The new Emporium Food Court in Melbourne

We finally decided to have a look at the new Emporium Shopping Centre in Melbourne. It’s very smart and will be better when it’s fully let. A work in progress and a pleasant place to visit.

But not if you are hungry and would like a snack and a cup of coffee in the food court. I could only find one place that served coffee and there was bad service. No trays and you had to help yourself if you ordered two coffees and a muffin there.

As for the other eateries you could be forgiven for thinking that you were somewhere in Asia instead of Australia. One place after the other was Asian, either, sushi, or Thai or Vietnamese rolls. For a person who is allergic to Monosodium Glutamate there is no chance of suitable food.

What happened to a bit of Western food? Some fish, perhaps, or a foccacia? How about a burger?

I was informed that there would be other eateries opening in the future, so here’s hoping there will be some choice. After all, that’s what food courts are all about, aren’t they?

Anyhow, we ended up next door in Melbourne Central and had a filo pastry with spinach. Yum.

How journalist Sarah Ferguson easily keeps up with Jones

I have just watched Lateline on the ABC during which Tony Jones was his tediously repetitive self and I couldn’t help but compare him with his wife, Sarah Ferguson.

Sarah has taken over from Leigh Sales on the 7.30 Report on the ABC and since then she has shown herself to be astute, determined but always courteous. Her diction and presentation are faultless and she is well-informed on the topic of her interview

Compare this with the rudeness and lack of panache of Tony Jones. He is like a broken record, going on and on and not giving the person he interviews much time to respond. It is no wonder that Clive Palmer told him to shut up the other night.

How sad it is that an interviewer is so enamoured of the sound of his own voice that he drones on for ever.

In my opinion, a successful interviewer is one who treats the interviewee as a welcome guest rather than as an interruption to his own monologue.

The audience wants to hear what the guest has to say. So bringing out the salient points of a discussion are the primary duties of the interviewer.

In this respect, Sarah Ferguson outdoes her husband by a mile.

Think twice before you have a Synvisc injection

The reason I am writing this is because we are all being bombarded by news of procedures that may benefit us medically. This has always been the case throughout history. We have a pain and we want to get rid of it so we are open to suggestions from legitimate or illegitimate purveyors of the miracle cure.

Nothing new in that, of course. Snake oil or modern supplements are often one and the same.

My warning is about the hyaluronic lubricant which is being marketed under various names for injecting into an arthritic joint. Synvisc is one of them which claim to replace the loss of synovial fluid which lubricates the joint.

Granted that in some cases the injection has helped, although reading up on it makes one wonder how much of the cure is actually placebo.

In my case I paid the $700 and endured the painful injection in the hope that it would get rid of the pain in my knee. I did some reading on it and the specialist told me that there was an 80% chance of improvement.

In medicine these stakes are encouraging. He told me that 20% of patients get no improvement.

So what did I have to lose apart from the money? I would be no worse off and there would be a good chance that I would be better off.

Well, as it turned out, following the initial few weeks of painful swelling which I accepted as part of the experience of getting rid of the pain, I ended up ith much more pain than I had started with.

I wish I had never had the injection.

I wish I had done more research and found the articles in which they are questioning the genuine benefits of such injections.

The statistic of 20% of no benefit didn’t mention that the procedure could actually cause more pain and you could be worse off.

Had that been mentioned then I would not have taken the risk.

My final point on the subject is that if Synvisc lubricants are so beneficial they would be subsidised by Medicare. After all, knee replacements for seniors are an expensive drain on the government.

Consequently, any procedure that postpones such operations must surely be a bonus for the government who have to face the pitfalls of an aging society.

As with everything in life there’s a risk, but when it comes to medical treatment the stakes are terribly high.

As someone said, “did you know that the word “gullible” does not appear in the dictionary?”

If you rushed to your copy of the dictionary, have I got a panacea for you!