Tag Archives: Stepping Hill Hospital

Adieu 2019.


Well, it’s been an eventful year, to say the least.

I’ve been doing a lot more visual arts this year, so I thought I’d do a month-by-month, blow-by-blow, pictorial representation of my year. (Lucky you.)

Actually, the reason behind it is to see if/how the images/moods have changed over the course of the year. And how that might correlate to my mental health.

As some of you know, I volunteer for an arts charity called Arc, (Arts for Recovery in the Community), which works with people with mental health issues. I am an ardent advocate of the arts as a medium to treat mental health, and wellbeing in general.

Many years ago, I visted the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and you could see the gradual decline in his mental health through his work.

Whilst I’m no Van Gogh, I am trying to see if there are any similar patterns to my own work.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

And before I forget; Have a Happy New Year and an absolutely spectacular 2020.

JANUARY

Oh dear… that’s not a good start.

IMG_3709

FEBRUARY

That’s a bit more positive. Birthday trip to Haworth, West Yorkshire, (home of the Brontes’), with my daughters.

1

MARCH

Pros: Part of an Arc exhibition. Cons: Became homeless.

me1

APRIL

Ee, it’s grim up north. Charcoal sketch of an L.S. Lowry.

280e494e1fba1e263087ba3c2a2a025d

MAY

“Are you sure you’re all right?”

Rehomed.

a452c463251cab353a653edf7c5d40ba

JUNE

Think I can see a pattern emerging.

cf4c350d6acd9de9ee610b3f2584b525

JULY

Rehab.

ME2

AUGUST

I guess a lot of things are obvious in hindsight.

3894104425313117579.JPG

0f0342121384651b0e812b5c54c2cb3a

me3

ME4

SEPTEMBER

The road to recovery.

IMG_20190920_170609_083

Screenshot_20191231_113747(1)

OCTOBER

Signs of improvement.

me6

IMG_20191026_143918-01

NOVEMBER

Apart from my volunteer work at Arc, I started facilitating a Creative Writing Workshop at The Wellspring homeless charity in Stockport.

IMG_20191127_134045

burst

There are always reminders.

me8

IMG_20191201_142549-01

DECEMBER

A change of outlook.

IMG_20191227_144451-01

IMG_20191227_144748-01

IMG_20191227_150053-02

IMG_20191229_112340

IMG_20191229_112352

me11

As you can see, it’s been a tumultuous year.

I feel very fortunate to be able to experience the last day of it. That would not have been possible were it not for the actions of my dear friend, Siobhan Costigan, over in Australia. Her, and my friends, family, NHS, Stepping Hill Hospital, Pathfinder, AA, The Wellspring and Arc have all played their part in saving my life and helping me to recover. And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

As of 31/12/2019, I am 140 days abstinent. I feel completely blessed that I have been able to experience 140 days on Earth with my daughters, family and friends that I might not have been able to. I am truly a lucky man.

I wish you all a magnificent 2020; may the forthcoming decade bring you everything that you hope and dream for.

 

Addendum.

If you, or a loved one, are going through a difficult time, there are organisations out there who can help. Reaching out isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength that you have managed to hold on this far. And remember, if things get so bad, go to your nearest A&E dept., they will take care of you just like any other patient.

The Samaritans call 116 123

NHS call 111 or 999

Alcoholics Anonymous call 0800 917 7650

17 Comments

Filed under Art, Children, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, health, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Literature, love, Medicine, mental health, Nature, nhs, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

This is not an update, update.


I said in my last Facebook post about my recent travails at Stepping Hill Hospital that that would be the last medical update, as I am now safely home.

However, I doubt that most of the readers of my blog are friends with me on Facebook, (some are), so they won’t know what the hell I’m on about.

Suffice it to say, I’ve just spent a week in hospital and let’s leave it at that. Because, what took me there isn’t the point of this post. What I did there, is.

Whilst wiling away the hours in my hospital bed I got a bit bored and asked Nurse Emma if I could borrow a pencil and a few sheets of paper.

I did a bit of sketching of patients and nurses who I was fortunate enough to meet in the HDU and ward B6.

