Archive for December, 2006

New Year wishes

December 31, 2006

together.JPG                                     jet-portrait.JPG


I think New Year is usually brought to a house by a soot covered chimney sweep who is carrying bread and salt?   Afraid I can’t manage that.   Callenig, I am told, is a New Year apple, stuck with wheat and oats and evergreen leaves, and carried from house to house by the children.   I can’t manage that either, – but here is ‘good luck’ from a black (very black) cat.   Well, I think that really he is the lucky one, but you never know he may bring you some as well.   His name is Jet, and in the first photo his old friend is Oberon.   Old Year, New Year?  Maybe.



December 29, 2006

I will be writing something soon on my thoughts about stigma and mental health.  If you have something you would like to say about this, or send in some writing of your own about your experience of stigma, then please send it in to me for including in whatever is produced.

a question of perception……

December 29, 2006

Here’s a story for you for those times when you can’t sleep!

The building is certainly atmospheric, and on a darkening winter’s evening, when most have gone home, even more so.   The meeting had ended an hour earlier, but Dave and his social worker, Gerwyn, had stayed behind to help me wash up and tidy away what we had used.   I was leaving the library for the third time, with the last tray of cups and plates when I noticed Dave lying on the floor of the corridor.  He was starting to sit up, and seemed very confused.   I thought I heard him say ‘children’ twice, but then my attention was taken by the blood coming from his forehead and the shaking of his hands.   Gerwyn came around the corner at that moment, and once he had recovered from his shock, helped me get Dave onto a bench in the corridor.   Dave seemed very unwell and agitated, and refused to remain on the bench so that we had to move him to a chair in the main hallway.  Here we had some light from the outside floodlights, and although they threw silhouettes of the windows onto the stone flagged floor, we could at least see the extent of the cut to Dave’s head.    I wished I had bothered to remember the position of the light switches.   Dave’s breathing became panting, and then he fell forward onto the table.  He talked to himself but not to us, and Gerwyn insisted that we should call an ambulance.    

“Of course” said Gerwyn, “it is all a matter of perception.  For some people these experiences are just a coldness down their spines, and for others they can seem very real.   Dave has always been inclined towards the dramatic, and today he overdid it and believed he saw something!”

We were standing outside in the darkness listening to the howling of the ambulance as it sped away towards the A 449.   “That is real enough” I muttered to myself, “but then is it?   I can hear it, but I can’t see it, so is it really there?  Am I really here?”  I came out of my thoughts to hear Gerwyn droning on, “What we don’t know is whether Dave did see, or thought he saw something before collapsing in the hallway?”   He laughed, self-consciously, and waited for me to say something in support of his theories.   To humour him I made noises that sounded like agreement, and together we went back into the building to finish our work.  Gerwyn said that he would finish in the kitchen if I would like to do the rest of the tidying in the library.   He seemed glad to get back to where the light’s were bright.   As I started back down the shadowed corridor to the library I heard the children again.   The girl was crying.   Then they were there, turning in front of me, the boy cuddling the girl.   Together they moved, or rather glided ahead of me into the blackness.   This I had seen twice before, but I still gave a shiver as a cold draft passed my face.   What I did not expect was the sound of a man sobbing behind the door to the right – a door I have never seen opened.    But then as Gerwyn said, the building is atmospheric, and its’ all a matter of perception.     

If you have a story of your own that you would like to share, then send it in.  


New Year 2007

December 29, 2006

Hoping that everyone has survived Christmas, New Year 2007 is rapidly approaching.  Hope that you like the new picture heading.  For some people New Year is just as difficult, and sometimes even worse than Christmas for those who are alone or without partners.   Parties and get togethers can be very difficult, and if you are celebrating and become aware of someone in your group who is alone, or lonely, try to offer them some attention.   And what about those who have no where to go?

and here’s………..

December 21, 2006

golden-cobs.jpg          and here’s one more – no expense spared.

Sessions House, Usk

December 21, 2006

tree-corridor.jpg               For those of you who couldn’t make it to the Forum on 13th, here are a couple of shots of the tree in the hallway at Usk.           

 good-tree.jpg      The first Forum of 2007 will be at Usk on 24th January.   Put it in your diaries now – details will be sent out later.

Jane’s MH Source page.

December 18, 2006

…….depression, bi-polar, mental health topics.

Sorry that there has been nothing new for the last few days but other urgent matters have taken up my time.   A friend sent this link to me recently, and it is a site with a huge amount of interesting information.    If you can’t sleep at night, then this may be the place for you.   Well worth a look, and give yourself sometime to move around it.


Christmas and dark moments…

December 11, 2006

Christmas, and its celebrations, can have some dark and lonely moments for some – and maybe that includes you, the reader?   The following link is to an american site which aims to help and support people who are feeling suicidal.   There is content which may help you, and although the links are to sites in the USA you can, of course, make you own links to similar sites in the UK, including Samaritans.


The site also links to a joke page, and I have included these links on this site.   Go to the Pages heading on the right, and then on the Jokes entry, and the link will be made for you.   If you think you know better jokes, then send them in! 

Eating Disorders Support Group

December 11, 2006

The Eating disorders Support Group meets regularly between 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Ty Bryn Unit, St Cadoc’s Hospital Caerleon Gwent.  For more information please contact Joy Jones, Specialist Eating Disorders Lead by telephone:   01633 436831 or by   

Email: or by

Post :      Joy Jones ,  Specialist Eating Disorders Lead
               Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust
               Ty Bryn Young Person’s Unit
               St Cadoc’s Hospital
               Gwent NP18 3XQ

       You will be very welcome

Monmouthshire Mental Health Network & Forum

December 7, 2006

For your diaries – the next meeting will be held at The Sessions House, Usk at 1.30pm – 3.30pm on Wednesday 13th December 2006.

This will be the last meeting before the New Year and the Agenda for the Participation Network (1.30 – 2.30pm) will be:  

                                Integtration Board – make a response?

                                Service changes without consultation continue

                                Review of activities and work for 2007.

Agenda for Forum (2.45 – 3.45pm) will be:

                                 Bernard Boniface – Commissioners Update

                                                                   Integration Board progress

                                                                   Any Other Business.

Transport can be assisted as usual – please let us know.

Mince pies and Misletoe will be available – Come if you can – It Matters!