ARCHIVE: FRIENDS OF ECCO

PASS THE PARCEL UNTIL THE MUSIC STOPS?

December 16th 2008

FRIENDS OF ECCO Ecco spent the last two months living aboard the QE2. Naturally, she had the option of meals beneath the Captain’s table or al fresco on deck and chose to spend most of her time dozing by the swimming pool. Three weeks into her stay, drama struck when an Arabian ginger cat wandered into Ecco’s new ‘territory’. A chase around the perimeter of the swimming pool ensued that lasted long enough for the young hedge fund manager residents to scream bets to one another on the outcome. Unfortunately, when Ecco caught up with the cat, a bloody furry fight ensued. Fortunately, Mr Toby Moorcroft the head lifeguard bravely separated the warring animals just in time. It then became clear that the ginger cat belonged to none other than the new owner of the ship, the Sultan of Dubai. An international diplomatic Incident seemed inevitable. Mrs Thomas was duly alerted, summoned and given no option but to charter a helicopter from Battersea to where the QE2 was anchored in the Mediterranean. Once there she not only had to compensate Mr Moorcroft, and make Ecco apologise not only to him and Mr Kipper, the Sultan’s cat but also to the Sultan himself.

The next five year’s royalties from Taking Leave have now been ear marked to pay for the costs. It is not difficult to guess the name of the house in which Ecco is now living.

July 25th 2008

Due to her generous pension plan and the astute disposal of her property portfolio last year, Ecco has been taking an excessive amount of holidays. Her two most memorable sojourns have been spent at the Bates Motel in Surrey with her close friend, hotel owner and international impresario, Mr Matthew Bates. It is rumoured that, far from relaxing in the sunshine, Ecco spent most of her time screen-testing at the Bates TV and Film Studios for the part of Betty Davis in the canine remake of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’ Her other holiday was a very recent one to Morocco. It is perhaps best not to mention any further details of this trip, especially ones relating to Food Poisoning.

IF ONLY YOU CAME OUT IN GREEN SPOTS

April 11th 2008

FRIENDS OF ECCO

Fans of the shiny flat coated retriever will be pleased to know she has been swimming at West Bay in Dorset, and the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Her prowess in swimming and long distance stick retrieval continues to defeat the author’s less than noble intentions to have her disappear. No longer content with somewhere to sleep in the sitting room or dining room, each night now, she has taken to commandeering a prime location at the top of the stairs. Her request for a nightcap and electric blanket has not been taken seriously by Mrs Thomas so far but I fear it is only a matter of time.

JANUARY IS A GRIM MONTH SO LET’S TALK ABOUT LAST MONTH:

January 28th 2008

F.OE.. Friends of Ecco will be pleased to hear that she spent most of December at the Bates Motel in London and their county branch in Surrey. Her normal one hundred and fifty Christmas presents were delivered over the Christmas holidays and her subsequent favourite activity was copulating with a Labrador shaped cushion.

MOVING ON, MOVING BACK AND FORTH.

November 5th 2007

FOE

Fans of Ecco will not be receiving much of an update in this posting. Suffice it to say, since my return from Greece, Ecco appears to be a little podgy but still her cheeky self. Too much pampering from You Know Who. Ecco was taken swimming yesterday in the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Despite my efforts to throw a stick further than an Olympic javelin, she repeated managed to paddle out, snatch the stick between her jaws, paddle back, slightly out of breath, and stagger out shaking cold and slimy water all over the fawning passers by.

IN SICKNESS & IN HEALTH…….GET A BICYCLE, OR A VESPA

October 10th.

Ecco the dog watchers:

All is quiet on the Ecco front. No return visits to the physiotherapist or psychotherapist have been necessary. Her fan base increases on a daily basis and she has been making increasingly friendly noises towards me over the last six weeks- enough to worry any cat lover anyway. Watch this space for more Ecco news.

IS PROCRASTINATON THE THIEF OF TIME?

LONDON AUGUST 5TH 2007

ECCO THE FLAT COAT RETRIEVER

Whether her addiction to retrieving tennis balls from the River Thames has caused Ecco’s arthritis to return or the constant rain falling over the UK, I am not sure. Suffice it to say, it has become such a concern to Mrs Thomas that Ecco has been upgraded to owning an ACCESS ALL AREAS pass and being able to travel as a first class passenger throughout the house. And for that matter, anywhere else she wishes to visit.  She has also been chauffeur driven twice weekly for the last six weeks to a health farm in Godalming on Woof-Wallop for hydrotherapy, a manicure, shampoo and set and Shiatsu body massage.  Despite my efforts to persuade a local taxi driver to take her to Beachy Head for the evening, Ecco is showing all the signs of making a complete recovery and being back to her normal annoying self!

May 13th 2007

BE SURE TO CHEW BEFORE YOU SPEAK

Ecco the flat coat retriever

Whilst away working at the coal face in Greece, I was dismayed to hear that the Thomas household was visited by Bill the Burglar. Thankfully no injuries were sustained by members of the household, but various items such as laptop, digital camera and a miniature pinball machine were stolen. You may wonder what role Britain’s top guard dog played in these proceedings. Despite barking at every single visitor to and indeed occupant of the house, Ecco on this occasion chose to remain sound asleep, doubtless dreaming of chasing Greek cats.

