Archive for August, 2014


31.08.2014

My radio is playing up, it won’t transmit properly without interference unless I’m sitting still in the middle of the room or right on top of it, so I’ve been playing my way through my Napster library (yes, I’m still with Napster) to see why I downloaded the items in the first place.

I don’t normally play my music during the day, but I’ve got a few that I go to at night and play in an attempt to get myself off to sleep, so yesterday and today I thought I’d do a whistlestop tour of everything in my library, except it’s not whistlestop, I’m playing them right through in alphabetical order of artist.

I’ve got some ‘music for deep meditation’ on at the moment called Bansuri.  I’ve had Alfie Boe on, someone called Antman reading the first 29 Psalms, Amy Grant, AudioBible reading of the Gospel of John, Andy Williams (downloaded for my mother) and Arthur Rubenstein playing Chopin’s Nocturnes.  That’s just the first few.  I’m into the Bs now but I can’t be bothered to list them.  While I’ve been listening to all this I have been tweeting and retweeting on Twitter.  I’ve had a few new followers today and I’ve gone over the 200 mark.

I’ve got a move coming up in the next 2 or 3 weeks to an absolute rabbit hutch of a bungalow.  I’m very anxious about it.  There is plenty of garden so I am erecting a shed in the back to store my belongings which won’t fit into the bungalow.  Within 4 months it will have paid for itself as the alternative would be to keep my stuff in storage.  I’m worried that the shed might not be big enough, I’m worried about money, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to find the things I want inside the bungalow.

In my planning I am compensating for not having a lot of space in my bungalow by working towards being able to afford a cheap house in Bulgaria.  You can get something really spacious for about 6 or 7 thousand euros, and I’m thinking of taking my stuff over there with me.  I know it seems drastic but it’s the only way I am going to have my own space, and the countryside is lovely.  Without a landlord breathing down my neck there I should have a different experience from my first one, if I own my own property.  I should feel more secure.  I should feel secure here, but I feel doomed to a cramped and impoverished existence.  Maybe it’s my fault and I’m being too negative and ungrateful.  I can’t honestly see how I can make it home though.

I’ve got the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band on now, ‘Gorilla’.  Tommy Boyd introduced me to that on his radio programme.

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The war on grief

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

by Robert D. Stolorow

traumaThe DSM5, the most recent version of psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, makes it possible to classify grieving that endures beyond a rather brief span of time as a mental illness.

This pathologizing of grief has ancient roots extending back at least as far as the Stoics, whose stern ascetic morality preached a perfect indifference that eschewed all passionate attachments. The ideal of selfless asceticism was carried forth in early Christianity, showing up dramatically, for example, in the Confessions of the prominent 12th century monk, Saint Bernard, who was wracked with guilt over his grief for his beloved dead brother. His brother, after all, was enjoying eternal happiness in heaven, so Bernard could only feel his grieving his loss as a manifestation of a wicked selfishness on his own part.

The pathologizing of grief was continued by the philosopher Rene Descartes, usually considered to be the initiator of…

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Robin Williams 2

It isn’t possible to know what was in Robin Williams’ mind when he committed  suicide, as there has been no mention of a suicide note.

We are all in the dark.

It emerged today through his widow that he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

That might have been a factor in his suicide, it might even have been the deciding factor.

He might have done it for himself, he might have done it for those who would have had to care for him,

His mind might not have been clear at all in determining his final act.

Some of us are left wondering who he was, and feeling a bit betrayed.

Maybe there is something in the assertion that suicide is selfish.

(My father committed suicide.  I was 11.  I have missed him and made excuses for him to myself for years  I have felt a responsibility to understand and love him.  I have to see myself and my experience as separate, the burden of responsibility and identification is too great.)

Whatever may emerge, we don’t know why he killed himself, not really.

We can only guess and maybe come to a conclusion that is most comfortable for us, that we feel we can understand.

I feel sorry that he has gone this way.

He was obviously in great pain.

Why this need to make a god and a benchmark of a frail and aging man?

