James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Calais and P&O Ferries


I got mixed up in the trouble at the Chunnel on Friday night as I was coming back from France. Actually, very easy getting into the Port at Calais and then due to P&O I had to wait two hours later than I should for the ferry. Partly, this was due to port problems, but it wasn’t too bad as I spent a lot of time educating a medical student about coeliac disease.

I was getting hungry as although it was only eight in the evening all the snack bars seemed to be closed and you could just about get coffee or a Coke. Incidentally, there was a lot more available at Dover than Calais. So I just waited for the boat.

I did get a good coffee and some crisps on the boat, but the notice in the Food Court summed it all up. “Food Allergy Advice – Whilst every effort is made to maintain the integrity of all food served onboard, we regret that due to the complexity of our operations, we are unable to guarantee that any food will be free of food allergens.”

Is that good enough?

Allergen Notice on P&O Ferry

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Problems in Northern France


Last week I stayed with a friend in Northern France. I won’t say shopping is a nightmare, as we knew exactly what we were doing, but trying to find anything prepared without dextrose was very difficult. If it was declared it was dextrose de blé, which is wheat. I even found prepared salads which declared the allergies not to contain gluten, but had dextrose de blé. Most crisps and ham seemed to contain it as well.

After what has been said on this list whilst I have been away, that is wrong!

At least my friend is a very good cook and we ate in all the time.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Baked Beans


They’ve just announced on BBC Breakfast that sales of baked beans are up due to the recession. I’ve always had at least a small tin a week, which means that I eat nearly eleven kilos a year. Apparently the average is ten kilos a year.

What’s wrong with that?


Belgian Grand Prix - 1


I’m off to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on Sunday. It would have been our fortieth wedding anniversary, so I felt I should do something completely different. Celia would have hated it. I probably will! Let’s hope little Lewis wins!

But has anybody got any ideas for snacks I can take with me. I shall be taking cold sausages, salad, TruFree crackers, chocolate and nuts, but it’s on trips like this, where I suspect the offerings at the other end are totally useless, that I really feel hungry and trapped. My problem is that I can never pace myself and I’ll probably eat all the food I take as early as I can. At least, I’m travelling on after the Grand Prix to a friend in France, who knows my dietary requirements.

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Sainsburys Organic Chocolate


I went to Sainsburys last night, as they’d given me an offer of quadruple Nectar points on a shop of over £20 for six weeks. Sad, if that’s the only reason why I took a detour. But I did need diesel, some Black Farmer sausages and some TruFree crackers. The latter seem to be difficult to get around here for some reason.

I also had a look at Sainsburys Organic Chocolate. The 75% Dark one is cleared labelled “Suitable for Coeliacs”. I haven’t tasted it yet, as when I open it, I’ll eat it in one.