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  • Writer's pictureCharles Ogilvie-Lee

Blog 1 - From a Villa in Grey Lynn - The Heart of the Matter

I received rather alarming news on my return from Paris, saying

my arteries are more calcified than 99 out of 100 women aged

between 65 and 70. I would like to meet number 100 and

receive daily updates on her well-being so I can be

forewarned of my impending demise. My cardiologist assures

me that calcium is very strong and my arteries are like

Hadrian’s wall, impervious to splintering. It is in my best

interests, however, that the walls stop cementing themselves as

a complete damming of the rivers is not desirable for life. So, I

am now following an intense diet as decreed by Caldwell

Esselstyn in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, which pretty

much assures disciples of 20 years of life, which is at my age a

lifetime guarantee. (If my blogs cease, you might assume the

guarantee wasn’t foolproof and can’t be refunded.)

My new diet removes anything with a face or a mother, dairy, nuts,

avocados. I must transition from a great cat to a common

antelope and chew for long periods on grains, berries, and

lettuce leaves. Above all, my diet decrees eat no oil. Not a drop.

I am told to imagine it as being gas to the fire of

atherosclerosis; sand in the cement of Hadrian’s wall. So, at

the ripe old age of 60 odd, I have become the person I used to

scoff at: the not gay divorcee and the food vigilante. My

enemy is the food manufacturer. This evil middleman who (or

is it whom?) stands between the honest food producer and the

innocent food eater. He concocts potions with spells which

allow food to live forever and intoxicates our little taste buds.

He then gives his poisonous apples innocuous sounding

names like Boring old oat milk, which is not boring at all but

laced with rapeseed oil which, when not used to calcify my

arteries, is used to fuel cars.

My accomplice in hunting down pure food is my darling sister,

Damaris, who feels vaguely responsible for my diet and spends

hours trying to make Afghans without sugar, eggs, or oil to

cheer me up. She wants me to offer one of her Afghans to my

grandson to see if he likes it, and if he does, we will open a

shop called “Wickedly Good for You,” but we won’t tell Boydie, her

husband. He has lost confidence in my business acumen when

I failed to make a fortune after trying to sell miniature living

Christmas trees which were unfortunately so sparse in pine

needles we had to compensate with a surplus of decorations

which destroyed our business model.

The other weapon in my survival kit is the avoidance of stress.

This might be possible if there were only myself in my life, but

there are my children to whom I am not just a mother and

housekeeper but a technologically deficient PA. Fortunately,

they have fired the newly hatched antelope from cooking


Let’s look at a sample morning in my life. Let’s take a day

when I go to the Olympic Pool in Newmarket to frolic in the

chlorine with my friends in the swim squad, most of whom swim

rapidly up and down the fast lane while I do a succession of

dolphin dives in the slow lane. I get out of the pool and go into

the shower. I come out of the shower, and my friend Anne

says my bag has been pinging as she looks at her beautiful

face in the magnifying mirror. She then bemoans that her arms,

like the arms of all of us in junior old age, are turning from the

honed honey marble of youth to something resembling coarsely

ground chickpeas, pleated or dimpled, depending on the angle

from which they are dangling. The naked mole rat shares these

characteristics with us from a very young age.

I know these pings emanating from my bag will be orders from

my bosses to their personal assistant. Sure enough, it is Gus to

say he needs to store his skill saw, table saw, and drop saw in

my house that has no storage except a small cupboard under

the stairs where my vacuum and long-expired Covid provisions

live. He says to make sure my car is out of the driveway by

10 am so he can back his ute in and where should he put his


The next ping is Charley to say he needs a suitcase to put his

girls’ clothes in as they are coming to live with me for the

holidays, and he is at my house to transfer their car seats and

where on earth is my bloody car.

The final ping before coffee and while still in my towel is from

Frankie to say her apartment has been given a bad review on

Air B and B, and could I go and unblock the drains, wash the

walls, and water the plants before a tenant who will be staying

for three months arrives tomorrow?

I go to the aqua café and can’t have my usual muffin and oat

milk flat white because the boring old oat milk is laced with oil,

so I settle for a bitter black coffee and bitterly watch my

compatriots eat muffins laced with blueberries. I go home. The

car seats are on the front porch, the saws on the back porch,

the utility in the driveway. I put the draino and spray and wipe in

the boot and head off to Frankie’s flat to be sure my car is out

of the driveway by 10.

It is 10:14 am. Gus is late, thank goodness.

PS Charley has put in charge of the site now so that I, not he, will

receive any comments you might send me. This will enable me

to reply, so please do keep in touch.

Love, Juliet.

My diet bible which I read while in gods waiting room.

A mole rat has to live crepey skin for life!

100 views10 comments


Nov 27, 2023

When are you coming back to swim, your friends are missing you………


Nov 22, 2023

Yes . i think you should back to ordinary old cow's milk if you have loving clean clear flowing arteries.... good luck!


Nov 19, 2023

Yes now I have found Vitasoy Barista choice is the only non dairy milk substitute without oil added. Its delicious ! You can take a little bottle of it with you and some cafes if they're not too busy will froth it for you. I am thinking of buying a mini frother but haven't got around to it. good luck!


Nov 19, 2023

How did you get to be in the one percent ?? You’ve always been as thin as a match. Is it in the genes ? Did you have symptoms which prompted tests ? Thats one hell of a dietary change but better than meds. A new challenge greater than surviving in Paris for a year ? You can do it Macka 🤗xx

Nov 19, 2023
Replying to

I think it is in the genes! My Dad ,uncle grandfather. Some people just can't convert processed food of any sort it damages the endothelium which protects cells I think. Good to go and have a calcium test. Its $500 but will give you a non invasive report on your arterial health and then if you have to you can do something about it..... I had angina which set off alarm bells.... in went a stent and an expose of the condition of dear old hearty which has been working so hard all these years. Frankie's reign as heart queen now challenged... thanks for the encouragement . Yes quite a challenge!


Nov 19, 2023

I fear the MoleRat may be distantly related

Nov 19, 2023
Replying to

That is so funny. Isn't he a honey. Good to look wrecked form am early age. Then change doesnt depress.

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