Jake and Shane’s story.

Psychiatric Drugs do More Harm Than Good.

Myself, Stephanie, Kim, Mathy and Wendy spoke at Peter Gotzsche’s Copenhagen Conference ‘psychiatric drugs do more harm than good’ (see the last post for details). I’m very proud to call these women my friends. This video shows Stephanie’s talk followed by mine. I’ll put the others up as we get them. Please be informed of the possible dangers of these drugs. For Jake, Shane and all the many SSRI victims..

Copenhagen: Psychiatric Drugs do more Harm Than Good


Copenhagen here we come..

So myself and the poor unfortunate husband took ourselves off to Copenhagen for a Conference ‘Psychiatric drugs do more harm than good‘. Peter Gøtzsche (physician, medical researcher, and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Centre), was bullied into had invited us to speak, along with our fellow Irish friends Stephanie and John, and three American ladies that I had long admired.

I had said, through ‘hell or high water’, nothing was going to stop me from going. Are you listening GOD – I had meant it as a joke, not literally! Firstly a traffic jam on the N11 meant we had to take a de-tour through the Wicklow countryside, causing a slightly frazzled and frantic dash for Dublin airport. Arriving safely (and in a timely fashion) in Copenhagen, we met with our gorgeous UK friends, Mr and Mrs AntiDepAware and we all boarded the train to Nørreport.  After a few minutes of lively chatter, the train decided to give up the ghost and came to a standstill – leaving us packed like frying sardines into a fastly deteriorating atmosphere and a very steamy (and very sealed) capsule. After about 30 minutes, when the condensation began running down the windows and the frazzled commuters were looking increasingly manic, in what seemed to be an unprecedented move, the doors were opened and we were allowed to walk (underground) to the next station. Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Daylight’ was coming to mind, but I thought i’d better keep that particular thought to myself. The Danes are lovely though and once the doors opened, the relief was palpable. Never one to miss a photo opportunity, I took my phone out and a pretty Dane asked was it okay if she photo-bombed me. I was told later that this train event was highly unusual and even made the TV News – typical that we just happened to be on it at the same time.

norreport underground from copenhagen airport

Underground, off the train bound for Norreport, copenhagen

We then arrived at our ‘cheap and cheerful’ hotel, whereupon my fellow Irish friend Stephanie proceeded to throw a strop and refused point-blank to step one further step into this ‘quaint’ establishment. Having got her money back, she exited stage-left (with her poor hubby in tow) to more salubrious surroundings, leaving us, her poor Irish and UK friends, to our less posh surroundings and to share a bathroom with everyone else on the same floor. Our UK friends, with that very British Stoicism, seemed happy enough to make the best of it – not like our fair-weather Irish friends. The weather then decided to ‘chuck it down’ – with deafening thunder and lightning for added effect.

We went for dinner that evening with Robert Whitaker (American journalist and author), Peter Gøtzsche (pronounced Gurchur) and our fellow speakers: kim witczak, Wendy Dolin and Mathy Dowling. We also got to meet the lovely Denis (Danilo’s dad) and an equally lovely medical student (name pronounced Annis). Wow, what amazing people. It’s an evening I will never forget, being in the same room as people that I had long admired through webpages and videos. Each time I spoke, Peter Gøtzsche would look at me with a quizzical expression (as if I was speaking Swahili) and kindly said that I could say what I liked at the conference, as nobody would understand a word I said anyway (he’s bloody hilarious!).

kim witczak and Peter C. Gotzsche

kim witczak and Peter C. Gotzsche

The conference was on in the beautiful Bethesda building which was a few doors down from our hotel, so what our hotel lacked in classiness, it made up with location (despite everything, I’m still a glass half-full sorta gal). Robert Whitaker was fabulous, very down to earth and could understand me perfectly, which was an added bonus. Peter Breggin spoke from his home in New York through Skype, which despite the usual initial hiccups with sound, went surprisingly well. We met some amazing and fabulous people, and each of us spoke of our husbands and children, killed by a drug they should never have been prescribed. Stephanie did an amazing job for Jake, as did Kim for Woody, Mathy for Candice and Wendy for Stewart – I know Shane would have been very proud too. Our stories can be read in Peter’s new book Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial.

