Nailed it.

I know blogs are various and frequently self-obsessed, well you know logs…………….

Captain’s log 2, 3 four and a half.  I am absolutely sure Ensign Doe Eyes has a crush on me.  Every time I expound my theories of the universe to her in the lift, she sighs and rolls her eyes.  Yesterday when I was explaining the Crab Nebula to her, she was yawning uncontrollably, a sure sign of overwhelming desire to those of us highly trained in the significance of body language.  I am of course, because of the course at Asteroid Academy, which I designed.  I am also the only human who passed the Kobyashi Who Who test, which is impossible to pass, I simply stepped out of the testing booth and strangled the examiner.  That showed them.  I must get more mirrors installed in this lift, though none on the ceiling in case my heroically thinning scalp where my huge brain is growing through my impressively parting hair, is in any way highlighted.  It amazes me that all this time I have been talking and thinking about two different things.  I wish I were Ensign Doe Eyes so I could listen to me.  She stares at her feet, poor creature, overwhelmed by my sheer physical presence and sometimes, when I throw out a particularly apt comment, laughs in sheer delight.’

However the blog about my fingernails, which I hope the chaps at SETI are picking up and beaming out to the universe is this: although I have now filed the dangerous nails down, I took pictures first thing this morning.


Here are the nails of my left hand, same as ever, not much different to the way they were this time last week.



here is my right hand this morning.  Yes, I know, the little fingernail alone could have its own blog or show on Broadway or possible even a live UTube feed where we can all watch it grow.


It’s growing out of the nail varnish, unlike the table underneath which could really do with some.  Anyway, it stands as a tribute to the incredible human body.

I saw my neighbour, the surgeon of bones yesterday, in a neighbourly capacity but he said the nails and skin were healing differently to the bones.  What made the break so bad was the the bone had delaminated along the shaft and spread out like the ribs of a fan.  The surgeon who did the operation would normally attempt to screw the bits to the inserted rod but in my case he has lassoed the thin feathery bits with stitches.  They will take another Xray in a couple of weeks and see what has happened.

If you were ever tempted to starve yourself please don’t, it was done to me and this is the upshot.  We do not need to be thin and tall and weak, like seedlings grown in a cupboard, we need to be strong and confident, like the captain.

Hello Ambassador Splot.  This is the first time humans and Flupiterians have met, so naturally they have sent me to be the ambassador from Earth.  I am similar to many of my species, though not typical.  Better.  I have nicer hair.  I see you are looking at what they call my face.  It’s lovely, isn’t it?’

Snar loij felt smale’

I have no idea what you are saying as the universal translator is jammed.  I got hairspray on it which is someone else’s fault.  I’m quite sure you are licking your lips in what I take to be admiration.  Yes you are because now you are licking me.  I am quite irresistible aren’t I?’


Even though you obviously adore me, and why not, I think sucking my fingers like that is a little overdone, good gracious, up to the elbow, oh wait a’

This is the last entry in the log of this particular captain.  The electronic log book was found by Voyager, hurtling through space having apparently been spat out by a black hole.

Somewhere between not being very confident at all and giving the captain the finger is the ideal place to be.


If you can do that you’ve got it nailed.


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Phasers set to grow.

The last couple of days have been less than wonderful.  I have been utterly exhausted, I think I finally ran out of adrenaline.

The physio visits, appointments and check-ups have been at the rate of two a week, which doesn’t sound much if everything is working but very tiring when it takes half an hour just to get dressed.  I haven’t worn my usual clothes since the accident, I am living in stretchy waistband old lady clothing because if you haven’t got a working right hand there is no way you can do your jeans up.  Today I dried my own right hip with my right hand, cautiously, for the first time in four and a half weeks.  Ooh dry!  Well it was on the third go.  Early on I sent for front fastening bras but have had the problem of being lop-sided.  Like the gentleman from Devises, I have them in different sizes, one is normal and fits the receptacle but the other is big and would win prizes if I wasn’t too busy stuffing it back in again to exhibit it.  I asked at physio and, apparently, it is acting as a drain for the lymph nodes.  The bruising has gone but my body is still cleaning up the detritus inside. Out side I have two scars on my arm, one two inches long, another going right up on to my shoulder is four inches long.

