Health anxiety, me and the NHS

Health anxiety, me and the NHS

Those of you who have been keeping track probably know that 2 years ago I self-referred myself for therapy to deal with a moderate case of anxiety that began around 2006 and has stayed with me since, although I can handle it much better with the techniques I learnt. Without the therapy I would not have a clue what was actually wrong with me and what the triggers of anxiety were. It turns out I have a phobia (in the medical sense of the word) of not being in control. I’m a medically diagnosed control freak! I wouldn’t swap my not-being-in-control-phobia1 for anything — it makes me who I am. My skills as a manager and software architect derive in part from it. My obsession with maps, public transport and strange details that other people miss. My...

What I now know about warts

What I now know about warts

Warts. We’ve all heard of them; we’ve all seen them; but how many of us know what they’re all about? I realized I didn’t have a clue until I found myself the not-so-proud owner of one. In December 2011 I discovered one on my thumb. I finally shook it exactly 2 years later in December 2013, and I’d like to tell you what I learnt during that time. Warts are caused by the HPV virus. In fact, the P in HPV stands for papilloma, the medical name for warts. You may have heard of HPV as a sexually transmitted infection that’s linked to cervical cancer and throat cancer. Seems pretty terrifying? But here’s something that wasn’t clear from the outset: there’s not just one kind of HPV virus. Different kinds of HPV infect...

My coming out blog post: I am polyamorous

My coming out blog post: I am polyamorous

This has been something of an open secret for some time but it’s time I came out properly. I am polyamorous, and I believe I have been all my adult life: it just took me until 3 years ago to realize it. If you’ll bear with me I’ll try to be as brief as I can but this is a subject that takes a fair bit of explaining, so this is still going to be long. Sorry! Being polyamorous basically means I don’t experience relationships as exclusive. That I sometimes have more than one relationship at the same time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. And my partner(s) also have relationships with other people with my knowledge and consent. Sometimes people say this looks like I’m afraid of commitment, but it’s really just a different kind of commitment. The...

My talks at Bettakultcha

Bettakultcha is a West Yorkshire phenomenon. Started by marketing genius Richard Michie and speaking expert Ivor Tymchak, it is a night of advert/sponsorship-free presentations on any subject at all, but set to a backdrop of 20 slides at 15 seconds per slide. I’ve had the fortune to speak at three such events. I’m by no means the star of the show, ever, but I think what I have to say is worth hearing! Bettakultcha Leeds V, 2nd November 2010 The first time I spoke was on common mistakes in the English language, and mnemonics for remembering how to fix them. Sadly, the video for this one is forever lost, but I’ve put the slides on Slideshare. Bettakultcha Leeds VIII, 12th April 2011 At this much larger event with an audience of about 200, I spoke...

New York photos

I know it’s been over two months since I got back from New York, but I’ve just got round to post-processing my favourite 32 out of 2000+ photos I took when I was there. Hope you enjoy them! New York photo...

Welcome to my new blog

Hello! I’ll keep this opener brief. I have been keeping blogs on and off for almost 9 years, but when I look back over the posts I realize they’re primarily the chronicles of the man I used to be and not of the witty, intelligent, successful man I am today. In 9 years’ time, I will almost certainly look back at this post and say exactly the same thing about these entries. Anyway. It’s been 9 months since I moved back to sunny Yorkshire and I didn’t update the old blog in that whole time, despite having a lot to say. And I’m sick of that bespoke Rails 1.0 application … that time has passed and now I just want to use someone else’s much more awesome software, so hello WordPress! Welcome to my new blog. Hopefully...