Sunday, 15 December 2019

the journey fae Dundee United stands tae Arbroath home seats Gayfield Park ⚽ 14Dec19

Yesterday I attended for the first time a Dundee United away game, against Arbroath at Gayfield Park, had a ticket for the stands, hadn't stood before at a fitba game so decided to arrive early to get a place.  Had to park a bit away as there weren't any spaces left on Queen's Drive along the sea front by 2pm.

So I got a place to stand 30mins before game started, took some photos, videos and panoramas.

I saw the first goal scored by Dundee United.

However soon after 2 older men, younger than me, maybe in their 50's came and stood right in front of me, blocking my view.  I complained about this but their response was that I should move and other men standing nearby didn't support me.  Rather one older man said that I was just being grumpy or suchlike and offered me a sweetie.  I refused, he then said something rude (a young lassie in front of him looked around at me) so I moved back a bit, but couldn't see the game plus there were other guys at the back shouting and swearing which was offputting.  It all felt very disrespectful to women.  Female fans of Dundee United deserve far better treatment.

And so I moved left along to the open area, it was much colder, sea at the back.

and decided to join the queue for the Pie Shed to warm up with some food:

I was still in good fettle despite having been bullied out of my place in the United stands although I did complain to others in the passing about how I'd been treated.  Not being one to keep quiet if my space has been invaded.  It was a long queue and eventually I got a braw sausage roll!

After enjoying the sausage roll I decided to head back down to the entrance to ask if I could stand at the other side from where I'd been blocked.  However the Gayfield Park staff suggested I could get a seat on the home side since I wasn't wearing any "colours".  So I headed on up to look for a spare seat and was welcomed by 2 older gentlemen Arbroath supporters who told me to take a seat and one of them even offered me his seat if need be.  That was more like it.

There were no more goals after that first one from United and in the second half it seemed that Arbroath played better from where I was sitting.  I left about 10mins before the end to avoid the rush plus I was freezin!

Football isn't just a man's game these days, watching or playing, and there are also children in the mix, spectating, seeing the action, hearing the voices.  Yesterday I wouldn't have wanted my bairns and grandbairns to be in the stands witnessing how their Mother and Granny was treated by Dundee United supporters, hearing the foul-mouthed swearing, seeing men urinating against the back of Arbroath stands in full view of passers-by. 

Monday, 2 December 2019

a victory for human rights

A recent tweet:

The new year will be a change of direction for me, in terms of volunteering and helping others, and I'm looking forward to learning more about the social history of Dundee.  We are aiming to move to the city when possible and I spend most days there, swimming and walking, attending events, museums and libraries.  I've wanted to move there since 2012.

A selection of photos from last week in Dundee:

at Lochee Library for McManus168 talk 26Nov19

visiting Discovery Quay 27Nov19 (yearly membership)
V&A talk on Robotic-assisted Surgery 27Nov19 [photo album]
in HMS Unicorn for talk on Mars Training Ship 28Nov19

Sunday, 1 December 2019

New Year's Day Dook at Broughty Ferry fundraising for charity

My New Year's Day Dook at Broughty Ferry Harbour, Dundee! page on Just Giving 

I am taking part in Big Dook on 1Jan20 for Royal Voluntary Service because I'm a volunteer for RVS and appreciate their cause.

I recently became a volunteer for the Dundee Home From Hospital Service at RVS and also for East Fife Community Transport, the former because I swim at the Olympia, Leisure and Culture Dundee, most days, and the latter because I live in the area.  

And when I noticed the leaflet from YEAABA (Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association) promoting the Big Dook on New Year's Day, at the Olympia reception, I decided to take the plunge and go for it!  A fellow swimmer who also volunteers with RVS suggested that I do it for the charity.  Good idea! So here I am fundraising for the first time on Just Giving.

I've put £100 as a target and will be grateful for any donations given to this worthwhile cause.  I used to work with WRVS in Kirkcaldy, 20 years ago, as a Youth Project Manager, recruiting and training young people in the Buckhaven and Rosyth areas to help the elderly in their homes, a joint project with Fife Council.  Now that I'm an older person (67) I look forward to helping others through the RVS services in the Dundee and Fife areas.

"In every corner of Britain, Royal Voluntary Service mobilises volunteers to support those in need, in hospital and in the community. Their volunteers work at scale in the NHS, freeing up NHS staff to dedicate more time to patient care, and within communities to give practical help and support to people as they age. Whether it's helping someone who has recently returned home or taking someone to do a bit of shopping; its the little things in life that really can make all the difference to the lives of so many older people."


