Archive for the ‘Health and wellness’ Category


Posted: March 16, 2012 in Health and wellness, People, Photographs
Tags: ,


sniff, jog, run, sprint, race, ….. dig dirt, throw it around, mark virgin walls, desperate for volume, but note how filth slides off that non-stick, anonymous glass. Then claim looking for gold, in the slurry, those tiny glints of truth pushed aside by the odd self-absorbing obsessions of the day. That 5 second blink of headline. ……… I look up from my ranting and there is the face ejected from some ‘house’ the night before, a 5 minute superstar for failing. I don’t want to know, in my mute button hammering desperation, I don’t want to know ! What this is or thinks. But I notice how carefully prepared, made over, made up for the studio oven. This dressed up plain person is the moment. Treated like a globe winning deserving non-success. Shortcomings now grab our sec-span attention? The soon throwaway, vanishing, disappearing to be sucked clean of any possible pixel glitter before deletion. A 2-dimensional nutrient for flabby imaginations, dumbed-down, quiet, controlled.

We can’t wait to smell the next pervasive stain.

make a good year

Posted: January 1, 2012 in Health and wellness, Photographs


Happy new year to my online connections, followers, those I follow, online friends – hope holidays gave you the break to relax or enjoy.

regards from dave

The frostbitten, modern, glass trolley sheds like the mist, they get to be noticeable in their ice negligee, sparkling in the sun, while I am crunching across frostarmac, writing headsongs. They are illuminated frozen lanterns, standing isolated, though there are a few cars, those brave enough to come out this early still wearing shorts and flip-flops of course, – its only chilly love, besides I will be in the car!” – and tomorrow they will complain about a cough, which is why I am out so early. My neighbours lungs have to be scraped off the walls each morning so I am shopping for my sick seniors (oh! what a hero, couldn’t you just clutch him to your heart) – (yes please, well, it is cold!)

On return, the weirdest thing; a neighbour I haven’t seen for a long time, sitting in her car, warming it up probably, not going anywhere. Only wearing a T-Shirt, floppy cardigan and trainers, unfreezing her fan-belt. I was actually beginning to worry about her because of the absence of car movement. After decades of listening to complaints about the large tree and our beautiful green forecourt and what it does to the vehicles (there are no greenies here), I don’t drive but understand. A paint removing gum falls from the massive tree onto the cars apparently, plus leaves and the pigeon’s contribution of course in a metropolitan area, – but that wasn’t the weird bit.

I had to ask 3 times! how she was. After a serious hospitalisation and gradual work recovery, I was still worried about my neighbour/friend!! NAH !! after finding a metal rod among the leaves, neighbour is gracefully poised over the windscreen and bonnet, and through the heavy condensation of her breath, is inserting the thick wire into every slot and groove she can find around the windscreen and removes up to a couple of hundred grams of – moss – and is so taken with this I have to virtually demand information of her health! I have never been allowed a car, but another example of how the metal beast transforms the most loving, sincere, honest, respectful etc., into…………….you too huh?

surf face

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Health and wellness, Poems

There are instances
when only your face
can bring me to the surface
to inhale the mixture
of your words,
that are rhythms
which only your mind,
can pulse through fingertips,
with its expanse
of your vitality.
Then I return
to the depths of space
beneath those caught sightings
of only your face,
of only your mind.


…..reading two separate, unrelated, articles in the weekend newspaper, the Saturday Times, one about a mother who went to a therapist for help with her relationship with her teenage son, the other an edited extract from a book called ‘You and Me: the Neuroscience of identity’ by Baroness Greenfield a Professor of Pharmacology, I noticed an overlapping of information.
The mother points out that her teenage son forgets everything all of the time and is almost told off by a therapist who specialises in family relationships:
“He is a teenager, his brain isn’t wired properly yet”. The therapist explains that at the heart of all parents problems with teenagers is that most don’t really understand the working of the teenage brain. She says there are enormous changes going on in the teenage brain. The brain is essentially becoming unwired, which means their decision-making skills go haywire and adult empathy levels are not there. She also points out that this “un-wiring”, where the brain disconnects from the frontal cortex, means that teenagers are genuinely forgetful and also tend to be more prone to taking risks.
Susan Greenfield writes: There is one alarm bell ringing which suggests that increasing two-dimensional screen existence may be having undesirable effects.
…..This could possibly be that if the young brain is exposed from the outset to a world of fast action-reaction, of instant new screen images flashing up with each press of a key, then such rapid interchange might lead to a shorter attention span….
…..The emphasis in most computer games is on the sensory laden thrill of the moment. An increase in physiological arousal can be linked to excessive release of the brain chemical dopamine. Could the screen experience be tilting the ancient balance in favour of the more infantile, senses-driven brain state. We also know that excessive recklessness is linked to the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain only becomes mature in late teens or early twenties. When this area is damaged patients take a high degree of risk. We know too that dopamine suppresses the activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex.
… is worrying that in a recent study from China of internet addicts there was a strong degree of correlation between months of addiction and significant atrophy in key parts of the brain. as revealed in scans. If we live perpetually in the present moment, could one stark and extreme possibility be that, in the end, such people may have simply no identity?
I apologise to the authors for the heavy editing but I wanted some of my friends to see this.

