Autism and Cancer

Some early thoughts on autism and cancer.


This post will consist of some early thoughts about Autism and Cancer and also some pictures from my new abode. However before getting into the main meat of the post there is an issue to address briefly first…


In brief: DO NOT USE!! For more detail read the rest of this section. Before moving on to my onw thoughts a couple of honourable mentions: the Neurodivergent Rebel has posted some good stuff about the abuse of function level labels in relation to autism and Laina via both and her sharing site lainascollections has also covered the issue.

I am often labelled as a high functioning autistic (indeed readers of this site will be aware that I was already into my 30s before being recognized as autistic at all) but that is highly misleading and dangerous. People noting my overall intelligence and articulateness and the fact that I devour books at rapid rate assume I need little support. Not true – there are some things that I struggle badly with and where support is needed. The “High Functioning” label is at best misleading and at worst it is downright dangerous.


Managing cancer is a challenge but considered in isolation one that can be handled. Managing autism is sometimes a challenge (and sometimes autism works in my favour), and taken in isolation it is not too difficult. Managing cancer through the prism of autism is an enormous challenge. Apart from my regular blood thinning injections (I had two blood clots while being treated in hospital), which are still administered by a district nurse I am now largely responsible for taking my own medications of which there are huge quantities.  I also need to do things like monitor body temperature (currently seems to be stabilised at 36.1 C) and weight (one effect of being so ill is that now weigh less than at any time since my mid-teens. 


A small army of staff at Addenbrookes went way above and beyond the call of duty in looking after me and treating me during the worst of the illness. To name names would be invidious – you all know who you are and you are all absolute heroes. Understaffed and underfunded as it is the NHS is kept functioning by the efforts of people like this, who can still crack a smile when they have been rushed off their feet for 13 hours straight.


For about the first two weeks I spent at Addenbrookes I was effectively completely immobile (for a few days I was wired up to an oxygen mask), and for about a week before that I had hardly been mobile at all, so I lost a lot of strength from my legs. Once I was able to be mobile I took to walking up and down the ward when I felt strong enough, starting with small distances and working my way up gradually. Before I finished I could on a good day walk up and down the ward 20 times without stopping. I felt a benefit of this yesterday when I did a small amount of walking in King’s Lynn town centre to do my christmas shopping. 


I promised some pictures and here they are:

Cricket Corner! (some of my cricket books are on other shelves as well but this is most of them)
Display items in sitting room


Thomas’ Cabinet of Curiosities (units assembled by Simon from NAS, treasures arranged by my father) – named in honour of Ian Stewart;s “Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities”.
A close up of one section.


1907 railway map (facsimile)


The Morden Map of Norfolk in its new niche.
Two views through the windows to finish – being able to look straight at green space is a privilege.


Petition: Don’t sell off NHS Professionals

An important petition about the NHS – please sign and share.

Don’t sell off NHS Professionals

This comes courtesy of the campaign group – click the screenshot below to sign and share this very important petition:


England Take The Lead In 2015 Ashes

A bit about England’s magnificent win at Edgbaston, an infographic about an event being staged by Surrey, some quality links and infographics.


I have some links and infographics as well as my main piece. I hope that you will enjoy this post and be encouraged to share it.


England responded to the battering they took at Lord’s in the best possible way, by storming to a three-day victory at Edgbaston to restore their lead in the series. Australia won by 405 runs at Lords, England by eight wickets here. I reckon this constitutes the most spectacular about turn in fortunes in successive ashes matches since 1965-66 when the teams traded innings victories in the second and third matches of the series.

Particularly welcome was the return to top form of Steven Finn who followed James Anderson’s first innings six-for with six wickets of his own the second. Among the scraps left by these two were enough wickets for Stuart Broad to reach 300 in tests. Ian Bell whose poor form had him in the last chance saloon with the last orders bell being sounded came up with two fifties in the match in front of his home crowd – and given the low scoring nature of the game these were easily worth centuries on a flat one.