Copenhagen Night

Copenhagen Night

So there you have it, a fabulous and very informative day was had by all. After another lovely night spent with the ladies and Mr and Mrs Antidepaware, we headed (exhausted but happy) for bed. The following morning, after a mad dash to cram in the ‘Little Mermaid’ and a meeting with Peter G and the others in his Cochrane office, we then left for home, happy and content after this lovely, lovely experience.

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid


Cochrane Canteen

Two lovely ladies: Wendy and Stephanie

Two lovely ladies: Wendy and Stephanie

Thank you so much Peter C. Gøtzsche, Bob Whitaker, kim witczak, Wendy Dolin, Mathy Dowling, Stephanie and John, the Antidepawares, the lovely Denis and my better worse-half Tony.

The presentations should be on You-tube soon for anyone who wishes to view the day – I’ll update accordingly. Last word to Peter G (and C.S. Lewis)..


GSK: Glaxo, Study 329 and Keller..

Study 329

                                                        Study 329.

Let me explain a little about Study 329. This was a study done in the 90s to study the efficacy of paroxetine (aka Paxil/Seroxat) in teenagers. The study was conducted by Professor Martin Keller (et al) of Brown University and funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK, makers of Paroxetine). The findings that Paroxetine was ‘safe and effective for adolescents’ led to the widespread medicating of children with Paroxetine and other Selective Serotonin ReUptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

What surfaced later was that the study was in fact ghostwritten by a PR company for GSK and that far from being ‘well tolerated’ in children, Paroxetine actually caused children to become suicidal – a matter which was hidden by the drug company. If the SSRI era will stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine (David Healy), then Study 329 will as stand the most shameful in the history of Brown University and evidenced based medicine. The integrity of medical professionals and medical journals who publish ghostwritten articles that subsequently causes harm (in this case to children) must also be called into question. According to Shelly Jofre of the BBC, in one year alone, the lead author, Professor Keller, earned half a million dollars from drug companies, including GSK.

It’s interesting to note that the journal in question, The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, has consistently refused to retract the study. Furthermore, Brown University, despite huge controversy (and huge fines for GSK), has refused to reconsider its position and back a retraction. GSK’s fraudulent marketing of Paroxetine (and other drugs) led to the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history – 3 billion dollars.

I wrote to the President of Brown University, Christina Paxson (in 2013), regarding the University’s inaction with Study 329. She replied:

“As you note, there have been questions raised about Study 329 for a number of years.  The U.S. Justice Department’s settlement with GlaxoSmithKline and, most recently, the decision by the editors of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry not to retract the original paper have brought it back into the news. Brown University takes allegations of research misconduct very seriously.  Research integrity is a core value for Brown, and the University has put in place policies and procedures that respond forthrightly to any credible allegation of impropriety.  These policies and procedures support thorough and impartial reviews as warranted while preserving confidentiality for all participants.  I realize that the University’s concern for the integrity and confidentiality of the process can be misconstrued as inactivity.  I am satisfied that the University does not hesitate to take action when warranted.”


So there you have it – a little background into Study 329. So why bring it up now?

Study 329 has been re-written by a team of independent experts, including David Healy and Micky Nardo (aka 1boringoldman) et al. Having spent years trawling through the data of the original study, they have now rewritten its true findings. Yesterday, in what was a momentous occasion for parents who have lost a child to Paroxetine, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published Restoring Study 329: efficacy and harms of paroxetine and imipramine in treatment of major depression in adolescence’. 

You will be shocked to note that GSK intentionally hid the hugely increased risk of suicidality in children, subsequently causing many deaths. The re-analysed trial found that Paroxetine “is neither safe nor effective for adolescents with depression”; that at least 12 out of 93 children taking the drug had developed suicidal thoughts (Reuters); with one child being admitted due to severe suicidal and homicidal ideation towards his parents (New York Times).

I don’t like using bad language, or to be more truthful, my mother doesn’t like it (I know, I know, I’m feckin 50), yet occasionally nothing else will suffice. GSK, the absolute sociopathic ba**ards, put childrens’ lives at risk, causing many to kill themselves and leaving their parents to endure a pain and grief that no human being should ever have to suffer – for profit. Furthermore, Brown University has actively allowed this situation to continue rather than admit it was wrong. Shame on all concerned.

For more information see Restoring Study 329, Davidhealy.org and 1boringoldman.

See also GSK‘s mission statement.. ‘to help people to do more, feel better, live longer’. For the sake of my poor mother – no further comment!

