April 30, 2016

Psychiatrist or Neuroscientist?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:54 am by Aleksan

I have been asked by a Royal College of Psychiatrists poll “should Psychiatrists now be called Neuroscientists?” Certainly the role of the Psychiatrist has changed since I began my career back in the 70s – then I had to be a combined Neurologist, Physician, Social Worker, Psychotherapist, Family Therapist and Play Therapist – what a colleague called “a jobbing Psychiatrist.”
I enjoyed being a Jack of All Trades and there was no one else apart from a helpful Case Worker, formerly a Hospital Lady Almoner. But now all those roles I had to play have their own Professions – Clinical Psychologist, Social Worker, Educational Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Family Therapist, Play Therapist….All that remains is the medical bits – Neurologist and Physician, and nowadays Team Manager and Supervisor. I have retired from paid work but play a role as a Trustee for a Child Educational, Care, and Fostering Charity where my former multiple roles are relevant – but I don’t believe that a Neuroscientist would be qualified or fit for such a role…So I am now labelled as “Old School” – very happy with that!

Alexander Burnfield FRCPsych

Retired Consultant in Child and Adolecent Psychiatry, Hampshire UK

April 27, 2016

Turkey – is it fit to join the EU?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:33 pm by Aleksan


This is not Syria – it is Sirnak, a Kurdish town in South East Turkey – destroyed by Turkish shells – do we really want to encourage the Turks to join the EU? Do we want to be in the EU wirth Turkey who have a huge Army and are not exactly democratic – but Merkel is all over their President promising him access for Turks in exchange for an immigrant deal – what in Hell’s name will the EU look like if Turkey gets in with a huge population, economy — and Army? But no doubt Turkey will save the EU – on its terms.

April 20, 2016

Winking at Brexit or flirting the EU? I fall at the feet of an Angel of Enlightenment…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:48 am by Aleksan

After a bit a walking about in Cirencester while Sarah Johns was in the Laboratory at the Uni, I came home to find that Martin had done a great job upgrading the gates and fences at Terstan. After Tea I used my final bit of energy to go and see the posts Martin had installed at the top of our two tracks near the road. Feeling virtuous I picked up some litter by the road, and then tipped over on my back, just as a very pretty lass was jogging by. She managed to get me vertical, and she told me she was a Hungarian living locally. Well I was flirting with Brexit, but I am now deffo leaning towards the EU – and hopefully more Hungarian lasses, because I am sure to fall over again if I see one!

April 16, 2016

Obama lecturing the UK on staying in the UK? Could well be counter productive…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:39 am by Aleksan

So Obama is coming to lecture us on not leaving the EU. I can think of nothing more counter productive for the remain campaign than this! People in the UK are likely to do the opposite of what he wants to spite the Yanks – it would be seen as hypocritical for him to tell us what do do bearing in mind how the US operates and how unlike that country many of us wish to be.  If the EU signs TTIP then the US could fleece us all together in one flock, so it is in their interests for us to be in the EU – but not in our interest perhaps?

April 11, 2016

Unacceptable intolerance to the Ahmadis by Muslim mainstream in the UK

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:57 am by Aleksan

Muslims in Britain are generally peace loving and patriotic. However many show a disrespect for women and for gay people to put it mildly. But intolerance is greatest within their own very separate communities, especially to those not from their own mainstream. The fervour against the more open Ahmadi community is particularly unacceptable. Let us hope that better education and more integration with people who share kinder and more open beliefs will lead to less intolerance, but I am not holding my breath…..

April 10, 2016

Taxes and a fairer distribution of wealth – he pays the piper calls the tune?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:44 am by Aleksan

I would like to congratulate the PM on paying £76 Grand Income Tax last year – considerably more than the most of us I guess. The current system means the richest in the community pay most taxes – what would happen if there were no rich peeps keeping things going? I guess if wealth was more evenly distributed, PM would pay less Tax and most people would have more money and pay more Tax – how is that to be achieved without a bloody revolution? Maybe we could be more like the Scandanavian countries, but we don’t want to discourage enterprise and innovation. I don’t feel positive about any political party at the moment – but will continue supporting the Greens until the situation becomes clearer…

April 9, 2016

Practising or the Grand National……?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:43 pm by Aleksan

When I said that we were practising for the grand National this morning I did not expect Sarah to take me literally! However away we flew over the Downs and round part of the old Danebury Race Course up past Shepherds Bush to Spitfire Wood and beyond. Chocolate de la Suisse ridden by Miss Johns and Sonadora (Dancing Dora) with me on board gaiting together up hill and down dell at more than my normal speed! It was, at times, hard to hold Dora back, but luckily I managed it – and also stayed on. I did ask myself “Is this the right thing for a 71 year old, with a 50 year history of neuro disease, to be doing?” But it is amazing what an old man will do accompanied by a young lass….

April 8, 2016

Personal attacks on Politicians? Not really helpful to anyone

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:55 pm by Aleksan

I am not, and never have been, a Tory voter but I dislike personal attacks on Cameron just because, through no choice of his own, he had rich parents and went to a posh school. There are and always will be exceptions but most politicians are doing a difficult and complex job, whether Left, Centre or Right in inclination. Yes, we must keep a close eye on them but maybe focussing on policies rather than personalities would be more helpful. Remember that if you have not got a Personality Disorder you have not got a Personality….

April 4, 2016

The Gold Sands by Toby Guise – my Review of this book on Amazon

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:39 am by Aleksan

The Gold Sands
by Toby Guise
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

I have just finished reading this immensely entertaining book and was very pleased to find the words “To be continued….” on the last page. I have spent the last few days in the company of an endearing group of people interacting with each other in a flawed but amusing way – each to a greater or lesser extent vulnerable and misguided yet strong and dynamic at the same time. It has been a roller coaster journey ending in chaos but with the seeds of creativity nevertheless remaining – I look forward to seeing these seeds to grow into Toby’s next book.

Alexander Burnfield

3 April 2016

April 3, 2016

Indifferent Cosmos – Asks me the one question – Why do you live?

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:44 am by Aleksan

Indifferent Cosmos
Asks me the one question
Why do you live?

Where does God or the Supreme Master or the big Light come in? Maybe this is a psychological need that humans have – for a Parent figure who will love them whatever and who has power to intervene and counteract nature where it is seen to be cruel and hostile – and unfair. Some people need this more than others particularly if they feel powerless and vulnerable. Religions can exploit this need, but religions can bring people together to care for each other. My own view is that yes, we need the light of awareness and compassion to paint our picture on the Cosmic blank canvass, and that the Cosmos is a complex and mysterious creation. Can we humans with limited brains begin to comprehend its purpose, if there is one? Can a dog riding in a car understand how it works! A dog does not have a need to understand but we humans are aware of more, including our mortality. In the end I believe that there is more to the Cosmos than my little transient life and that somehow each of our lives is an opportunity for experiment and improvement in some way. That is the Question that the Cosmos and Life asks us – what part will you play in the wonder, madness, and cruelty of the process of continuing creation?

Cosmos makes no mistakes. It is not hostile but just indifferent to me, my life, my death, my happiness, my suffering. Universe does not care about me or anyone. It is the blank canvass on which I must paint my picture, and you paint yours. It is the question I have to answer with my life. And the only place and time I can do that is here and now