Dr Robert Hare’s p.c.l.r. checklist, psychopathic behaviour defined by checklist:

  1. Glibness / Superficial charm
  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
  3. Need for stimulation / proneness to boredom
  4. Pathological lying
  5. Cunning / Manipulative
  6. Lack of remorse / guilt
  7. Shallow effect
  8. Callous / Lack of empathy
  9. Parasitic lifestyle
  10. Poor behavioural control
  11. Promiscuous sexual behaviour
  12. Early behavioural problems
  13. Lack of realistic long-term goals
  14. Impulsivity
  15. Irresponsibility
  16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  17. Many short term marital relations
  18. Juvenile delinquency
  19. Revocation of conditional release
  20. Criminal versatility.

It dawned on me that many successful friends of mine fit most of these categories, then a TV documentary reassured me by saying that this list applies to most of the Captains of Industry and the Bankers who recently tore up the worlds stability ! It seems to be success requires a certain measure of psychopathic insanity ?

Having tasted the advertising industry, I was interested and now quite like the television series MAD MEN. Then to my astonishment they explained through one of their unexpected characters my “condition” as my specialists call it.

A central character Don Draper is with his secret lover one night and they are disturbed, by her brother Danny. He is apologetic for the late night visit. With a bloodied forehead and looking dishevelled, he says:

“..its not what it looks like, I am not a junkie”

Later Don offers to drive the brother to a new job that has been arranged by his sister, “not for the first time”, at a hospital because she “wants him to be safe”. Danny replies “I am safe! Its other people that are the problem, I am considered too dangerous to push a cart in a library!”. But it is the car journey dialogue that brings down the hammer.

Don: I don’t know if you are capable of understanding but that job is important.

Danny: Did YOU get me the job?

Don: No

Danny: (angry) So SHUT UP! I am NOT retarded, Julius Caesar had epilepsy, HE ran Rome.

Don: (mumbles) things didn’t turn out to well for him.

Danny: I know what’s waiting for me at that place. I am 25 years old Don ! I don’t want to be cleaning toilets until I die, just pullover.

Don stops car and Danny half opens the door.

Don: Hold on !

Danny: What?

Don: I am older than you and I am telling you it seems bad but you can change things.

Danny: ..‘pull my self up by the bootstraps’?

Don: Does that sound so stupid to you?

Danny: (chuckles) How do I explain this? I CAN’T do anything that you can do. Everyone knows, sooner or later, there is something wrong with me. They are kind and try but then when I come to, with piss in my pants, they look at me as if I am from another planet.

I am afflicted  – OK?

It’s not a question of will, I can’t change that.

After accepting an offer of money and taking Don’s card “I want to help because your sister loves you” Danny gets out of the car and his silhouette is lit by the car’s lights as he walks into the dark.

…….not fair!!!!!!

Posted: September 14, 2009 in Health and wellness, Poems, Ramblings

Its just not fair!
here I am a grown man
crying my eyes out as I type
there’s water rolling down my cheeks
Because it is just not fair!
Who doles it out this…. fairness thing,
where is it?
I can’t find it!!!
…….and as for YOU !
the ‘you make your own luck
and/or deal with it’ crowd,
well I HAVE, for 36 years
but I just can’t get a break.
Where is this stuff
so I can buy some maybe?
I just want to be with someone
and be happy,
but I am not allowed that, oh no!
So I fight through the nettles of seizure.
Mostly pushing it away,
refusing to let it get the upper hand.
Even when it entangles me,
I can hear myself saying, NO! NO!
out load and then the scar tissue
turns several pages and I am lost.
Someone who HAS to be so in control is lost!
What happened?
I was OK wasn’t I?
Maybe, I should go after the one
who was doling out fate
in the form of my disability,
and I would have a few words with him!!
Some people type or print Him.
But he doesn’t deserve such reverence.
I just got an  email from someone
and it just blew me away,
because it’s just NOT fair!
I have given, I have loved, I have sacrificed,
I have avoided the suffering of holding back,
of staying out of the world.
I have not hidden myself away,
I have always tried to help,
so why can’t I have
the one opportunity before I fall cold,
of some sunshine in here?
Why…………. why?


