Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

The Day I Found Freddie Mercury in My Raspberries 


The great thing about photography is the ability to take photographs anywhere anytime with any level of camera or phone. The spontaneity can sometimes be quite rewarding. 

Awaking to a curiously warm and dry day meant that tea could be drunk outside with the ramblings of a newspaper. With just the humble I Phone 7 it was easy to take a photograph of some fruit sitting on the newspaper. It was only when I looked at the photograph I saw that it seemed Freddie Mercury was in my raspberries. Never seen that headline before. 

Motspur Park Dog Show 2017


An excellent dog show organised by The Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Fields and kindly sponsored by Park Vets in Raynes Park .  Hundreds of people descended with their varieties of dogs for a fun afternoon with 8 judging classes. This was an enjoyable and fun afternoon and a decent supply of cakes and sandwiches were also available. The Red Velvet cupcakes have to be recommended.

A few photographs to show some of the fun that was had.

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How many crisps in a packet? Not many it seems. Twelve to be precise. Discos


There has been a large amount of media coverage over the reduction in sizes of chocolate bars. The manufacturers would like us to believe this is a health measure in the wake of the upcoming epidemic of diabetes and obesity. Little attention has been given to crisps and a similar story. 

I am rather more cynical and note that the decreasing sizes of confectionery often do not correlate with decreasing prices and allow manufacturers to reduce costs and increase profits simultaneously. 

When food items get smaller packaging it seems does not as witnessed by my tiny Boost bar rattling around inside it’s packet this week.

Just now however it seems the situation has got ridiculous. My daughter having been given a packet of Discos was unimpressed to find that a complete packet contained 12 crisps. Regardless of the numbers on the packet and the knowledge from the small print that requires the Hubble telescope to read, that a heavenly 28g lay within. I defy most people to know how much a decent sized packet of crisps contains. I might suggest more than 28g is needed. 

The problem is not the weight nor the portion size but the expectation that the packet contains far more. Are we being conned by this? Surely legislation should dictate that a buyer can and should be able to have a reasonable expectation of the correct quantity of food in a container? The fact that this packet was from a multipack item is irrelevant. 

Stoke Can Be A Laughing Matter


A work day in Stoke. A couple of things to both amuse and notice. Firstly an amusing sign. Ingenuous really. Sherlock Homes! I love it! 

Secondly the old and new contrasts of the University Hospital.  A curious design where old buildings from 1842 have been kept on site and new ones added. The modern design of the new buildings resembles an airport in many ways rather than a hospital. 

All positive features . I do wonder though how the elderly might cope and manage checking themselves in for their outpatients appointment at a terminal? One shocking feature though is the cost of parking.  6.90£ for eight hours. Delight for blue badge, disabled, holders who get a whole extra hour parking on top of what they pay.  Anyways that’s a day in Stoke 

The Wolf Dog


The photographic star of the website

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BlueCornMoonDesigns?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Wolf today is just chilling and reading his daily crossword and trying on his favourite bandana.

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Mental Health of Footballers. Very little is known. This needs to change


As a football fan and psychiatrist I have more than a passing interest in the Aaron Lennon story this week. Sadly newspapers like Sun and Daily Mail dramatised things appallingly . 

The reality in this story is clear . The police have powers under Section 136 of The Mental Health act to take anyone whom they deem in need of psychiatric assessment to a designated place of safety for that assessment . The legal holding lasts for 48 hours during which time it is expected the assesssment is complete. At that point other sections can be applied for with 28 days being common under Section 2 and 6 months for Section 3. Many caveats apply . In general terms Section 2 is likely to be applied if necessary where the patient is unknown previously. At this stage nothing has been reported suggesting that Section 2 has been applied. 

Any football fan will recognise certain personality types on the field with players being often impulsive and prone to anger. I have a personal theory that adult ADHD will be far more prevalent in footballers than the general population . ADHD is also strongly linked to alcohol abuse and depression. In addition one suspects that borderline personality disorder would be more common. The Telegraph reports today that Stan Collymore received that diagnosis.  