On Tuesday I went for a bone density scan.  If I have got osteoporosis, which seems a possibility given the way everyone keeps telling me it’s the worst break they’ve ever seen, there are a few treatments that can be offered, though the easier oral ones are ruled out because I have Barrett’s oesophagus.  I think the crumbling bones are a result of my mother starving me when I was a teenager, though I was also an unwanted foetus, which doesn’t give you the best start in life.

My body, meanwhile, is taking matters into it’s own hands, as it were.  I seem to be set to ‘grow’  I first noticed it with my fingernails.  Like many people as I have aged these have been of the ‘tear along the dotted line’ variety.  But I noticed they were growing last week.


Here are the fingernails of my left hand, on the unbroken-this-time arm, a week ago.


Here are the fingers of my right hand and the nails on the same day.


My right hand two days ago.


My right hand today.  I can practically hear them growing.  The left hand is exactly as it was in the first photo.  Not only has my brain set my fingernails to grow, it knows which hand to do it on.  How amazing is that?

The lady in physio says the bones will grow for another six weeks or so and then take over from the nail and screws which will still be in my bones but not doing anything.  Naturally I have a fervent hope that I may grow a little taller because when I went for the bone scan I was measured and seem to have lost two inches recently.

Also my hair is growing very fast.  I now have long hair, another thing I never really had, it used to get to my shoulders and give up.  The OH refused to cut it, so I did the top where it was falling into my eyes.  It took about three quarters of an hour and I would have to say was a labour of desperation.  Whilst not wanting to do the otherly abled out of a job, quite honestly if you rack up to the hairdresser wishing for a haircut and find they are uni manual I would strongly recommend you go elsewhere.  A mere three quarters of an hour balancing some curlers nearly in my wet hair gave that helpful tousled look where you can’t tell that random hacking has occurred.

It’s a laugh a minute.  I also found out I could have gone to the doctor for more morphine instead of skimping and saving the last half inch in the bottle for emergencies.  Everyone said I would need the painkillers when I started exercising.  This is true too.

Well I’m off to cut my fingernails before I poke someone’s eyes out with them by mistake, probably my own.  Putting my contacts in is exceptionally hazardous.  If I had the energy to take another photo right now, you could see that the photo I took this morning looks a lot out of date.

Whatever next?  Dunno.  Stay tuned.


Looking at the nail on my little finger tonight, it’s about twice that length now.  But then I have had a day mostly being restful.  My eyelashes are growing too.  And my nose hair.  I may be turning into a gorilla, or possibly a person with one normal arm and one really looooooooooooong arm.

Oh dear, eek eek eek.


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Break 4

As promised, a look at the inside of my arm.


As you can see, apparently I have ribs.  This is not necessarily something you would notice from the out side.  Who knew?  I did at one point have difficulty in hospital when they were scanning my arm for damage to the tendons and nerves.  They got me in the scanner and said: Breathe in and hold your breath and I couldn’t.  So they X-rayed me to see if I’d cracked my ribs but I had not, thankfully, just bruised them, so I did have an inkling that I had ribs and Lo!  there they are.

As you can also see there are now additional extras.  I’m slowly turning into the Terminator: I already have titanium dental implants and now, says the doctor, I am likely to set off the alarms at airports.  Though if such a thing happens it will be way in the future as it takes me two hours just to get up in the morning and by then I’m exhausted and ready to get right back into bed.

Otherwise, perceive!  I am well and truly screwed.  I count four screws and what they call a long nail.  The top of the rod goes right into the ball joint of my shoulder.  It aches all the time.  Then there’s another screw and then the bit where the bits of the bone are pushed together.  Round that join apparently is a net with a lot of smashed bone fragments in it gathered round the nail, then there’s a gap and then two more screws through the solid bit of bone before you get to my elbow.

The two metal items on the first X-ray are bra strap adjusters.  The X-ray technician was quite annoyed with me for wearing them.  But I had taken several doses of morphine to be on the |Internet long enough to find a front fastening bra in my size and wasn’t about to give it up for the thing with no fastenings and molto elastic I wore in hospital that takes two strong nurses and a mashed potato scoop from the canteen to get me into.  It’s quite nice in maturity to be able to get into your own undergarments.  It gives you an illusion of independence.