There was a radio report in 1999, which told of a woman who had, thankfully, recovered her speech after suffering a stroke a few months earlier. However, to everyone’s surprise she no longer spoke with the accent of a Yorkshire woman? She now spoke with the beautiful lilt of a French woman, speaking perfect English! She had not studied French at school, and only spent a total of a month in France on two short holidays in the previous ten years.
A Frenchman thought her accent ‘naturalle’. Does our grey matter store everything?
18 days earlier it was reported that an American woman who after emerging from coma, speaks not in the soft tones of a Mississippi Gal but a cockney Londoner? She is even speaking in ‘rhyming slang’ and has never been abroad or knowingly met a Pearly King or Queen, indeed even an English person.
Is our supposedly unused grey matter a vacuum cleaner of events and our environment or perhaps anything our senses are exposed to? Did the Mississippi Gal see a movie or interview with Michael Caine or some other personality clowning about in interview with rhyming slang? That still leaves the question though why did these two brains after suffering trauma, grasp at one section of memory or was it the only memory left?

for my cousin Stuart, who recently went missing because of memory loss.

Its friday

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Health and wellness

Plane attack

Posted: May 9, 2009 in Health and wellness

A plane flew over my bed
this morning, at 5.42
and after emerging from
the euphoria of this dream,
I had to help it through
as a veteran seizure surfer


By saying NO! out loud
and clasping my face, to the
the writhing and the coming pace
of heartbeat matching
the 747’s rolling thunder


Sound absorbed and now part of me,
I physically hold this jet at bay
NO! it will not be that way,
as I look at the clock display,
…………and rapidly write on this paper



the day is mine

Posted: August 30, 2008 in Health and wellness


The weather here is great, I have done the supermarket walk, sorted out the GP’s surgery (who lost the prescription again), done the pharmacist, probably about 5 miles all round, back home, put everything away, swapped the papers (only buy the Saturday Times, since it started doing supplements, my steam train driver grandfather told me once ‘get a paper to find out what THEY are thinking David’). Done the accounts electronically, paid some bills, bought something online and finished moving the furniture so that I have so much room in my flat now you could hold dance classes in here.

So now I can sit next to the floor to ceiling window on a pile of pillows and invent something wonderful to impress you all in the sunshine, oh what’s this First Class franked letter being stuffed through my front door?

"can I please complete the highlighted section of the form and contact once completed and it will be collected for Occupational Therapy".

– what questions, what therapy?

Contact assessment? Oh of course I asked for a shower in the flat after nearly drowning in the bath, well I thought it was a good idea during fits, lets see what’s this all about:

"persons own word/views"

"Presenting problem, difficulty or concern" – space for about 20 words

"Perceived impact on person’s life" – same space

"What does the person think might help? (inc preferred outcome of contact)"- no I promise you that is what it says!

"Other needs/difficulties experienced by the person" – space for about 15 words.

Professors of Neurology, GP’s and Councillors have written letters on my behalf about this subject for over 5 years, but I suppose I should be grateful the only reason I have now got as far as these holy papers is the rigorous activity of my Housing Officer, and the fact that the Council has had 20 million quid plus since 1999 to spend on the 1936 estate on which I was planted.

But now I have the weekend and the sun to consider which words would be best to answer these definitive questions, particularly, as they should have set a precedent for many others a long time ago, the Regeneration work on the estate is now half finished!

Rachael’s Space

Posted: July 28, 2008 in Health and wellness

Sort of stumbled over you (Rachael) while you were lying there in the recovery position, no, really I was not looking for fellow epileptic brothers or sisters and your name flashed up with the word epilepsy next to it because of the blog, so I thought some one is trying to tell me something. I am 50 and have been fitting since teenage and no drug cocktail for the past 10 years seems to control Complex partials which involve walking around like a sleep walker and would you believe tidying up doctors, dentists offices for example. But the main thing I wanted to point out to you was that what you have written does seem to be re-enforcing a lot of stereotypes that have led to the discrimination I have had to face in my life.
Triggers for instance: if you are drinking while taking seizure suppressants, you are crazy anyhow? and as in my case Sound is the trigger not light or strobe effects. The filtering of sound frequencies, not loud sounds necessarily can be lethal and the side effects of the drugs supplied to suppress seizures have horrific side effects over long periods.
It really is a case of keep ’em quiet, and out of the way, don’t believe me? Read this in 20 years time make that promise to yourself at least.
……………..and you wrote my blog for me, so thank you.


