About Me

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I am a 68-year-old gay disabled amateur part-time writer living in Slough, Berkshire UK. I have published around 50 articles in 20 leisure and lifestyle magazines. I live with a range of health issues including heart disease, chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression, atrial fibrillation and restless leg syndrome. (I'm working my way through the medical dictionary!). I'm a member of Slough Writer's Group which is interesting and informative. Latest News. 10th July 2023 Awarded 'The Sandy Lee-Guard Award for Endeavour' by the Slough Writers Group. 6th December 2023 Completed studying 'Writing for Magazines' with CityLit University. January 2nd 2024. Fell over in the lounge and fractured my left femur (whilst recovering from fracturing my right femur in July 2023). Recovery expected to take 6 - 8 months. May 2024. Completed studying ' National Centre for Writing' course 'Creative Non-Fiction - An Introduction'. You can see the articles that have been published in the 'LATEST WORK' section of my website.

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Wednesday 26th April.

I haven't posted for a week. I've had stuff on. On Monday, I had a 'virtual' online consultation with the team at Harefield Hospital, and today, I had an 'in-person appointment to have blood taken and an e.c.g. taken. This is in preparation for my angiogram/angioplasty on 3rd May.

On the study front, I've 'dipped my toe' into Block 1, Unit 1, and was not pleased that there was an analysis of Shakespeare and Martin Luther King. I'm going to revisit it when I'm more in 'study mode'.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Wednesday - Study Planning

 During the 'Options Week', I plan to study the OpenLearn free course 'Writing what you know'. I've studied it before, but I'm going to study it more thoroughly this time.

I had originally hoped to study for a degree in 'Creative Writing', but I think that there may be too much analyzing poetry and other texts (Which I find extremely stressful and difficult), so first, (depending on my result for TMA02) I'd like to study an Open Foundation in Creative Writing with the Open College of the Arts (if I can get funded) and see how I cope with that.

In October, after completing the 'Y031 Arts and language access module' I plan to study the Open University short course ' AXS004 a study of documentary film' as I want to learn more about writing for documentary ('The creative treatment of actuality' - 'Grierson’s definition of documentary filmmaking').

Monday 17 April 2023

Monday's MRI

Today, I had a 'Cardiac Stress MRI' scan at Harefield (Heart) Hospital.

It was horrible. I didn't mind being slid into the 'tunnel' of the machine, nor the noise. What I intensely disliked was being injected with a drug to make my heart work harder and faster. It took longer than expected and the radiographer made several attempts to insert a cannula. I've now got arms like pincushions!

Saturday 15 April 2023


No posting yesterday. I was unwell and spent most of the day in bed and offline. Feeling a bit better today.

Thursday 13 April 2023


 Not a bad day today, but not doing any studying as I'm under (doctor's) orders to take it easy.

Today, I've registered to do a six-week Open University short course 'A Story of documentary film.'

Tonight, I'm attending a media networking event 'Creative Collective'.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Health Advice Please?

 Hi everyone,

I'm currently studying an Open University module Y031 Arts and Languages access module after which I hope to go for a degree in Creative Writing.

I have a range of health issues including heart disease, acute angina, chronic kidney disease, atrial fibrillation, coeliac disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and restless leg syndrome (I'm working my way through the medical dictionary!).

I'm having a Cardiac Stress MRI scan at Harefield (Heart) Hospital on Monday. It's not a very pleasant procedure and I'm very anxious about it. I'm not anxious about being inside the scanner but am VERY anxious about the drug they inject to make the heart work faster and harder. I've had it before and it's really unpleasant.

I asked my GP for something that would calm me, such as diazepam, to help me through the next few days. However, she declined as such medicine would react with some of the other medicines I'm on.

The point of my posting here is that I wondered if anyone has any advice on how I can reduce my anxiety levels. I can't take much physical exercise due to my angina. However, I'm wondering if anyone can recommend any herbal alternatives that can help reduce my anxiety levels.

Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. Please email me at sloughwriter@gmail.com Many thanks in anticipation.


Nothing much happening today. Not really in the right frame of mind to do any studying. I really must try to get to grips with Unit 7 (Performance Poetry) but maybe I'm procrastinating.

I had some good news. I've had my short story 'Under the Night' accepted by the Gay Authors Workshop for inclusion in their next newsletter.