An unfortunate injury means that for the fourth match at Trent Bridge England have the unenviable task of attempting to fill an Anderson shaped hole in their squad.

To finish this cricket related section, Surrey are putting on an event to celebrate women’s and girls cricket featuring current England captain Charlotte Edwards, head of ECB women’s cricket Clare Connor and being hosted by Surrey”s Director of women’s cricket Ebony Rainford-Brent…

Women's cricket


My first set of links follow on from my last blog post and feature more on…


First up an event that will probably remain unique in the history of aspiblog – a link to an article in the Daily Mail

Next, courtesy of Huffington Post, this piece by wildlife expert and occasional ballroom dancer Steve Backshall

Finally on this particular topic, this from The Age.



Tonight is the second full moon in July – a rare event called a Blue Moon and best know for the cliche “once in a blue moon”. For a detailed account of the phenomenon check out this piece from

Next, courtesy of livescience come two dinosaur related links:

1)A new discovery of a dinosaur with an exceptional sense of smell

2)Photographs of remains of one of the largest animals ever to walk the earth.

Dinosaur bone

Ending this subsection on science, courtesy of, this piece about the Earth’s magnetic shield being older than previously thought.


Just two connected pieces here:

1)A post on Patheos about an atheist suffering persecution

2)The original blog post that triggered the Patheos piece.


Again, just two connected pieces:

1)An update on a petition calling on Lego to positively represent disabled people

2)And a piece courtesy of themighty that connects to the above petition.


I finish this post with two infographics, one from the Corbyn campaign and one on the subject of NHS pay…

Corbyn NHS

Autism Related Meeting in Norwich

An account of an autism related meeting in Norwich, loads of links, some quality dragon pictures, some infographics and some other pictures.


Although this post is based around my attending a meeting to do with Autism at the Charing Cross Centre in Norwich I have lots of other stuff to share as well, in the form of photos, infographics from various sources and a plentiful supply of links.


The purpose of the meeting was to contribute towards a wide scale report on improving Mental Health services across the board. The speaker, who has been travelling around the country listening to ideas from people emphasized that one of the things his report would contain was a statement that it must be shared with contributors.

One of the (many) disastrous things that has been happening over the last few years has been a removal of investment from preventative care in favour of crisis management.

One of the commissioners for the Norfolk and Suffolk PCT actually told the manager of Asperger East Anglia that she should tell staff “to stop working with people after three months”, which demonstrates a scandalous lack of understanding of Autistic Spectrum Conditions.

As the only person in attendance to be actually autistic rather than either a professional working in the field or a parent/ carer of someone with an Autistic Spectrum Condition I made several contributions.

The final report should be complete by the start of October, and if we have not heard anything by the start of November we have been given a green light to contact Jane Sayer at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.


I have already dedicated a whole blog post to the dragons that can be seen in and around Norwich at the moment, but yesterday I was in parts of Norwich not covered in that post, so I have some more dragons for you…

The first four pictures are of McFly, who sits just outside the City Hall
The first four pictures are of McFly, who sits just outside the City Hall

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An educational dragon "The rise and demise of the dinosaurs"
An educational dragon “The rise and demise of the dinosaurs”

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This is Mr Wing, who resides just outside The Forum
This is Mr Wing, who resides just outside The Forum

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"Dragofly", one of two full size dragons (plus a clutch of babies) to be found inside The Forum
“Dragofly”, one of two full size dragons (plus a clutch of babies) to be found inside The Forum

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Luda, the other dragon to found inside the forum.
Luda, the other dragon to found inside the forum.

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GoGo King Tut, the Egyptian dragon
GoGo King Tut, the Egyptian dragon

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Norwich Twilight, looking out over the marketplace.
Norwich Twilight, looking out over the marketplace.
Morgan, in one of the streets that feeds into the marketplace.
Morgan, in one of the streets that feeds into the marketplace.

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"Eye Spy Cecil", near Castle Mall.
“Eye Spy Cecil”, near Castle Mall.

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Skipper, in the arcade.
Skipper, in the arcade.


