James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Representative Sport


At the last minute, I played tennis for the club against Bristol and Bath. It's a long time since I've played representative sport. That was badminton for Minchenden at Southgate County, which was the school opposite where I lived in North London.

I lost on the last point!

Monday, September 29, 2003

The Appointment Letter! Finally Read!


Finally, got to read the appointment letter and it's a front as opposed to a back entry!

I mustn't eat anything for six hours before though!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

The Appointment


I still haven't read the appointment letter. Must do it sometime, as I'm getting worried about the procedure.

But at least, my gut is playing up quite a bit!

I'll be glad to get the appointment over!

Saturday, September 27, 2003



We went down to Winchester to see George, Amanda and Imogen, before spending the afternoon at Ascot.

I may worry about my problems, but they are nothing to Imogen's. She was born eighteen months ago with a hole in her diaphragm. You wouldn't know now, as she had a major operation at three days old in the Royal London Hospital!

Friday, September 26, 2003



On the 15th September I complained about Bighams and their bad labelling.

Today, I got a cheque and a promise to change the packaging.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

An Illicit Pizza


I had an illicit pizza today at Pizza Express.

It tasted good!


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Up North!


I drove north to Leicester and Nottingham on business and very much had an illicit sandwich day.

At least the business was good, even if the sandwiches weren't!

Food on the move is better than it was, but not that good!

Monday, September 22, 2003

A Typical Day


A typical day working hard day, with a game of tennis in the middle.

I am someone who tends to snack while I work. Lots of tea, coke, grapefruit juice and it used to be biscuits. Sometimes whole packets of savoury cheese biscuits. Now it's cold potatoes!

The tennis is holding it's own and I'm not getting any worse!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Eating Bread Again


I am finding it very difficult to start eating bread again!

It's not that the small amount I have eaten makes me feel bad, it's just that it might.

I'm still sticking to the Crunchies though! But then I've always liked them! Why?

I'm also putting on weight, but in a different place as my waist is still smaller than it was. The weight is going on about the waist!

Oh dear!




Whilst walking round the stud we picked a lot of blackberries. There are masses this year and they are sweet.

If you type "recipes blackberries" into Google, you get some very interesting ideas. Many of them are gluten-free! But they may be very weight-unfriendly!

Supper was at the Curry Queen in Cambridge. At least there appears to be no restrictions on Indian food.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Salmon Sandwich


Football was good as Ipswich won 4-1!

So was the salmon sandwich!


Friday, September 19, 2003

Gluten-Free Pasta


One of the downsides of a gluten-free diet is that pasta made from rice is not the best.

I gave up on supper!

The tuna sauce was nice though!


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Original Guinness


I'm starting to move away from the gluten-free diet as I have the appointment on the 3rd of October.

Before football (Ipswich won at last!), I had an Original Guinness, which they claim is gluten-free. I had no ill affects.


Monday, September 15, 2003

Bighams Foods


Back at work (and tennis!) after the holiday.

Supper was a satay from Bighams. I read the label quickly and you think it is gluten-free as gluten is ticked with a Yes. Wrong. It isn't! Naughty!


Sunday, September 14, 2003

Disappointing Italy


Italy was disappointing for several reasons.

The weather wasn't very good, the villa was good, but in the wrong place and we stayed too far from a major town.

But the major disappointment was that I couldn't find any gluten-free pasta in any shops, something that is quite easy even in our small Waitrose. And there was no sign of any of Italy's gluten-free beer!

Restaurants were fine though, but it does seem that the better the quality the more choice I had. It was also a good idea to share a plate of antipasto, as the partner could then have the bread bits!

Thai in Newmarket


Today it was very much a return to normal, with a visit to Waitrose, lunch of salad and a meal out at the Thai restaurant in Newmarket.

The weather was better than Italy!


Saturday, September 13, 2003

Returning Home


A quick dash up the motorway and we caught the flight back to Stansted with ease. The only problem was the age they seemed to take to get our baggage.

I got the appointment letter in the post when I returned. It is for October 3. Didn't read it though!


Friday, September 12, 2003



As we would have had problems convincing the housekeeper to get up early enough to check us out before going to Bologna, we decided to spend today in Florence at the Villa Belvedere.

It is a pleasant hotel which is convenient for the autostrada and only about two km. from the city centre. It has a swimming pool (Celia did!) and tennis counts too! And a St. Bernard of a friendly disposition. Very quiet which is important to us as we live in the country.

But if you are spending a weekend in Florence, you may find that it is too far from the city centre.

We know Florence fairly well, so we didn't do too many of the tourist sites except for Santa Croce and the Science Museum. The latter has a wonderful collection of scientific instruments. Including Galileo's!

