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Wendy Mouse

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W

Just thought I’d share a picture of my ‘studio’, affectionately known as Wendy Mouse, or Wendy for short.. Sounds a bit posh for what it is, which is a little wooden cabin at the top of my garden. It has everything I need; it’s carpeted, has electricity, two desks and plenty of light for painting, but I still need to sort out storage and make it look a little more homely inside. Clever storage solutions are in the process of being designed and if I bake a cake and ask very nicely, The Squirrel might make them up for me… Anyway! I was tidying out Wendy this afternoon, readying the desks for a lick of paint, and I came across a little poem my mother wrote some time ago. I’d scribbled some rough drawings to go with it, and it made me smile so I thought I’d share a bit of it..

There was a fox with a kinky tail,
who tugged and pulled to no avail,
he wriggled and squirmed,
and pulled and tugged,
but still he had a kinky tail.

I like finding old scribbles.. Anyway, I also took these pictures looking out towards the pond so you can see what I see when I’m drawing and painting. Mx

Summer of painting..

Yes folks, mid-summer’s day has been and gone. The days are getting shorter and the countdown to winter starts here.. Grim, right? But for now, the garden is full of flowers and painting beside the pond is a joy.. when it’s not raining! Hopefully there are plenty more days of sunshine before then, and in the meantime I intend to enjoy those! Once again, I apologise for my prolonged absence, but I have been busy painting and drawing, and I have many pictures to share with you over the coming weeks. Amongst other things, I have very nearly completed a story which will be posted once I’ve done the final editing. Never written or illustrated a full story before, so it’s been a challenge! I’ll tell you more about it in due course. I enjoyed doing it though, and I think I’ll write a few more stories in a little series called “The Tales of Pepperly Wood”. Pepperly wood is local to me, and it sounds like a nice place for little animals to get up to mischief. I can already feel the next story brewing! Once I do get this first one up, any comments and advice would be appreciated as always. It really would be very helpful to get some feedback. Here’s a sneaky peek! Below are a few illustrations from the first story..

In other news; when I last posted, the Squirrel had left me in North Yorkshire and was camping in Liwonde National Park, Malawi, conducting bat research. It was a quick decision for him to go, and finding carers to enable me to live independently was tricky. But I have to say, social services were on the ball with the Direct Payments Scheme, and I did indeed find three lovely ladies to help me. So going solo wasn’t so bad after all! It was a bit lonely, particularly as my car, which I drive from my wheelchair, spent most of the time in different garages. But otherwise, despite the doubts, it was fine. Three months in, and having been asked to stay on for a further year to manage the batty project, the Squirrel returned early due to a particularly persistent case of malaria. After three courses of treatment, he’d decided that he’d had quite enough of Africa for now. So for the moment, all is back to normal in our little home. Hope all you fellow bloggers are having a good weekend. Mx

relocating my drawing mojo..

Any tips? I’m sitting at my desk with blank paper and pen in hand, and nothing’s happening. I guess I’m missing that pesky squirrel, and its only been a week. Just 185 days to go until he’s home, not that I’m counting…

Otherwise, all is working out well with me and the squirrel is fine too. He arrived at camp after a very long journey, and seems to be settling into his tent just fine. Stories of sun-downers (drinks at sunset) on a river bank surrounded by elephants are making me very jealous! He’s been trapping bats at night and doing vegetation surveys and cataloguing insects during the day.

Hopefully this week I’ll find my drawing mojo and get posting lots of interesting snippets, but for the time being you’ll have to make to with an old picture or two. I had the illustrations below printed into birthday and thankyou cards using sixprint. There was a minor hiccup, but they were really helpful and did a good job, so I’d recommend them if you’re wanting to find a company that’ll do a good quality print of your work.

Quick Sketch

Packing, unpacking and re-packing… repeat. This is the main event in our household at the moment as The Squirrel is set to leave on Sunday.

