Tag Archives: Sefton Ward

My Liebster Award Nomination

Well, this is nice.

I have been nominated for The Liebster Award by fellow blogger, MagnumOpus. Thank you so much for nominating me, Magnum. It’s really flattering.

Magnum has a wonderful blog called – appropriately enough – MagnumOpus. It’s quite an endearing motivational blog, all about spreading positivity. To quote the About page, Magnum describes herself as: “An optimistic person who sees the bright side of every situation and every person”.

Click on this link to check out her blog: https://magnumopusforyouu.wordpress.com/

I have had some really nice interactions with some other bloggers on WordPress and there are some very talented people on this platform, so it’ll be a pleasure to put forward some nominations of my own.

Here are the rules for The Liebster Award:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked.
  3. Nominate no more than 11 other bloggers for the award.
  4. Pose 11 questions for them.

(So do you see how it works? It’s essentially very similar to a chain e-mail, passed from blogger to blogger – the only real difference being that it’s actually quite a nice thing rather than an annoyance. Oh and by the way, it’s apparently okay for a blogger to be nominated by different people a number of times… there’s no rule against it)

Anyway, without further ado…


Questions from MagnumOpus:

  1. 1. What was your dream as a child and did you achieve it?

My ambition as a child was to be a great artist, to draw comic strips and to be famous for it. As for whether I achieved this… well, as for being a great artist, the answer to that is “I’m still working on it”… the answer to the second part is “yup, I first got published in Spit! comic back in the nineties” (see below for the concept design for one of the characters that I drew for that magazine)… and, lastly, as for the part about being famous – well, not really; even though there is a cult fanbase for those old comic books my name is not really well known… in fact, it’s only recently that fans of this stuff have been searching me out and saying “Are you the guy who drew this?”.

Original concept sketch for Sefton Ward: Paranormal Detective, a comic strip that I wrote and drew for Spit! comic back in the 90s [interesting fact: my old college friend, the 2000AD comic book illustrator Lee Carter (of Indigo Prime fame) owns this original drawing and has it on display in his home]

  1. 2. If you were given 3 wishes , what would you ask for?

I only have one wish: to be given a time machine… something which I’d use, firstly, in order to go back in time and stop my mum from being murdered and, secondly, which I’d use to go back in time to give my younger, stupider self a much-needed slap around the head.

Oh and if there was some way that I could engineer it, I’d like to make a life sentence in the UK actually mean life… not sure how I could use a time machine to do that, though.

  1. 3. What inspired you to start a blog?

I felt that I had a story to tell and, given my one man war against the tyranny of brevity (haha!), I thought that WordPress would be a good fit for my hyper-verbosity!

…And at the risk of sounding like a wannabe do-gooder, I also felt that some people could perhaps relate to some of the hardships I’ve endured during my life and could take some inspiration from some of the solutions that I’ve found – such as, for example, the story of how I recovered from alcoholism thanks to The Sinclair Method (see the podcast below – I’m the guy in the T-shirt on the right).

  1. 4. What is your biggest fear and what are you doing to overcome it?

Ooh! Good question. My reflexive response was to write “fear of failure”, but after a bit of thought I have to say that the thing which I fear most is being written off – that’s the thing that keeps me awake at night.

You see, here’s the thing about me… thanks to a combination of alcoholism and bipolar disorder that hijacked my life for the better part of two decades I managed to either miss out on or squander a lot of opportunities (on both a personal and professional level). And despite being as bright and as creative as I am, the fact of the matter is that what most employers want more than anything (more than even skill) is reliability – something which I just couldn’t give for many years and which would render me both unemployed and unemployable for a long time, unfortunately.

Now that I’m sober and that my mental health has drastically improved what I’m very much trying to do is to redeem and rebuild myself… though it’s not easy – I’ve left quite an unfortunate legacy thanks to my years in the wilderness (…oh and thanks to behaving like a horse’s ass).

So what am I doing about it? Well, I’m trying to set achievable goals and I’m trying to become the best possible version of myself – “creating some good karma”, in other words.

  1. 5. What is that 1 book that changed your life (you can also mention an incident if not a book)?

The Cure for Alcoholism by Roy Eskapa. The quintessential text book for The Sinclair Method, this book saved my life and released me from a near twenty year struggle with alcoholism.

  1. 6. Who is your favourite blogger in the WordPress community?

I like the work of a number of bloggers and I follow a number of blogs in my WordPress Reader, but if I’m absolutely forced to single out one person it has to be my friend Michael Dempsey of Recovering from Recovery because I think that out of all of the addiction treatment themed blogs out there (and there’s a plethora of them) his is one of the most balanced.

Click this URL to check out Michael’s blog: https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/

  1. 7. Which is your favourite fictional character and why is he/she your favourite?