It looks as if I am osteoporotic.  The hospital have sent a letter for me to go through a bone density scanner in another hospital at some time in the future.  If I prove to be so it is undoubtedly a legacy of my past.  I was not a wanted child and started off in a children’s home.   I think much more damage was done by my adoptive mother when she systematically starved me in my teenage years.  As well as leaving me in the geriatric ward to starve while they went on holiday, twice, she did it all the time at home.  She threw lavish dinner parties for friends, mostly the doctors from the group practice, but Jane was allowed five green beans, one dessert spoon of gravy and meat, two teaspoons of potato and two thirds of a pot of yogurt and every damn thing was weighed until it was put on the plate cold.  They were not the Swinging Sixties for me, they were the Starving Sixties.  To this day I can glance at any plate of food and tell you the calorific value in a moment.  When you starve a teenager you are not making a thin compliant teenager, you are making an osteoporotic old lady, who will be suffering crumbling bones and 24 hour a day pain when you are long gone and not even there to gloat.

Needless to say, if you are doing any of this to yourself, please stop.

People are diverse.  This is a good arrangement so that you can tell us apart.  We come in tall short, wide narrow, fat, thin, busty flat chested, broad shouldered, narrow and geeky, athletic, cerebral, small and bijou, huge and imposing and every skin colour from really black to see-through white.  AND IT’S ALL BEAUTIFUL.

And if you have a child, celebrate what they are, rather than yearning for them to be what they are not.  We need leaders but we also need followers, we need people with every aptitude, ability and physical and mental type there is and we need all of this for the survival of the human race because in our human history it is our diversity which has enabled us to colonise the whole planet and in our future it is this diversity which will take us out into the stars.

As for me I am so glad that some people wish to be surgeons.  I am so glad that some people wish to research which metals you could screw into broken bones.  I am glad they were available to help me and I am so so very very glad of Aneurin Bevan who oversaw the foundation of the National Health Service when he was Minister for health.  I cannot imagine what sort of state I would be in if, for example, I had needed health insurance and been too poor to have it.  Would I have had to live the rest of my life in excruciating pain with a useless arm?  Would it have gone gangrenous and had to be removed?  Earlier in history, no matter how much money I had, probably yes.

If you are alive and well and reading this, the minute you stop go and get a mirror and have a good look, be sure to tell yourself how utterly beautiful you are and how lucky to be alive right here, right now.


There will be Miniaturas in the future and I will be there.

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Break 3

I’ve just had the first follow-up hospital appointment.  I was X-rayed, the bandages were removed and I saw the surgeon’s registrar.  I will not be able to climb ladders again, or put things on high shelves but I will probably be able to do my own hair at some point, which will be a relief to the OH who has been landed with the task, with variable results.

Apparently it’s two weeks since the operation; I thought it was only one.  After one week the OH took this photograph

IMG_0370 (2)

this is the back of my right elbow.

Back to the medical firsts.  Some years ago I landed up in hospital with a fierce dental abscess.  I was on intravenous antibiotics for a week before they would extract the tooth.  Eventually they did and I had a gap.  Some years later the mirror image tooth also got an abscess but by then I had a great dentist, who proposed dental implants.  I kept going with serrapeptase for several months while the implantologist arranged to write me up and present me as a paper at Edinburgh University because I had a couple of firsts:  I was having an implant in an old, healed socket and a new extraction and implant on the other side at the same time, so it was a good comparison, and I was only using serrapeptase as an anti-inflammatory and pain control.  I spent lengthy half hours with my mouth open and full of hardware for the purposes of photography.  For this I got  a substantial reduction in the fees and the knowledge that I was helping other people in the future.  Of course, if it had all gone horribly wrong that would have been a useful hint to the future in a ‘here’s what not to do’ sort of way.  All went well, I love my implants and if someone says: so bite me, I jolly well can.

Back to two weeks ago, when the idiot Jane, full of morphine, assures the anaesthetist that she will not need a ring of injections while she is asleep because, unlike anyone else on the planet, operating in the midst of all the nerves going through the shoulder will not hurt.  Not one little bit, tra la.