Double Decker, Castle Meadow.
Double Decker, Castle Meadow.

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I did not get this one's name, but s/he guards the castle itself
I did not get this one’s name, but s/he guards the castle itself

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My first two links are both related and come courtesy of Dr Marquis Grant. They are both to do with a survey for autistic people:

1)A blog post advertising the survey

2)A link to the survey itself


.Firstly, two links relating to the campaign to get Jason Rezaians released:

1)The current state of play according to petition hosts

2)An article about this campaign in the Washington Post.

A petition that I have referred to several times previously in this blog is Fiona Paddon’s petition calling on the NHS to provide free tests from Group B Strep, which now has over 180,000 signatures. The next step is to pile on the pressure bby writing to MPs, to which end I have two links for you…

1)The site for locating MPs to write to.

2)A short cut for those of you who are like me) in Mr Bellingham’s constituency.

Finally in this subsection, a petition calling for the mayor of London to get dangerous lorries off the roads (so far this year lorries are responsible for the deaths of eight cyclists in the capital).


In this subsection are links to the some of the best blogs and blogposts I have found recently…

First up, Caroline Lucas standing up for the welfare state.

Next, the website and blog of one of my recent twitter followers, Mr Nobody:



A recent wordpress acquaintance is fargaregardsanna whose offerings include this on the work of Max Tegmark.

Having just mentioned the extraordinary Max Tegmark, this seemed a natural place to mention a book devoted to the strangest aspects of science, which it so happens that I read on the bus to Norwich yesterday.
Having just mentioned the extraordinary Max Tegmark, this seemed a natural place to mention a book devoted to the strangest aspects of science, which it so happens that I read on the bus to Norwich yesterday.

Faraday’s Candle are regular producers of marvellous science and nature related stuff, and this piece on The Arches National Park is comfortably up to their usual high standard.


Four infographics to share today. First, by way of Abby Tomlinson on twitter this on abstaining in the face of oppression:

AT on Labour

Next up, this on Austerity:


This on energy is probably the most important of the four:


Finally, this on the Great Gathering for Voting Reform:



I hope that you enjoy this blog post as much as I have enjoyed creating it, and that some at least of you will be inspired to share it. I finish with some non-dragon related photos from Norwich…

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Accounts of three petitions at different stages:
1)Provide tests for Group B Strep to prevent any more avoidable deaths of newborn babies, recently launhed via
2)Mind’s petition calling for mental health services to receive a fair share of funding.
3)The successful petition re Protein World’s vile “is your body beach ready?” ads


This is going to be a very brief post, but there is some important information to share, about three petitions that are at different stages of their lives. Highly unusually for this blog there are no pictures.



The first of three petitions covered in this post comes from and the title really does say all that needs to be said:

Provide tests for Group B Strep to prevent any more avoidable deaths of newborn babies


This petition, launched by Mind, calling on the government to ensure that mental health services get their fair share of funding, has been delivered to Downing Street bearing over 100,000 signatures. The full story can be read on the Mind website.


When Protein World launched a series of ads targeting women with the question “is your body beach ready?”, the counter attack, in the form of a petition, was laucnhed via, and 71,111 signatures later, change has been achieved. Huffington Post, so often a source of good stories, have the full story on this one.


I hope you have all enjoyed this post, and will be encouraged to share it. Another post in my special series, “London Station by Station” will be going up in the not too distant future and later this week I hope to put up some posts about Marxism 2015 which I shall be attending.

Yesterdays Auction: A Personal Account

Before getting to the main meat of post I have a few links to share with you.


My first link is to a devastating expose of the bogus organisation Autism Speaks, courtesy of The Art of Autism.

My next link, for those of a scientific bent is to an interesting post on Faraday’s Candle.

My last two links are related, in that they refer to the necessity of making sure that on this day next week Downing Street is the scene of an eviction. First of all, a piece focussing on the NHS. Secondly, and accompanied by the picture that is at it’s heart comes this expose of just how vile the Tories are courtesy of Vox Political.