Patrick Jane (as played by Simon Baker) from The Mentalist.

Why? Well, because here is a character who is so inspiring because he is someone who has endured a devastating traumatic bereavement – the murder of his wife and daughter – but who courageously chooses light over darkness… there’s no self-pity and no brooding with Patrick Jane – he instead presents a defiant joie de vivre to the world… 

…And I find this quite inspiring because I know that this is how my mum would want me to live my life.

  1. 8. Which Superhero would you like to get if you could have a superpower?

This dude:

Art by Tony Daniels

Because I want Bruce Wayne’s superpower of being richer than anyone else! Haha!

Seriously though, what makes Bruce Wayne so special is that unlike other superheroes he doesn’t have any superpowers to fall back on and yet he’s still able to kick the ass of just about everyone in the DC Comics Universe thanks to his mastery of numerous physical and mental disciplines… and it’s this unstoppable, indomitable will that I admire so much – that IS his real superpower and something that distinguishes him from the likes of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) from the Marvel Universe (and another playboy billionaire), who – let’s face it – is a push-over without his suit of armour.

The same cannot be said for Bruce Wayne at all… a true renaissance man who, as well as having an IQ somewhere in the stratosphere and being the world’s greatest detective, is an expert in just about every form of combat in existence and can bench press 800 lbs.

Well, that’s all I have to say, really. I rest my case. The only other thing that I could possibly add is that Batman simply looks cool – and there are millions of little kids on the planet who love dressing up as Batman who agree with me on that score.

  1. 9. Which pet do you like more, cat or dog? What is it about them that you like the most?

Oh I’m fond of both species and spend more time than I really should watching cute pet videos of both dogs and cats on Facebook.

But I would say that cats get the win just because their emotional colour-blindedness is so endearing. Haha.

Aaaw bless… they really are something else. And they remind me of children on the autistic spectrum in the curious way how they’ll give affection, but don’t know how to reciprocate it many a time. They’ll just look at you blankly.

They’re quite misunderstood, I think. Some people misinterpret the lack of reciprocation as coldness, but they just don’t get cats in my view. 

  1. 10. If you could have a talk over a cup of coffee with any person dead or alive, who would that be and why?

Easy: I’d pick my mum. I don’t think that I really need to go into why…

  1. 11. If you could have a day celebrated on your birthday, what day would that be and why?

“Pariah’s Day” maybe? A day that celebrates the outcasts and the misfits. A day that celebrates eccentricity and individualism, in other words.

Why? Well, because I’ve always been someone who’s never quite fitted in… I’ve never had a “tribe”… but I don’t see this as a weakness at all. Quite the opposite – I see myself very much as a free-thinker, not constrained by consensus opinion on any topics and someone who thinks outside of the box. 


  1. My nominees are:

Michael Dempsey

Beckie’s Mental Mess

Barbara from myaphorisms.com

Jon Stewart

Stephen from A Fractured Faith

…And my questions are:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. Which person (alive or dead) has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
  3. What is one fact about yourself that most people don’t know?
  4. Have you met anybody famous and – if yes – what were they like?
  5. What’s your “TV kryptonite”? Which TV programme would make you want to kick the TV screen in if you were forced to watch it?
  6. What’s your favourite book?
  7. Where do you stand on the “nature vs. nurture” debate when it comes things like addiction, mental illness and crime?
  8. Name a pop song that you enjoy listening to but would feel really embarrassed to admit to liking to most people.
  9. Should there be a “Blogger’s Code of Ethics” or do you believe in complete freedom of speech on the internet?
  10. If you had a time machine what would be the first thing you would do with it? And why?
  11.  What would you like inscribed on your headstone after you’re dead?

The Infernal Möbius Loop of Addiction

Möbius Strip II by M.C. Escher. Like many artists, mathematicians and philosophers, M.C. Escher was fascinated by Möbius bands and how they symbolise infinity.

Hi everyone. Hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas. I pretty much just binge-ate yesterday, caught up with some TV and did my now traditional thing of watching Scarface. As I previously mentioned HERE, I don’t really celebrate Christmas – to me it’s just another bank holiday… just another day, really.

About today’s post: this is an unusually deep entry for me; a chain of thought that emerged after reading an article by another blogger the other day (see: https://afracturedfaithblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/spin-class-stories/). A good post; one that had me contemplating a Stephen King quote: “Hell is repetition”.

It really got me thinking about the never ending loop of addiction that is so hard for many people to escape from.

Many addicts will describe it as like being stuck on a hamster’s wheel, but, as far as visual metaphors go, the image that I prefer is that of a Möbius band.