So into theatre I walked, accompanied by the surgeon, met all the prep people in the ante room, worried briefly who would come to meet me if I died, was told: this is not the injection that will put you to sleep.

This is the injection that


Next thing I know I’m sitting up covered in blankets except for my shoulder.  I have the anaesthetist on my right side and all the pain of the world crushing me.  It felt like someone had leaned a very large building on me and I thought: Right, now I am going to die and it will be my escape.  Was I making that noise again?  Had my heart rate gone up a lot?  I don’t know.  The anaesthetist said: Stay very still I am going to try something.  Don’t move at all.

On my left side a screen appeared with an X-ray image of my right arm.  Simultaneously the theatre filled with people.  Surgeons in gowns and caps from other theatres, sisters, nurses in plastic aprons.  People.  Crowds of people, watching.  On the screen I could see the needles going in.  I could see the nerves and blood vessels and I could see the needles going within millimetres of the vital places.  The tips of the needles went right up to the vessels and fibres and stopped.  By the third one, so did the pain.

I wished to live again, the anaesthetist finished and the crowd melted away; back through a door with gloves in the air, out of another door, sitting back down.  All vanished and the world returned.

Do you think Pierre Curie ever said to his wife:  My goodness you are looking radiant tonight, dear.  Positively glowing.

I hope he did, I hope he meant it.  Medical firsts are not just things we learn in history.  They have been of such help to me in my life.  I like to think of all the wonderful medical advances that have been made when the news is bad.  When the evening television starts with tales of man’s inhumanity to man, I like to remember the people I have actually met who have been able to further their skill and thought it was worthwhile to do so to help ordinary people such as you and I.  Surely there can be no better thing to do with your life than to help people in their hour of need?

Next time, a look at the hardware.  In my arm.


No Min for me, I cannot lift weight of any kind for weeks and weeks and weeks and they had to cut the tendon to get at the bone.

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break 2

So there I was finally in hospital and with pain relief.   My next door neighbour appeared.  He happens to be a bone surgeon working in the hospital, how handy is that?  He does legs, however, not arms, but he advised me that the break was a very bad one, and he knows I make things all the time, as he has had some of them, so he said to wait as there was only one man in the hospital who was good enough to restore me to my usual dexterity.

So when someone popped up later in the day to prep me for surgery I refused point blank.  Which is how I let myself in for hanging around for most of a week with a very broken arm until the right man was available to stick me back together.  I got through a lot of morphine and a lot of cups of tea.

On Thursday the anaesthetist popped by to discuss pain relief after the operation.  Here’s a rule for life: do not discuss future possible pain when you are chock full of morphine.  You will underestimate it.  Very.  A lot.  Heaps.  I know I did.  The anaesthetist explained that there would be pain because all the nerves go through the shoulder but that it was possible under anaesthetic to surround the shoulder with numbing injections.  This, he said, has only ever been done whilst the patient is unconscious, it cannot be done once the patient is back round again in the land of the living,  Never been done.  Decide now if you would like that he said.  No opined the idiot morphine filled Jane I will not need that, I’ll be fine.

So in the afternoon I took a stroll with a very large nurse to the theatre, right through the hospital, I assume to get my blood flowing.  I told her how I was the third person in the world to see Legionella Pneumophila, which is the item responsible for Legionnaires Disease.  How that happened and how I seem fated to be a bystander in medical history I’ll tell you next time, including how I now understand that there can be so much pain you really can see death as a feasible alternative to going on, going on.


No count, no Min, the world has gone mad.

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Big break one

The surgeon said it was one of the worst he has seen; he is not a young man.  Here, in glorious monochrome, the full story so far and I would like Meryl Streep to play me because boy was there drama.

I was Sunday July 9th, 8.30 am.  I had washed the cats’ bowls and was heading back into the utility room when my leg hit the corner of the recycling box and I began falling.  I have had vivid nightmares of the moment each time I fall asleep.  I put out my right arm to save myself, my knee hit the floor, my arm went on travelling and my shoulder stopped where it was.  The OH still abed, came rushing at the noise, he thought the cats were fighting but the noise was coming out of me.  When I got up the long bone in my upper arm was pointing out but not breaking the skin.  In this condition, I went upstairs, got dressed, got a suitcase, added clothes, came back down and had one of the most stupid conversations ever with the ambulance people who were reluctant to send an ambulance in case someone had a heart attack that morning.  The  conversation included the words:  now just listen to me Jane and stop making that strange noise………..

