Showing posts from October, 2017


So, this is part of an intermittent series about things that inspire me- not only creatively, but that make my heart and soul sing joyfully.

I know that many of my 'Chronically Lovely' friends, like me, are flared- up at the moment. 

Many more 'normal' folk, find the changing of the season a daily battle against negative feelings, grey skies and shorter days.

It is frustrating when I am too sick to make art(!)- but thanks to Professor Google,I can still enjoy some lovely nibbles of other people's creations.

Those of you who know me or regularly follow my Blog or Facebook page, will know how important colour is to me. Colour feels like the fuel in my engine. 

I have rediscovered two sources of inspiration about colour:

The History of Art in Three Colours- a wonderful 3 part,  BBC Documentary. If brain fogged, you can enjoy for the photography and colour, and if up for learning some new stuff you will be really fascinated.  Dr James Fox guides us around Gold, Blue and Whit…

Fainting by Numbers - Dysautonomia Part 1

There was the time, 28 years ago, that I spent August Bank Holiday weekend in hospital instead of attending the Notting Hill Carnival in London. There was the plane journey from Gatwick to Milan where I passed out repeatedly, ( whilst sitting down !). And there was the ultimately embarrassing situation where I stopped the Milan rush hour traffic, when I slid slowly down the  tram pole I was clinging to, like a weary stripper...and woke up with an ambulance man interrogating me in Italian! There have been other times, other places and many near misses, where I have lain flat, or just got to bed in the nick of time....

The pattern with the hospital admissions has always been the same: I am taken by ambulance, and after some hours am released, exhausted but with clear round of tests and an armful of saline drip. 
Aside from the anxiety surrounding the prospect of waking up in front of strangers ( have I peed my pants...and has someone nicked my purse?) and having no idea where I am...there…

Diary of a Menopausal Elephant. Aged 49 and 3/4

I have always enjoyed reading the published diaries of others, even the fictional ones. This is year Adrian Mole, the brilliant comic creation Of Sue Townsend, would have turned 50. As Ms, Townsend, is sadly no longer with us...there will be no more diaries. He and I have grown up together, and I feel his life has often mirrored my own in it's unpredictability, and unlikely romantic relationships. 

Age 13,( yes, he and I are pretty much the same age), I was listening to BBC radio, when the first 45 minutes of 'Adrian' was broadcast. It was (in my opinion) comedy gold, and I have since read all the books, which I would thoroughly recommend for easy reading laughs. 

I have never managed to write a diary for pleasure. My attempts as a child. 
'Woke up. Got dressed. Ate breakfast. Walked to school'.  were boring even to myself, let alone future generations. Nowdays I  keep a brief daily diary of symptoms, pain levels, and list medications ingested, as an aid to self-mana…

Disability Anniversary??

This time 18 months ago, I was struggling to accept...( or even to refer to in speech), the 'D' word- Disability. The day my spouse asked if I thought I could be classed as Disabled, I felt a sick pit of dread opening up inside me.The road from there until here, has been an stony and uphill route. Illnesses in my mind imply a temporary state, something you will get better from, and Disability sounds a lot more permanent. 

Not everyone with a Chronic Illness would be classed by themselves or other people, as being Disabled. In my case, the limitations that my body place on me, and my complete inability to do things that I NEED to do, have made it a no-brainer.

Accepting the situation is not so straightforward. There are times now when I feel really comfortable with asking for the help I need or with other people seeing me as disabled...and times when I really hate it. Times when I can see how much I have grown because of my disability....and times when nothing feels possible.

I he…

Spot The Difference!

Here are two photos: One is a photo-library image of:  'Woman with CFS,'
and the other is what you look like when you have ME/CFS. 
Can you spot the difference?! ;-)

In this Blog,  I am going to compare my 'image' as a 'vertically challenged, bed-dweller, ' with probably the most famous artist to ever rest a paintbrush on her blankets :Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). How very dare I?!!  For anyone not familiar with her work: can I suggest a lengthy visit to Professor Google, who will be happy to show you many fine examples of her paintings. Including many self portraits. 

It was when I was contemplating asking my husband to take some photos of me drawing in bed, that I realised just how tricky a thing this is. To explain we will need to take a closer look at Frida  Kahlo at work- or more correctly, how she was portrayed when she was at work.

Any artist from the advent of commercial photography onwards, has had the additional decision to make of w…

In the Dentist's Chair

" Don't worry- you'll get used to it,."

I am writing this after a frustrating day of worsening pain. It is early evening and my energy levels are low and my stress levels are correspondingly high. I am writing a Blog, so that I don't have to be entrapped in a butterfly net and led away by men in white coats....

I think it is the combination of pain AND the huge stress of knowing that it is not a healing pain, not a short term situation, that makes chronic pain so difficult to be shackled to. 

Many of us have bad memories of going to the dentist as a child:the needle, the smell of that foul pink stuff you had to gargle with...and the phrase ' This may hurt.'  The dentist is our seminal experience of pain that is out of our control!  The sense of having to be fixed in an uncomfortable position, feeling anxious and finding it hard to breathe and swallow with ease, make a really good metaphor for how pain finds me after it has beaten me into a mush.

The sense of …