Inspired by Professor Tanya Byron’s years of training as a clinical psychologist, The Skeleton Cupboard offers extraordinary stories of ordinary people struggling to cope with the challenges of life.
Through them we attempt to understand the line between sanity and insanity - and come to realize that it does not exist. The most fragile, vulnerable people can still offer strength and wisdom. Those hardened by cruel circumstance can show real kindness and compassion towards those who treat them. And those of us who outwardly appear untroubled can mask an inner life of turmoil.
With startling poignancy and powerful, affecting storytelling, this book is a testimony to anyone who has strived to make the journey from chaos to clarity.
A gruesome family death set Tanya Byron on the path to becoming a child psychologist, a journey she describes in her new book.
How did you get here? Why now? What is your story and how would you like it to continue? For 25 years, psychologist Prof Tanya Byron has been asking these questions of her patients to help them ‘make that journey from chaos to clarity’.
Last year, while writing The Skeleton Cupboard, a memoir of her early years training as a clinical psychologist from 1989 to 1992, she asked herself: ‘I first became fascinated by the frontal lobes of the human brain when I saw my grandmother’s sprayed across the skirting board of the front room of her dark and cluttered house. I was 15,’ she writes in the introduction to her book.
An eight-months pregnant heroin addict ex-tenant of her grandmother was eventually convicted of battering the elderly German Jewish refugee around the head with an iron poker. But at first Byron’s father, John Sichel, was a suspect.
‘Oh, it was terrible,’ she recalls. ‘The press were hanging around because he was a well-known television director. At 15, you are meant to be: “Yay, I’m going to change the world” and instead there I was looking at this mass of blood.’
Though she did not acknowledge it until later, today she ‘is clear that my grandmother’s death was the catalyst to my becoming really fascinated in human behaviour and wanting to know why it is that we do what we do’.
When she qualified, Byron went to work in a drugs dependency unit where she set up a group for pregnant drug-users.
‘It wasn’t until my friend said “duh” that I thought: “Yes, maybe subconsciously I’ve done this to stop these women killing other women’s grandmothers,”’ she says. I’m not a major fan of Sigmund Freud but…
‘Even now, I’m known for being a specialist in child and particularly adolescent mental health. Often, it’s around 15 that that “help me” moment comes.’
To the public, the striking 47-year-old is best known as the TV expert on shows such as The House Of Tiny Tearaways and Little Angels. She has broadcast for Newsnight, written a government review on internet child safety, co-written comedy with Jennifer Saunders and is a regular columnist for The Times and Good Housekeeping.
Byron juggles all these commitments with 25 hours of clinical practice a week and being the mother to two teenagers, Lily and Jack. As we talk in her bright, north London kitchen-diner, she is applying make-up for her next meeting. Now there is also this book, offering an occasionally unflattering portrait of her younger self as well as fascinating composite case studies of some of the vulnerable patients she encountered at a stage when she ‘was often just one chapter ahead of them’.
There's Imogen, a perfectionist, with severe anorexia gluing her parents’ marriage together. There's Molly, struck dumb by the trauma of seeing her younger sister drown. But perhaps most poignant is the story of Harold, a Holocaust survivor aware he is developing dementia, a disease that has already reincarcerated his wife’s mind in the concentration camp.
But despite the reality of it all confesses Byron - ‘It’s all fictionalised. Nobody who has ever been a patient of mine will think: “Oh, that’s me”. I still do clinical work and client confidentiality is absolutely core to what I do.’
Books such as psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz’s The Examined Life and the work of the neurologist Oliver Sacks have proved popular with readers. ‘Often though they follow the pure analytical process where the analyst remains unseen,’ says Byron. ‘But I felt that if I was going to be talking about other people’s narratives, I should really talk about my own. When I thought about how I felt about mental health, it felt pertinent to say how inept and anxious I had been at times.
‘I didn’t want to do that thing of saying some of us are sane and some of us are mad, because I don’t really believe that. I wanted to show that all of us are struggling and muddling through. Find a narrative and you can often help people.’
This is the second instalment in the chilling Three Evangelist Series, from quadruple CWA International Dagger-Winning author Fred Vargas.
Louis Kehlweiler has been a powerful investigator with the Ministry of the Interior. Since he was sacked by newcomers who didn't respect his powers he has still kept up his investigations with the help of his old cronies, with Marthe, an elderly prostitute, leader of the band. He still uses the park benches of Paris as his lookout posts which he has numbered for convenience up to 137.
One problem is that Marthe is getting old and confuses 102 for 107. Louis is also showing the strain and now that his latest girlfriend has left, the "love of his life" is Bufo, a toad that he carries with him almost everywhere except cafè's where Bufo gets a bit panicky and would do the same to the patrons.
Spying through the windows of a Paris flat belonging to a politician's nephew, Louis Kehlweiler catches sight of something out of place down on the footpath - an object, small and white, surrounded by dog poo. A human bone! But when Kehlweiler takes his find down to the local police station, he's ridiculed and teased. Yet this tiny fragment obsesses him so much that he starts to investigate, following the trail to the tiny Breton fishing village of Port-Nicolas where there's a dog. A dog that would take a bite out of anything. Even the foot of a corpse.