In the end the OH put me in the car and took me.  At the hospital, he just stopped near A & E and I stumbled in. making the noise.  They knew what it meant, a wheelchair was produced, and a bed and a sling.  I spent the first half hour next to a lady who died but was revived, then I got a cubicle.  I had sips of water and, after two hours, pain relief.  Oh blessed morphine.  Given that I have been a grateful member of Al-Anon for six years, I have frequently stated that I wish all drugs including alcohol be whisked away from the planet and uninvented.  I wish to revise this view; I could not have got through the last two weeks without morphine.  All the nerves from your upper trunk, your clever right arm and all points south go through that shoulder and up your neck to your head so you can get the full benefit of feeling.  All of it.  At the most extreme I experienced the pain as great pressure, as if someone had leaned a heavy building on me.

I am posting this now, I need to stop, I am typing left handed, one finger.  More later.


NO count, no min.

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My big break

Short post.  Broken right humerus, shattered tiny pieced the  top, smashed shoulder.  Living between morphine doses,  May not get all movement back.  Terrible pain.  No Miniatura.

Catch U later.


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I appear to be becalmed in the doldrums.  I haven’t had a holiday for over ten years, which might have something to do with it.  It’s partly my own fault, apart from lack of cash.  I refuse to go on holiday if I have to sit alone in a hotel room for three hours an evening waiting for someone else to fill up at the bar and I lost the desire to sit in any sort of bar at all about thirty years ago.  My grandmother was right; when drink is in sense is out, and, having been brought up in a pub on the river Tyne, she knew.

Perhaps it’s something to do with it being nearly six months since my mother died.  Perhaps it’s because the solicitor who was dealing with her stuff left suddenly and the deputy, who was helping, is a bit lost.  Maybe I’ve played enough and need to repurpose.  Maybe I’m just tired of wading through boxes of stuff I can’t do anything with until we get to probate.

When the doldrums strike I usually get arty.  I’ve been sporadically attending drawing sessions run by a local art shop.  They provide a model who will sit still for a couple of hours and I draw the result and then file it in a scrapbook album so I can see the progress.  I began with life drawing which is a number of quick poses.  I thought it might be helpful with doll  modelling and I think it was, although the dolls still have to be dolls.  There was a lot of talk some years ago about realism.  An exhibition held in foreign abroad had featured a twelfth scale bawdy house with realistic unclad dolls with floppy bits, body hair, corns, knees and bingo wings, in short, the full horror of the human body.  It was a constant topic of conversation at the following Miniatura.  The consensus of opinion was that it was, well, you know, foreign and that it was all very well to see but nobody would want that in their own dolls’ house, would they?  At the time I was veering in the direction of realism myself, but I listened to all the talk and veered right back again.  My dolls quite definitely reproduce via moulds and will always lack the body parts to do anything else, the closest I get is a shape that looks right under clothing.

So I moved on to attending portraiture sessions where the models keep the same pose for two hours with a slight break to complain in and have really enjoyed the results.


My partner in crime is Kuretake, the Japanese company who produce wonderful brush pens.  The portrait on the right is done with their Zig clean colour water based ink brush pens.  Once I got confident I moved to the medium for the left portrait which is their alcohol brush pens.  As you can see this is a very definite colour, once it’s on the paper, it’s there.

I have also now started trying to get more of the person on the paper, which is quite a challenge.  If I started at the top I always had a leg dangling off the bottom of the paper and I certainly wouldn’t start at the feet; finishing at the nose is probably an F- at least.

