Category Archives: Health

Walking the line…

Work-life balance – it’s a phrase that’s easy to say, but for many of us it’s significantly harder to put this elusive idea into practice. For a start you have to define what that exactly means, and I think it means different things to different people – and at different times of their lives.

In my life there was a time when I worked significantly longer hours than I do now, and the majority of my time was weighted toward work. I was younger, starting out and I felt I needed to do it at the time – and indeed when you are setting up businesses I do think you need to put inordinate amounts of time and energy in to get things off the ground.

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Happy new year!

I love new year – the symbolic idea of a blank slate to build on is very appealing to me and new years give us time to re-evaluate what has been working in our lives, what has perhaps not been working quite so well and where we can add in some new challenges and enrichment. New year’s resolutions are a great way to focus the mind. I don’t mean the clichéd, half-hearted ones that always seemed based in negativity (“start a diet to lose 40lbs” which ends up as “eat a whole cake the next day” or “take up jogging” followed by “give up jogging a few days later” etc.) – but the ones that take unique stock of where you are in life and what you want more of (not less of!).

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The doctor will see you now

Healthcare-sizedI’ve been having some interesting conversations recently with a company called Red & Yellow Care, which is a new disruptive force in UK health provision. I love disruptive innovation because some markets really need to be shaken up with fresh ways of thinking – and healthcare in the UK is one. There are a lot of gaps in our healthcare system, and not just in the NHS but in the provision of healthcare overall, throughout the UK.

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The Golden Age…

norman peires golden age One of the ways that getting older impacts, and I have noticed this a lot, is wondering whether you are at the ‘right’ point in your life for your age. People seem to gauge how far they have progressed, whether in their career or in their personal life, through age markers. I see it in my own children as they compare where they’re at with everyone else. Continue reading

Can math beat the Ebola virus?

An awful lot has been written and reported about the Ebola virus in the last few weeks; as the world’s worst epidemic to date spreads through western Africa many in the west are understandably concerned. However, the scaremongering headlines predicting a global pandemic are by no means well informed.

Although the incubation period is between two and twenty-one days long, the chances of transfer to other countries is still a remote possibility. While it’s possible that an infected passenger could travel to another country Ebola is only contagious when symptomatic.

Once individuals are showing these final stage symptoms they are unlikely to be well enough to get out of bed, let alone get on a plane so the risk of transfer by an Ebola carrier to a person in another country is still unlikely. Continue reading

Why good food really should be one of life’s pleasures

food-002I love to eat well. Food is one of life’s great pleasures; I really enjoy dishes that include lots of fresh, organic, locally sourced foods, and there’s nothing better than simple combinations of ingredients.

When spending time in our place in the South of France our favourite restaurant is The African Queen; it’s in a great spot with a terrace overlooking the yachts in Beaulieu-sur-Mer and serves an array of Mediterranean cuisine and sushi. The menu changes accordingly to incorporate seasonal specialities. The selection is diverse but always features plenty of colourful salads, mouth-watering fish dishes and the finest cuts of meat.

Great food doesn’t have to be expensive or pretentious, it’s all about choosing the right produce and cooking it well; authenticity is definitely the key when it comes to great gastronomy. Growing up I enjoyed braais, the South African version of the barbecue, with family and friends and still love this social and casual way of dining. Aside from that, the meat is prepared and cooked in a special way which makes it absolutely delicious! Continue reading

Are cycling regulations helping or hindering the pedal power revolution?

bike ridingI truly believe in the restorative power of exercise, it’s so important to stay fit and healthy. Having an active lifestyle, eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and keeping stress levels under control all help to contribute to a sense of well-being, which benefits both individuals and their loved ones.
I make a concerted effort to stay active, but during our family holidays to the South of France, where the weather is always nice, I enjoy a particularly healthy lifestyle involving walking, swimming and tennis. I love to keep fit; it’s one of life’s great pleasures. But sometimes it can be hard to summon the motivation!

Many city residents find it hard to incorporate fitness into their busy lives, so I applaud incentives to encourage exercise. Cycling is one in particular. In London the introduction of the self-service bike-sharing scheme has given freedom to hundreds of commuters who can now easily use pedal power to get them to where they need to be. It keeps their hearts healthy, and eases traffic congestion. Continue reading

Being near water really benefits your health and wellbeing

As I’ve mentioned quite a lot lately, I’ve had my share of health issues in the past, which thankfully are now not a big issue. While being sick is a horrible thing to go through, it certainly puts things in perspective and I try to live a very healthy lifestyle to ensure I remain fit. That involves healthy eating, avoiding stress and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Since Lorna and I bought our boat, Amazing Grace, I have truly realised the positive effect being near water can have. We have a berth in the seaside town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer in the South of France and in the past few years have spent many months down there. However, it’s only in the last nine months that we’ve had our berth, and since then have enjoyed many happy days sailing there.

Amazing Grace docked in Corsica

Amazing Grace docked in Corsica

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A new development in cancer research is a huge leap towards prevention

Cancer is a disease which most people have had an experience with, whether it has affected them, or someone they know. It’s a disease that can have devastating outcomes but now has a deservedly high profile, and long may it continue. With their sponsored runs, walks, sky-dives, there are millions of people supporting this cause worldwide and we must all continue to raise awareness about this virulent but preventable and sometimes curable illness.


As I’ve mentioned before, I myself battled colon cancer a number of years ago. I had chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem-cell therapy, every kind of treatment you can imagine. I was very lucky and made a full recovery. Although it has been many years now, I haven’t become complacent and try to keep myself as fit and healthy as possible. I also am very interested in new developments and treatments in cancer research, so was excited to see an article on the BBC News Northern Island website about a new development in research. Continue reading

Nature and exercise: the antidote for an increasingly unhealthy society


As many of you know fitness and travel are two of my great passions, so I was interested to read a recent article in The Guardian by writer Hope Whitmore about how hill walking and enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors has helped her to combat an auto-immune disease.

Hope, despite having severe rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s syndrome, recently relocated from fast-paced London back to her homeland of Scotland, finding a small cottage at the foot of the Pentlands to live in. Continue reading