From https://sites.google.com/site/themobiusbandart/artistic-implications:

‘The fascinating properties of the möbius band – its one-sidedness and one-edgedness – have unsurprisingly resulted in association of the shape with symbolic meaning. Most prominently, the möbius band is often associated with the concept of infinity, because of the infinite uninterrupted paths one can trace along its single surface. The band is also associated with unity and non-duality, due to the fact that two sides and two edges are joined and become one side and one edge in the construction of a möbius strip. Because of its symbolism for infinity and unity, some couples opt for möbius band-shaped wedding rings. On a similar note, some consider the Möbius band to be a fitting symbol for the relationship of space and time in the universe – they appear to be separate, like the two sides of the möbius strip, but there actually is no separation; space and time are not distinct and together form our universe.’

Hmm… yes, it has some romantic symbolism too. As the article mentions, it’s become a symbol of marriage – but that doesn’t invalidate my use of it as an addiction metaphor at all. Especially when comparing being addicted to having a weird form of Stockholm syndrome and the booze being like an abusive romantic partner that you keep going back to again and again and again, despite how damaging the relationship really is.

The saddest thing is that many people don’t realise they’ve become stuck on that loop until too late. In my own case, I crossed an invisible line and went from being merely a heavy drinker to someone who actively craves the stuff all the time.

Escaping the Loop

And that was me for many years: I was one of M.C. Escher’s ants crawling along an infinite loop: every day was like Groundhog Day for me.

But internally, despite the usual denials, I knew that there was something very, very wrong. I knew that my journey through this life had steered badly off-course somehow.

It’s quite hard to adequately put into words this feeling of ‘wrongness’ about my place in the universe that I felt around this time. But – put it this way – the lyrics of the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime always resonated very strongly with me on an emotional level… lines such as ‘How did I get here?’, ‘My God, what have I done?’ and ‘Same as it ever was…’

The story of my search for answers, how I tried everything from Alcoholics Anonymous to acupuncture and how I subsequently discovered The Sinclair Method is well-documented on here and other places, but what I don’t think I’ve ever come close to adequately articulating is how inspiring David’s Sinclair’s work has been to me. His epiphany regarding the relationship between Pavlovian reinforcement and extinction and the discovery of the endogenous opioidergic system is an example of genius synthesis that still floors me even today.

It really does.

It is a crime that he was never awarded a Nobel for it. It really is.


So what else have I been doing the last few days? (aside from contemplating really deep stuff about time, space and infinity, that is. Haha)

Well, it’s been quite interesting because a gentleman called Anthony who had seen one of my videos on YouTube ( this one HERE, to be specific) got in touch to tell me how much The Sinclair Method has helped him and how he’s become inspired to add his own voice to the campaign to raise more awarenesss of it by volunteering to do a podcast interview with the LDN Research Trust.

Great stuff – it’s wonderful that other people are choosing to pick up the torch like this and add their voice to the campaign. Not just that – Linda Elsegood and the other guys and gals from the LDN Trust are old friends of mine, so I really look forward to hearing that interview, which is scheduled for the second week of next month.

Here’s the interview that I did with Linda some moons ago. (God, as the photo shows, I was fat back then! Haha)

Meanwhile…

…I also finally got round to adding my name to the Wikipedia article on Spit! comics (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spit!_(comics)).

Somewhat narcissistic, perhaps… but hey, after years of disowning and being really embarrassed by my old work for that magazine, I’m finally taking ownership of it and finally standing up and saying ‘Yup, that was me – I was the dude that wrote and drew Sefton Ward: Paranormal Detective and Nero Ramone: Porno Star turned Hitman‘ for Spit! comic.

Scroll down to see a mildly NSFW scan of one of my old Nero Ramone strips…

 

 

 

(Still with me? The NSFW disclaimer didn’t put you off?)

…Okay, here it is:

Nero Ramone: Porno Star turned Hitman. A comic strip I wrote and drew for Spit! comic waaay back in 1996. I quite like the artwork for this one and the concept isn’t too bad either (a sort of hybrid of King Dong and the Sam Jackson character from Pulp Fiction). The only problem with it is that it’s fine as as one-off strip, but the concept didn’t really have the legs for a series.

The Wikipedia article on Spit! is marked as ‘stub’, by the way… meaning that it’s in need of expansion, so I may take it upon myself to add some further stuff to it about some of the other contributors and what they’re up to these days. I think that there should be a proper chronicle of the history of these type of magazines because, historically, Spit! was part of this whole new wave in adult humour that became very popular post-Thatcher in the UK… it signified a new freedom of sorts.

Okaaaay… it’s come to that point again. The point where I’ve just about ran out of things to say.

So for now I’ll bid you ‘adieu’ and leave you with hands-down my favourite film trailer of 2017, the Deadpool 2 teaser with its hysterically funny Bob Ross parody:

‘I’m gonna whack off again’… ‘hugs, not drugs’…hahahahahaha!

Classic. I just hope the film lives up to such great marketing.