a layer in the background

When young, I always felt in the background. I was painfully shy. Summer 1987: My uncle John helped me buy a flat that overlooked the Beechgrove gardens. From my window … Continue reading a layer in the background

comet [COMET]

My son Andrew was born under the glow of Hale Bopp. I have been fascinated with passing comets ever since. Their forever fading tails [tales] seem as wonderful to me as … Continue reading comet [COMET]

R E E K I A N A

James Skene (1775-1864), advocate, antiquarian and confidant of Sir Walter Scott, had a profound sense of Edinburgh as a changing city. In the early 19th century, he witnessed, at first … Continue reading R E E K I A N A

‘The Two Worlds Opinion’

John Wright Paton was born in 1825 at Kennetpans on the banks of the river Forth. By 1851 he had been appointed as Head Gardener at Crimonmogate, Aberdeenshire: It is … Continue reading ‘The Two Worlds Opinion’

A conversation from 2014 on the duration of antidepressant treatment

This correspondence with Professor Ian Reid is from 2014. This is the first time that I have shared it in the public domain. In my opinion, narrative is no less … Continue reading A conversation from 2014 on the duration of antidepressant treatment

A published and an unpublished review of ‘Bad Pharma’

Professor Ian Reid, who died tragically early at the age of 53 on 15 June 2014, played a leading role in British, especially Scottish academic psychiatry for over two decades. … Continue reading A published and an unpublished review of ‘Bad Pharma’

Lecture in progress

The ‘Lecture in Progress’ sign that features in this film was only illuminated whilst we, as medical students, waited outside the Anatomy Department of Marischal College, Aberdeen.  Musical credits: … Continue reading Lecture in progress

Dunbuy

Dunbuy rock, with its distinctive natural arch, is to be found just beyond Cruden Bay on a promontory reaching out into the North Sea. As a medical student, after visiting … Continue reading Dunbuy

an old coat

Two summers ago I left my old coat in the centre of Aberdeen on a gravestone in St Nicholas kirkyard. The coat was old and had first been worn by … Continue reading an old coat

PARALDEHYDE

When I began my training in Psychiatry Paraldehyde was occasionally still used, particularly in the ‘Forensic ward’. You could smell it on opening the locked door to the Forensic ward. … Continue reading PARALDEHYDE

Captain Phillips

A friend from Australia, aware of my interest in Johnston Shearer, the pioneer Scottish Photographer, recently sent me this photograph of Captain Phillips as taken in 1870 at 242 Union … Continue reading Captain Phillips