Time for a poem

The land of lost content

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

A. E. Housman

A sad reflective poem. It is true that we can never go back. If we try, then it is the never same or as we remembered. But whilst we can never go back, we can go forwards. The longer we allow the past to control our present, then moving forward become very difficult. In order to move forward, we have to somehow find peace with the past and ourselves. And then those “happy highways where I went and cannot come again.” May become,

“Those happy highways where I will go again.”

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While my heart gently weeps.


I just watched a movie called “The railway man”  Part of the film is set in Berwick Upon Tweed. In fact, much of it is shot in North Berwick, about 25 miles down the coast from Edinburgh. As the film progressed it shows Colin Firth standing on a beach with his house in the background. The image is deliberately blurred. The house on the right of that photo was once my house. I lived there with my fiancee. We owned it. The second and third photos show the view from our house. We saw that beautiful view every day. I walked along the seafront to the railway station en route to work in Edinburgh, The beauty was incredible.

I haven’t been there or seen our house for almost 20 years. A medical blunder cost me that house, my fiancee, my job, etc etc.

It isn’t only soldiers who fight wars. There are countless survivors of abuse in the psychiatric systems all over the world. But there are so many more who didn’t survive. I survived. I recovered. I try and help others to do as I did.

I felt physically sick when I saw our old house. I didn’t cry though. I am all out of tears. Even now it still hurts. But I know that when I wake up in the morning that i will feel better. In the past I would have harmed myself. Now I try and help take away the pain of others. It’s all I can do really.

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The mentally ill now have the right of choice in the NHS.

Last week in the UK there was a massive change in the law to finally give those suffering from a Mental illness the same rights as everybody else. If you are mentally ill you now have the absolute right to choose who provides your healthcare.
This massive change went largely unreported last week. I am sure that health authorities will try and get out of this but if you are mentally ill you have the right to insist on choosing your own healthcare provider.
This is from the governments own website. I have had trouble in finding very much out about this as the NHS has gone to ground in an attempt to dodge the issue

“A major step forward in this will be giving mental health patients more control over their care. From April, for the first time, patients needing treatment for a mental health problem will be able to choose where they get their care in the same way that someone needing a hip or knee replacement has had a right to choose which hospital to have their operation at since 2008. And the choice will not be limited to an NHS provider – patients will also be able to choose a voluntary or independent organisation providing NHS services when they go to see their GP to seek help.

Key measures include:

Patients will have a choice about where they get their mental health care – just as someone needing an operation can already choose their hospital or the consultant-led team that will care for them.
From next year, waiting time standards will begin to be introduced for mental health – giving mental health patients the same rights as someone who needs, for example, a hip replacement or treatment for cataracts.
The Friends and Family Test – already making a difference in the NHS – will be rolled out to mental health services for the first time so patients can give their own feedback on their care and mental health trusts will be able to take swift action if improvements are needed.
Talking therapies are already helping 600,000 people – this will be expanded so that 300,000 more people will get help.
Children with mental health problems will get more support – including an aim to roll talking therapies for children and young people out to the whole country by 2018 and better support for children moving from adolescent services into adult services.
£43 million will be invested in pilots on better housing for people with mental health problems or learning disabilities. Architects and builders will work with mental health experts and charities to bid for projects next year with the aim of new homes beginning to be built by 2017.
Mental health problems are common and 1 in 4 people experience stress, anxiety and depression at some point in their lives. The cost of mental illness is not just counted in the NHS – it also costs the economy over £105 billion every year. Depression and anxiety alone cost £16.4 billion through NHS treatment and lost earnings. Today, the research institute RAND Europe has published a report commissioned by the government with suggestions for better supporting people with mental health problems in getting back to work, including making sure that our health and employment services work more closely together. The Government is carefully considering the findings of this report and work is already underway to develop options for trials”.

Finally you can all insist on getting the care you want and the care you need. You no longer have to go to your local psychiatric unit or wait a year to see a therapist. Tell your doctor what you want and if you don’t get it then write to your MP and local newspaper. It’s amazing what a bit publicity does and the NHS hate being found out.
Finally the NHS has to treat you with the decency you deserve. In the eyes if the law the mentally ill are equal to everyone else. I wonder if the NHS will see it like that?

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Words of wisdom


“If we don’t try, then we don’t do. And if we don’t do, then why are we on this earth?”

Prophetic words from the legendary actor, James Stewart, in the movie 1965 Shenandoah.

I think there are way too many people now who don’t do. There are too many people who don’t contribute a thing and expect everything to be handed to them on a plate.

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Two more quotations

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Abraham Lincoln

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Quotation time

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson.

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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

They flee from me that sometime did me seek out


This quote is interesting as it is disputed.

But I do believe that RL Stevenson adapted it as

They flee from me who once did seek me out.

In any case its a stunning stanza


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