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 James Bridgwater

Official Site of Stonehouse based​

Author & Poet

Books & Poetry




                                                         Asperger’s and Epilepsy


When I was 5 I was diagnosed with epilepsy. A couple of years ago when I was in my mid 40’s I did a self-referral which led to my diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome. I pretty much ignored it back then and so it’s only now I’m looking at YouTube films and websites to find out about it. It explains a lot about my childhood and indeed my isolated adult life. Now I’ve been in contact with other syndrome suffers I’m getting a much clearer picture of our world and that of neurotypicals and the differences between them. Recently I’ve had an interesting day learning from top professors giving lectures about the science and neurology of the condition. 

            I’ve spent some time watching short YouTube films on living with Asperger’s and why it is so hard. These have been from real people and suggest real solutions to real problems and issues. I’m already familiar with depression and anxiety but now I’m understanding a lot more about the base underlying conditions relating to be on the autistic spectrum and not knowing it for years. 

I was very impressed by Chris Packham’s film explaining the effects on his life and why he prefers to live alone with his dog than have many social interactions. It makes sense to me that autistics are all seen to be animal lovers. Understandable behaviour not disrupted by emotions is far more understandable. 

          Looking back (a common autistic trait) it seems to me probable my father and grandfather were on the spectrum but were unaware of the condition. Both were Royal Navy engineer officers which is a career ideal for the autistic man. It is very much seen as a genetically influenced disorder. I think they would both have been unaware of the state and seeing me were distracted by the epilepsy which is a far mere obvious disease when absences progress to seizures. 

After retiring from the Navy my dad taught engineering, maths and physics in the College of Further Education as City College was. He had a specialised knowledge having done a degree in Glasgow University in Naval Architecture. Four years of study including working in drawing office of John Brown’s shipyard on the Clyde. He was involved in designing the ‘T’ class submarines still in service now.

        As he got older he discovered Christianity which has a lot of characteristics appealing to autistics. To the extent he went and studied Theology to become a lay reader and followed it by doing an MA in Applied Theology at Marjons. Like many autistics I believe I went to church to try and find a group of people who would accept me as I was and not pass judgement. I have done this all my life enjoying, rituals, repetitive routines and actions such as in church services. Therefore I’m re-evaluating my ideas about faith and belief and atheism presently. 

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Local Poems

My Local Poems

Stonehouse Voice Sonnet



For locals Stonehouse Voice is coming soon.

In September we start, we want you now.

Talk to us if you’re in to art or play a tune.

To be involved workshops will tell you how.


We kick off at “What is News?” in the Cawfee shop

A discussion led by Alan on the media.

16thof August 6 till 10 come in and stop.

They do cakes or more if you are greedier.


Experience is not needed; we’ll tell you how.

Enthusiasm is what we want to start.

A not for profit paper we’ll start now.

Covering Stonehouse news, culture and art.


I love living in Stonehouse and writing,

So, I think this will really be my thing.

Union Corner Jammin’ Night



To Nick and Doc we’re grateful,

 For setting up the night.

About 3 guitars, 2 basses, a violin,

mouth-organ and drum at our height.

Also there were 4 ukuleles,

Some owned and some to share.

Cups of tea and coffee and biscuits,

Are supplied for free down there.


We’re working on the amps and mics

And a better drumming kit.

We and the learners take things

Step by step and bit by bit.

Learning chords, or tuning up,

Some of us don’t know anything.

People can bring what they like

Or just come along and sing.


To start we shared a list of famous

Songs, not knowing much.

Such as “A Drunken Sailor”.

“Dirty Old Town” and such.

Aiming to make it fortnightly,

7:15 to half nine every other Thursday

So to join a group and learn some skills

To start or get better, come along one day.

Get to Know Me

This is me and a few friends doing Everyman Recycled


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‘To individuals who are unorthodox’ is the dedication of my autobiography and it pretty much summarises my philosophy. I’m a great believer in individuality and independence. Particularly in fashion as I regularly get praises for my clothing. I will be putting photos in my blog to show people what I mean. Creativity is a great force and friends of mine are artists, actors, musicians, writers and circus performers.

I love reading and writing and regularly go to shows at Theatre Royal, Barbican, Union Corner and the Guildhall. I’m looking forward to using my e-trike this summer to go to a good collection of gigs and festivals.

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