2012 from Frome

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Why I would like to meet Stephen Fry

Why I would like to meet Stephen Fry?

For a start I think that he is very bright and arguably the Oscar Wilde of our times. He succeeds in expressing himself in English whatever the medium and knows a lot of stuff and I suspect/hope that he takes the trouble to find out about a subject before he utters forth.

He is very funny without the need to put others down or patronise to make a point. Probably capable of acerbic wit but does not need to display his erudition for all to admire. Mr Fry’s use of the language is humbling: I have yet to hear him use a word incorrectly although he isn’t shy to coin a newism if that is what is needed to make the point. My personal favourite is “earworm” lifted from the German “Ohrwurm” which is far more communicative than any previously existing English circumlocution.

I would like to meet him to confirm to myself that he really is as nice as his TV/radio personae suggest. I suspect that he is a friend in deed to those to whom he is close.

I share his interest in new technology; writing as a retired technologist, I assert that, with money no object, a predilection for Apple products is simple common sense. A computer is after all just a device for communication and part of the Steve Jobs legacy is the provision of global products that facilitate the process.

Hagiography aside, Mr Fry is a hero in the mental health business. I have watched “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” many times and thank him for his role helping to explode some of the myths around the subject of mental illness and its consequences for the sufferer and those around him or her. Successful and prosperous people do not need to reveal so much of themselves for personal gain. Maybe they achieve some sort of cathartic release but that does not matter. Far more significant is the fact that he articulates the condition to a broad audience and thus helps the cause of greater general awareness and understanding of all metal health illness.

Before he came out as a manic depressive (the term I prefer because it is more descriptive in everyday English then the term bipolar with its qualifying numbers which are doubtless helpful to the trade that must be seen to be scientific), Stephen Fry wrote some for me life-changing words about depression. I read them on the Samaritans website in 2001 and at last helped me begin to understand what had been wrong with me for so long. I would like to meet the man behind the words essentially to say thank you for his courage with the self-exposure that has brought succour to very many.
The principal reason for wanting to meet Stephen Fry is that I would love to meet someone with whom I could converse, with someone who does not think in one straight line. He is one of life’s raconteurs but he also knows hot to listen to people: Stephen Fry in America showed an expert listener in action where he met and conversed with many different people.

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Seroquel

Seroquel or Quetiapine Fumarate is the most recent medication I have been prescribed for the treatment my chronic depression. This is the first time I’ve been trying one drug without the accompaniment of others, anti-psychotics such asOlanzapine. Have been researching as I best can, on the Internet and by reading of others’ experiences of the drugs they’ve been given.

The most significant factor about my current use of Seroquel is the fact that I am using it as a monotherapy i.e. on its own without accompaniment. For the first time I am able to judge effects, good , bad  and merely interesting, without having to take anything else into account. (Goes without saying that alcohol and cannabis are not part of any monotherapy, that the effect of either compromises any medication.)

So far in my mentalist career I have not suffered any notable physical side-effects. The only one of note was the double vision caused by Carbemazepine. I rang my CMHT (this link provides a very helpful definition of Community Mental Health Teams) who advised me to desist immediately; my vision was back to its slightly myopic normal within 24 hours. Phew!

Interesting dreams are a factor for me but not in any way distressing, http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/4042-seroquel-dreamsnightmares/ records some of the effects that others have experienced. I suppose that if I was getting therapy from a Freud og Jung based clinician, I would keep a notebook or dictaphone at my bedside but I prefer to go back to sleep. Everyone dreams all the time; the awareness/memory of a dream comes only in the milliseconds  between sleep and consciousness.

Structure, structure, structure screams my internal editor.

Most important (side)effect is that Seroquel at 400mg a day works for me as an anti-depressant so I will tolerate almost any side-effect up to but not including death.It is such a relief to start being alive again, hooray for AstraZeneca. Boo hiss for any mention of big pharma but this particular offering is working for me, some of the products do work as intended for some of the people some of the time.