So, like I said, it’s not an update per se. More of a ‘backdate’.

IMG_4726

Nurse Emma at her computer.

IMG_4740

Steve, fellow patient.

IMG_4709

Nurse Eta at the medicine dispenser trolley.

IMG_4751

Craig, fellow patient, (with black eye).

IMG_4749

River and countryside.

Bit of a random one, this. No, it’s not the view from my hospital window, it’s from a photo that a friend, Edel Gallagher, posted on Facebook while I was in hospital. I really liked the composition, so thought I’d copy it. Now, if you compared my sketch to the original photograph, you’d think it’s complete bobbins. Luckily, you can’t, so here it is.

Not as spooky as the stuff I normally paint, but from where I was lying, things were pretty spooky enough.

 

15 Comments

Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, health, Illustration, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Uncategorized

Happy 70th Birthday NHS…


aneurin-bevan-3

Nye Bevan

…Thank you for bringing me into this world. And thank you for keeping me in it.

Thank you for resetting all of my broken bones. And thank you for sewing me back together.

Thank you for operating on me when I needed fixing. And thank you for sending an ambulance when I couldn’t make it there by myself.

You have saved my life and patched me up more times than I care to remember. Without you, I would surely not be here.

Most of all, thank you for bringing my two daughters into this world. Thank you for taking care of them when they were sick and for vaccinating them from deadly diseases.

6933b1c0cf2cffc87e8c29c236af4929

To all the nurses, doctors, GPs, clinicians, technicians, auxillary nurses, dentists, paramedics, ambulance technicians, call handlers, midwives, radiologists, cardiologists, pharmacists, oncologists, scientists, anaethetists, surgeons, psychiatrists, counsellors, psychotherapists, physicians, administrators, managers, secretaries, receptionists, cooks, housekeepers, porters, Nye Bevan, the Labour Party and all the other staff of our National Health Service who I have forgotten to mention –

Happy 70th Birthday!

And, thank you.

(Have yourself a slice of cake. But not too much. Don’t want you getting diabetes.)

 

2 Comments

Filed under Children, community, Disability, Education, health, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Science, Uncategorized

A Sneaky Peek…


Here’s a sneaky peek at some of my photographs being prepared to be exhibited at the Oasis Cafe at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Money raised from the sale of my work goes to the Mental Health Unit at Stepping Hill, a little bit goes to Arc, (the charity who I volunteer for, and who organised this), and some to me! Yay!

Ultimately, the real objective is to make people happy. Make people feel positive and inspired. And to raise awareness of Arc’s many wonderful programmes and services for mental wellbeing.

Anyhoo, they range between £45 – £50 for a framed print if you fancy one. They come with a window mount, glass frame, printed on a fine glossy stock. (Postage would be on top.)

I’m going to pop in to Arc tomorrow, so I can get dimensions for you then. But, they’re roughly A3 in size. Two are larger and in a square format.

Send me a message in the box below, or email me at: thereisnocavalry@icloud.com if you’re interested.

Thank you.

FullSizeRender(4).jpg

Arc Studio

FullSizeRender(2).jpg

Goyt Valley, Peak District.

FullSizeRender(3)

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire.

FullSizeRender(1).jpg

White Scar, near Hawes, North Yorkshire.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Dry-stone wall, Grassington, North Yorkshire.

IMG_0480(1).JPG

“Wuthering Heights”, Haworth Moor, West Yorkshire.

 

White Scar, Hawes, North Yorkshire. 32.5 cm x 42.5 cm £45

Goyt Valley, Peak District. 35.5 cm x 35.5 cm £45

Drystone wall, Grassington, North Yorkshire. 32.5 cm x 42.5cm £45

Wuthering Heights, Haworth Moor, West Yorkshire. 32.5 cm x 42.5 cm £45

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire. 52.5 cm x 52.5 cm £50

 

Save

10 Comments

Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Digital, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, mental health, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

Mark Coffey – Fine Art Photographer


I first met fine art photographer Mark Coffey at Arc, where we both volunteer.