The Hidden Turd: Improving ethics of the Pharma-funded Academic.

NY Times Photo

Yesterday in The Medical Xpress, an article was published ‘Depression study finds evidence of serotonin signal transduction disturbances’. Now according to the MX, it provides the latest research news on health and medicine, so this article will be read and believed by many. That it has dubious origins, is misleading and false, yet directed at vulnerable people, raises important medical ethics issues. What are the actual minimum standards imposed on medical ‘experts’ when dishing out information? Would the truth be a good place to start or is that too unattainable a task? One would assume that a basic standard of ethics is a forgone conclusion within medical research and a fundamental prerequisite when providing ‘the latest health and medicine news’. Not quite!

The MX article states that in celebration of 30 years since SSRI antidepressants were developed “a team from MedUni Vienna, led by Siegfried Kasper, Director of the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, has summarised the latest status of global research in this field in the leading journal, The Lancet Psychiatry”. According to the article, Siegfried Kasper was ‘one of the pioneers’ of treating depression with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants).

Kasper had a number of things to say, including “People laughed at us when we started treating depression with SSRIs 30 years ago..” Whether this treatment-induced mirth is true or not, is anyone’s guess, but doubtful according to our own Irish expert Dr David Healy, scientist, psychopharmacologist and expert in the mechanics of SSRIs. When asked to comment on the MX article, he said:

“This is rubbish and false. The idea that anyone ridiculed Siegfried Kasper or anyone for using SSRIs is bizarre but its very difficult to know whether Kasper or some PR agency wrote this as a considerable proportion of his output was at one point apparently ghost written.”

Courtesy of The Ethicalnag.org

So what pray tell is ghostwriting? Ghostwriting refers to the practice whereby pharmaceutical companies pay medical writers to write a draft research paper or article; then senior academics (Key Opinion Leaders) agree to put their name to it and are then falsely identified as having authored this ‘masterpiece’. So was Kasper’s latest endeavor another foregone conclusion, ghostwritten not by him, but by a writer on pharma’s payroll?  The MX article actually asserts the Serotonin basis of depression as factual, a ‘fact’ that has been widely exposed as fraudulent for many years. Whole books have been written on the serotonin fraud; see Dr Terry Lynch and ‘Depression Delusion Volume One: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance’.

So what exactly is wrong with ghostwriting you may ask? Most drug companies use ghostwriters, with apparently no limit of experts willing to risk their reputations for an extra dollop of pharma cash. The Bioethics Journal provides an insight into the practice of ghostwriting:

“Many ghostwritten articles do not involve data. For example, an academic physician might be approached by a medical communications agency to author a ghosted review article, which will masquerade as his or her expert opinion about the current state of a particular therapy or illness. In fact, a fair portion of pharmaceutical public relations does not involve medical journals at all, but a much wider ranger of communication vehicles, such as hospital lectures, conference symposia and CME events. In theory, these communications vehicles are supposed to be independent of industry influence; in practice, they are often funded and managed by industry. Until this funding source is cut off, the potential for influence will remain.”


Lundbeck, the Danish drug company that invented Celexa and Lexapro, was recently exposed for dubious practices in a report by the Indian drug regulator, the CDSCO. Section 7.31 of this CDSCO report concerned three individual experts (all professors), who gave recommendations in order to facilitate the approval of Lundbeck’s Sertindole. Far from giving an objective ‘expert opinion’, the report found “adequate documentary evidence to come to the conclusion that many opinions were actually written by the invisible hands of drug manufacturers and experts merely obliged by putting their signatures”. The report found a catalogue of wrongdoings, including the ghostwritten ‘expert’ submissions:

“three experts located at three different places (a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of Stanley Medical College, Chennai; Professor of SKP Psychiatric Nursing Home, Ahmedabad and a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of LTM Medical College, Mumbai) wrote letters of recommendation in nearly word-to-word, identical language and not surprisingly all of them used the incorrect full form of DCGI in the address! Is such a coincidence possible unless the person behind the scene who actually drafted the letters is one and the same person?”