Legs: I made a call to CMHT and around the Madosphere a couple of weeks ago when my legs were dysfunctional to the extent that I could not stand without holding on to something. Still not right but that particular effect is lessening so that I can walk though I have to be careful. Northing dramatic like spasms or cramps, the effect I can best describe is that of pins and needles without any tingling.

Sleep: is generally good, I am not rendered comatose and I can wake up and function early if I must although I need a couple of hours in which to get going and depend on a complex set of twatchecks (wallet, phone, keys, satnav, glasses etc.) before I venture forth. Not absent-minded but I do have to be deliberate and make sure that I put things where I’ll find them again. Of course that may not be a medication effect, might just be early onset dementia.

Appetite: many people have reported weight gain as an undesirable side effect but I guess I have a margin for that since my metabolism seems to burn off whatever it’s given to deal with. I am not therefore too worried about the just-as-if-I-had-been-smoking-dope type munchies.

Anxiety: nothing to report, I can function socially and am confident enough to be able to make my excuses and leave if any particular social situation is not where I want to be.

Memory: still functional, short term memory is good enough to attempt and achieve complex computer tasks like completely initialising then reviving very poorly computers without having to write everything down. Beginning to have trouble remembering names of people and things but that’s probably just an age thing.

 

 

And half a year later, now down to 200mg hoping that the anhedonic sedation will ease 🙂

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36 hours

36 hours was the longest I’ve been away from home for I cannot remember how long and last night was apparently the coldest UK day for many years. I have known colder but in counties that were far more  used to cold (and heat), any weather event that takes England out of its fairly narrow comfort zone and seems to plunge the whole country into chaos (if you believe the press, radio and TV – I guess it makes foe easy copy for the deadline driven news teams. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-mint is working but nothing interesting to see – the pigeons have disappeared, guess they have found somewhere warmer  to huddle and crap on. The sparrows are flitting around and the I can hear the odd crow. Idle sort of day today – give myself the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to weekend recovery. Very cold outside and getting colder. Lots of excitement about expected snow but I don’t think we’ll see much until the morning http://www.raintoday.co.uk/ shows the approach but looks as though most of it will be dumped on the East Midlands. Some excitement tomorrow, expecting a Virgin person in the afternoon with the 50Mb router – will be interesting to note the improvement although of course I don’t at present have enough computing power to use it all. http://uksnowmap.com/ also seems to be accurate so far and provides an interesting way of actual reports from around the UK.

Another day, no snow so far which is a Good Thing as I am expecting two different people today. Mildly excited about the 50Mb upgrade – will be very interesting to see how much my bandwidth has improved.  http://www.speedtest.net/ shows nearly 20Mb down and almost 2Mb up which is pretty good; see  http://www.speedtest.net/result/1051022948.png, hopefully will be able to post an illustrative update some time later today. Very still with light snizzle at the moment, wish I had an outside max/min thermometer, but I think I can manage without. Not getting going at all today but guess that it’s down to the drongoid effects of the Seroquel. I have at least tidied beneath the desk so that the Virgin person can do whatever s/ he needs to install the new modem/router. Wonder which one I’ll get? Also will need more computer power but the more I look at http://www.ebuyer.com/, the less I know 🙂 Virgin just ‘phoned to say that he is on his way (expecting a second call when his satnav does not actually get him here).

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Starting over (yet again)

Nothing blogged since April, computer not on for weeks, tenuous connection with the rest of the world via the phone. Not good, but guess that’s the nature of the beast called depression. Months of little more than daytime TV and inadequate food and being miserable. Depression for me is more the absence of feeling than anything else… And not sure I remember how to do this blogging stuff whether from the phone or a desk. Bleugh!

Pity can’t just be done by thinking at some sort of digital capture device (mental note to google for mind reading software, is there an iPhone app? Short answer. no not yet but maybe, given the rate of technological change, perhaps in my life time)

Just had to share this one… http://twitpic.com/2rvi8m in the event, the Frome boy did well today.

