Monday, 18 July 2011

Heart stopping stuff

Would it be too rash to draw comparisons between the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/Fukushima, the 2011 Arab spring/summer and the News International 'scandal!' that is currently enveloping the country. There are certainly some parallels. In Japan, the natural disaster caused devastation across a widespread area, and whilst it has faded from the headlines, the problems at Fukushima may yet blow up in our faces. Across the Arab territories it all went off earlier this year, and now things are rumbling along, gradually the whole area is destabilising ready to blow up in our faces. And then the hacking by Murdoch's cronies which caused quite a kerfuffle some time ago, rumbled on until it has all blown up as it is now. There may be no value in drawing comparisons about such disparate events, but why's Monday morning.

I'm occasionally prone to accepting free gifts in much the same way that the Metropolitan Police appear to accept cash in brown paper envelopes from News International staff. I don't do it too often...and frankly and bluntly the quality of items I'm offered rarely reflects the status to which I hope one day to be elevated. Please PRs pull your fingers out and give me something that glitters.

The best offer I've had recently is from Life Line Screening. It may not glitter, but it is a free health check. As I've hit a 'certain age', the thought of a health check up had crossed my mind on more than one occasion, so I scooped up the chance like a metropolitan police officer being given a brown envelope by someone from News International. Have I sued that before?

Life Line Screening set themselves up in various local my case it was at the club house of Wanstead Golf Course. When I arrived, they seemed very efficient, made me fill in the sort of form that I would expect. Over the next 45 minutes they stuck a needle in me, and attached me to various machines that went bleep and others that took the sort of pictures I've only seen when looking to see how baby is getting along. My results will be back in my sticky little fingers within 21 days, but as they said if there was anything that looks suspicious they would refer me to my doctor immediately. The one set of results I got straight away was the cholesterol from my blood test. They suggested I go and speak to my doctor and see what he says. That may be a hint...but they don't look too bad, I'm hoping Auntie Gwen will advise me on the urgent need or otherwise to write my will, and am pretty damn certain they are better than the rest of my family who have over the years extracted more than their fair share of NI payments for treatment for artery/coronary disease. So is it worth it? Should you do it? Well a quick Google will show you that this sort of thing is quite controversial, and Life Line Screening, being American, have quite an aggressive marketing strategy. But...and here's the BIG but....two weeks ago my brother had a couple of heart attacks, and last week had 'a funny turn' which had him back in hospital for a couple of days. He's just 52, and frankly and bluntly, I'd rather not lose my brother yet. So the issue of health is on my mind very much, and a check up has given me some peace of mind. Whether or not you want to stomp up the cost (I think my tests would have come to around £150) is up to you, but certainly I would suggest you check to see whether unbeknown to you your body is not going to let you, and your family, down.