The Xpress Article

Referring to treating depression, the Xpress article quoted Kasper as saying “Today it is State of the Art and we are able to quantify disturbances in serotonin signal transmission in the brain as the cause of depression and anxiety disorders.” False, false, false. There is absolutely no measure to quantify serotonin and to say that the latter is the ‘cause’ of depression and anxiety disorders is again plain fraud. According to Dr David Healy “We know almost nothing about what antidepressants actually do – we still don’t know what they do to serotonin. Rather than being effective like an antibiotic, these drugs have effects – as alcohol does. Their primary effect is to emotionally numb. Patients on them walk a tightrope as to whether this emotional effect is going to be beneficial or disastrous.”

Furthermore, stating that “the success rate is around 70%” is also not true. According to Peter Gøtzsche, medical researcher and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center, SSRIs “are no better than placebo for mild depression, only slightly better for moderate depression, and benefit only one out of 10 with severe depression”.  

Kasper – “Their quality of life is enhanced and there is a significant and lasting improvement in their motivation and mood.” Far from consumers quality of life being enhanced and apart from the emotional numbing, the main lasting effect of taking SSRIs is sexual dysfunction (Gøtzsche 2015). Permanent sexual dysfunction? Not exactly the life-enhancer that consumers’ imagined.

In total contrast to Kasper’s Ssri MX ‘tale’, David Healy recently said “I believe the SSRI era will stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine.”

Leonie's Blog

Am I alone in thinking that it is unethical for Siegfried Kasper, or any medical professional, to be providing ‘the latest health and medicine news’ while simultaneously working with almost all SSRI manufacturers? He is in fact a busy pharma bee with many conflicts of interests (COIs). These can be found in another publication ‘The Hidden Third; improving outcome in treatment-resistant depression’ – incidentally, this paper inspired my title above – not sure whether others appreciate my (non-treatment-induced) wit.

Speaking of turds..

Where do they get the time?

Siegfried Kasper receives grants/research support from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Sepracor, Servier, Novartis and Pfizer.

He also acts as a consultant for AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Sepracor, Servier, Pierre Fabre, Wyeth, MSD and Schwabe.

He is also a speaker for AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Servier, Pierre Fabre, Organon, CSC and GlaxoSmithKline.

Now that wasn’t mentioned in the MX article!

Lessons from Charleville..

O'Driscoll Brothers

This week an inquest was held into the deaths of Jonathan O’Driscoll and his twin brothers from Charleville, Co Cork. Jonathan fatally stabbed his beloved little brothers before killing himself last year (September 2014). It was just one of a number of shocking Irish murder-suicides in recent years.

Jonathan was looking for help. He had many visits with doctors, mental-health teams and at least one consultation with a psychiatrist. Instead, as is now common practice, the ‘help’ Jonathan received was drugs, drugs and more drugs. His final visit with a psychiatrist (Dr Bobby Burns), a few weeks before this tragedy ensued, led to a prescription for a new (as yet unnamed) drug. The dose was due to be increased over several months. The psychiatrist testified that he was deeply concerned that Jonathan might be exhibiting the early signs of schizophrenia but following this prescription ‘Jonathan’s mental health improved’. Inexplicably, the latter would seem to contradict the subsequent actions that led to the deaths of Jonathan, Thomas and Paddy.

It was reported in the Irish Independent that Jonathan’s mother was unaware of the amount of drugs that he was prescribed. She was “totally shocked” by the number of medications he was on, further stating “I found a lot of tablets after Jonathan had passed away, God speed him. He seemed to be on a lot of tablets”.

Despite the suicide and violence warnings attached to these powerful drugs, it should be noted that these deaths are not being associated with the prescribed drugs, but rather to Jonathan stopping the drugs (aka victim blaming). Toxicology tests indicated that he may not have been taking his medication in the days prior to the stabbing. Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy was told Jonathan most likely stopped taking anti-psychotic medication over 48 hours before the tragedy. Yet far from his mental health improving as suggested by Dr Burns, Jonathan had purchased a knife and other materials at least two weeks before the killings. So which was it – was Jonathan improved or worsened by this ‘new’ wonder drug? It seems interesting that this new drug wasn’t named – wouldn’t be good for business, that’s for sure.

Although toxicology results can be hugely unreliable – if it is in fact the case that Jonathan stopped taking the drugs, he would have been in horrific withdrawal – very similar to a street-drug addict. This doesn’t seem to be the case here, as there was a certain degree of pre-planning. I am also personally aware of a number of toxicology results which failed to show SSRI antidepressant use, at least not until the families insisted on a re-test. Either way, the multiple prescribed medications, psychiatrys’ quick fix, the pill for every ill, the new wonder drug, did not work. This young man did not get help – what he did get was a cocktail of mind-altering drugs.


