At last, I’m slowly beginning to get my life back to normal again.
On the evening of the 9th of June, just as I’d returned from the most wonderful 4 days at the 2013 Patchings Art Festival I was rushed into Papworth Hospital with a heart attack. A lot had been going on in my world, when “Bam” my world changed forever in that single, heart-stopping instant. What followed was probably the most humbling and moving experience of my life as surgeons, doctors, nurses, family, friends, friends of friends, and even total strangers all came together as one to help me in any way that they could – it was utterly awe-inspiring, and I don’t know where to begin to thank everyone for all of their attention, care, help, prayers, and good wishes – so this is especially for each and every one of you: “Thank You – I owe my life to you – I love you all”
Since 9th June I have undergone a series of further heart operations at Papworth, the final operation was last week. I’m now enrolled in Papworth’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme where I’ve had to embrace a whole new way of living, adopted an improved diet and changed my attitude and approach to life. It’s only now that I’m relishing and appreciating every moment of each day, while trying to live life to its fullest within the limitations I now have. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the amazing team at Papworth (and family, friends and strangers too) who assure me that if I follow the rehabilitation advice, within the next three months or so I should be able to lead a near-normal life again – but I will have to live it at a slower pace than I had previously. Unfortunately, because I had so much difficulty coping with the stairs I had to move out of my new flat just before my last operation.
How we can all help
Heart and lung disease are the two biggest killers in the UK today. Every year 250,000 people have a heart attack, that’s one person every three minutes! Papworth Hospital have been pioneering new ways of treating and curing heart and lung disease for over 90 years and they seriously need our help.
Please be so kind as to take a moment of your time to:
- Visit Papworth Hospital Charity website to find out more and see how you can get involved
- Make a donation to the Papworth Hospital Charity Just Giving Page
- Support a Papworth Hospital Charity event in your area
- Like the Papworth Hospital Charity Facebook page
- Follow Papworth Hospital Charity on Twitter
- Make a donation to The British Heart Foundation
Any donation you make (no matter how small) will not only go a long way to help the staff and hospitals deal with heart and lung disease more effectively and offer even better heart attack treatment, but it will also help support the families and friends of those affected who so desperately need your help as well…
Patchings Festival interviews
The four days that I spent at Patchings festival were truly wonderful. Various people such as the festival organisers, Search Press, St Cuthberts Mill, and many of the exhibitors and professional artists attending took me under their wings and helped me to organise and record a collection of very interesting interviews. I haven’t yet had the chance to edit and publish these yet, but I’m intending to do this over the next few weeks and post them here on my blog as well as on AudioBoo. I presented each interviewee with a list of questions that I’d compiled from suggestions submitted by my Twitter followers which covered areas such as: The watercolor artists background, what inspired them, what influenced them, their techniques etc. I then closed each interview by asking the interviewee to share three “Pearls of Wisdom”. What resulted is highly inspirational, and is a veritable goldmine of advice for anyone wanting to improve their art – so watch this space as I will be sharing these with you over the coming weeks!
List of interviewees:
- Angela Gaughan - Portraits and Wildlife Studies
- Ann Blockley - Watercolour and Mixed-Media Artist
- Catherine Frood – St Cuthberts Mill
- Charles Evans - Professional Artist, Tutor and Author
- David Bellamy - Professional Artist, Tutor and Author
- Fiona Peart - Professional Artist, Tutor and Author
- Julie Nash - Professional artist and qualified tutor
- Keith Fenwick - The Art Doctor (watercolour, acrylics, oils and watersolubles)
- Kerry Newell - Wildlife Artist
- Noel Gregory - Artist, Painter, and Author
- Paul Giddens – MD of Premium Art Brands
- Peter Woolley - Professional Artist, Tutor and Author
- Terry Harrison - Professional Artist, Tutor and Author
- Wendy Tait - Professional Artist, Tutor and Author
This week, after many months, I’ve finally managed to start painting again. Although I was in the middle of painting Gondolas from Joe Francis Dowden’s book “Venice in Watercolour” before my heart attack, the partially completed painting has somehow ended up in storage with my entire watercolour portfolio, so I’ve started on a new project, Oak Trees, from Geoff Kersey’s book “Watercolour Trees and Woodlands”.