SGB Indie Publishing is my online presence in terms of research and publishing. Research over the past decade has been eclectic mix with publishing taking a back seat although hopefully this will be the year of the book! I have finished my research into the architecture of medieval churches and am slowly reshaping my thoughts into a readable manuscript which will probably take eighteen months if not longer. The climate and weather based research I have completed has produced enough material for several books one of which I have just published – British Isles Weather & Climate: Elements of Meteorology.
The other significant area of academic interest is dementia with a special interest in the history of the disease from the earliest references in the Classical World to the work of Lois Alzheimer, Emile Kraepelin and others in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century.
I am researching a radical approach to the assessment of individuals when they enter residential care and how that can be used to develop care plans that do more than slow the rate of cognitive decline. It is too easy to be overwhelmed by this awful disease and accept continuous decline when there is evidence - I see it every day - that it can be held at bay.
News in Brief
1. Warm Winter this is a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines
2. Dementia this is a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines
3. Flying circuits tonight this is a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines a
4. Indie this is a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines test
5. Autopilot this is a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines
6. What next this is a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines a few test lines
Weather describes the day-to-day and even hourly changes in key parameters such as humidity, precipitation, visibility, wind, cloud cover and temperature set within a climate zone defined by thirty years averages. The British Isles is defined in the Koppen Classification of climate regimes as being within the cool temperate western margin region (CTWM). The Temperate group of climates are united by the average temperature of their warmest month being more than 10 °C and that of the coldest month being within the range -3 °C to 18 °C. These islands are further defined by being one of those temperate climates that is wet all year round that is to say there is no dry season despite the occasional period of prolonged drought such as that which affected some regions in the first half of 2011. Thirdly, the islands are placed within a group of temperate climates whose warmest month has an average temperature of less than 22 °C while having at least four months with an average temperature of more than 10 °C.
Climate The problem with the global warming argument was that on occasion scientists drew definite conclusions from inadequate data and softened the rough edges of their conclusions. The sceptic argument was invariably a negative one designed to disprove global warming rather than present data that supported their belief in an absence of significant climate change or anthropogenic input. Climate change in the past and by extension into the future is indisputable. Drift and solid geology record changes in the British Isles as elsewhere across more than one billion years. Ice ages, tropical deserts and every conceivable environment lasting millions of years are a part of geological history and will be our future. The causes of climate change are broadly known – continental drift, uplift of mountain ranges, large-scale volcanic eruptions, variations in solar emissions, the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and changes in ocean currents. We can even distinguish between primary and secondary drivers. It is more difficult to determine the climate change over shorter time scales and to what effect anthropogenic inputs will accelerate or decelerate change.
Flying is an expensive activity and unless you are wealthy you are unlikely to complete more than twenty or thirty hours in a twelve month period. Folks learn for many reasons and some are not sure why they started an activity that can become really addictive. Younger students are often thinking of a flying career or have some spare money because they are not yet tied down to mortgages and everything else that seems a necessity in modern life. I started flying because I needed a release from the stress of being a carer – certainly gave me something else to think about! I have never liked flying in passenger jets I suspect it is because I have no control over the situation and have little idea about what is happening.
I went through a period where I was ‘over-thinking’ the landing which made for a lack of consistency with two safe landings followed by three that were quite rough. Frustrated by the whole process I took three months out and went solo two weeks after returning to the runway. I have now achieved my night rating with five solo circuits in the night sky of over London Southend Airport. Hopefully I will apply for the skills test to gain my PPL (license) before the autumn skies darken.
Sailing To enjoy coastal and offshore cruising you need to go with the philosophy that you will reach somewhere sometime …. possibly! Sailing is only really enjoyable if you take your time and avoid unpleasant weather - listen to the forecast! Experienced hard-bitten boaters will know the truth that passage plans should:
1 Aim at a general location (eg east coast of America) to avoid disappointment rather than planning to arrive off Cape Henry lighthouse (Chesapeake Bay). You will probably find America even if as with Columbus you think you are somewhere else.
2 Don’t plan to arrive at Chesapeake Bay (or America/India) on the morning of July 10th or any other day in July for that matter. You will get there sometime … maybe!
… and do read the chart so as to avoid passing through a submarine exercise area as the author once did … the unmistakeable sight of a torpedo coming towards you is not guaranteed to fill your crew with confidence!
Learn from your mistakes - and enjoy!
Dementia Care is an emotive subject involving deep sadness, frustration, guilt and a host of other human emotions with lives seemingly on hold waiting for a call that you hope will never come. It will. It also involves cost and in many cases near ruination with the need to pay for care which should be free. Some care is good, very good. Other is not so good. To a considerable degree your personal level of wealth or how much you are prepared to pay determines the quality of care and that is simply wrong. When the time came I looked at some twenty care homes only two of which were remotely acceptable and only one offered end of life care and that in an area of some 200 000 souls. Simply unacceptable.
I attended an Alzheimer’s Research conference at which one of the lead speakers spoke passionately about the failure of the care sector to put into practice initiatives related to the ‘well-being’ of residents that had been common knowledge in academia for many years. As in education core knowledge and skills and ‘best practice’ take far too long to reach those who need it.
Dementia Research tends to be thought of as relating to pharmacological interventions. The problem with such research is that testing takes years so that a beneficial drug may not be available for ten years and more after initial trials when those diagnosed today will no longer be with us. Drugs administered in care homes today are much the same as those five years ago and certainly the pharmacological intervention into my mother’s dementia has remained unchanged for that period. Research into other aspects of dementia is arguably less attractive to academics and more difficult to fund. There are academic studies on measures to maintain quality of life but they do not have as much impact on care homes as one might hope. Care companies do not have the finances to employ researches or offer acceptable remuneration to those who would bring good practice into the care sector.
I am working with a care company to submit a funding bid to NIHR for research into more comprehensive assessment of individuals on arrival into residential care and using that to create care plans that slow and even pause cognitive decline.