October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment


We are trying to work through one of the main f lashpoints between myself and Raymond, which is, basically, that he always wants to be on my computer — a thing of great beauty with a huge screen — at exactly the same time as I want to be on it. When I ask him to get off it, he refuses. I then lose my temper and start shouting at him. As this happens on a daily basis, I feel angry and cross almost constantly, which is not great.
“Right,” says Kitty, “let’s start. You be Raymond and I’ll be you.”
“You’re going to be me, Mum,” Raymond says, obviously enjoying every minute of this.
I start by logging in to Facebook and looking at all my friend’s updates. “Coolio,” I mutter to myself. Then Kitty hoves in to view. “It’s time to get off the computer, Raymond,” she says, standing at my shoulder, which is exactly what I do. I know she is talking to me, but I am so engrossed in Facebook that I find I don’t care.

Teenage tantrums We need To talk about Raymond

I can’t help but think it’s my fault. Did I not show him enough love? Maybe I worked too hard. But I try constantly to keep the channels of communication open between us; it’s just that he doesn’t seem to want to communicate with me.
So I have asked for help, which is how I have ended up sitting on a low chair, staring at a computer in front of me and trying to ignore Kitty Hagenbach, who is a trained psychotherapist and member of the renowned Babiesknow team that runs specialised and highly effective parenting classes. She is playing me. Raymond is watching us from the sofa.
“No,” I say mutinously. “I am not getting off this computer.”
“Raymond,” says Kitty, her voice rising ominously, “if you don’t get off the computer, I am going to get angry with you.” Me: “I don’t care. I don’t care.” “Raymond,” says Kitty warningly, “if you don’t get off that computer . . .”
But I am not listening now. I am in full Raymond mode. All I hear is white noise. I can see that she is growing increasingly angry. The f lailing shouting woman in front of me looks as if she has lost her mind and she’s getting in the way of my computer screen. I decide I will ignore her.
“Right,” Kitty says eventually, having gone increasingly red in the face, “that doesn’t work really, does it?” She looks at me and she is obviously back to being Kitty again. I stop being Raymond. “How did you feel?” she asks.
“I couldn’t have cared less about anything you said,” I say.
“Owned!” says Raymond triumphantly. “That’s just how I feel!”
“You’re just not hearing her, are you, Raymond?” she asks him.
“No,” he says, smiling as if he has been, somehow, vindicated.
Kitty turns to me. “You have to change what you are doing,” she says.



October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

After secondary education at Buckhaven High School, he became an apprentice pharmacist with Boots in Cupar, eschewing the opportunity to study mathematics at Edinburgh University. His ambitions at that time were to work in retail pharmacy but, having completed his apprenticeship, in 1944, he entered the BSc course in chemistry and pharmacy at the Royal Technical College in Glasgow where he won every undergraduate prize open to him and graduated with first class honours.Jack became an assistant lecturer in experimental pharmacology in the University of Glasgow, having turned down an offer to study for a PhD. He joined Glaxo Laboratories in 1951 as a pharmacist where his main role was to formulate new products and supervise their transfer to production. But he found this work repetitive and unfulfilling and in 1953 moved to Smith Kline and French as senior development pharmacist while at the same time studying for an external PhD at Chelsea College under the supervision of Professor Arnold Beckett (obituary, Feb 10, 2010).His exceptional research potential was easily recognised and in 1961 he was invited to become director of research and development at Allen & Hanburys, whose parent company was Glaxo. There, he created the unusually productive team which he deemed necessary to achieve his ambitions of inventing medicines to treat important human diseases, a venture new to the Glaxo group at that time.Remarkably, in the same small corner of West Fife in 1924, two clinical scientists were born who invented medicines which have had an overwhelming influence on world health. Their career paths were different but the end results were equally impressive. Jack was responsible for inventing drugs to treat asthma and to prevent it (salbutamol salmeterol, beclamethasone, fluticasone) while Sir James Black (obituary, Mar 24, 2010) invented drugs to treat angina and hypertension (propranolol) and peptic ulcer (cimetidine). Both were giants of drug discovery to whom society owes a great debt.Allen & Hanburys already had a steroid skin cream and it was argued that similar steroids could benefit asthma sufferers by damping down inflammation in the lungs.

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