However, where is the corpse? Or the murderer?
If you can take wacky characters and strange plots, and want a change from your normal NYPD/CSI type crime thrillers then this one might be the one for you. This is a very different wacky thriller that kept the pages turning as strange things kept happening. At times it was brilliant and at others pretty silly. It goes all over the place, twisting like a French farce with every challenge and re-challenge. I was suitably impressed.
Fred Vargas was born in Paris in 1957. As well as being a best-selling author in France, she (yes She!) is an historian and archaeologist.
She worked at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), which she joined in 1988. She later joined the Institut Pasteur, as a eukaryotic archaeologist.
She mostly writes police thrillers (policiers). They take place in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg and his team. Her interest in the Middle Ages is manifest in many of her novels, especially through the person of Marc Vandoosler, a young specialist in the period. Seeking Whom He May Devour was shortlisted by the British Crime Writers' Association for the last Gold Dagger award for best crime novel of the year, and the following year The Three Evangelists won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie International Dagger. She also won the award for the second year-running with Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand.
Tune in at the earlier time of 6PM for a special pre-festival show. we'll be attending a few of the concerts and reporting back next week but for now we'll give you a run down of what to see and groove to. Tune in from 6.00PM.
5.30am - 6.30am, 25 April, Wellington Cenotaph, Lambton Quay
Meet at the junction of Bunny Street and Lambton Quay.
The Dawn Service honours the New Zealanders and Australians who died at Gallipoli, and by extension all those who've fought for New Zealand. 5.40am:The public are invited to march behind the veterans in the parade to the Cenotaph. Bring torches.The march will be conducted by the Wellington Returned and Services Association (RSA). 5.45am:The public will be able to view the service on a big screen set up on Lambton Quay, near the corner of Molesworth Street. 6.30am: At the end of the Dawn Service, the parade will march to Pipitea Marae on Thorndon Quay where the Mayor will be hosting refreshments and ANZAC biscuits.
Event proceeds rain or shine. Free and open to the public.
6.15am - 5pm, 25 April, National War Memorial, Buckle Street
A vigil will be mounted at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior from dawn to dusk by a NZ Defence Force Catafalque Guard.
Wellington city citizens: commemorative service
25 April, St Paul’s Cathedral, corner of Molesworth and Hill streets
9am: Parade from Wellington Cathedral car park, Hill street to St Paul's Cathedral
9.10am: Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and the President, Wellington RSA take the salute from the cathedral steps in Hill Street
9.30am: Wellington Civic Commemorative Service marking the 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings
10.15am: Address by Mayor of Wellington, Ms Celia Wade-Brown
The service proceeds rain or shine. However, if raining, the parade will be cancelled - this will be advised over Radio Newstalk ZB. Free and open to the public.
Wellington city citizens: wreath-laying ceremony
10.20am (following Cathedral service), 25 April, Wellington Cenotaph, Lambton Quay
If raining, the wreath-laying ceremony will move inside the Cathedral (announcements on Radio Newstalk ZB). Free and open to the public.
National commemorative service: wreath-laying ceremony
11am, 25 April, forecourt of Parliament Buildings, Molesworth Street
This outdoor ceremony has been moved from its usual location at the National War Memorial due to the current reconstruction / refurbishment of the Memorial.
Full live coverage can be viewed on TV One from 11am to 12 noon.
Music provided by:
The Seraphim Choir of Chilton St James School
Band of the Royal NZ Air Force
Atatūrk War Memorial: wreath-laying ceremony
2pm, 25 April, Atatūrk Memorial, Tarakena Bay (near Moa Point on Wellington's South Coast)
This ceremony honours the Turks who died defending their country. Symbolic of the strong bonds that can grow between countries who were formerly enemies, it recognises the enduring friendship that has emerged between New Zealand and Turkey since WW1.
Atatūrk was a general in the war who later became a modernist leader in Turkey, and is often referred to as the founder of Modern Turkey.
2.30pm, National War Memorial, Buckle Street
Organ recital by Timothy Hurd QSM, Carillonist.
“Songs from Times of War” Anzac concert
7pm - 8.15pm, 25 April, Opera House, 111 / 113 Manners Street
Featuring The Beat Girls and the Swing Band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Songs from Times of War is a musical tribute to the servicemen and women, families and workers of the First and Second World Wars.
Special guests: Stephanie Paris, Grant Sullivan and Bill Watkins
Gold coin entry.
Indeed with an interview with, err Kiwi writer Sebastian Hampson plus we check out the Albums "So French, So Chic" (The official Album of the 2014 French Film Festival); 'Afrocubism' and "Rising Son' by Takuya Kuroda - See you at 8.30pm Thursday on Groove,
Yes, believe it or not it's 30 years since the Trades Hall bombing at 5.19 on 27 March. Groove is now located in the very same building these days and we are constantly reminded of the incident. I remember it well as I was over at my Dad's warehouse waiting for a ride home from rugby practice when we heard the commotion. I didn't actually hear the bang but we caw the smoke and the police, people pouring out of near by buildings in shock. It was a very confusing time. We didn't learn the details until much later.