If you don’t know already, Arc is an amazing place. It’s a gallery and centre for creativity, learning, fun and wellbeing. You should pop along if you’re in the Stockport area. (They do a fabulous job for the community and a mean cafetiere of fresh coffee.)

He teaches photography, photoshop and design. Whilst I just potter about making a nuisance of myself.

Anyways, he’s been helping me with a little exhibition I’m putting together at the Oasis cafe at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport. We were chatting away, as you do, when he mentioned his website, so I went over and took a look. There’s some great work on it, so I thought I’d share it with the class.

Some shots are fun and frivolous, whilst others are mean and moody. And some, don’t involve alliteration at all. (But, are striking images, nonetheless.)

Depending on which images you’re looking at, they are reminiscent of Saul Leiter, Martin Parr and Fan ho.

Have a mosey on over to Mark’s website for a more detailed look at his work.
After, you can nip down to Arc for a nice cup of tea and a Tunnock’s teacake.

DSC_0180

DSC_0308

DSC_0276_LR

DSC_0031

DSC_0088

DSC_0099

DSC_0053

DSC_0155

DSC_0291

DSC_0049-2

DSC_0142.jpg

Ewa Konior, Polish, artist, Arc gallery, Stockport

Hey! How did that get on here? To be fair, Mark did take it. (When I wasn’t looking!)

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Design, Education, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, mental health, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

Things I am grateful for #15


Stepping Hill Hospital.

436567-britain-hospital-deaths

Stepping Hill Hospital, in Stockport, is my local hospital and has come in for quite a bit of stick of late due to 5 patients dying as a result of saline contaminated with insulin. I’m not going to discuss that here as it’s had its fair share of media coverage.

The NHS in general comes in for a lot of criticism. Invariably, people don’t feel compelled to write in when they have something good to say. So, the time has come to put inertia to bed.

Both of my daughters were born at Stepping Hill Hospital and the care my (ex) wife and my babies received was exceptional. For that alone, I am truly grateful.

But, I too, have had call to frequent the wards of SH as a patient having had three operations there.

The first was a cholecystectomy. (That’s having your gall bladder removed to you and me.) I recall tossing and turning on my bed at home at about 4 in the morning, letting out a low incessant groan due to a pain in the right hand side of my chest. I called NHS Direct and they promptly sent an ambulance round. I’m sure the ambulance crew were very grateful for me throwing up in their rig upon immediate entry.

Once at the hospital, an Irish doctor asked me, on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain I was in. Being a Yorkshireman, and of sturdier stuff than most, I whimpered – 11.

This kindly Irish doctor promptly administered some morphine intravenously. Within 30 seconds I was babbling away like I’d kissed the Blarney Stone.

I was taken up to a ward and, later that day, tested for a heart attack. (Yes, you can get pain on the right hand side of the chest with a heart attack.) In the afternoon, a surgeon made an appearance and asked me a couple of questions, felt under my ribs front and back and promptly berated the junior doctor for theorizing that it might’ve been a heart attack and prognosed cholecystitis.

Suffice it to say, less than 3 months later I had it all whipped out with keyhole surgery. Top job all round, for care and treatment. I do miss that morphine though.

Next up, was for corrective surgery on a broken pinky that Trafford General made a right balls up of. I broke it whilst playing five-a-side footy. Thankfully, they have a specialist hand surgery department at Stepping Hill and they made a very tidy job of straightening my finger and enabling me to bend it once again.

Last of all, was carpal tunnel surgery. They discovered I had this while I was being treated for my broken pinky. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is when a nerve that travels through a sheath in your wrist and connects to your thumb and fingers, becomes trapped, resulting in loss of feeling in said fingers.

I was in and out in less than a brace of hours. Tidy darts all round. On the downside, my wrist was out of action for two weeks. Man, that was a long two weeks.

And, do you know what? It’s all for Free! Gawd bless the NHS.

So, a very big thank you, Stepping Hill, you are all superstars. And, for delivering my two precious babies into this world, I am eternally grateful.

3 Comments

Filed under Children, community, Inspiration