Never judge a book by its cover…

Without sounding like Jack Bauer the last year has been the longest and hardest of my life. I will spare you most of the details but I have battled with both Empyema and long standing depression and Anorexia. I have found it so hard to communicate with my friends and have isolated myself off from most people. That has been my default for the past 25 years and while I know it isn’t helpful it is a hard habit to change and I feel guilty and ashamed that I haven’t been there or responsive to those people reaching out to me. I am truly sorry for that.

I have been interested in technology and in particular Apple for over a decade now and when I am able to I try and keep up to date with the latest rumours, news and product reviews. At times it is the only thing that can distract me from my suicidal thoughts which I am preoccupied with so much of the day and night. I listen to tech podcasts and find that more therapeutic than listening to music. (Radiohead are my go to band but their songs aren’t the most uplifting even though I can relate so much to many of the lyrics).

A couple of years ago I started sending tweets to a certain Jim Dalrymple the well known Apple Blogger at The Loop. He responded to a few of my tweets and a year ago I asked him if he would consider publishing an article in his magazine about male anorexia which I have suffered with from when in my teens. Much to my surprise he in his usual way emailed me back with a yep! That article was published back in March and since then he has continued to link to this website and retweet some of my thoughts on mental health. He has been so supportive to me and probably doesn’t even know it. He may not be a ‘friend’ of mine or someone I will ever meet or speak to on the phone but sending a 140 character tweet to someone across the pond is easier than picking up the phone and speaking to someone that knows me. If you follow Jim on Twitter you may think he is a larger than life figure who is often angry and abrupt. Underneath that beard though is a really kind and decent human being. So thanks Jim and I hope I haven’t damaged your street cred!

How would you feel?

I was admitted to the Priory Hospital on Monday for help with my depression. I was both very anxious and terrified of being an inpatient as had previous bad experiences there before but because I was desperate and fortunate to have health insurance I felt it was worth a shot. I felt I had nothing to lose and was running out of options for help, support and needed a place of safety.

I cannot fault the accommodation or the admission staff who were very kind to me.

What is inexcusable is what followed after I had been shown to my bedroom. I was seen by a registrar to go over my long and complex medical history which in itself is daunting. He introduced himself and apologised in advance that he would be typing up my answers to his questions. So picture the scene…I am perched on a bed while he is at my desk typing away on his laptop asking me very personal questions with his back facing me.

Would you feel comfortable answering the following questions with someone’s back to you with no eye contact, no body language and therefore not able to show any degree of empathy or understanding?

How long have you suffered with depression?
Have you been physically or sexually abused?
Do you feel suicidal?

I didn’t and just answered his questions yes or no and discharged myself 3 hours later.

If I went to a restaurant and a waiter or waitress took my order with their back turned to me I would either think it was a practical joke or just plain rude and walk straight out.

I understand that Dr’s have to take notes but for crying out loud not with their back turned to you on a laptop!

A simple solution that is commonly used is to write notes down while sitting opposite and facing their patient thereby maintaining eye contact. If those notes have to be typed out then they are done after that meeting.

Technology can be great but please let’s not lose the human touch.

To Risk…

This poem was shared to me by someone who cared for me when I was in a very dark place over 20 years ago. It still carries a place in my heart and dreams today.

To Risk

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and
dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because
the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing.

by William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

via Art of Manliness

Depression from the inside

Great insight by Annabel Giles on what it is like to suffer with depression.

“Poor Robin Williams. A long-term solution for a short-term problem. That’s what they say, isn’t it? ‘They’ being people who’ve probably never had to live with depression.

I’ll come straight out with it. I’ve struggled with depression all my adult life. And anxiety. And life. For people with a brain chemistry like mine, the whole bloody business of just being alive is dangerous and difficult. Continue reading


One of my favourite quotes about depression.

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

Stephen Fry

Taken for granted

Most of us take electricity, running water, the internet for granted. We come to expect that when we switch on a light switch boom the light comes on. We don’t get excited by this, as for most of the year it is the norm until god forbid there is a power cut . That seems to be the only time we appreciate just how much rely on our electricity and wait until normal service is restored. Then when everything is working again within hours we go back to taking it for granted once again.

As some of you know who have read my blog or article in the Loop Magazine I have suffered with Anorexia and depression for over 20 years. For many years I have had very little quality of life, cutting myself off from friends and family, not being able to hold down a job due to chronic laxative abuse. I am not looking for sympathy. I watch the news everyday and see so much suffering which both upsets me and makes me feel guilty for not appreciating what I do have in my life. One area in my life I have got pleasure from is walking, albeit power walking to burn up calories to appease the guilt of eating. Nevertheless walking gave me a purpose each day. So what has this got to do with taking things for granted? Continue reading

iTV is coming?

A few little birdies have been tweeting at me saying that Apple may be acquiring ITV both for the naming of the soon to be announced Apple TV that Gene Munster has been predicting. Apparently the other main reason for the possible purchase was to have ITV’s quality content available for UK users most noticeably The Jeremy Kyle Show.  Seems a perfect fit to me following Apple acquiring iFixit earlier today.



Image Source Daily Mirror

Our Father-Tony Fadell

Interesting article in the Sunday Times today about Tony Fadell, Nest and the Google.

“I’ve helped to change the world twice with the iPod and the iPhone. I want the chance to do it a third time,” he says.

Not sure Sir Jonny would say he has helped changed the world twice.

And on the amount of sales of Nests…
“Unlike other companies that have been purchased for big, big sums, we have real revenues.” How much? “We’re not saying. But we have sold a lot more than people think.”

On Data…
“Nest data is your data and it is going to be used only to improve the products and services that you buy from us. It is not going to waltz on over to some other place without you knowing. That was very clear when we were doing this deal.” To reinforce the separation between Nest and Google, Nest is not moving into Google’s Mountain View campus.

So the data is ours and Google has no interest in it. Oh maybe I’m just being cynical as Google aren’t the evil company are they?

On the next 5-10 years…
“I don’t know what Apple is working on. When I looked at the technology we are going to need 5-10 years from now, who has that and who is building it, it is Google.”

Maybe that is because Google release everything whether it is ready or not for a long term beta (thinking creepy broken Glass)
Apple spends years working on things before bringing it to market when it is the right time both for Apple and it’s customers. Surely Fadell knows this from his iPod and iPhone days. Apple are not twiddling their thumbs. The magic of Apple is they release something we never knew we needed or wanted and then when they do we wonder how we could live without it let alone how we missed something so obvious.

And on the Google Acquisition
“This was not a financially driven transaction. When you marry for money, it almost never works. We both believe we have something special and we know what it takes to make it happen around the world.”

One final nugget. What smartphone does Tony Fadell use? Nexus 5, Samsung S4? Looks like he hasn’t made the switch to Google completely…

He pulls out his iPhone. “Let’s go to my home. I’ll show you,” he says, tapping the Nest app. Up come images of the thermostats in all the rooms in his home, including the one he and his wife Danielle’s one-month-old daughter sleeps in.

Am a big fan of Fadell but not on his recent marriage to Google. I want Google out of my home as much as possible not in it.


The entire interview with Fadell is available in today’s Sunday Times or online for subscribers to the paper.