We head back to WOMAD to talk to Pokey Lafarge and we also check out the newest retro chick on the block - Tami Neilson.
Pokey LaFarge is a musician, songwriter, bandleader, entertainer, innovator and preservationist, whose arsenal of talents has placed him at the forefront of American music. Over the last decade, Pokey has won the hearts of music lovers across the globe with his creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing. After signing with Jack White’s Third Man Records to release his fifth full-length album (Pokey LaFarge) in 2013, he performed as a musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show on Ireland’s RTÉ One network. Pokey’s rendition of “Lovesick Blues” with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, featured on an episode of Boardwalk Empire, was selected for inclusion on the series’ official soundtrack (Vol. 2). Additionally, Pokey appeared in Disney’s The Lone Ranger (both on screen and on the original score), was featured on A Prairie Home Companion and NPR’s World Cafe, and recorded a song for ATO Records’ Divided & United: Songs of the Civil War, produced by Randall Poster.
2014 looks to be Pokey’s most momentous year yet; by spring, Pokey will have brought his music to five continents, with international tours in India, Australia and New Zealand. In the past year, Pokey’s tour trail (consisting of over 250 shows) included appearances at clubs and festivals across the USA and Canada as well as two extensive tours in Europe. Pokey has played with the likes of Jack White, The Raconteurs, Wanda Jackson, Old Crow Medicine Show, and most recently, Carolina Chocolate Drops. As an opening act on Jack White’s Blunderbuss tour, he delighted sold out crowds at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Radio City Music Hall, among other notable venues in North America. Pokey is currently touring with a five-piece backing band, including his original bandmates (Ryan Koenig on harmonica, washboard and snare, Adam Hoskins on guitar and Joey Glynn on upright bass), in addition to Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet and TJ Muller on cornet.
At only 30 years old, Pokey’s career has not slowed in momentum since it began with his first release Marmalade (2007). Shortly followed by Beat, Move and Shake (2008) and Riverboat Soul (2010), Pokey quickly graduated from breakthrough artist to leading musical figure, receiving two consecutive Independent Music Awards for Best Americana Album (Riverboat Soul and Middle of Everywhere).
Pokey’s music transcends the confines of genre, continually challenging the notion that tradition-bearers fail to push musical boundaries. Rather than merely conjuring up half-forgotten imagery of days past, Pokey is a lyrical storyteller, the plot delivered smoothly through his dynamic vocals. Both on stage and off, his effortless wit never fails to charm audiences, giving way to a live music experience that manages to be grandiose and unassuming all at once. Born in the heartland of America and based in St. Louis, Missouri, Pokey’s Midwestern charisma welcomes his audiences with open arms.
Pokey LaFarge is on a mission, encouraging fans worldwide to think differently about what it means to celebrate musical traditions. Simply put, Pokey explains, “It’s not retro music. It’s American music that never died.”
With a soulful voice straight from the golden age of country and rockabilly music, Tami Neilson has been described as "A red-hot honky-tonker, somewhere between Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson with perhaps just a little bit of Peggy Lee sophistication.” (-Nick Bollinger, NZ National Radio)
Singing her heart out along endless roads and stages, from her days as a young girl in the touring Neilson Family band opening for the likes of Johnny Cash to her full blossoming as a formidable talent in her own right, Tami Neilson has won the Tui Award for each of her past three albums.
In the past year Tami has performed at numerous international festivals in New Zealand, Australia and North America, headlined 5 national tours, working with “Grand Ole Hayride” and “The Gunslingers Ball”, opened for both Emmylou Harris at the Vector Arena and Pokey LaFarge and was chosen to pay tribute at Dave Dobbyn’s induction into the Hall of Fame in a stunning performance at the prestigious Silver Scrolls.
Now, with her explosive new album “Dynamite!” she’s bound to turn even more heads.
Her first album to be recorded solely in New Zealand at TheSitting Room in Lyttelton and produced by Delaney Davidson and Ben Edwards, “Dynamite!” showcases Tami’s skill at writing and crafting a song and her diversity as an artist.
Moving easily through blues driven numbers like “Walk (Back to Your Arms)” and “Dynamite”, Tami shows us new facets in the jewel, her soulful side with “Cry Over You” and her maple-sweetness in “Honey Girl”, before she kicks it up with rockin’ numbers like “Woo-Hoo” and “Come Over”. Those familiar with her previous work will be happy to hear the country lament “You Lie” and her bell-like “Texas”, keeping one foot squarely planted in the country corner.
A couple of duets appear on the album: young Marlon Williams leaves us breathless while matching Tami word for word in the fun and frantic “Woo Hoo” , Ben Woolley croons with heartbreak of a spurned suitor in “Whiskey and Kisses”, while fellow hay-rider Delaney Davidson’s worries are kissed away in “Running to You”.
Steel playing wizard Red McKelvie came out of retirement to play on the songs after he heard the demos. The album also features Dave Khan on fiddle, mandolin and guitar, bass and backing vocals. Joe MacCallum on drums & percussion and Ben Woolley (The Unfaithful Ways) on bass and backing vocals.
And check this out - a whole magazine about Vintage - Glory Days!
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