Published March 1st 2009. I have preserved the text below (~~~)as an historical document written three years ago pre money pre cancer lol. At that time I was in one of my bipolar highs which lasted nearly a year when I stopped taking my medication. I am on a more even keel now. My CV and personal domain is at Philip Finlay Bryan (dot) com. (http://pjfb.org for modern times)
I was born and brought up in a working class family in London. I failed all my exams at school and at 16 got a job in a builders merchants as a shop assistant, where I had had a Saturday job. After about a year I realised I could do better so I was accepted as a technician in the local telephone exchange. I was in charge of Power, Stores and Junction Test. The technical side came very easily to me. I looked after the main generators for the exchange and ran the provision of new telephone lines. It was a good job and I worked above my grade; it was secure as at that time the Post Office was nationalised so I was a civil servant. After a couple of years I wanted more money and the lifetime security held little incentive to a 20 year old. I joined British Olivetti as an office equipment salesman, selling adding machines office to office. I did well and was promoted to accounting machine salesman.
Then things changed. My mother died and I experienced my first serious bout of depression. After struggling with this I came out of it (an understanding boss) and became the top salesman in London. I was 21. Then with a friend I began taking LSD at the weekends. Being working class and despite having gone to the Isle Of Wight concert the hippie movement had passed me by. So had drugs. This went on for about 6 months and I looked around me and saw all my peers were in their late 20s early 30s so I told my boss I would take some time off and come back after a few years. He told me I would never come back – he was right.
This is where I parted from the norm.
I bought a Landrover for £80 and headed off to Morocco with £50 in my pocket. I broke down in Torremolinos , Southern Spain and I was broke. It was 1971. I found a hippy bar and eventually became a bartender / DJ / accountant. I fully embraced drugs, sex and rock and roll. After 6 months and a few adventures the bar got busted by the local police who didn’t want a hippy sanctuary (we were on the main route to Morocco) in their tourist town. Through some bizarre circumstances I ended up nannying for an ex-baroness in Tangier. This is a story in itself. After 3 months I headed back to London. I tried living with my aunt but couldn’t handle the “straight” life so went and squatted just down the road to Elgin Avenue. We had 30 houses and I found a house and made it my home. This is another story. It was drugs, sex and rock and roll but with a spiritual element which five years later led to me being ordained as a monk in India.
Details of this adventure is on my Jnanabodhi.com site.
After spending four years in Tokyo teaching English, marrying a Japanese girl and earning a fortune I returned to England to get edumacated. I wanted to study psychology as I knew from reading that it was the closest I could get to Buddhism (the mind is the forerunner of all conditions) . So I did my A levels in Psychology, English and Japanese. I was accepted for an honours science degree at Brunel.
I had three six month work placements and these changed my life.
- Wexham Park Psychiatric Unit, acute admissions ward. i was a nursing assistant and we delt with people who had become a danger to themselves and / or others and had to be compulsorily detained. Some were dragged in screaming and kicking by burly policemen and we would forcibly medicate them. This is another story. Wexham Park had been the centre of a dispute over the indiscriminate use of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), we still used it but only in extreme cases.
- Manpower Services Commission Psychology Department. This can be found in my Computing History.
- Behavioural Psychotherapy Unit, Middlesex Hospital. I joined a team of trainee clinical psychologists under Vic Meyer and Ted Chesser, two world renowned psychotherapists. This placement was awesome. It is worthy of a section to itself, I learned so much and i carried on assisting with the treatment of patients after my placement had expired. Our main client group were OCD and phobias. I was given my own patient to treat, a young girl who had a severe phobia of mice and rats which prevented her from even going to school. After three months of treatment she sat on a bed with two rats running over her lap. Jeez I learned a lot!!! I also assisted in curing a nurse of a severe stammer and we were published.
I wanted to be a clinical psychologist but I only got a 2 / 2 (funny a girl I tutored got a 2 / 1 ) so couldn’t get on a program. I joined the Probation Service as a court assistant. I found this rather mundane so moved to a Probation and Bail Hostel as an assistant warden. This was pretty heavy covering Willesden with a high proportion of serious crime. We also took homeless parolees. Sometimes I would have to do 16 hour shifts entirely on my own supervising 20 high tariff offenders, I had a “Panic Button” which was a direct link to the local police station. This is another story.
Having worked for the Probation Service for three years I was sponsored to do my Masters in Social Work at the University of Kent at Canterbury.
My work placement was with a drug and alcohol unit in Kent. I learned how to be a counsellor. This is another story. I carried on the placement for a year. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned was that it was ok to be myself.
I then got a position as a Probation Officer in Willesden, my home patch, 3 miles from where I was born and grew up. I did this for over three years. I had four murderers on my case load. Another story. My computing history carries on from when I “retired”.
That’s me in summary.
What can I say.
A mechanic has a tool box. Any good mechanic starves to buy a good toolbox. I have a computa
An artist lives in a garret, we humble old mad folks live in an attic. With a pet or two. Maybe a dragon?
In your mind you are not 61 years old. You are young. …A Dude… flying a Starship.
By The Way, This site is free. All the gadgets are free, all the information on it …free. How long did it take to set up? About an hour. I used my tesco’s €300 supercomputer with a €25 a month pay as you go modem. 3 months ago. Of course I could have used a cybercafe and saved €310 …..What’s your excuse?
©Philip James Finlay-Bryan, Good Friday 2010
April 2009: Having a simply wonderful time. The Internet is the greatest thing since fire!!!! 🙂 Latest Blog : http://3d.onlyavatars.org Schooling Formal : W.C.G.S. , Brunel B.Sc (Hons), University of Kent (M.A.) Probation Service. Alcohol Counselling Informal: Tibetan Buddhists,Kitty Subho, The Japanese, Keith York, My Friends History Became a Buddhist 1973 – it changed my life – studied with the Tibetans in the Himalayas for three years, became a Thai monk for a year.Taught English in Tokyo for 4 years, made a fortune and married a beautiful Japanese girl (divorced after 10 years).Japan is my favourite culture. Studied psychology at uni. First computer 1980, , Joined London Probation Service (10 years) Exhausted: murderers, rapists, violence, drug addicts etc Soooo Resigned, married an Irish girl and moved to live on her dairy farm in the bog. First Internet connection and web page 1993. Started Internet and computer company 1995. Went bust in the dot com crash, went mad, homeless, divorced, alcohol problem. Tough times (2 years). O.K. now. Really happy! Greatest asset and best friend: The Mind Interests Buddhism, Psychology, Helping People, Images, MP3,Web, Free Stuff 🙂 Now Blogging, Internet Entrepreneur, Creating resource center on the web, Twittering (incredible resource and fun too) Teaching and Blogging