My Story (1)

As I write this I am happy, enjoying life and terrified of coming off my anti depressants. In this moment it is difficult to understand that a year ago I wanted to die. Back then I would not have believed I would ever again have the feelings I am having now. Life is good.
I was successful, adored my wife Karen and had a beautiful family. At first it was ‘there is something wrong with my vision’ and her balance began to be affected. Then in 1993 while we were living in Singapore she lost the use of her legs and we discovered she had relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis. The good news is the remitting part. She recovered the use of her legs for periods of time. The bad news is then the relapses occurred and each time they were worse.
The progression of the disease was relentless. Her legs stopped working, her lips and breasts lost all feeling, painful spasms made her scream out, paralysis crawled up her body until she became almost totally still. The pain from her spasms never gave her any peace.
I was not ill but in trying to solve the problem of making her better I became so. I could not accept I could not do anything to help her get better. The medical profession could do nothing, research was making slow progress and every month it got worse. My therapist suggested the more I failed the harder I worked to find a solution. Ultimately seeing myself as a complete failure the only solution I could see was for me to end my life. On three occasions I was two steps from doing so.
Therapy and photography have helped me through my black moments and are part of my recovery process. My work here is an ongoing response to my personal experience over the last two years. During this time Karen was in horrible pain and went through the final stages of losing most of her physical capabilities. I adored her still and never gave up looking for ways to make her life happier. Then in July last year she decided she wanted to die. She had joined Dignitas four years before. We had agreed it was not a decision I could help with. I wanted her to live forever but did say I would support her wishes whatever they were. Ten years ago she tried to commit suicide and would have died had I not come home early. She always said that is when she wanted to die.
She told me in August last year. I was torn apart again. I didn’t want to lose the soul mate of my life for 40 years but could see and hear she was going through was a living hell. She went to Switzerland in January of this year and was assisted with the death she wanted. It was very hard but it was a beautiful death and her smile is imprinted on my mind as she ended her life.
I again became suicidally depressed not helped by eight weeks of lockdown living completely on my own in Spain. I continued to try to capture my experience with my camera. What you see here is a selection of images that together tell the story of my life over the last two years.
My experience is ongoing. I know the anti depressants are helping along with exercise, diet, a social life and therapy. Karen wanted me to enjoy the rest of my life and I want to do so but deeply miss her like a tear in my very being.

Categories: Final Major Project, Project Development FMP


I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.