[Note for future reference: this is easier from a regular keyboard and a 17″ screen]

Trying out http://www.moodscope.com/ Totally distracted/dismayed by hurting teeth but glad the central heating still works, better go lie down for a bit…

….best make understanding blogging my project for the week with the goal of only keying one thing once. hmm will get brain-ache working this one out…

Think it’s time for bed, perhaps the Sequerol is beginning to do something, feeling more positive now than I have for aeons

one day later: Sequerol seems to be helping….

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Your Facebook, Twitter and blog are about to be monitored for references to the Government

Ebury Bridge House?

Metro

A photo taken in the western French city of Rennes on November 7, 2013 shows an official Twitter account on a smartphone. Twitter will make its Wall Street debut on November 7 with a price tag of 26 US dollars per share, bidding to raise up to 2.1 billion US dollars in the most eagerly awaited stock offering since Facebook. A tweet from the company said it would offer 70 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange, generating 1.82 billion US dollars, and give underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an additional 10.5 million shares of common stock.  AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER        (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images) Companies will monitor tweets and provide real-time updates to Whitehall (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’re one of those people that gets a bit vocal about politics, you’ll be interested to know that your Facebook, Twitter and personal blog are about to begin being monitored for references to the Government.

Ministers announced yesterday that the Government had awarded a contract to five companies who will monitor what people tweet, post to Facebook or blog about the Government and provide updates to Whitehall in real time.

Officials and ministers will provide a list of keywords and topics to the companies so that they know what to monitor.

(Picture: Getty Images) This is the first time the Government has specifically monitored social media (Picture: Getty Images)

‘We monitor digital, social and traditional media so we understand what people are saying, identify their concerns and shape policies accordingly,’ a Cabinet Office spokeswoman told the Independent.

‘Departments have always monitored social media…

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Frome Festival (Fringe)

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LETS

LETS is an acronym for Local Exchange Trading System a clumsy title for what is essentially a time bank. The concept is simple and it provides a means of skill swapping replacing ££££ with a local currency. For example, person A is good at and enjoys fixing computers. S/he posts that as something they will do in return for LETS, fixes someone’s computer and is paid in LETS which can be used to pay for the services of any other LETS participant. Later on realises that their garden needs urgent attention so searches the services offered page until a participating gardener is found, work agreed, done and paid for using the previously earned LETS. And so on.

One of the issues that can afflict LETS stems from those who seek to measure their time in ££££ rather than LETS but here there is no discrimination. Those that insist on ascribing a monetary ‘value’ to their time and effort are explanations the minum wage as a practise reference. The only ££££ likely to be involved are the refund of travelling expenses e.g. bus fares or petrol/diesel money and the cost of any materials used for the task.

LETS is not about making money – there are plenty of commercial media available for skill selling starting from the corner shop window card to the sponsorship of a premier league football team. I f you do use your skills to make ££££ then LETS might be a source of references of happy customers to add to your portfolio but nothing beyond that – it is not a free advertising medium and I suspect that any attempt to use it as such will be deprecated by other members.

Frome LETS will be based on the software provided by http://localexchange.org.uk/ where you will find links to other LETS schemes in the UK. A scheme close to Frome is http://www.salisburylets.org.uk/: this website contains good explanations of how LETS works in practise.

The Frome scheme will start with

Launch meeting at a place and time yet to be determined
An agreement for regular social/business meetings thenafter
Annual subscription £5.00, paid in ££££ on joining and on the annual renewal date of 1 January
Currency name “Frome(s)”

A couple of things to think about before you join, what can you do i.e. what will you be offering and what will you be wanting? Don’t be shy about what you can offering, something that might appear to be too trivial to mention might be something that somebody out there might be in desperate need of, for things you want to be done, you will not know until you ask!

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Why I would like to meet Stephen Fry

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Blog Index

Blog Index.

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