophagus and cause changes in the cells that can lead to cancer.

Sharon said...

Bless your step-sister for loaning the car while you are there. That is very kind of her.
I was happy to hear the equality bill passed too. Now they need to get busy on a few more things. They have quite a lot of things to get done before the Republicans take over the house and start blocking everything as we know they will.

The Bug said...

I would like to register my disapproval of Pixie's comment. I don't drink coffee or alcohol, but I don't want to give up my caffeine & chocolate. Lalalala. Ha! (I've also heard that caffeine & chocolate can affect the benign cysts I have in my breasts - makes them hurt more. I also disapprove of that information.)

Boud said...

Good news on the marriage equality act. It's only partially helpful but better than nothing with this scotus in place. Nancy Pelosi plans to introduce a separate bill about marriage equality in addition, I don't know the details yet.

Great news on the car loan too. I didn't realize how expensive renting had become. I rented a couple of times when I visited friends in Florida and wondered about the reports I was getting on rental cars being targeted and the drivers held up roadside.

How did they know they were rented? Turned out the little plaque thing on the back of the cars I rented said so! They changed that when Florida decided better not put a target on tourists!

Margaret said...

I can't believe the current price of rental cars--yikes! What a relief that you won't have to deal with that. Sorry about your GERD/GORD/Acid reflux. I wouldn't want to give up those things, especially coffee and chocolate. I'm an occasional amber ale drinker too. I was pleasantly surprised that the GOP (some of them) would support the marriage equality bill. It's a shame that they won't also support reproductive freedom.

Peace Thyme said...

I am really stoked about the vote in Congress making that equal opportunity issue a law. Fantastic!!! Unfortunately, the time to make Roe vs Wade the law of the land was a long time age before this group of supremes and their alliance with the religious right nut jobs took over! I wish that at least the last two could be impeached and tried for lying to Congress during their congressional hearings!!

Kelly said...

I have several family members who deal with GERD and I've come to the conclusion dietary triggers can vary from person to person. You can always try limiting (or eliminating) one thing at a time to see if anything helps.

Great news about the car! At the very least, leave her with a full tank of gas and maybe an oil change if it's near the time. (in addition to a bottle of something, of course)

Catalyst said...

OMG! Don't give up alcohol! It's what's keeping us happy! Years ago I had something like GERD or whatever and was advised to cut the coffee. I was drinking cups and cups of vile workplace sludge all day. And smoking. When I stopped the coffee, which I ladeled heavily with sugar, my symptoms went away.
So stop the coffee but, for God's sake, not the martinis!

Beth Reed said...

Hi Steve,
What great fun I had reading and catching up on your blog! Loved that you found Dave's water bottle and had a massage and of course I loved the photos and Olga has such a look of patience about her.

Your avocodo tree is so pretty and yes U think that another strand of lights would look great! My eyes are getting so bad and at first I thought that it was a cat sitting in front of a window lol but it could be!!

Great news about the vote although I sure wasn't expecting it but it would be a great beginning for a much needed policy!

Have a great evening.

Beth Reed said...

Oh I forgot to say that when you are in Florida go by Walmart and pick you up a acid reducer. I use the walmart brand. I find that really helps with GERD and if you drink your coffee black, my doctor had me to put in some cream into my coffee and by jolly that really helped. Not sure if your lactose intolerent but I find using real cream works best for me, however they do carry a non dairy creamer that should work the same so you can get back to having your coffee.
As for a weaker type of coffee Miss Edna uses the Folgers in a bag.. they are like tea bags but just filled with coffee and you can make it with hot water and as strong as you like it. Good Luck!

sparklingmerlot said...

Your last paragraph made me cry. How dare anyone have to worry about the legal standing of their marriage (unless they were forced into it - totally different). How far we have come but oh, how far we still have to go.

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: I know! It's very surprising for machine-made coffee.

River: WOW! That's great! I guess that shows why it's important to talk about health issues -- it's valuable knowledge for all of us.

Rozzie: Thanks for the hint! I actually DO sleep mostly on my left side, though I often wake up on my back. I eat dinner about three hours before bedtime to give everything a chance to digest.

Mitchell: Not at all! I found your dietary info helpful, though I'm not sure I can bring myself to give up carbs. :)

Lynn Marie: Yeah, I suspect coffee and alcohol are the main culprits in my case. I'm cutting down on both.

Ed: I think that's the key for many people -- knowing LGBTQ people and seeing them in committed relationships has changed many minds.

YP: What is the deal with that O? WHY IS IT THERE? It's like the British spellings "oedema" or "oestrogen." WHY?!?!

Bob: It is indeed. They want to be on the side of human rights, and more power to them.

Ms Moon: I heard that about the Mormon Church and it sounded too good to be true! I'll have to listen to that podcast. (Which I've been meaning to do for ages anyway because I know you love it.)

Ellen D: GERD/GORD sounds like it should mean something -- maybe a drum made of squash.

Ellen: Yeah, not ideal, but better than nothing. If you've married elsewhere you're at least protected.

Robin: It's so nice to get a dose of positive news, isn't it?! It doesn't happen often enough!

Red: Yeah, I am on the generic equivalent of Prevacid.

Pixie: I remember that from my days as a medical reporter -- "Barrett's esophagus"!

Sharon: Yeah, I'm sure there will be a wholesale reversal when the Repubs take over the house. I think we're finally going to get a look at Trump's tax returns, though!

Bug: My theory is, all things in moderation. I'm not about to give up coffee entirely.

Boud: Yeah, I remember years ago several tourists were killed on their way from the airport to Miami Beach, partly because of that rental tag.

Margaret: It looks like reproductive rights will be left to the states, alas.

Peace Thyme: I know. It seems like swearing to uphold precedent and then NOT would be grounds for some kind of action.

Kelly: I'm starting with alcohol and coffee -- not eliminating them, but cutting back. We'll see where that leaves me.

Catalyst: Ha! Well, the problem is, I depend on the coffee day to day whereas the martinis were more occasional (and thus more dispensable). I'm not eliminating coffee and alcohol, but cutting back on both.

Beth: Good to hear from you! I'm glad you had fun catching up. Olga has missed you. :) Thanks for the tips! I use Tums when I need it but I'm now on the generic equivalent of Prevacid and I'm not supposed to take other antacids with that. (Not sure why.)

Merlot: I didn't realize I was worried about it until I didn't have to be anymore. Funny how you can live with tension like that and not even be aware of it.

Jeanie said...

Three cheers on the marriage equality vote. Glad to see that pass. I have the GERD too, but keep it under control with a Prilosec prescription strength every day. Good luck -- it's a pain, isn't it?