November 2012 – Minor road accident. Jonathan began to frequently visit his GP complaining of aches and pains. No mention of what was prescribed.

Pre-April 2013 – Dr Thomas Molloy prescribed Jonathan anti-depressants.

April 2013 – Jonathan shows first sign of aggression and was referred for a psychiatric assessment.

February 2014 – A locum GP was so concerned about Jonathan’s mental health that he referred him for an urgent psychiatric assessment.

April 2014 – Jonathan was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.

July 2014 – Consultant psychiatrist Dr Bobby Burns prescribed a new drug, with the dose due to increase incrementally over several months, and Jonathan’s mental health (supposedly) improved over the coming months.

August 2014 – Jonathan purchased a knife and other materials to be used in the killings.

September 4th, 2014 – Jonathan and his little brothers were found dead.

Truthman’s Article ‘What meds did they prescribe Jonathon O’Driscoll‘.

My RxISK Article ‘An Irish Epidemic: Suicide and Homicide on Antidepressants.

A survivor with a similar story ‘The Man Who Thought he was a Monster‘.

A Taste of Monaco

Maybe being 50 is not quite so bad after all. This is a (very temporary) detour from ‘depressive’ news. I thought I’d share a spectacular weekend with you and any would-be travelers to the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco's Fabulous Hercules Port - view from outside the train station.

Monaco’s Fabulous Hercules Port – view from outside the train station.

As I was always fascinated with Monaco and the Grimaldis, there is surely no better excuse for an impromptu trip than turning half a century. So armed with a wad of dough given to me by my family at the ‘don’t-mention-the-party’ party, we set of to Monaco – it would surely be rude not to spend it. Yes and before you ask, I relented and brought the lily-livered husband along for the ride.

We flew into Nice’s Cote d’Azur International Airport and took the short bus-ride from the airport into Monaco (40 mins on the 110). Not even the bus driver dropping us off as far away from the Hôtel de France as is geographically possible, could dampen our spirits; we were in absolute awe. What becomes immediately apparent is that this tiny country, the second smallest in the world, has one of the world’s wealthiest populations per capita and is home to only the beautiful people: the glitterati, the nouveau riche, the old riche, whatever which way rich. As most of us minions won’t make the forbes rich list, once you accept that the world is very unfairly divided (into glamorous millionaires billionaires and us plebs), then you can just sit back and inhale this beautiful place.

As my (arguably) better-half has a passion for fast cars and I have a thing for beautiful doorways, we were both in our element. The architecture was spectacular and fast expensive cars were everywhere: Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches. We even saw a rolls-royce; I haven’t seen a Rolls since the one that sat outside the Mirabeau restaurant in Sandycove in the 1980s. Now those were the good old days.

Monaco Doorways

Cars, Cars and more Cars.

Cars, Cars and more Cars.

Our hotel, the ‘Hôtel de France’ on Rue de la Turbie, Monte Carlo, was perfectly situated around the corner from the Grimaldi Palace and five minutes from Hercules Port, where yachts the size of the HSS were parked inconspicuously (eh, no) cheek by jowl. Sometimes we just sat along the port, with a cocktail in hand and people watched. I was particularly fascinated with an elderly lady in a wheelchair being waited on hand and foot by two minders/carers. She looked every bit the wealthy heiress, but I didn’t recognise her. She and her minders looked pretty content though – who says money can’t buy happiness? The many nightclubs along the harbour went side by side with a childrens’ playground, numerous little pools and an amusement park. The atmosphere was electric, warm and felt very safe – although judging from the antics of some of the dancers, there was more being inhaled than just the atmosphere.

Monaco 3

We eventually made our way to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, official home of the Grimaldi Royal family. The tour was surprisingly inexpensive, as were the lovely cafes and souvenir shops that surrounded it. The Palace itself was truly beautiful, packed with every priceless ornament and piece of furniture that you could possible imagine. Taking photographs was banned. While I was tempted to take a sneeky photo, a mutter about “respecting peoples wishes” from yer man made me reluctantly reconsider. Spoilsport!

The Prince's Palace, Monaco.

The Prince’s Palace, Monaco.