It is still, without a doubt, very good for any artist to be arty in different mediums.  It still looks like my output however I do it.  Everything has a slight cartoon quality.  Maybe it’s the way I see: not very well at a distance, very well two inches from my nose.  Talking of which, I have an appointment to get my cataracts seen to.  That’s what I’m spending my inheritance on.  I could wait until they get much worse and I qualify under the constraints of the National Health and get them done for free but if I do that they’ll adjust my eyes to normal and I won’t be able to do the dolls.  Not that I can at present.  Everything is blurry, as I realised when I photographed the last lot to show you.  Cameras are so good now that they can show you up with no problem at all.  A few years ago I bought a miniature from a famous miniaturist that they had made recently.  I could see well enough then to see that it wasn’t very good.  When I talked to the artist later it became apparent that they didn’t know it wasn’t good because they couldn’t see it.  What was worse was that they didn’t know they couldn’t see it.

I think there comes a time in the life of all artists when experience and physical ability wave to each other as they rush off in different directions.  There is a strong possibility that I may be at that juncture right now.  So now is the time to act.  It will either make everything much better or it will fail horribly, in which case plan B is to do a lot more writing but in very big

typeface.  So if you read a blog in the future that looks like this  you’ll know it all went horribly wrong.

Stay tuned.


13 weeks to the Min.

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Fruit and nut case.

As there seems to be a surfeit of nasty news and I like to be contrary ( who doesn’t?)  (Well OK not you and clearly not me and I would never say so either.)….

One of the list of things that needed mending about me after four and a half years of neglect was a foot.  Yes indeed Holmes, I do declare there is something underhand afoot.  Halong with my aitches, dearart, I ’ad dropped my arch.  ’Ad my dear departed mother been around she’d have been endlessly able to tell me she told me so and she would have been absolutely right.  (See live long enough everything ’appens.) (Well she wasn’t around when I went for ’elp but it started previous, like, doctor, so technically she was.)

It started when I was a ninfant.  I was taken for flat feet once a week to stand in two tiny baths with electric plates in the base of them, they were filled with water and current was passed through.  Amazingly, as you can probably tell whether you are medically qualified or not this did not electrocute me to death at all.  In fact I don’t think it did anything except waste half an hour in a large hospital once a week.  I was also supposed to do foot exercises a lot.  All I can remember of them was that I had to pick up pencils with my feet.  It would be so neat to say that is a skill I still possess today and finish off the blog with my big toe; sadly I cannot.  I was a naughty child and would not do my foot exercises.  Throughout my childhood this was held up as an example of my singular waywardness, usually as we embarked upon some other medical frolic that let my mother dress in her best and flirt with a doctor or two.

Anyhow, did them I did not and a mere sixty two years later, as ominously and frequently predicted, the arch of my foot fell with a mighty thlwup, my ankle rolled over and my left knee basked in affectionate proximity to my right knee.

Sometime later, other events having eventuated, I rocked up at phsio at the hospital and was given an exercise so simple even I could do it.  I just had to do duck feet, stand on tiptoe and descend sloooooooooooooowly.

As the spring weather warmed up and we opened the windows I became aware that I was not the only one doing exercises.  In a house at right angles to mine and close at hand a child was practising various instruments, considerably more assiduously than I had practised foot exercises..  We had Fai…r..y  stops, stips, steps on an oboe for a few weeks.  The fairy was chased out of the forest by a squeaky recorder doing scales, do me so far, far, fur sqkweeek, do me so, me squk, do me so far screeeel, squok.  do me so, do me so, do me so far la tee squaaaaaah!

And then a flute and the Sugar Plum fairy.  In the early days Tchaikovsky must have been whirling in his grave sufficiently to be used as an egg beater.  As progress was made and the weather got warmer it got so good I found myself doing a Frank Muir singalong in the garden.  If you are the right age his Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut Chocolate advert was never bettered and can still be found online.  I didn’t have to look it up, for a lift and a laugh, I simply had to go out and do the weeding.

My foot exercises I did several times a day until the glorious day when worlds collided and  an overweight pensioner found herself performing duck toed relevees in her underwear to the Sugar on and Plum off, begin again Fairy drifting through the open window.  I like to think Frank Muir would have been proud of me and my mother would have enjoyed telling me so and serving me right.

I kept at it and so did apprentice Tchaikovsky and we are both very much better now thank you.

Next stop the Albert ’All in me shorts and Steady On Beethoven that was your Fifth, or not as the case may be.


Fifteen and a half probably, too hot to get the calendar out.

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The importance of being a hobbyist.

