Category Archives: Hello

Dysfunction of the Burp Reflex (DBR) 2: The Cricopharyngeus Muscle

Apologies to all who have been awaiting more posts about the dysfunction of the burp (or belch) reflex (DBR). The sad truth is that I didn’t have anything new to write about! However, thanks to a couple of comments left in the previous post about this topic, there is a bit more I can add.

I had previously mentioned that the injection of botulinum toxin, commonly known under the brand name Botox, into the upper oesophageal sphincter was a new therapy to treat DBR (it has already been used for decades to treat other problems). Since my previous DBR post, a reader commented that her daughter had had the procedure done at the Bastian Voice Institute in Illinois, and that it appeared to have been successful. With other readers going for the same procedure at the institute and with the reassurance that they have had a 100% success rate out of 21 patients so far, it prompted me to try and find out more about this procedure.

Don't worry, it's not that scary! The injection is usually given under general anaesthetic.
Don’t worry, it’s not that scary! The injection is usually given under general anaesthetic.

Continue reading Dysfunction of the Burp Reflex (DBR) 2: The Cricopharyngeus Muscle

Paralympics 2016

I started suffering from withdrawal symptoms after the Olympic Games finished in Rio a couple of weeks ago. Luckily for me and Olympics fans everywhere, the Paralympic Games have started today! The Paralympics have taken a back seat to the Olympics in the past, but in London 2012 they were very much centre stage. From then on the Paralympians have been promoted as the “Superhumans” in the UK by Paralympics broadcaster, Channel 4.

Last year I created a short manga story called “Learning to Fly”, inspired by these Superhumans. It seems a fitting time to dig it out.

Good luck to all the Paralympians in Rio!

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International Left Handers Day

Inky Knuckles Unite - Left Handers Day 2016


Today is International Left Handers Day. I didn’t realise that people thought there should be a day for this. As somebody who’s struggled with writing at a weird angle, a constant inky/graphite-covered little finger, righty scissor pain and can openers I feel I can appreciate it.

Inky Knuckles Unite! For today. Then go back to grumbling about struggling in a right-hander’s world quietly.

Art 4 Eve – Art Auction in aid of The Eve Appeal

Art 4 Eve auction montageEve Appeal logo

If you fancy owning a unique piece of art and want the proceeds to go towards fighting women’s cancers, then it’s your lucky day. The Eve Appeal launched the Art 4 Eve auction last Friday. Pieces of artwork have been generously donated by world renowned artists and photographers including Sir Quentin Blake,  Sir Antony Gormley, Annie Kevans, Susanne Kuhn, Jason Martin, Grayson Perry and Paula Rego.

Art 4 Eve art_montage 2

Pieces of particular interest are Annie Kevan’s portrait of David Bowie; a unique ceramic horse sculpture by Grayson Perry; a painting from Lincoln Townley’s ‘The Hollywood Collection’; a drawing created by Sir Quentin Blake especially for the auction and based on The Eve Appeal logo, titled ‘Nude Woman In Water’. Also up for grabs are two signed boxsets by Gilbert & George and “mini libraries” of signed art and architecture books.

Art 4 Eve art_montage


The Eve Appeal was created in 2002, and promotes awareness about gynaecological cancers. It works to raise money to fund the research programme at the Department of Women’s Cancer based at University College London.

“Major breakthroughs are already being achieved towards improving survival rates of women with gynaecological cancers through the Department’s pioneering research into screening, early diagnosis and risk prediction. To build on these successes and save women’s lives, raising urgent and on-going funds is critical.” – The Eve Appeal

The Art 4 Eve auction will end on the 28th April, at a private dinner hosted by Viscount Linley and Helena Morrissey CBE at Christie’s, King Street, London. Tickets to the Art Dinner can be purchased from The Eve Appeal website.