As we were so near Italy and having previously read this guy’s blog, we decided to take a trip to Ventimiglia which is approximately 30 minutes by train. I’m so glad I read this man’s account first – it was easy-peasy and well worth the trip. Fabulous cafes, markets, beaches and an old-town Italian experience. The beach was fab, but very rocky and the sea was very rough – I only saw the danger sign after we had been roughed around by the sea a bit. There was an unfortunate incident with shorts that I won’t go into, but suffice to say the day was memorable and a gorgeous day out. We also got to sit upstairs on the train – who knew double-decker trains existed? Better than a Lamborghini any day, I’d say.


All in all, Monaco was absolutely spectacular and I can’t wait to return some day. There are a few things that really surprised me about Monaco, one being that the Society of St. Vincent De Paul have an office there (Pic 1 below), two that houses like this exist (Middle Pic) and three, any train station can have a view like this (Pic 3).

Monaco 2

This was one little country that I will never forget and a holiday that I will treasure forever. Monaco is truly a very special place.

What part of ‘I DON’T WANT A PARTY’ did they not understand?

Turning 50..


First things first, my worst nightmare would be a ‘milestone’ party, you know the one – where you’re the centre of attention, where all eyes are focused on how bloody marvelous you are for living this long. So as I’m turning the big Hawaii five-O next week, I’m thankful that my family are well aware of my wishes and wouldn’t dare to go against them. They’d go to the opening of an envelope that lot and can gather en masse within minutes at the sniff of a party.  I, on the other hand, can think of nothing worse than having people hiding in every nook and cranny of your house, ready to pounce into your unsuspecting face while manically screaming ‘SURPRISE’. Give the aged a heart-attack, why don’t ye? But it’s okay, my family and friends, having been pre-warned in no uncertain terms, just wouldn’t do that to me.

So just to be sure (as I don’t entirely trust them), I decided the best possible way to turn 50 and avoid giving the family any excuse for ‘partytime’ is to book a break-away with the poor long-suffering husband. That way any family members who have notions of singing ‘Congratulations’ while pouncing their Sallynoggin mush from behind my electrical appliances could get the feck lost! They can slink away reluctantly into the night and gatecrash someone elses birthday, wedding, wake (fill in as appropriate) celebrations. I’m having none of it.

I spent hours on the tinternet looking for a place to escape and decided that Monaco was far enough away. Despite the possibility of being ambushed by tourists as a ‘live’ Princess Grace (given my regal and genteel persona), I thought that Monte-Carlo would be far enough away from my family’s party-planning. The latter Princess Grace reference was a thought from my sister – laced with sisterly humour/sarcasm. So I reiterated, once again, for the purpose of clarity, in no uncertain terms, why I was escaping to a far-enough away country.

Today (Sunday)

Today is Sunday (19th of July 2015) and I’m feckin traumatised. While returning from ‘the big smoke’ last night, I was ambushed from behind the aforementioned electrical appliances. I should have known that my family would ignore me, a party is a party after all, whether wanted or not. A busload of genetically related (no doubt modified) Sallynoggin-heads sprang from behind the kitchen presses manically screaming ‘SURPRISE’. So what part of ‘I DON’T WANT A PARTY’ did they not understand? Is it the NOT word? Did they mistake my numerous loud protestations for WHY YES, A PARTY WOULD BE LOVELY, THANK YOU?

What started off as a composed affair quickly turned into an evening of much depravity and debauchery. Seriously, why can’t we ‘Irish’ just do high-tea? What’s so wrong with just meeting up for lunch or going out to dinner in a normal(ish) fashion? Instead a barbeque was brought down from Dublin, along with mountains of food and enough alcohol to fill an olympic sized swimming pool. My supposed friends never thought of warning me in advance, even for the purposes of making myself respectable for the camera. Even my mother played a willing part in the deception and I was totally oblivious. I did wonder why my brother came down to do the garden but put it down to him just being nice. The moral of the story – beware of men bearing lawn mowers!

The Last Word –

I’m thinking of changing the locks and barring the aforementioned ‘poor long-suffering husband’ from the family home. That’ll wipe the smug look off his face – totally justified for him allowing my family to railroad him into acquiescence, despite knowing full well of my wishes. So much for fair-weather spouses- anyone in need of a slightly battered ex-soul-mate? He’s so not coming to Monaco.

See below for the definition of disloyalty..