Despite the plethora of stories of depression in sportsmen and suicides, there is no precise knowledge of how common mental health disorders are in footballers. No research to my knowledge has systematically evaluated this.  All speculation is thus unproven. 

Screening for these disorders is possible through fairly simple screening tools and should detect those who need further evaluation. For example a simple questionnaire for adult ADHD if it comes out negatively means that those people are around 98% likely not to have ADHD. 

Football clubs do have a duty for mental health care. They are best placed to flag up needs for assessment . What also needs to be understood is that life stresses often tip people over into illness. Not always but often. There are forms of depression that are not obviously linked to a precipitating cause but many forms are. 

Players also would benefit from such assessments. For example impulsivity traits and emotional volatility can be recognised and to some extent the effects ameliorated. Whatever happened in Aaron Lennon’s life to make whatever happened happen, it is unlikely that there was no previous warning.  Someone in the club is likely to have seen or heard something that may have been important. 

Mental illness is common and there should be no stigma about accepting help nor diagnosis. The onus lies within the clubs to do this . Players will also benefit 

The Italian Toilet Job . Have a look at this Italian Toilet 


Whether the toilet seat should be up or down is always debated. Whether one should use wire to string it up is another question. Look closely and you will see that the restaurant owners in Rome clearly made their decision. Seat up. The wire is fixed very firmly so no tampering is possible. 

The second fascinating part is the Route 66 photo on the toilet . The road to nowhere it seems. I only spotted this when looking at the photo and not at the time.  I am presuming there is a photo on the cistern? A little bizarre but many things in Rome are

In Rome Everyone Smokes. Even the Buildings 


A wisp of cloud makes it look like this building has been puffing away. 

Zipcloud for data backup. My experiences . Avoid is my opinion 


Over the last 7 years on my IMAC I have accumulated 799 GB of data. Mostly photographs. A couple of years ago I was offered and signed up to Zipcloud paying a quite significant fee for unlimited data stored in some mythical cloud. The settings were straightforward and allowed me to set a large maximum file size and regular data uploads. In short I was confident that my data was happily sitting in its personal cloud.  Sadly my optimism was misplaced. The seagate hard drive eventually broke and I looked on zipcloud for my data. Zipcloud confirmed my data was there but when going to restore it magically it vanished.  

Cue multiple emails to customer service folks all with cute young sounding names, Hollie , Zara etc. All sent meaningless replies that came with a strong odour of copy and paste. Eventually a fraction of my data appeared in the restore panel, maybe 5%.  They were unable it seems or unwilling to find the rest.  I received a plethora of meaningless and unhelpful emails but no more data.  Apparently their development team would be in contact. Of course that never happened. 

In short I received a poor service for quite a lot of money. I would like to warn others into being comfortable with their data sitting in this cloud.  External hard drives are cheaper and more reliable . 

Luckily the data was all recoverable from the deceased hard drive.  And I have cancelled Zipcloud. 

Doing a quick search online this problem and others seem common with Zipcloud and my best advice based on my experience is to avoid them. 

Why exactly are dogs banned from so many places? Logic or a random decision? 


Since I got my first dog 6 months ago I have been perplexed and sometimes even amused by why dogs are banned from various places. This is in uk. However other countries take different views. Here in Nice in a decent hotel Boscolo Exedra I was firstly greeted this morning by a dog in the lift and then a few moments later found it sitting happily with its owners in the restaurant at breakfast. The dog sat in the same place , looked imploringly at its owners for food but was no trouble and I suspect many never realised he was there. This seems a familiar pattern in France. 

Let’s look at the UK. Traveling on the motorways one finds that dogs are not allowed inside motorway service stations. In the high street dogs are not allowed inside banks.  Dogs are not allowed into any hotel restaurant or bar . Dogs are not allowed into restaurants . Some pubs allow dogs in but stipulate where they can go.  This blanket ban does not of course apply to service dogs. 

To get the obvious out of the way, no one would expect to take an untrained or poorly behaved dog into these situations.  My dog Wolf is 7 months and would be fine. 

So what’s the logic and who makes the rules? Why can one country be so at odds with regulations in another? 

I put this out there as a discussion point . 

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