More years ago than I care to remember Terry Curran said to me at one of the earlier Miniaturas where I had turned up behind a table instead of walking around as a customer:  Well now you have turned your hobby into your job, what are you going to do for a hobby?

Good question but nothing to worry about as it turned out.  I think I am a born hobbyist.  My father certainly demonstrated collecting things; if you’ll forgive the double negative he couldn’t not collect.  Anywhere he went featured a return journey via an antique shop.  Like any child I have found demonstration more effective than remonstration, I truly believe dolls’ houses collect me and not the other way round, I hear their little wooden voices calling from antique shop windows, websites, show tables, second hand shops and anywhere else they may be found.  They don’t have to call loudly either.  I hear them.

My real and personal passion, however, is certainly born in me.  I make stuff.  My mother wanted to be creative and I don’t think she ever realised that her cookery, which was the activity at which she excelled, even, on occasion surpassing her ability to spot all that was wrong with anyone else and say so oft and long, was her creativity.  Instead she attended classes for a variety of differing ladylike activities.  There was quite a bit of flower arranging and a lot of social clubs for the wives of.  As she was her, these were all eventually turned into an opportunity to make some very good friends and some even better enemies.  The friends got invited to some very splendid dinners and the enemies were not invited as loudly as possible.  Oh, there is a television play and several books in that.

I know people who think, as my mother did, that creativity is something to aspire to.  It is so much easier than that.  You just do it. 

I cannot recall a day when I did not wake up thinking of the thing or several that I was going to make that day.  As a child I made things with paper and that terrible glue in the triangular glass bottle with the perishable rubber nozzle that you had to get a grown up to slit a hole in.  It was marginally stronger than the flour and water paste provided by my grandmother for scrapbooks, mainly in the smell.  By the age of five I had commandeered the transparent sticky tape which was expensive and came in a tin. After a couple of years my mother remarked frequently that they wished they had bought shares in the company that made it.  I must have got through miles of it.  Then I suddenly discovered plastic model kits.  Rather presciently the ones of historical figures in accurate costumes were favourite but hard to come by.  Toy shops tended to stock the big sellers which were all boy oriented; trains cars and aeroplanes.  The historical figures were not one-week pocket money items.  The most expensive one I ever managed to save for was the Visible Woman, whose organs and skeleton were all removable.  I still have her in perfect working order and found her very helpful in the early days of modelling dolls to get the proportions right.

As soon as I left home, gardening began.  In a flat I had a window box, which was by the front door, and the minute we had a house (and a greenhouse!) I found my green thumb and by the time we had a baby and no money, in the normal way, if I could grow it we could eat it and I did.

I don’t think there is an indoor craft or hobby I haven’t tried.  Once dollshousering struck I was in my element as the hobby contains every other craft and hobby but in miniature.  I have done glassblowing, metal smithing, embroidery, sewing, woodwork, furniture building, building buildings, art of every known variety, electrical wiring and lighting, modelling, sculpting and every kind of painting and everything else.  I can build a miniature house from scratch and everything in it.  And, not least, the absolute joy of researching social history, a hobby with excellent outings.

And of course endlessly, ceramics, china painting, engineering and dressmaking.

Currently also I go to portraiture once a week where my local art shop persuades people to sit still for two hours at a a time.  For some years I’ve been card making for which I bought  a die cutting machine a few months ago.  I also got into cake decorating when I needed to persuade my mother to eat, though I have since stopped as this hobby tends to be fattening.

And why?  Apart from the fact that I can’t help myself, why do I do it?  Why do I keep on doing it even when I have no time to do it?  What is it about a hobby that is so beneficial that I believe that everyone should have one?  Or two?  Or more?

The thing about a hobby is this:  If it goes wrong it doesn’t matter; if it goes right, it’s a triumph.

Whatever you pick to be your hobby should be sufficiently challenging and absorbing that while you are doing it there is no time to think about whatever would be worrying you if you were not busy doing your hobby.

Ideally there should be progression.  Either that next bit of kit which is just out of reach financially, or the next project which is just a little beyond your capability at present.

Hobby, put a stick on the o and turn the bs upside down and it will make you happy,


and blogging.  I do that.


15 weeks to the Min

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