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Male. 53. London. Working-class. I like art & literature.
I have Schizoaffective Disorder (a combination of Schizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
I have been a rough sleeper and have an impressive homelessness portfolio including Soho streets, hostels, B&Bs, derelict buildings, squats, road traffic islands (seriously), local authority temporary accommodation etc.
I have one O level (Geography, Grade C). I fancy myself as a bit of an autodidact. More Ernest Hemingway/Frida Kahlo* than Adolf Hitler.
I have been a voluntary sector playboy, writing fundraising applications for small charities and community groups and undertaking web design.
Please note I’m going to punch the next person on social media who calls me a hipster: apart from being 53, I have a proud industrial working-class heritage. One of my favourite accounts on Instagram is @blackcountrytype.
The daily routine
Currently, I’m waking up around 4.30am, hallucinating like a bastard for several hours and experiencing ultra-ultra rapid mood cycling. That said, I’m frequently done with hallucinations by lunchtime, sometimes by 10.45am. The belief that people are listening to my thoughts – thought broadcast, a first-rank symptom of schizophrenia – needs an external stimulus, so I don’t normally experience that until I leave my flat, usually not before 11.00am when I go to Little Tesco. The belief that people are inserting a force called sonic into my head and trying to control my thoughts – thought insertion – often winds down in the evening, so I have a few hours a day when I’m perfectly normal!
There’s more detail about my illnesses/experiences and how they have affected work, education and such like in my soon to be updated, Notes on Being Psychotic & Proud.
There are several pieces of writing I’m working on which I hope to publish here after Easter 2019. I’m hoping my @mental.state.examinations on Instagram will get going by Christmas.
Influences and inspirations include A A Gill, Amineh Abou Kerech, William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss, Maya Angelou (especially Gather Together in My Name), the over-reliance on white vans in this analysis of the film Taxi Driver, William Burroughs on the subject of regret (22 second Youtube video), Laura Pidcock MP, (though one of my closest friends is a Brexit bonkers member of the Conservative Party), Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, HIGNFY, Leicester Square, BBC Radio 3 Jazz Archive, trust fund girls putting tomato ketchup on their salad in the world’s oldest museum restaurant, BEING REMINDED ABOUT THE WAR IN YEMEN, the Seagram Murals, the Junior Anti-sex League, reverse engineering, that Youtube video of some teenage girls recreating Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights with farting sounds, Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss, #WildFlowerHour, always defending peoples right to speak out, especially when confronting posh boy, (regardless of whether you agree with them or not, obviously), the people you discovered ten minutes ago who are ineffably cool, Amineh Abou Kerech, Gather Together in My Name, and Lance Arthur’s seminal work, glassdog.com (especially 1998 to 1999).
*You can’t throw a stick in the air at the moment in South Kensington without it hitting someone talking about Frida Kahlo. I was citing her as an inspiration on this website long before the V&A started selling Frida Kahlo yoga mats.
Centaur and Lapith locked in combat, metope from the south side of the Parthenon, about 477-438 BC. Taken at the British Museum exhibition Rodin & the Art of Ancient Greece with my trusty iPhone 5s, June 2018.
The day I saw this exhibition I was experiencing a bad episode of dysphoric mania. The show was on the far side of the Museum, which was packed so I ended up having to kill a load of Japanese school children just to get in. I felt better once I started communing with myself, with Rodin’s encouragement. But then, this is why I love going to art galleries (well, apart from trying to pull a posh bird). Standing in front of something that’s beautiful or something that makes you think works for me.
Read this brief Archaeologies of the Greek Past to find out more about what total bastards the centaurs were.