We marked the end of the holiday with a meal in Paoli, a restaurant with frescos in the centre. The guide said the atmosphere is brilliant. It was! But it also said the food was suspect. It wasn't! I had some of the best liver I'd had in years!


Thursday, September 11, 2003



Assissi is a town where everybody should go at least once! This was our second visit.

The sun shone too! But it wasn't that warm!

I'm not a religious person, but I doubt that no-one is not moved by the beauty of the frescos in the church of San Francesco.

We skipped lunch as we'd been eating too well this holiday and had a very good dinner at Il Bersaglio in Citta di Castello. Again, I shared a plate of antipasti.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003



We've always liked Sienna and one day I'll go there for the Palio on my birthday.

If you can't go in August, then go in September or early October and the cathedral has all of the most spectacular marble floor uncovered. We must have spent an hour there!

We had lunch in the main square and watched the oddest street performer we'd ever seen. Difficult to describe he had everybody in fits, just playing pranks on passers-by! Most saw the joke as they were sprayed from a water pistol or tickled with brushes or a feather duster.

It was back to the L'Osteria in the evening and more antipasti.


Tuesday, September 09, 2003



Perugia is a slightly unusual town in that they have installed a large number of escalators to move people from the parking to the town centre. A very interesting idea, which makes for a very pleasant town centre.

It also rained heavily and we didn't have an umbrella!

That evening we decided to eat in!


Monday, September 08, 2003



Gubbio is a town we'd not really heard of, but it followed the pattern of many Italian cities. Historic walled centre with a duomo and a lot of nice shops.

Saw a launderette with the name of Eurospin! Unfortunately, I was driving at the time and couldn't get the camera out!

That night we shared antipasti at a restaurant called L'Osteria in Citta di Castello. I would have liked to have had Celia's pizza though!

Interestingly, the owner decanted the wine. Fairly unusual these days especially in a very basic but reasonably good restaurant!


Sunday, September 07, 2003



If you had said to me a few weeks ago, that I could live without bread, pasta and beer, I would have said no! I have proved that I can!

Perhaps others could go without tobacco!



We spent a pleasant day in the sun at Cortona, a town which once used to be a rival to Sienna and Arezzo. Lunch was on the terrace of a very popular and good restaurant.

This was our 35th wedding anniversary and Henry bought us a fabulous meal at a restaurant called Il Postale in Citta di Castello. They knew all about gluten-free foods as Italy is one of the places where the disease is commonest.

But again it was a bit limiting for me. I had rabbit terrine and lamb.


Saturday, September 06, 2003

Off to Italy


We flew out with EasyJet from Stansted to Bologna, which is a sensible uncrowded airport. Our son, Henry, and his friend, Emma, came with us.

No snacks on the way out! Just a few crisps and a Crunchie.

We all met for lunch at a small town called Sansepolcro. Problem! It was either pasta or ham and melon!

But it was only a small restaurant with a limited lunch menu!

The villa turned out to be a nice comfortable house, but it was at the end of a rough track that was nearly a kilometre long. We were also only given one set of keys, so we had to come and go carefully. Luckily Henry and Emma were very reliable and turned up when they said they would!

That evening we went into Citta di Castello, bought some shopping and had a meal at a rather poor restaurant. I think they were spending more time watching Italy beat Wales!

No sign of any gluten-free pasta in the supermarket!


Thursday, September 04, 2003



Went to London to see a firm of accountants about Daisy and data mining in general.

A good meeting, but I wish well-meaning companies would stop offering biscuits. And especially chocolate ones!

I had lunch in an All-Bar-One. Not bad but ham and eggs again! I did think at first that they had changed their menu to a complete one I couldn't eat! But they hadn't!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Chinese at the Phoenix Histon


Felt a bit better today and I cleared up a bug in software that has been bugging me for months. Does anybody except a programmer realise why sometimes they never make any progress?

Had a very good Chinese meal at the Phoenix at Histon tonight. Phone them on 01223-233766!

Now here we ate exactly the same as we would have eaten a year ago.

Just need to avoid pancakes for the duck, spring rolls and noodles. Interestingly, they do a crispy lamb in lettuce, which is excellent, so there is no need to compromise out the pancakes.

Talked to the owner too, who said that now each restauranter has to know about diets. Good!


Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Being Miserable


I had rather a miserable day.

I don't know but I keep thinking I've got a heart problem as I get the odd chest pain. On the other hand my heart seems to beat normally, even if I'm working hard at the tennis.

Could it be that the diet is affecting my breathing and making it better?

I don't know!


Monday, September 01, 2003

Fish and Fried Potatoes


A visit to London and cottage pie and cider for lunch. I'm getting quite to like cider although it does seem to be much stronger than beer.

Supper was fish and potatoes fried in olive oil. Just as it would have been before I was told I had a problem.

So many of the meals I eat are the same as they've always been! Good!