Words for me are more than a vehicle of communication. Words make you an explorer of emotion, a trawler of knowledge, a joker, a sage, a complete work.

Words have power beyond marks on a page.
“That look spoke volumes.”
“A picture speaks a thousand words.”

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,

Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”

– George Gordon, Lord Byron

Over the decades I have written verse when it was impossible to express my emotions. For me it is a completely therapeutic mode.


I enjoy creative writing, and non-fiction. I have kept journals over the years, and tried my hand at short stories.


Playing with language can be a great pastime; exploring sounds and meanings, and teasing out what’s behind the commonplace.

Mental health: a personal view in verse

I wrote this verse during my first hospital admission, two weeks before I was to turn 19. The structure and language are self-conscious, embarrassingly so, but it held enough truth for one of the ward sisters to keep a copy. About 40 years later the same sister arrived to work the night shift on the…

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Mental health treatment: a personal history

Last weekend I watched the film ‘Mad to be Normal’, the story of Scottish psychiatrist Dr R D Laing, starring David Tennant.  Laing trained and worked at the Glasgow Mental Hospital before travelling down to London, where he founded a therapeutic community, Kingsley Hall in 1965. The community remained open until 1970. His radical approach…

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Just asking

I hesitate, but I need to ask … So much is happening in the news that I find distressing, not because the events affect me but because the attitude fallout does. I have stated before that unfairness troubles me, situations with mismatched cause and effect. In particular two very different situations in recent and current…

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The Making of English

Is there evidence of how and where the languages of Europe began? There is no conclusive understanding of where, and how, language as an identifiable form of communication began. This is not surprising, bearing in mind that language is transient, carried either by oral or scribed units of meaning with minimal evidence of the latter…

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