I am thinking to dress up as Tarzan's Granny!  Fur fabric on top of a wetsuit ....

selfie taken on Perth Road, Dundee, 6Nov19


Wednesday, 27 November 2019

in the living room of the city

Prof Cuschieri
I enjoy visiting the Living Room of the City, the V&A Dundee, to knit socks and gaze out on the River Tay, read books upstairs and/or attend free events.  Today I'm booked on the lunchtime talk 'Surgeons made Superhuman by Robots' [photo album from talk by Prof Sir Alfred Cuschieri

 Here are some tweets and photos from recent visits:



chillin out 23Oct19

Friday, 15 November 2019

volunteering, helping others

I'm getting back into volunteering, helping others, through organisations, something I've always done, since the early days, in Rigside, Lanarkshire.  I did this in 2003 when recovering from psychiatric treatment, volunteering with Link East Fife Befriending Project and North East Fife Association for Mental Health, also Express Groups Fife and Barnardo's charity shop in Cupar.  The latter I got paid work with, a keyholder, before getting a job as a Relief Library Worker in NE Fife, on permitted work, 2005, then a FT post at Adam Smith/Fife College 2006.

Before this I had worked in the voluntary sector, various jobs over the years, with all ages of people and children eg Strathclyde Youth Clubs Association & Youth Clubs Fife, Age Concern & YMCA/YWCA Cupar, WRVS Kirkcaldy Youth Project.  I have also worked with and alongside Councils in Lanarkshire, Fife and Perth, in grassroots posts, alongside folk in communities.

And since 2008 I've worked voluntarily in mental health matters, setting up Peer Support Fife to promote recovery and more recently campaigning for better MH services by whistleblowing about Stratheden Hospital, resulting in a new £4.4m IPCU, Hollyview Ward, funded by Scottish Government.

I've retreated from mental health matters and frontline campaigning although still look on via social networks.  My interests these days are broader and include the social history of Dundee, creative crafts and fitness.  

Trottick Ponds Dundee walk 29Oct19
Swans at Trottick Ponds:

after swim at Olympia Dundee 25Oct19
at Lamb Gallery to view this exhibition 12Nov19

Alexander St Multis


Thursday, 7 November 2019

revolving door patients/psychiatrists

I saw this tweet yesterday, it came up up on my Notifications:

I made a series of twitter responses from my own Lived Experience before heading out to Dundee for a swim at the Olympia.  Then afterwards as I walked down the Hilltown I made a wee video and tweeted it:

I was annoyed at the inequalities, the throwaway tweet about being a revolving-door mental patient/psychiatrist, thinking of family members who got caught up in the psychiatric system, how tough it was for them and others like them.  


later on walking up the Perth Road Dundee

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

11yrs of mental health activism & campaigning summed up in 250 words

my story #HumansofScotland @ALLIANCEScot 28Oct19

The strapline: "I’ve had to learn to be more self-sufficient and to cope with the isolation of being a lone campaigner" which is very true.

"things didn't go to plan" after setting up vol org PS Fife for various reasons, one of them being my psychiatric abuse survivor history although at the time I described it as "recovery".  I was mature, well qualified and experienced in community development, working with all ages of people in various settings, so was used to leading, managing and having an opinion.  These abilities and skills were not valued in a person with Lived Experience in Scotland's mental health world in 2008.

2012 was a seminal year, my 60th, after which I wasn't the same person, exposing systematic psychiatric abuse by blowing the whistle.  It was a matter of survival and I had a tough battle on my hands.  I cared and it was costly.  I still care.

I'm so glad that my youngest son and I are still together, in solidarity, it's not been easy.  Well done Daniel Son!

Kirk Wynd Cupar 2008
Scottish Sunday Express 5Oct14
on my birthday in Edinburgh 28Sep14
Cupar Crossgate 17Sep17
Stirling Castle 1Jun19

Monday, 28 October 2019

my story #HumansofScotland @ALLIANCEScot 28Oct19

Chrys’s story

Section: Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

"I’ve had to learn to be more self-sufficient and to cope with the isolation of being a lone campaigner"

“In 2008 I set up voluntary organisation Peer Support Fife and my own website, to promote mental health recovery and the benefits of peer support, as a person with lived experience of surviving, recovering from, psychosis and psychiatric treatment 3 times in 1978, 1984 and 2002.

However things didn’t go to plan and by 2010 I was an unwaged Carer for my son and in 2012, after he experienced another mental health crisis, I became a complainer, campaigner and human rights whistleblower. And at the same time I became a fully-fledged writer, blogger and social networker, to speak out and to have a voice.

Eventually I won an Ombudsman case and apology from our local Health Board in the autumn of 2014, and they stopped using the locked seclusion room, having received £4.4million from Scottish Government to build a new IPCU following my activism. This ward was officially opened in July 2016 by the Minister for Mental Health.

I’m glad to say that my son, who lives with me, is in better mental health these days with only my support and occasional psychiatrist appointments since 2012, as we were abandoned by mental health services after I started raising complaints.

It’s been a very challenging 7 years and I’ve had to learn to be more self-sufficient and to cope with the isolation of being a lone campaigner and Caregiver, glad to have survived. This saying “What does not kill me makes me stronger” attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, rings true.”



Sunday, 27 October 2019

Friday, 25 October 2019

it's a long haul

yesterday on Claypotts Rd Dundee
... recovering from, surviving psychiatric abuse and living with "mental illness" 
caused by psychiatric treatment ... I'm just glad to be of help to family members, and to still be here to tell the tale.

