Flying My Own Plane


SKU paperback Category

175 in stock


An Anthology of Poems

Compiled By his Mother, Christine Wilkie

ISBN: 9781849910668
Published: 2009
Pages: 118
Key Themes: poetry, relationships, family, depression


This anthology of poems was written by the author throughout his adult life.

Many were found in his flat after his death scribbled on pieces of paper, written in diaries or typewritten. Others had been handed to family members from time to time. There are seven different categories. The poems inevitably reflect the authors experiences as a person with chronic bipolar disorder, as well as his views on religion having studied Theology for many years. He was always questioning and never quite deciding to be loyal to any particular church, although he did see himself as a committed Christian.

His observations of life could be considered quite controversial, sometimes apparently quite flippant while on closer scrutiny deeply serious. He also writes with some humour about his relationships with the opposite sex and members of his family. Included in the anthology is a section loosely described as songs. Only the one bearing the title of this book was ever put to music and performed by him as a song but his intention had always been to break into song writing. If only I was a better guitarist.

The intention in publishing this book is to pay tribute to his memory as a complete human being, with a big personality and a heart to match who had a message he wanted to give but unfortunately could not succeed in doing this during his life time. At the same time, if this book can help to highlight the plight of the mentally ill and the proceeds serve to contribute in some way to financing further research into mental health, it will have been a worthwhile exercise.

About the Author

David Alexander Edward Murdoch was born in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital on 21st January 1965, the eldest of three children. He has two sisters. His parents divorced in 1984. Always a mischievous little boy, he was academically bright, good at sports and music. Throughout his childhood, he was full of enthusiasm and eager to excel at anything he tried. David attended schools in Stranraer, Ayr, Bucksburn, Dyce, Cults, Westhill and Ellon. He could claim to be a true Aberdonian however having spent all his adult life living in the City.

David suffered a period of depression at age 14 followed later by hypomania as a teenager and was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of twenty in 1986. The illness dominated his life and he struggled to achieve anything he was proud of. He did not respond positively to any of the drugs on offer and had difficulty accepting that he had an illness. He was admitted to hospital usually compulsorily all too frequently, until his tragic death in Aberdeen on 23rd November 2008.

As a boy and a young man he loved playing golf, tennis and football. He also enjoyed art, music and drama. He directed, co-produced and acted in Macbeth while at University. He also acted in plays such as Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance of Being Ernest playing Lady Bracknell.

David studied at Robert Gordons Institute of Technology Physical Sciences and at Aberdeen University Theology for many years but his illness adversely affected his ability to fulfil his ambitions. He eventually graduated with a degree in Theology at Aberdeen University, in July 2005.

During and after his years as a theology student, he befriended religious groups around Aberdeen. Among these were Mormon, Muslim and most recently members of the Bahai Faith. He appreciated the friendship he received from these groups, but he continued to question all faiths, while returning intermittently to the more orthodox churches, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic. He joined the Catholic Church at one point and expressed the desire to study for the priesthood in Rome. He was baptised as a baby into the Church of Scotland while his funeral service was conducted as a full requiem mass by Father Emslie Nimmo in St Margarets of Scotland Episcopalian church, Aberdeen.

A close friend described him as a hugely entertaining and much sought after social companion. He was also capable of great kindness and caring for his fellow human beings. When presenting with mania, however he could be very critical of everything and was often somewhat outspoken and insulting to his closest family and friends. This lost him the friendship of several people usually temporarily and left him with mountains to climb socially when the mania left him and along with it his confidence to a certain extent.

He appeared to have a remarkable capacity to bounce back, however and we, his family and friends assumed, incorrectly that this would continue to be the case. Tragically, he was unable to do this after his last bout of mania in 2008 which was more prolonged and severe than any of his previous episodes. His loss is deeply felt by us all.

1 review for Flying My Own Plane

  1. Christine Wilkie (verified owner)

    This review was made on “Flying My Own Plane Page” by Sarah Douglas
    • “Flying My Own Plane is a phenomenal insight into Mental Ill Health. If you have read it from cover to cover once, although on the heavy side, it’s a book about someone who was clever, funny, strange, innocent and beautiful, so therefore, pick up the book again and read it cover to cover and see how David’s illness can shed light on the torment he suffered, or indeed any person suffering from mental ill health. Ride the depths of despair he rode with feeling and realise that at the end of your read its like going to the cinema, without the popcorn, sweets etc to eat during the anxiety driven madness of watching a psychological thriller. You are completely transfixed on the screen but have nothing to take the edge off. Writing helps to process all the words and voices, sounds and all the lovely and hateful emotions you feel and hear in your head when you suffer from Mental ill health. Where can that noise go when you have no care to get up, wash, have fun, be serious all the time because, lets face it, ppl with mental ill health take the worlds problems on their shoulders because concentrating on your own problems probably felt like having two worlds instead of just one. Thats why although on the outside everything is rosy, its actually not, they are voiceless as a result which is why these ppl are classed as vulnerable and should always be protected by the state whatever our judgement of them is. At least when you walk out of the cinema, you can say “that was a good film” and go for a pint to forget about it or always remember it. Being Mentally ill destroys your sense of reality and slowly kills you until you have no strength left to fight family, friends, acquaintances, Dr’s of the psychological kind, GP’s and even ur own children just to convince yourself that you will be ok and protecting those you love is the answer from exposing the real u. The threat of someone exposing you, your illness is the reason suicide is so prevalent. It’s a constant torment that grows to consume u until the inevitable. Ppl with mental ill health fool themselves, fool others just for some peace and quiet in their heads and heart but the most damaging of all is their denial, which can cause the utmost amount of damage to all those involved. All we need is love, isn’t that what John Lennon said and he’s dead – he was a smart guy too, not because he is dead but because he recognised early on what was real and what wasn’t. C’mon Doctors, administer, be patient, raise money and raise the dead so that all those who take their life can be illuminated into the light of a new world, with a new generation and a new attitude to an age old stigma. Spread some love and not democracy for a change. Work hard at solutions rather than a bank balance or budget. Christine and her son do exactly that. They work hard at raising awareness and I hope someone reading his book and checks out the Facebook page is inspired by David’s honesty and Christine’s love.”

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