Tuesday 11 April 2023


 Again, I'm not feeling too good. I usually feel rough for a couple of hours after taking my medication, and I did this morning. However, I'm still feeling unwell at 2pm.

I rang the Health Centre this morning and the doctor called me back at around 12:30. I asked for something to reduce the anxiety that I'm feeling about my forthcoming Cardiac stress MRI next week. After a brief chat, she said that she could perhaps prescribe Diazepam (Valium) but when she checked she found that it conflicted with some of the medication I'm already taking, so declined. I also asked her for a prescription for 'Gaviscon' before I ran out. She prescribed it to be dispensed at Langley Pharmacy in the Health Centre.

I had a call from 'Kim' at the memory clinic about a referral made for me months ago. She asked me if I wanted to go for a referral, but first, she wanted to talk to Simon to ask him for the latest 'state of play' regarding his observations of me. He agreed that I didn't need any help as I've improved much since joining the Slough Writers Group and commencing my Open University course. So Kim closed the case with my agreement.

Simon went to Sainsbury's at around 2pm for a few supplies including some large potatoes so that I could have baked potatoes later. I've come to really enjoy baked potatoes recently.

15:45 I'm still not feeling too well. I checked my blood sugars and they were low so I took some glucose lozenges but they haven't helped.

I've just downloaded Grammarly and it's checking and suggesting as I type into my blog. I'm quite pleased with it.

Monday 10 April 2023

Easter Bank Holiday Monday

 I wasn't very well on Saturday and Sunday, so didn't do any work on TMA02.

On Sunday, we went to Georgie's for lunch.

Felt very unwell on Monday but felt much better by lunchtime. Worked on rewriting and editing sections of TMA02. Checked and submitted it at around 12:15.

Saturday 8 April 2023

Good Friday

I've had the blues this week. I've had pains in my chest. My GP sent an ambulance to assess me and they took me to Wexham Park Hospital (blues and twos). I had ecg's, x-rays and blood tests. My tripionine levels came back elevated.

I was transferred from A&E to the assesment ward overnight. The doctors diagnosed a stomach problem and have referred me for a endoscopy investigation (On top of all the other investigations that I have coming up!).

I was discharged and told to take things easy for a few days.

Monday 3 April 2023

Monday malware

 At my tutorial this afternoon, my tutor took me through all the sections of TMA02. Nothing like what I'd already written! I have acute angina at the moment, so won't be reviewing or rewriting it for a couple of days.

Kept getting annoying 'notifications' telling me that my laptop was under threat from viruses so, on the advice of a good friend, a computer expert, I've downloaded and run AVG virus protection software and it told me that no malicious threats were detected.

Saturday 1 April 2023

Sunday the Second

 02:00 Can't sleep. Bad dreams earlier.

I've been thinking of, and making notes of, words and phrases for my poetry.

I'm looking through and reviewing my website www.richardhill.co.uk. I've tried to edit the HTML on my laptop, but was unable to. I'll have to make changes on my PC not on my laptop.

I looked at an online service offering royalty-free images. It has thousands, any of which you can download, but not in JPEG format. I'd like images to apply to each and all of my poems.

11:50 Feeling better now after having had a calm and comfortable sleep.

I've been editing a couple of my poems, adding images.

Earlier, I feinted and fell over. I banged my head. I've taken codeine for the (bad) headache.

Tried to edit and add photo to a poem, but it didn't look right, so I've abandoned the idea.

Later in the day, I reviewed and edited my website on my PC.

I've been 'playing' with the laptop, but not much else. I'm not in the mood for studying, definitely tomorrow, before my tutorial.


April fools day.

 I didn't want to post anything before noon, in case it was thought to be an April Fools prank!

I took Simon to his 'Lung screening' at 8:30 this morning, so didn't take my morning medication until around 09:45 It's made me feel rough all morning and into the afternoon.

I had a 'Creative Writing' online class booked for 10:00 this morning, but I logged in to discover that it was organised in quite an inept manner, and there was no 'chat' facility, so I logged out at 10:20.

I've got a 'Poetry' online class at 13:30. I hope that this is better organised and presented as I'm hoping that in part, at least, will include the analysis and understanding of poetry.

Watch this space!