Monday, 24 November 2008

Penkridge Boy Hits a Six

Some local good news at a time when everyone is down in the dumps, worried about credit crunches (is that a new chewy bar for guinea pigs!?) - a teenage youngster studying for his A levels at Wolgarston High School has hit the headlines this week in a Press Release from the NHS.

Jake Murphy has been telling the world about how the new Insulin Pump he has that enables him to carry on with his outdoor sporting activities - he is a very keen cricketer and footballer. He has been able to dispense with the four-times-a-day injections that he used to have to do, often having to stop in the middle of a game.

An expert team from Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust supports 16-year old Jake Murphy so that he can use an insulin pump, which is aimed at improving his quality of life. Since being diagnosed with diabetes in 2001, Jake's conditon has hampered his ability to participate in his two passions - cricket and football.

But he has been at the top of his game for the last two years after being fitted with the device, which measures out a steady flow of insulin to control the blood sugar levels in his body. Jake carries the pump - which is the size of a pager - on his waistband and it delivers the insulin through a tube into his tummy.

The Wolgarston High School pupil said the pump had made it much easier for him to play for his two sports clubs - Hawkins Cricket Club, in Cheslyn Hay, and Penkridge Juniors Football Club.

Jake said: "Before I was fitted with the pump, I had to take an injection in the middle of cricket matches and I would often go hypoglycaemic when playing sport, which is when your blood sugar level drops too low.

"When I play cricket now the pump allows me to lower the amount of insulin given to me before and during the match and I take the pump off altogether for football.

"I love playing football and cricket and the pump has given me a lot more flexibility to follow my sporting ambitions. I played for Penkridge Juniors under 16s side last year and my next goal is to get into the adult team".

Talking to his grandparents yesterday, they said they were very proud of Jake.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Floods and Trees

I am registered for telephoned Flood Warnings from the Environment Agency and this year I have received several - most turning out true and resulting in me having to wear wellies to carry our waste to the bottom of the garden to put into the compost container. Whether or not Global Warming is taking place, it certainly seems to be true that we are getting much wetter in Penkridge - I have even got a rain guage in my garden now to measure it. I am seriously thinking of acquiring a boat - maybe a canoe - as I think we may need it before long.

Trees - wonderful plants that I wouldn't be without. We have several in our garden and I wish I had more ground and could grow more. I believe no tree should be cut down or even pruned without very good reason. Not only are they important as habitat for wildlife, they also act as screens, camaflaging ugly man-made structures that seem to be spreading throughout our countryside. So imagine my surprise when I drove back into Penkridge from Stafford and noticed a few days ago that they had pruned all the Willows on the Market Site which grow on the banks of the River Penk. Now I know that willows will pollard and grow again but suddenly we now see not one, but three, Mobile Phone Masts sticking up and taking over the landscape from the trees. Its ironic really, when you think that the Planners actually encourage the Phone Companies to make their masts look like trees. I have seen lots that look like Pine trees both elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

We now have to look at these ugly masts until the willows re-grow and hide them again. As soon as they do, no doubt they will prune them again. You would have thought they could at least have not done them all at the same time. And this has all happened right on the edge of the Conservation Area. Yes, we can see the Church much easier from the north but we can also see the buildings on the Market site too which aren't exactly beautiful!

Is it just me?