'Emily Barker' RIP

On midsummer's day 1998, as told in my book, I was sitting begging outside Jenner's department store on Prince's Street Edinburgh. I had been on the street there several months, begging for money for food, a few beers in the evening and a couple of times accommodation. To understand how I got to be there you'd need to read my book.

I had noticed some nice looking ladies had come to give me money and came to the decision that next time one did and I liked the look of her I would stand up and invite her for coffee. Sure enough one did and it was the lady who by her own choice is Emily Barker in my book.

About 1 in every 100 people has paranoid schizophrenia and what do you know of all the ladies I could invite for coffee having come to give me money I invited one who like me had the condition. I could not really see it at the time only when I look back. One psychiatrist said we had folie à deux which is when two people's delusions merge. Emily is the only woman I ever lived with and together with her dogs Jessie and Molly and cat Eryngo that was the nearest I got to having a family so engaged was I for the decade 1994-2004 dealing with psychiatrists!

 

Dear Emily took her own life in 2015, I understand by taking an overdose of the same antipsychotic I am on. RIP Emily, never forgotten, much loved. With love to her children.

Emily, left with my friends Lorraine and Marek and both of whom also had mental health challenges. I took the picture in Club Rich UK Bedford. I think the lady with her back to the camera is Maureen whose former partner was also on a mental health journey. People told the proprietor Matt Thomas (RIP) he should wear a white coat as so many of his customers were psychiatric patients!

Emily's review of my book

 

Looking for Prince Charles's Dog and Other Stories or One Summer I Thought I Was A Dog is an autobiographical account which is both entertaining and revealing. It evokes a strange sense of awareness and insight into an illness that sadly, many have been unable to cope with. The writer's courage as he struggles to understand what is happening to him makes this book a worthwhile, compelling read for all of us - Emily Barker (RIP).