Thursday, 21 May 2009

Are you Positive?

I do not know about you but I lead my life in a completely positive way

Even though I am HIV positive

Our local college - the one my own daughter attended and I taught as a lecturer until 2003
Is putting on a play about HIV

Great is all I can say.

If you live in Cornwall why not come to this?

That others apart from us in Cornwall do have some awareness and care for us who are living with HIV and or AIDs is to me wonderful .

As for so many it is an issue that too often is thought that

  • - is not my problem

But it is or if not it could be for your kids in the future!!

- as you know I have been quite ill and my husband has had AIDs but the latest HIV meds has dragged him back from this .

The message NEEDS to get out

HIV is not just an issue for those who live in other countries, like Africa etc nor is it only an issue for those who live in cities in the UK

HIV is here!!
It is here in Cornwall - and all parts of the UK

Many live with it even in beautiful and rural counties like Cornwall

But due to the huge stigma , so few in rural counties are open about living with HIV
I am open about having HIV and YES living in Cornwall I am sticking my neck out to be so openly living with HIV.

But I think what the heck??!! I have been through far worse already in my 56 years of life.

I have had a really difficult life up till I acquired HIV in my 50s - AND I AM NOT NOW GOING TO KEEP QUIET about this one

I am so glad john found his sister before he died

He always wanted a family that was his own - and not just us, his step siblings.
Please click on the image to read it properly!

I dare not even ask if Johns sister - who was adopted and who may even be my sister too, I will never know - knows about his death and that he killed himself.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

My Tribute to an Inventor of the PC - John Reed

My brother John was part of the IBM team that invented this piece of Technology you are reading this blog through - what an achievement - so few can match this?

No one really can know why John - my brother - committed suicide today I guess

- but having grown up with him I think I actually may have some idea!
But worried to tell his family -

But probably I am wrong as no one really knows but him.

But I do not know if anyone who was not there could understand what we went through as children .
And it does not matter - what matters is his relationship with them.
His note apparently was brief, part of it was

'I love you all '

And that he loved them is all that matters in the end

If anyone has the time to look at the videos on his site before they go down .

As he is not here now to service his site - in his memory I will see if I can keep it on

There are pictures and videos - Videos here:
This is a happy one of him jetskying :

- that site says it all really about his life from the 70s onwards.

Despite the traumatic childhood both he and I to a degree, went though, he led a full life and very useful and productive life . But I think I do have a good understanding of why he might have ended it now.

I was very angry at first - but not now.

Computer Science Degree - Cambridge 1960s

  • His life was full of achievements,
    Most I fear will never be recognised

    He was one of the first modern computer scientists that EVER existed - he was a student at Cambridge on what I beleve to be the first computer science degrees ever in about 1964 - and was later one of the team at IBM that invented this 'personal computer' that we are now talking though.

He has also since done other academic courses . He was a VERY clever man. If he had cared to he could put at least 2 degrees, two PHDs and many other qualification after his name.

But my memories of him are disjointed and very much of the past.

As a young girl/youth I remember I was so impressed to find that at Cambridge his room mate was John Dunbar Marian Faithfull's first husband: Dunbar was going out with her- MF - then and I met him but never met M Faithful, John my brother went to their wedding- I was very young then myself but I did grow up with him as my adored older brother and did visit him at Cambridge and remember his achievements and those he mixed with in those very interesting times .

International Times was an underground magazine of the time that he introduced to me at a 'too young age:

Reading this had a lot of influence for me and my life as such a young girl. Reading this as a woman taught me not to be a victim - so many young women of that time were victims an not proactive.

But so few remember how it was then i.e in the 50s and 60s

Basically it was hell to be young and especially female if you were alone who wanted more for themselves than was our class or destiny -

John broke the mold as his origins were as humble as mine ............he even spent some time in a Dr Bernardo's home as a young child - does anyone now remember what that was all about ? He must have gone through sheer hell!!!

Well I know he did

But we are the only ones I guess who remember - those who were there are he testimony to what we went through and so sadly he is now not now here.

But he was probably never recognized for the achievements he made and it was huge I would not be able to talk to you here on this PC if it was not for he likes of my brother .

That is huge!!!!!

Think of the significance the PC has on all your lives!!!

I will continue this when I can

Rest in Peace - My Brother, John Reed

I have not written on this for ages
As most of us with HIV say - '

'we just want to get on with our lives'

But today I learned my older brother killed himself??

Of course he did not have HIV - I am yet to hear if he had any other physical illness. I talked to only him last week on the phone. He did not mention anything then although I know he always worried about his health since having bad tosolitus and related infections severely as a child.

Apparently he left a note I have been told went something like this ..........

'I love you all'

I know he did - but my initial reaction was anger that he did this to his family

As once you kill yourself you are out of it - it is the rest of us that have to cope with what you did .

Given my own situation I can not say I have not considered it - but I will NEVER do this as it is NOT about me

It is about those you leave behind

But I know this is probably easy for me to say - I think of all of us John had it harder in many ways - and yet he achieved so much

Why you may ask does it happen to me and my family ? Well it just does!!

What follows are disjointed memories of my brother which I will edit at a later date when I have got over the shock
In his memory here is his web site where he stored our family pictures and videos of him and his children and their life:

I am trying to download the videos as fast as I can as he is not now around to maintain it so I fear it will go down soon

Here is a video of my older brother with my dad in the 1970s:

My dad was VERY small and my brother VERY tall.
Ironically John was always regarded as the OK one of the family!!!!
A very successful computer scientist, businessman and a 'man of means' in fact if you add together all the property he owned in Cornwall and Windsor and London, it must have amounted to a lot more than I realised , so to my mind he must have been failrly well off compared to me and most I know .
But obviously your financial situation this is not everything

And as far as I knew he had reasonably good physical health for someone in his 60s ( although I know we share a very traumatic childhood and that probably I know more than most why he did this very final act.

Whatever his life has been since I know his reasons are in the past
A past I partly shared

He has two birth children who each recently had children, his grandchildren and his foster daughter that he later adopted has children that he loved.

So this has been a complete and utter shock to us all.