Posted: March 25, 2008 in Health and wellness

Walking around London has been a habitual way of life for me, never been allowed to drive, actually more down to the drugs than the possibility of seizure, ("don’t operate heavy machinery"). Recently though, parading the streets and seeing the sights and visiting the spaces has been far more pleasurable because I could share it with someone. I’ve not been on my own, something taken for granted by the majority, some of whom would want to be on their own perhaps?

If you were to give something up for Lent, would it be company? Could you sacrifice the one component of your life the seems imperative to your survival – personal contact with others, not letters, not telegrams, not phones, not texts, not emails, but one-to-one contact! Could you fast and give up the everyday chit chat, chatter or elaborate conversation. Is silence really golden?

During one of our visits we inspected the floor of the Modern Tate Gallery on the South Bank, which had been cracked the full length of this massive gallery space, as if the converted power station had subsided. An artist had done this to apparently "change our perspective of the building", but it was more of a visual insult, a crack in the conversation I have with this building on a fairly regular basis.

This ‘installation’ had created a silence, not a conversation with the gallery’s content. But this faded as having someone with me to hold my hand or tuck their fingers under my arm meant moving on was far more important than worrying about what artists do. Perhaps silence is ‘golden’ as there is a certainly a point arrived at by two people where they no longer need to talk to communicate?

So am I seeing London a different way perhaps? I have given up silence for Lent and now can converse with someone who ends my sentences for me.


Lighter & lighter

Posted: March 3, 2008 in Health and wellness

The winter sunlight streams at its low angle through the apartment hardly higher than the centre bars of the old sash windows. It splashes onto a new glass pot which flashes the beams in my direction and why am I so impressed by the sun this morning? Because I can feel its warmth and know that such days, although limited should be enjoyed or at least employed in the gain of some progress, even if it is only the enjoyment of the weather during a walk in the park! If you are happy you have moved forward gained something and the sun has been streaming through my windows for weeks now.
As I open the curtains these mornings although it is February or now March the sun pushes aside any frost or heavy fog that has settled the night before. The second window I open is glass from floor to ceiling and the room is so bright now, I have to consider sunglasses to ‘get on’ just to find things and the warmth increases and I can barely see this screen. Knowing this sun is going to get warmer and warmer just adds to my enjoyment of the morning and I am wrapped in her, the star that I am made of. Circling the universe at a speed beyond our small minds. But without my star’s warmth I would be a grey being, possibly still living below the surface, writing bad poetry for spaces, but my sun has found me and I wait for her next to rise and arch and roll across the sky!



Posted: January 14, 2008 in Health and wellness

Alas, poor Yorick, I didn’t know him at all, never met the guy, extraordinary really considering I am holding his fleshless head. In fact what am I doing in the middle of this graveyard in the middle of the night, holding a skull ‘alassing’? Nature of the beast I suppose, finding myself (or oneself for the educationally superior than I), In strange places doing strange things. Complex and intricate tasks have been completed, files stored, doors locked even dishes washed but I have never before attempted to access the computer before during a complex partial seizure! I actually attempted to log onto drive E:\ the DVD. How do I handle this? I am not here? How unlike the graveyard roaming prince, do I decide to face up to the problems of the future or just hide, take the pills and doze?

I did it again

Posted: November 14, 2007 in Health and wellness

I walked into a supermarket,

did my shopping,

paid for my food,

took my bag and wallet to an empty checkout,

to pack things properly and put cash and receipts away –

and the next thing, or rather in a split second before leaving this planet, I remember thinking;

"this is what happened before"……………………………………………………………………

………………………………and then about 10 minutes later, which is a wild guess in itself, I find myself wandering around at the back of the store, its a big store! I have my bag with me, so at least I didn’t scare the staff with a ‘bombscare’ this time, but where was my wallet? I had indeed done it again, left my wallet, £60 cash, and three cards sitting in the packing well of a checkout point with nothing to hide them but a french bread stick. A fed up supervisor and checkout girl stop dashing about as I assure them everything is OK, everything found, phone, keys, wallet everything accounted for but,

I had done it again!!!!!!!!!!

What had triggered it? I had a good 8 hours the night before, taken the meds, eaten properly. Why is this happening? And thank goodness I got away with it again!