Robin Williams RIP

Today I like so many others mourn the death of Robin Williams.  It came as a complete and unbelievable shock to me in the midnight news last night.  Robin Williams, the world has been a better place because you were in it. Your depression got the better of you, but you were an inspirational man.

Like so many people I laughed at Mrs Doubtfire, the man who was so desperate to be with his children that he pretended to be a woman to become their nanny.  It was light and entertaining but with a serious message to the children that sometimes mummies and daddies split up but still love the children.

Dead Poets Society, Awakenings and What Dreams May Come are some of my favourite films.  Serious films with serious and heartbreaking material.  I don’t remember as much of them as I would like to, a lot has happened since I saw them.

What Dreams May Come made quite an impact on me, as Robin Williams, the man killed in a car crash, is guided through the afterlife and told that everything he sees around him is the product of his own mind.  He goes on a rescue mission to hell to save his wife who died later through suicide, and he is reminded that all the turbulence he is experiencing is also the product of his own mind.  It is a very painful film, showing the pain of interplay between the wife’s surviving world after the crash and his attempts to comfort her from the other side.  There is a scene where he embraces her from behind and she screams.

Awakenings is a fictionalised drama based on the true account by Oliver Sacks about some victims of encephalitis who have been catatonic for years and then a new drug wakes them up to a new life.

In Dead Poets Society Robin Williams played the part of an English teacher who sought to inspire his pupils through poetry.  He tried to draw out their individuality and self-expression.  He was later fired after being blamed for the suicide of a boy who played Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream against his parents wishes.  The boy had wanted to be an actor but his father had wanted him to go to Harvard.  It was a traditional school where Keating (Robin Williams) used to go himself and he was challenging the system.

I liked Robin Williams because he could play roles where he was both moved and moving.  I found all three of these films completely absorbing.

Death is always hard.  Suicide is harder.  I asked some people this morning if they had heard about the death and most of them had.  I asked a couple of the domestics if they had heard and they ended up saying it was selfish.  I was horrified by the judgmentalism, especially from staff working in a place like this, it made me feel sick.  Robin Williams was loved, and for good reason.  One of them said it wasn’t as if he didn’t have a pot to piss in.  Depression can affect anyone, regardless of their status.  I was disgusted by this.

I have been heartened today to see and hear the tributes to him.  I feel as if I am going to be affected by this news for the rest of my life.  One person I didn’t expect to be going anywhere soon was Robin Williams.

I’m a Christian.  I have been taught to believe that Christians go to heaven and non-Christians go to hell.  I don’t know where Robin Williams stood with things, but I hope God will be merciful.  I hope he will rest in peace.

Pastures New

People who have read my blog over the past months will know that I am homeless and have been since 20th September 2011, almost 3 years.  I have now been in hospital for 2 years and 4 months, because they have had no home to discharge me to.

Today I had some good news.  It looks as if my homelessness is about to come to an end, because the council has found me a bungalow with a big garden in Wollaton, Nottingham.  Wollaton has a name for being a nice area, so I hope my part will be as well.  I also hope the bungalow will be big enough to accommodate all my belongings, most of which I have to move from London storage.  I have been told it will cost me £800 to move everything up.

The bungalow will also need to be carpeted, so I think at the moment I don’t have enough money to do both.  I will have to apply to the DWP for a budgeting loan, which mentions carpets and removals as part of what it covers.  I did apply for one before, estimating I would need about £1,000, but the offer was only between £300 and £400, so I didn’t take it up, thinking it would be months and months before anyone found me anything and I’d have time to save.  I have saved quite a bit but the extra loan would make things possible.  I pity those who can’t save.  £300-£400 was supposed to cover both carpeting and removals, which isn’t possible.  After carpeting and removals I will be broke.  The council said the bungalow would be ready to move into around the end of the month, so I still have time to make a further application.  And the hospital won’t just throw me out, but will wait until I can move in properly before discharging me.

Edit note 6th August 2014:  Today I was told that there is laminate flooring in the bungalow, so I won’t need to carpet 🙂

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