Despicable Tory Poster


I have already written about the presence of a display for the Great Centenary Charity Auction on their website. Here is a single picture to whet your appetite for that…


A combination of the necessity of being on a bus that was due to leave at 7:00AM and wanting have lots of time to make my preparations before setting off meant that I rose at a ludicrously early hour (suffice to say that even with summer approaching and the cricket season well under way I was up before the sun).

The presence of TV cameras filming Antiques Road Trip meant that I felt obliged to dress for the occasion, wearing a previously unworn shirt, a tie and a smart jacket that I knew would go with the shirt. I knew I would be on camera, because I was going to be on the rostrum next to the auctioneer when the road trip lots were going under the hammer. We were also providing training to a colleague, who did a couple of stints on the rostrum, immediately before the break to set up for the road trip stuff, and taking over after the road trip section had finished to do the final furlong (well we were at a racecourse!).

The two experts, Charlie Ross and James Braxton, both made a point of shaking hands with David and myself before leaving. It will be interesting when it finally goes out on air to see how it all looks.

After a quiet start, with the postcards doing nothing and the banknotes not all that much, things did pick up. I got one set of bookmarks, although not the ones I had really wanted.

The auction finished as expected just before 3:30PM, and then it was just a matter of clearing up. Finally, at 4:50PM the last van load was dealt with, giving me time for a pint at the Bull Inn, Bridge Street before catching the bus home.

I finally got back to my flat almost exactly 12 hours after setting out. A change of clothes, a quick call at my Aunts house to pick up the post and see if the plants needed any watering (they did not – it had evidently rained in King;s Lynn earlier in the day) and I was finally able to switch off.

Here are some pictures from the auction room before things got underway properly…

Antiques Road Trip lots on display
Antiques Road Trip lots on display
All the Antiques Road Trip Lots are visible in this shot.
All the Antiques Road Trip Lots are visible in this shot.
The view from the rostrum.
The view from the rostrum.
The front cover lot.
The front cover lot.
The view from the back of the room
The view from the back of the room
Precious items in this auction.
Precious items in this auction.

The Last of the April Imaging and Some Cool Links

Because yesterday was a public holiday the bus company were running a Sunday service, and because yesterday was a Friday it was a working day for me. Therefore, I got the first bus of the morning (the 9:25) to Fakenham and was able, all the essential work having been accomplished, to get home on the 15:35. Before I move on to details of the imaging I was doing, I have a fabulous selection of links for you to follow.

LINKS Natalie Bennett gives David Cameron an epic tell off. The site you need to visit if you have not yet registered to vote. An excellent article about portrayal of mental health. An example of impenetrable English. A talk given by the philosopher Daniel Dennett An excellent idea for improving the support available to autistic kids in Australian schools (I reckon we could use it in this country as well). An inspiring interview of one of my favourite bloggers. This is the link to my personalised graphic for why I am voting Labour.


There were just the three of us at James and Sons yesterday, me and my colleagues Chris and Andrew. The two most senior members of staff were at a collectors fair. I had some bulky stamp lots and a couple of pictures to image first up, and then got the really fiddly stuff (old car logbooks and collections of bookmarks) to image later.

I started with the pictures because I wanted to get them stowed out of harm’s way quickly. Pictures, especially if they have a protective covering of glass, can be tough to image, but I reckoned these two came out OK…

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The stamp lots were not especially inspiring, but there is one that I think worth sharing…

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Just for completeness sake here is a single example of a logbook lot…

This is a composite image showing both sides of the logbooks
This is a composite image showing both sides of the logbooks
These two are the individual images that  combined to make the other.
These two are the individual images that combined to make the other.


I have no idea how much collections of bookmarks will make at auction, but they were fun (if a bit fiddly) to image, and there were many that appealed to me (given my tastes there would have been a big problem had it been otherwise!)…

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I will end this post, as day two of the Classic FM Hall of Fame begins, with my personalised “Why I am voting Labour” graphic…