But what is the trigger? Is it simply the repetition? On several occasions during the week when I fight off the feelings of deja vu or aura which is fairly standard each week, indeed the night before shopping, I had that same feeling, that I have done this before, I am repeating this right down to the last detail, same dish, same fork same seating and who knows what happened after that!

Becoming less and less confident, it is hard to live with the attitude of ‘I must live with whatever is the consequence’ of a simple walking distance visit to a shop.

What do I do now? This overconfident designer who knows that fearlessness is the true source of happiness and is now fearful of Sainsburys. Goodnesss knows what Tesco would do to him. I will just have to order everything on line I guess and hide in this flat. Even that is expensive, I have had a warning this morning from BT that I have used too many Megabytes that they will not charge me this time, but thirty pence per extra Gygabyte next month, "why don’t I pay them £25.00 a month and upgrade"? Perhaps because I can only get a decent download speed at 4 in the morning? Perhaps I can find a web site where I can download my detail memory, because reliving memories is obviously a problem for my grey matter?

RE: quiz challenge

Posted: October 19, 2007 in Health and wellness

one of the ways my brain has always worked is laterally, good for designers to come up with different ideas, to break off on different tangents to do things differently and one of the downers of that is it dumps what one game calls trivia and I don’t just mean the details of a favorite sport for instance or a band’s name, I mean everything!

I have difficulty remembering names, unless someone or something is repetitively pounded into the stone of my gray matter. I have memory and memories of my history but retrieving details of it? This is exaggerated by the epilepsy and 35 years of medication. Suppressants don’t culture the attention necessary to absorb detail. On occasion I know a word, name, description of someone or something and while talking, I can even feel, that the word or name is there, waiting, available in my memory banks, its at the front of my mind but it will NOT come out, I can’t say (or type) it, I’ll produce the most intricate visual description of someone but their name will not articulate into reality, my muscles in my throat and mouth are even making the right preparatory shapes or even, most frustratingly will produce a first letter or the right first sound. Sometimes, people I know quite well, will walk away from me thinking "he didn’t even remember my name?" But that’s their ego’s problem and my Neurologist says everyone has this problem in varying degrees? Well, those are attitudes I have to take, because I have had to accept my end of the deal.

You ARE the quizmaster when it comes to playing with dave

Now, is that the best excuse you ever heard for not playing quizzes?

Romeo, wherefore….

Posted: June 20, 2007 in Health and wellness

A blogger asks why Victoria Beckham puts her son in danger because of swarming paparazzi surrounding her child with flashbulbs going off……
Because there is nothing else she can do, Romeo could live in a limo for the rest of his life and be safe, (probably with an always attendant nurse/nanny) but in Spain Mum & Dad have often taking the kids shopping or to restaurants and were glad that the Spanish people particularly in the capital, Madrid didn’t swarm but shouted hellos and ask for the odd autograph and photograph.
Recently the climax of Real Madrid’s season, facilitated by David’s good play (for a manager who said 4 months ago he would never pick him to play again and had to eat his words), his recall to the England Squad and of course the US League sign up have generated the sort of frenzy, they experienced in this country. the focus is back on them.
And what if Romeo’s epilepsy trigger is not photo-sensitivity, what if it is simply the stress of the fuss around him, She got caught out, just like the mum who is not famous and has a terrible time in the supermarket, because of background musak triggering autistic or epileptic reactions? Isn’t she putting her child in danger?
The idea that the Beckhams crave publicity and they can turn it off and on when it suits them is a press invention and a fallacy. Its the way it works, they have made their money with their talents, and much more by selling things, which in turn makes them a media necessity, to fill column inches or TV hours. The editors decide we WANT to see them so that’s what sells papers and TV. Therefore the sharks jump in and try to make as much money out of them by selling particularly photos or video or words to papers and TV.
Romeo will never have a private life unless he vanishes and goes ultra private, some actors, singers’ children have managed it. So what does Victoria do? Never go for a walk with her son again, never attend another football match? What would you do? and I wonder how many times did she or even bodyguards politely ask the cameramen to stop, let them through, remember THAT is ALWAYS edited out!
He can’t have photo-sensitive epilepsy otherwise his father would not have taken him onto a football field to celebrate victory in a stadium full of flashbulbs and thousands of silver Real Madrid celebration flags, a very clever, stunning visual effect when they lowered the lights in the stadium, even on TV!
I think its definitely the stress that causes the child problems. Sure. they are extremely rich now but does that mean the family has to hide until we don’t want to hear about them anymore? I wouldn’t hide, I would try to find SOME sort of normality for my children because there is no avoiding the child’s condition or OUR craving for information.