9th March 2007

Plague of dentistry, angst and bank charges

Ecco watchers (see below) will be pleased to hear that the hound survived a near death experience with a bit of bone lodged in her lower intergalactic intestine. Thanks in no small part to a rapid response race across London to the emergency vets at Wimbledon by a bleary author and Mrs Thomas. I would like to say I stood by while the green-gowned vet performed emergency invasive digital investigation but even I knew when to draw the line. Suffice it to say, Ecco is fine and just as annoying as usual.

21st January 07

A quick word

The red leather desk upon which this is being written has many more coffee cups stains than you might imagine. However one thing you will never see on this desk is a dog biscuit.

A brief note about the main adversary in my life. She’s nearly eleven years old, sleek, fit, black and half Labrador and half flat coat retriever. She is called Ecco and has belonged to Mrs Thomas since she was a puppy.. Without doubt Ecco is the most revered and popular dog this side of the Watford Gap, let alone Western Europe.

Ecco and I live under the same roof and tolerate each other most of the time, well with haughty disdain on her part and grumpiness on mine. Unlike most dogs, Ecco has at least five different baskets to sleep dotted around this residence. The fact that she is often to be found sleeping on my side of the sofa is the cause of many an international incident in this house. Watch this space for developments and photographs..

But seriously I wish to start a campaign on this website for the immediate reincarnation of my old and much loved Ned to return to the planet as soon as possible. Please pledge your support on the space provided. Ned is or was a very extraordinary cat.

ARCHIVE: The A-Z Of Good Mental Health /You dont have to be famous

PENGUIN PAPERBACK LAUNCH PARTY

July 12th 2008
THE A-Z OF GOOD MENTAL HEALTH AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DESPRESSION

Thanks to the wonderful Dr Tony Hughes for getting this event off the ground and to Jonathan Naes ofStand To Reason, the anti stigma charity for acting as our hosts. Two hundred and fifty people from the world of health, medicine, politics and media attended St Stephens Club in London’s St James Park. Finally, thanks to Stephen Fry for making such a funny and inspiring speech to everyone that night. 

IF ONLY YOU CAME OUT IN GREEN SPOTS

April 11th 2008

A-Z OF GOOD MENTAL HEALTH/ YOUDON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DEPRESSION.

At long last the exciting ten pound paperback version is finally available and carries a very handsome and helpful index. This book is divided into three parts. The first is known as the manic dialogues and features live and extremely frank conversation between Dr Tony Hughes and Mr Jeremy Thomas regarding their hope, strength and experience regarding being ill with manic depression and other nefarious things but more importantly about getting better and their amusing relationship as doctor and patient over the last thirty years.  The second part features several manic depressives telling their interesting but wildly varying life stories. The remainder of the book is an A-Z of good mental health. This covers a multitude of topics from what sort of therapists are out there to best suggested musical remedies for depression to the importance of Baked Beans to Bulimia to Skunk to Alcohol and Sex Addiction. This down to earth and hopefully informative guide describes what something is, what it is not and what you can do about it. Best described by Stephen Fry as: ‘Everything you always wanted to know about mental health but were afraid to ask.’ 

Read reviews of The A-Z guide to good mental health / You don’t have to be famous to have manic depression

MOVING ON, MOVING BACK AND FORTH.

November 5th 2007

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DEPRESSION BUT IT HELPS BOOK/ SECRET LIFE OF A MANIC DEPRESSIVE STEPHEN FRY TV DOCUMENTARY

Continuing praise keeps coming in for the book from places as far away as Greece, Norway and Los Angeles. This entry salutes Dr Tony Hughes who was my co author in the book and was the man who had the original idea to make the documentary. Next time there will be a photo of him wearing a Father Christmas outfit. And once again congratulations to everyone all round for the documentary being nominated in the US for an Emmy award  and voted by Broadcast magazine as the most creative documentary of 2006.

IS PROCRASTINATON THE THIEF OF TIME?

LONDON AUGUST 5TH 2007

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DEPRESSION/ AN A-Z OF GOOD MENTAL HEALTH.

The book appears to be gaining popularity in the US and in particular in New York. A local publication now looks possible.

Meanwhile in the UK, discussions have taken place to change the title of the book so that it incorporates the words bi-polar. Response from the front line indicates that more people relate to the expression bi-polar than manic depressive. So as much as we prefer the MD description, the book title will be changed in time for the new mass paperback edition to be published next year.

May 13th 2007

BE SURE TO CHEW BEFORE YOU SPEAK

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DEPRESSION

If you missed the special paperback edition of the above issued by Michael Joseph in March, all is not lost!  Penguin’s mass paperback is now set for release in mid-October.

1st September 06

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FAMOUS TO HAVE MANIC DEPRESSION/AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO MENTAL HEALTH.

This book was co written with my friend Dr Tony Hughes and was first published by Michael Joseph/Penguin in September 2006.  It is being published in a less expensive paperback version in March this year.

I was inspired to write the book having acted with Tony Hughes as conceivers and creators of the BBC TV documentary: Stephen Fry-A secret life of a manic depressive.

Put simply, I decided that if British people thought it acceptable to discuss colonic irrigation over the dinner table, then the subject of mental health and manic depression should be discussed also.

In the next ten days a few pages will be added to this section of the site to explain how we came to write the book, who else helped and the difficulties and laughs we encountered on the way.

Read Stephen Fry’s BBC interview about the documentary

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