Welcome to 2019 readers! My post is a little bit late. Thirteen days late to be precise. I decided to let all of you get back into the real swing of things before penning my first strange, but often entirely true, musings of the year. Has the New Year reset, and perhaps, purified the whole of humanity? Do we all begin the year forgiving everyone for the errors of their ways and then start afresh? Will humankind progress or the zombie world prevail?

Another year has passed by! Hurrah, I survived, kerchung!

As a youngster I always imagined, or more precisely visualised, the days, months and years as a road, with time moving ahead and then returning to the beginning. January was the path to December, and then we turned off and rejoined the track back at the start in January and so on and so on……

Of course, that is total rubbish. This cycle is just a pure artefact of our planet orbiting around the sun in a predefined and predictable path. Time is simply linear for us as we are all made of organic particles. Arhhhh Science. It is so reassuringly reliable and evidence based. Technology will strongly feature in all of our lives in 2019.

Another highlight to come and certainly something we can rely on is the amazing ability of ordinary people to perform stupid acts!

Going straight into the lead in 2019, barely a couple of days into the New Year leaps our dear neighbours! I don’t think they read my blog, but if they do, I’ll keep it polite, and welcome you both to my post! You have missed so so much.

”Tell us more Lee, about this daff act that has propelled them to the top of the stack!”

Ok! I left the house the other day to find our alleyway covered in straw (hay bales), and then on turning on to the road, using my rollator, I observed my car completely covered in dust and hay!! Our neighbour, in his infinite wisdom, had acquired some hay bales for his son’s birthday so the visiting children could sit on! He had unloaded, he had thought cleanly, but actually spread muck all down the road. I was fully expecting Black Beauty to canter into our garden! 8/10 for a stupid idea. Don’t worry readers, I was calm, and a suitably fast and spirited drive dispersed the hay over local residents and babies in prams. I arrived back clean!

What more foolish acts will occur in 2019?

2019 is actually a very important year for those living with MND in the UK.

It is the 40th Anniversary of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (The MNDA), the only charity supporting those with MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I say supporting, but the MNDA is also the largest funder of research in the UK, putting in far more hard cash than the government by a matter of significant margins!!

Let me repeat that last statement, our UK government puts significantly less than the MNDA into our disease research! This would be not so bad, if it was a reasonable amount that was government-funded, but it is not.

Why is this? It is almost certainly the lack of disease awareness amongst decision makers. Let this be the year of awareness breaking new grounds. Help me readers by supporting things I might do in 2019, such as lobbying MPs and campaigning with various groups. Watch this space!.

Sadly, in those 40 years no effective treatment has yet appeared. Let’s hope 2019 also shows the real seeds of growth towards a solid strategy to beat this disease.

So what has 2019 brought so far in onein400 land?

We ended 2018 and started 2019 with friends at ours for New Year’s Eve and I cooked! I believe it was a meal from this charming book I got for Christmas,

Lord Bragg’s – “Lick my Plate!” – meals you can’t get enough of. Cleaning up afterwards was a breeze!

One thing for sure is that in 2019 there will the publishing of new and unique cookery books! Disabled cooking perhaps?

But seriously, cooking is something I am still able to do. Although the process is slow, and I need help moving hot pans around, I still really enjoy the task. I want to keep adapting.

The New Year’s meal was a success and the plates were licked. Was this a sign of a forthcoming apocalypse? No, just very hungry guests.

January is an interesting month. You get those “pain in the arse” items such as dry January, or Vegan January. But ignoring all those things, for me it is just a month to get past on the way to summer!! Yes, not long people of the UK. Oh dear, I am wishing the days away!

However, if you are doing a Dry January, and before you get totally wrecked on Feb 1st, please designate what you would have spent on booze to go to the MNDA perhaps?

Lee isn’t this rather picking on a segment of the population to your benefit?

Well, yes, biggest possible return, only makes good marketing sense!

Funny moment, for me, of the week, is that a Jury will now decide whether Ed Sheeran copied elements of Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye in his song Thinking out Loud.

You will be pleasantly surprised and delighted to be informed that I do have to actually stick up for poor old Ed this time!!

“Shock, horror! Lee! Have you turned over a new leaf, or resolution to not be nasty to Ed in 2019?

No, of course not! There is not in the least bit any similarity between his, apparent, attempts at music and such classics as Let’s get it on. See, I am fair readers! Let him off!

You all know I love technology, but one area I have held back on, for fairly obvious reasons, is voice controlled home devices.

However, I decided to get one as Jean was interested in using the capabilities. I have linked it to our standard home automation etc to see what it adds. I have also checked to see if my voice could work in any way as well! I had heard that some people with a lack of a voice are using text to sound converters using their voice banked voice or stock voice. However, this just seems illogical as it’s rather like printing an email to fax it to someone! But hey I was open-minded.

So what were the results?

Well, it’s very useful, and adds a new dimension to the home control. I find that “waking the device” seems to be the hardest thing with my voice, and what is frustrating is that Jean can just whisper the activate word from the other side of the room and it works! However, interestingly, you can just touch a button to activate and then my voice commands are just about recognisable! Those of you with deteriorating voices might be interested to hear this, as if you have some remaining voice, it can still work!

So it’s actually very good and will only get better.

Back to the coming year. In 2019 I suspect there will be yet more snowflake reactionary commentary. Fearing that almost any human activity could become socially unacceptable I have been

“fiddling with stamens” in January!

What is this? you ask. Here is my latest chilli plant which I have been growing.

It is vitally important, as chilli plants are self-pollinating (fertilising), that you create a breeze around the stamens of the flowers if your plants are in the house. Or even better actually touch the stamens to create a puff of pollen! If you need to do this, do it now before it’s banned!


And the results? An absolute load of chillis on the rampage!

I leave you to celebrate our new year, and the Chinese Landing on the Moon, by listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. If all else fails we can go there! Let me ask the voice app……

“Play Dork Shade of the Moo”


Right, as promised I am working on the recent MND Symposium post, which I aim to have completed in a week or so.

On with 2019! Let’s keep the zombies at bay! Oh and don’t worry about Brexit. Onein400 will be here, hopefully!