Contemplate by Birmingham portrait photographer Barry Robinson

Visit to Southport

Southport is for me a place that has a special meaning. It’s where my brother lives in a managed care facility for people with mental health issues, or to put it bluntly the insane.

Richard is a wonderful person, but he suffers from chronic degenerative schizophrenia. That mean that no mater what happens, no matter how hard he tries, by definition he will only ever get worse.

The drugs that he has had to take have left him with serious problems from side effects. He was at one time nearly a regional chess champion, he even plaid a grand master in, along with several other people, and won.

It’s a rare thing for someone with Richard’s ability with mathematics and chess to enter the world. It’s a horrible curse when he is not only taken from the people he loves, but all the people who’s lives he could have changed.

I often wonder what he might have been if this had not afflicted him. Possibly an engineer of some kind. He was always very fond of building things, models, anything with moving parts, and fascinated by science and mathematics.

These days it’s a good day when he can hold a conversation where he doesn’t apologies for causing a war, or just win a game of chess. The drugs that he has been given have not simply given him terrible facial and body tics that he lives with constantly and marks him out as being different, they also stole his ability to reason and create.

This is the world we live in. Fairness is an illusion that the lucky create to express their gratitude at not being the downtrodden, or the poor, or the starving.

Somewhere in all our lives there is someone like Richard. An old friend who was once a great business man, or a relative who used to hold some special worth. Maybe it’s time to look up their address and send them a note. A simple act of kindness to let them know that you haven’t forgotten they exist.

That you do in fact care…


2 thoughts on “Visit to Southport

    1. Thanks 🙂 It’s just a free theme called “Pictorico.” It’s available either through [where you can install it directly onto a blog], or if your hosting your own blog yuou can download the zip file from to install it onto your self hosted site.

      I’ve made a few tweaks to it in CSS, but nothing all that major.


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