Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

Mervyn Peake Awards 2014: The Ceremony


The dress code said “casual”, but I decided this might not mean jeans. I wore linen trousers instead – far more suited to the weather.

It was very hot.

London, being hot.

London, being hot.

I neglected to take any photographs at the reception, which is why I’ve used a photograph taken near Old Street underground station. The reception was on Charlotte Street in Shoreditch, and Old Street was the nearest tube.

I was seated next to the Chief Executive of Parkinson’s UK , Steve Ford. On my other side was a vacant seat that would have belonged to my guest, had she been able to attend. But the attendees – Parkinson’s UK staff, entrants and guests alike – were a friendly bunch, and I had several lovely conversations. For some reason, I kept coming across chemistry graduates from Southampton University (well, two such people were mentioned to me; a third is the one that I married). I seemed strangely adept at finding things in common with the people I talked to, whether it were science (my own first degree is in a sub-division of chemistry), the broadcast industry (I used to write manuals for a company that made broadcast systems), or writing (I used to write manuals… ).

I suppose the strange thing is that I didn’t seem to find a fellow visual artist to compare paintbrushes with.

BrushControl-lowresTalking of paintbrushes, my “Brush Control” was highly commended, which meant that I got to stand up and be presented with a certificate, and have my photograph taken.

“Brush Control” was also featured on the cover of the leaflet (shown below) that was distributed on the tables, along with the other commended images. I was amused to see that it had been turned on its side for the occasion (not I think, deliberately).

pamphlet-tableblurredcopyright25pcMy painting was hung the right way up. Well, actually it was velcroed up, but that is a mere technicality. This means that I fared better than one of the photographers, whose lovely flowers were the wrong way round on the wall.

I have blurred the other images because I do not have the copyright holders’ permission to reproduce them. However, all of the shortlisted images are on Flickr in the following sets:

We were also given copies of all the shortlisted poems to take away in a booklet. I shall enjoy reading them.

On the way home, I got slightly lost en route to the tube station, and found some fellow attendees in a similar position (albeit they were going to Liverpool Street). We all referred to my old-fashioned paper A-Z book of maps (an indispensible item for my visits to the capital) and were duly reassured of our routes.

I managed to miss my favoured train by two minutes, but, if I had caught that one, I wouldn’t have met the delightful family who were going to Bournemouth to visit family for the weekend.

And finally… I started a new sketchbook while awaiting my connection at Basingstoke.



2 thoughts on “Mervyn Peake Awards 2014: The Ceremony

  1. Really enjoyed reading this. Well written with humour and as if you were sat across the table from me with a cool drink, telling me all about it.

  2. I enjoyed reading your account of the Mervyn Peake Awards Ceremony. I attended last year but it
    wasn’t feasible this year. I was short-listed in poetry. I spend many hours at my computer and many of my poems end up on the PUK website forum in Creative Corner.
    I am a firm believer that Art and Music therapy are extremely important in the treatment and the ability to cope with Parkinson’s.
    I am in my twentieth year since diagnosis in 1995, when I was forty-one.
    Good luck with future paintings.

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