Last night's sock knitting and TV watching:

After my usual daily swim at the Olympia Dundee, before going for a walk in the city:


Thursday, 24 October 2019

Designer Daniel Muirhead creates 3D models of Fife landmarks @fifeherald 23Oct19

Designer creates 3D models of Fife landmarks by Jamie Callaghan, Fife Herald, 23 October 2019  [my son Daniel!]

The model of Cupar's Old Parish Church.
"A Springfield designer finished second in an international competition after reproducing 3D versions of local landmarks.

Daniel Muirhead (35) took part in a competition run by Italian firm 3Dflow, where entrants were tasked with creating the best 3D models using their photogrammetry software.

Photogrammetry involves taking a set of photos of a real life subject, feeding those photos into computer software, and the software then automatically reconstructs the real life subject as a virtual 3D model.

Daniel, representing Scotland, earned a place in the final, where he entered 3D models of Cupar’s town centre, Dundee’s Howff burial grounds, and Arbroath’s Western Cemetery Mortuary Chapel. The international panel of judges awarded Daniel second place, with a prize including a bundle of software licenses worth more than £4000.

“I entered for fun so to place second was a pleasant surprise, especially given the high level of quality within the competition,” Daniel said. 

“It was a privilege to represent Scotland and I have no doubt that it was the beauty of our built environment, represented in the models, that was a major factor in my success.”

Daniel is now looking to reproduce town centres in Fife, whether as models or virtual reality environments.

Anyone groups interested in using Daniel’s skills to recreate a town centre, or any prospective funders or investors, can reach him at"


Tuesday, 22 October 2019

glad they got the Schizoaffective Disorder Dx label wrong in 2002

today on the Murraygate, Dundee
Or to put it another way, glad that I never believed in mental illness or in psychiatry as an exact science. [sci fi]

A quick blog post before bedtime, had thought of writing it earlier but got too busy with stuff, housework, knitting, potting out plants etc.  I wanted to say something about how thankful I am to have survived abusive psychiatric treatment in the earlier years when my boys were young which helped me to both get off a neuroleptic cocktail at the menopause and also support them in/out of psychiatry, when necessary.

I couldn't have got through the whistleblowing years following the 2012 locked seclusion room abuses and attempts to put the blame on me, if it weren't for my previous survivor experience.   And going back to my happy childhood of adventures, games, falling off a piler, dancing/slipping on wet grass, then recovering from broken arm, leg aged 6 and 7, preparing me for hospital treatment and for being assertive, resisting authority, taking risks.  Surrounded by family, growing up in Perth, lots of activities on offer, many things to see and do.  

Just now it's like being in transition, living in a halfway house, until moving to Dundee, hopefully sooner rather than later, I'm not getting any younger.   

today checking on Mum's grave in Cupar Cemetery

My Mother only lived to 68 years, on a Depixol depot for the latter 2 decades or more, walked with a stick from her 50's, I moved her from Perth to Cupar in 1993, to a flat on the Bonnygate which she bought, having been financially supported by her older batchelor brother.  She was also a survivor of psychiatric abuse, many courses of ECT and drug treatment, locked wards in Murray Royal, Perth, 1950's to 1970's, don't have all the details, but she had it much harder than I did.  These toxic chemicals shorten lives, cause nerve damage and the shock treatment memory loss, my Mum wrote lists, kept a notebook.

My Granny, Dad's Mum, only lived to 70yrs old in 1970, I think she'd had enough by then (lost 2 out of 5 bairns when they were young), whereas my Grandpa lived another 10yrs without her, eventually on oxygen.  My Dad and his younger brother died a few years later, aged 57 and 56, both of them war veterans, RAF briefly and Royal Navy for years, a sci-fi writer and a chiropodist, choked to death avoiding doctors, burnt to death in a house fire.  

I feel very fortunate being so fit at 67 despite the titanium plate on right fibula due to max dose Venlafaxine and the bladder prolapse which happened in 2015 after years of campaigning for justice/no justice.  Neither injuries hold me back or affect my movements, I can swim, walk, jog, cycle, and don't have any incontinence.  Maybe because in my 40's I did daily swimming and gym weights, and before this was active in community sports and games, working with children and young people.  

1980 preparing for Krypton Factor assault course
1973 on Muirheads farm, Douglas, Lanarkshire
Perth Academy 3rd year hockey team
me aged 3/4, Kingswell Terrace, Perth in background
me, Right Inner

Saturday, 19 October 2019

not looking for paid work (updated post)

Updated 19Oct19: Not looking for paid work, going onto Pension Credit, Housing and Council Tax Benefits now at age 67.  I did try for the Whistleblower Champion post with NHS Scotland at £8k/year but didn't even get an interview. 


I'm 67 next month so won't be looking for full time work, just a few hours weekly. It's about time that I earned some money for all the work I do.

Perth Road, Dundee, 1Aug19