He’s had his jabs and lovely cholera drinks, he’s reorganised his camera equipment and his first aid kit a hundred times and he’s packed his teddy. He’s bound to have forgotten something, but I think his luggage has had as much attention as it is possible to give. The flight has been changed twice now, and with a very quick change at Addis Ababa, I’ll just be very pleased if both he and his luggage arrive safely in Lilongwe at the scheduled time. I’ve convinced him to write a blog about his trip; nothing ever works in Malawi and there’s bound to be a few interesting adventures, and plenty of beautiful photography too. If you want to see what he’s up to visit here. Lets just hope he has enough electricity and internet connection to keep it going (and to skype me!)

Meanwhile, the direct payments system has enabled me to employ 3 carers to cover the time he is away. It’s going to be different and rather lonely, but hey ho – I’ll be reet! Maybe I’ll enjoy being a single lady..? Or perhaps I’ll just be a sad, crazy cat lady… who knows! Either way, my story is coming along and will be posted soon, I promise!

All for now Mx

Busy, busy, busy!

Once again I apologise very much for not keeping up with posts, it has been an incredibly busy few weeks. Firstly, we had a week of family and friends gathering for my grandfather’s funeral. A difficult time, but also celebratory for an amazing life well lived.And lovely to see so many familiar old faces.

Unlike Black Cat who adore any extra attention, Penny did not enjoy having people staying and spent most of the time mooching on the staircase or napping in the upstairs bedroom.
Unlike Black Cat who adores any extra attention, Penny did not enjoy having people staying and spent most of the time mooching on the staircase or napping in the upstairs bedroom.

Alongside this, The Squirrel has gotten himself a new job! Many congrats to him, but I can’t help feeling incredibly kerfuffled. The position is for 6 months, possibly extending to a year, as a field assistant in Liwonde National Park carrying out research into bats. The painful bit is that this is 12000 miles away, in my home country, Malawi. It’ll be an incredible experience, working with Bristol University and African Bat Conservation. The job is literally perfect for him and I’m so pleased he’s doing it. But I am definitely jealous that he’s essentially going to be on safari for 6 months… jammy! It’s a very quick turn around, he’s leaving in just 2 weeks time. So we have been frantically trying to sort out the hundred and one things that need doing before he leaves; rabies vaccines, travel insurance, bat detectors and other gadgets, and all the while we’re trying to avoid thinking about being apart for so long; it’s going to be a wrench! I’ve also been trying to employ carers to work for the period that he’s away, which is never an easy task. So like I said, its been a busy few weeks!

I have however, been continuing to illustrate my children’s story, which I am now about half way through (ish!). I know you’ll all be trembling with excitement to see, but alas you’ll have to wait a little longer..

Still here, still scribbling..


Sorry for the short absence, it’s been a rather strange week. Starting off very hectic and then coming to a complete standstill. I’ve been trying out a new drug; a nerve painkiller, and it turned me into a bit of a zombie. It’s one of those that has an incredible list of possible side effects, enough to put anyone off, but the hope of it relieving at least some of my pains meant I was willing to give it a go. When I started losing the ability to swallow and having breathing difficulties, I quickly decided that it’s not for me! I’m still very dizzy and sleepy, but hopefully that’ll wear off over the next few days.

Anyway! I haven’t been totally idle. I’ve been able to get a few drawings done and I’ll update my sketchbook shortly. As you know, I’m new to this blogging malarkey and one of the things I’m enjoying the most is seeing what others are up to. It’s been really nice to engage and learn from so many talented individuals. I’ve decided to evolve and add another page to my blog. This has been partly inspired by drawsy, who started an interesting illustration blog-project at a similar time to myself (check it out!), and partly because – well, why not!? It’s going to house children’s stories, both written and illustrated by yours truly. I’m not sure whether these stories will be appearing all in one post, it’s more likely that I’ll do a few pages at a time and you’ll have to keep popping back to read the next part. I’ve got some ideas for the first one and I’ve done a few scribblings and preliminary sketches (see pics below). I won’t tell you too much about it now – you’ll have to wait and see how it develops over the coming weeks..

All for now, have a good week fellow bloggers & thanks for stopping by. Mx