March 2022 : Sausage, Egg and Chips!

Mar 31, 2022 | Stuart's Patient Newsletter

It is interesting to see how the eating habits of this country has change over the last 50 years.

When I was young, our Saturday lunch was always sausage, egg and chips, the reason being that it was a quick lunch before Dad and I went to watch Newcastle play. They were the ‘good old days’, when football was at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and not littered all over a weekend.

What brought this memory back to me was the fact that last month I went to watch Newcastle play for the first time in about 15 years. I used to have a season ticket, but I became very disillusioned when Graeme Souness was in charge!

Anyway……one of my very oldest friends Richard, who I have known since school days, phoned me to say he had a spare ticket for the Everton Game, did I want to come along? Well, I jumped at the opportunity to go again – I even got quite excited at the thought.

Everton Game, Tuesday night; I had forgotten how the atmosphere rises to a crescendo of excitement and expectation just before kick-off, how grown men are more like exuberant school boys and how when THE music plays, as the players enter the pitch the hairs on the back of your neck stand up with the emotion – there’s nothing quite like it.

We had a grand night and the icing on the cake – Newcastle won!

Driving home after the match, I reflected on how things had changed since those days 50 years ago, when I first went with Dad.

St. James Park looked nothing like it does now; an all-seater stadium with a great playing surface, easy access to the ground and lots of safety stewards everywhere.

Back in the 1970’s, we used to aim to be at the ground no later than 1.15pm, in order to find a crash barrier (the old cement ones) for me to sit on so I could see. That was all well and good until Newcastle scored, when I often went flying off the barrier, with the surge from the crowd behind me. No ‘Health and Safety’ in those days!

I also remember at some games being passed over the top of the turnstile, so I didn’t count towards the capacity! It was at a Newcastle game that I also first saw Dad lost for words – Newcastle was losing 1-0 (no change there!) and Malcolm Macdonald – ‘Super Mac’ – had a goal ruled out for off-side. There were a lot of ‘comments’ flying towards the referee – it was always educational – about his decision. I waited until the noise level went down and then shouted as loud as an eight-year-old could “Get lost Ref’ – you’re rubbish”!!

Dad quickly reacted by scolding me for my out-burst. He was half way through telling me off when he felt a big hand tap him on the shoulder and this ‘HUGE’ Geordie told him to “Leave the kid alone, he’s right”!

I must admit I kept my mouth shut for the rest of the game, but Dad and I used to laugh about it in the years afterwards, he’d never been more scared – well he did support Sunderland!

So, sausage, egg and chips? Well with our enlightened knowledge these days we know that sausage, egg and chips is not exactly the best food in the world for our bodies. We even know now that some foods are better for our eyes than others; green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach as well as blueberries, cranberries and oily fish, all help to keep your macula healthy.

As we are all living longer, we need to try and preserve our sight for as long as possible into old age. Eating a ‘good diet’, typically a Southern Mediterranean style diet, is a good start.

So, to help us to monitor your macula health, we are extending our use of the Adapt DX Pro beyond our initial Pilot scheme, for at least another year. Therefore, we can continue to monitor your Dark Adaptation ability – which as I explained in the last Newsletter, is an excellent way to check how well your Macula is functioning.

We will be incorporating this test into all examinations for those of you who would benefit. So please ensure that you allow extra time for your eye examination and spectacle dispensing, when you make your arrangements for coming in for your appointment. The staff will be happy to guide you further, if you need more information.

Now, a couple of quick Thank You’s;

Firstly, to one of our long-standing patients David W who bought me this wonderful mug, depicting a “Geordie Eye Test” – it really made me laugh.

Secondly, to Lesley and Philip F who sent this fabulous picture of their G.T.H bag which they used for storing their sun cream and sunspecs while on holiday in the Maldives!

So, if you have collected your new spectacles recently and now use your re-useable bag for something interesting, please send me a photo! Don’t forget as well to call into the practice when your cleaning spray bottle needs refilling and we will top it up for you free of charge.

And just to keep you up-dated, if you are coming into Newcastle for your eye examination, don’t be surprised at the state of Saville Row. The City Council are ‘re-developing’ Saville Row to make it more appealing. The plans and pictures make it look like a lovely Parisian Boulevard but I suspect the designers have not accounted for the Newcastle climate……. or the seagulls! So, watch this space.

Well, I am about to go and have my healthy lunch and a cup of tea in my new Geordie mug!

In a couple of weeks’ time Maria and Jenny are away for the weekend, which means Leo and I are in charge – I suspect we may be tempted to have sausage, egg and chips!

Hope you are all well, we look forward to seeing you soon,

Best wishes,


Diary note: the practice will be closed on – Thursday, 21st April 2022 so that staff members can all attend a First Aid course. Our answer machine will be switched on and we will answer any queries at the end of the day so you can still get in touch with us.