Letrozole, sunlight and socks

Every day I take a small selection of drugs, all cancer treatment related. One of them, Letrozole, has many side efects, several of which I experience, but one of which is pretty rare. One in a thousand patients suffer this rare affliction and I am soooooo flipping special that I am one in a thousand.

I have developed an allergy to bright sunlight, all year round, indoors and out! I’m ok if it’s cloudy but if the sun actually shines on me, whether directly or through a window, I’m on fire…the pain is really rather something. So I have replaced my love of a strappy vests with long sleeved t-shirts, jeans, leggings, long swishy skirts or short skirts with thick black tights or thigh high socks. Sandals have become boots (because socks and sandals have no place in my world!). My hair has to cover the tops of my ears or I wear a hat. I have also learned that not all colours block the sun, so it’s lucky I already have a wardrobe full of black and navy. My face seems immune (probably due the make-up without which I don’t leave the house) and my fingers seems a little less sensitive but thank goodness for antihistamine tablets…they don’t stop it but they make it less painful.

But after dark…oh, that’s when I shine and dance naked across the fields




My garden is only 12 feet wide and 30 feet long and paved.
I wanted wildlife in it so a few months ago I bought a bird feeding station
and have just bought a second one and now have 16 feeders.


It’s been a gradual process but regular vistors now include House Sparrows, Starlings, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Wood Pigeons, Stock Doves, Collared Doves, a Robin, a Chaffinch, Hedgehogs, a squirrel, a mouse, slugs and snails. And yesterday, briefly and probably never to be repeated, an Osprey!


I’m chuffed to bits to have my own little Nature Reserve.


If you want to get ahead…

…get a hat!

All work and no play would make me a dull boy, right?
So here I am going to one of my favorite places to eat and, for a change,
not dressed like a boy.

It was a beautiful evening and a very welcome distraction.


Doing my happy dance!

I am so chuffed to have been given the
Carre Gallery Directors Award for my gorilla drawing.


Recognition is such a confidence booster and I can’t thank them enough.
Right then, enough grinning, I have work to do.
Haver a good day, every one.


Crumpet, tea and toast…


Crumpet the fox packaged and ready to go.
I take no chances so here’s how I do it…

1: Layer of bubble wrap.
2: Board over the front to protect the glass.
3: Second layer of bubble wrap.
4: Extra bubble wrap on each corner.
5: Third layer of bubble wrap.
6: Fourth layer of bubble wrap.
7: Wrapped in corrugated cardboard.
8: Wrapped in plastic.
9: Sent to arrive the next morning, trackable and signed for.
10: Wished well and bon voyage.

Now I don’t sleep until I know she has arrived safe and well.
It’s often a little hard to see them go. I spend so many hours with them,
looking into their eyes, seeing every shade of light and dark, every whisker,
really getting to know them. I feel honoured to draw them.
I am lucky to be able to do what I love and love what I do.
So now I’m going to drink tea and eat toast…’cause I love that, too!


Peas, pied and poppies…

TB and I walked nine miles yesterday.
It was a beautiful day and he took some lovely photographs en route.

We walked through a field of peas as they were being harvested and enjoyed a handful (or two) of those left behind. I shall be using some of his work as reference for drawings. Team work…tis all about the team work!

Foxes, dogs and sunshine…

During my cancer treatment I received so much support from many people, some of whom I’ve never met. My gratitude knows no bounds and as I’ve always been a big believer in paying it forward, every year I draw four or five portraits in aid of charities.

So far this year I have given three (Waltham Forest Cat Protection, The Fox Project, Boston Pilgrim Stroke Unit) and have two more scheduled (Lincolnshire Dog Rescue and The National Fox Welfare Society).

It’s not entirely selfless. It makes me feel I am giving something back and that is a good, good feeling. So, on this beautiful sunny morning I am smiling like a mad thing as I trawl through photographs of foxes and dogs. Life’s pretty darn fine!