It's a Miracle!

Friday 6/5/2005

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Diary and Notes

I am going to have a moan about something which strikes me as absurd - but seems to be a generally accepted concept amongst the people of the world, especially those who have lived through life threatening diseases; modern medical miracles - or how I was saved by the power of prayer or divine intervention or wishes from fairies and angels.

I decided to write this when talking to somebody who had recently recovered from a life threatening bout of cervical cancer and now seems to be doing much better. (Please don't think this blog entry is in bad taste, I'm trying to make a serious point for once here.)

When the cancer was originally discovered it was deemed an emergency and several operations were performed within the space of a week. After that there were sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and it took nearly a year for the cancer to be destroyed. It's now two years later and happily the cancer hasn't reoccurred. The person in question is now fit and healthy and seems to be looking forwards to a long life.

So what's my problem, why am I complaining?

I was chatting to her some weeks ago and discussing the illness when I noticed a strange undertone in the conversation that was totally out of character with her pre-cancer self - a new found religious faith, the absolute conviction that some higher power had intervened in some way and saved her from a certain death. I know that in times of desperation turning to God is not uncommon, many people need to feel reassured that come the end there will be something else, rather than the cold nothingness of oblivion but to ascribe the curing of cancer to a mystical force is in many ways an insult to the doctors and nurses who treated her and to the researches who have been working for years to investigate cures for diseases, often for little pay and even less public recognition.

I don't doubt that a miracle saved her life - only I think it's a miracle of mankind's ingenuity, and the saintly beings who deserve the credit are here on the Earth, in laboratories and hospitals, not out in the stars watching over us from afar. I'm not having an attack at religion or religious belief - I'm just suggesting that in this particular case (and millions like it) the credit for the curing of the disease may be going to the wrong place.


Exellent dinner by the way - truly a miraculous demonstration of man's ingenuity with a dead animal and some burning wood.

Cake Blog

Fruit and Nut Shortbread: From the Tesco finest range - tres bien.


  • Tandoori Chicken (on a barbecue, not in a tandoor but it tastes the same)
  • Onion Bhajis
  • Barbecued Peppers and Tomatoes
  • Mint Yoghurt
  • Salad
  • Naan bread


    Tandoori Chicken
    16 Pieces Chicken (Legs, thighs etc.)
    1/2 Tub Greek Yoghurt
    4 Tbsp Tikka Paste
    4 Cloves Garlic
    1 Lemon
    1 tsp Chilli Powder
    1 Tbsp Garam Masala
    1 tsp Dried Mint
    1 tsp Black Pepper
    1/4 tsp Salt
    Onions Bhajis
    4 Very Large Onions
    200g Gram Flour (chick pea flour)
    1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
    1 tsp Ground Cumin
    1 tsp Chilli Powder
    1 Bunch Fresh Coriander
    1 tsp Black Pepper
    1/4 tsp Salt
    Oil for Frying


  • Make a marinade using the yoghurt, spices, lemon juice etc. Cut deep slits into the chicken and rub the marinade all over. Leave in the fridge for 4 hours. While the barbecue is lighting, roast the chicken (gently) for 30 minutes. (at about 150c) This wont cook it thoroughly and make it dry, but will start the cooking process so that a quick burning on a hot barbecue will be enough. When the barbecue is REALLY hot cook the chicken until a little burned all over.
  • Bhajis: Slice the onions and place into a pan of water. Boil for 5 minutes and drain. (This isn't how other people do it, but I've made these a few times and the boiling really ensures a good texture). Leave to cool. Mix the gram flour and spices then add the onions. Mix well. Keep adding water until a thick batter coats the onions. Leave to stand to 15 minutes. Form into balls and deep fry until golden brown then transfer to the oven to bake for a few minutes to guarantee they're cooked inside as well.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for four people