Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

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Mervyn Peake Awards 2016

2016-07-06-1-London-1000The Mervyn Peake Awards 2016 were presented on Wednesday 6 July at the OXO Gallery, London. That’s on the South Bank (of the Thames), a short walk from Waterloo station. There was an awards ceremony and exhibition launch event in the afternoon and a VIP preview in the evening.

The exhibition is billed as a celebration of the creativity of people with Parkinson’s, and it is the first year that a full exhibition, open to the public, has been held in such a prestigious location. I have two pieces in the show: Ridge, a landscape that was shortlisted for the art award and Shelves of Inspiration, a composite still life and imaginary piece that won the multimedia themed award, “Inspire”.

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As a winner of one of the awards, I had been invited to both events, along with my guest, Sophie (aka PollieMath). It was truly wonderful to have Sophie’s company; we have much in common and had a lot to talk about… and a lot of things to draw.

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I must admit that I found the whole being-a-winner-experience rather odd. I’m not used to the attention, although I did appreciate all of the positive comments about the winning painting. Inspiration is a very individual thing, and this painting was a very personal piece, and one that I spent a lot of time on – both planning and painting it.

I duly received my award from the fabulous Anders M. Leines, Norwegian photographer responsible for the thought-provoking exhibition “This is Parkinson’s”. Anders asked me if I had anything to say. “No”, I replied (which at least amused the audience), and offered me a hug. That was nice.

The full video version of Ander’s exhibition is on display at the Mervyn Peake Awards exhibition, which is still running – on until 10 July – so, if you’re in London this weekend, do try to visit it.

And if you do visit the exhibition, I’d love to hear what you think.




Welford Parkinson’s


Bluebell woods at Welford Park, Berkshire

Somwhat belatedly, here are some pictures from our walk in the Park in April. I carelessly allowed my camera batteries to go flat, although the camera in my smart phone was able to take reasonable images in the brilliant sunlight that we all enjoyed that day. The ink in my assorted fountain pens didn’t run out, though, and I made a fair few walking-sketches…


Jenni from Parkinson’s UK, the organiser of the walk, talking to the assembled walkers at the beginning of the walk


The official photographer. The incongruity of drawing photographers at work appeals to me…


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Assorted scenes from during and after the walk

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A walk in the Park

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Welford Park, a private estate near Newbury, is known for its snowdrops (the ones above were in Kingsclere) and – more recently – as the location for the television show Bake-Off. I’ve not been to see the snowdrops before (although I intend to every single year) and I don’t think I’ve seen the Bake-Off on television (there are no intentions in that direction). But I am going to be visiting Welford Park, with my family in tow, for another Parkinson’s UK sponsored walk.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

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Walk Oxford


The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, sketched during the London Urban Sketchers’ Oxford Sketchcrawl

Oxford is a very attractive town. I last visited it on a “Sketchcrawl” organised by a friend for the London Urban Sketching group. I seem to recall doing quite a lot of walking that day, but it was interspersed by stopping to make  drawing or two.

My next visit to Oxford (which is about 40 miles away) will be in order to take part in another organised event: a sponsored walk in aid of Parkinson’s UK. This time my husband and children will be joining me. We’ve signed up to do the full eight miles. All of us.

The walk is on the 25th of October (not very long to go!).  Wish us luck – and, if you would be so kind, please sponsor me:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


Newbury to Watership Down… and a few miles extra

Well, I walked the walk.

It turned out to be 11.4 miles. I toogooglemapk an option which reduced the road-walking miles but missed out Nuthanger Farm and the steep bit of Watership Down. This was partly down to me misreading the map, but was probably a good thing as far as my feet were concerned!

The map shown to the right is a link to the Google map that I plotted my route on to determine the distance.

One of my lovely friends gave me a lift to the far side of Sandleford Common in Newbury. The theoretical end of the walk was White Hill, at the end of Cannon Heath Down, where there is a road and a car park, but I walked a few miles more to get home.

During my walk, I texted brief progress reports to Facebook. I’ve copied them here (in italics) and added photographs and extra details. Continue reading

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UK Art Aid – Cancer Charity

This is a cross-post from my art blog. It’s got nothing to do with Parkinson’s, but it is a good cause and I thought that it was worth giving it the maximum exposure possible.

The UK Art Aid Web site is now live. There’s a whole stack of stormy paintings that can be bought as originals (£200) or prints (£65), including my very own Godrevy Storm.



Portraits for Parkinson’s

My Portraits for Parkinson’s fundraiser (a subsidary to Sharon’s meticulously organised dinner and dance evening) happened last Saturday night, and I’m pleased to report that:

  • I made £120 for Parkinson’s UK
  • Everybody who came to me for a portrait seemed happy with the results
    (which were all very colourful Conté drawings)

I didn’t record any of the drawings, but here is part of the whiteboard that I used to advertise my services: