Protecting Our Health – and More

The Health of Us All Depends on the Health of the Most Vulnerable

We all have a responsibility to take care of our health and that of others more than ever right now. For many of us that involves staying physically distant from as many people as possible to keep both us and them safe. But those who don’t have the luxury of being able to work from home also need our support. Again, those of us who can, can stay at home as much as possible to slow the spread of this virus and therefore ease the burden on our health services. People who can’t work from home and who don’t get paid if they don’t go to work need to know that they will be OK, both physically and financially if they stay at home. So it’s down to governments to do the right thing and put measures into place to support everyone but especially those most at risk.

Welcome to Staying at Home

 

In 2005 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness – M.E. Only the people who are really close to me, or friends who also have this illness have any real understanding of what this means and how it impacts on my life. Other people see me only on my better days and the rest of the time probably don’t think much about it. When they see me I seem fine so that’s how they know me. They might know that I ‘feel tired’ a lot or that I have to ‘take care of myself’ but other than that they might think about it only when it impacts on them – when I have to cancel plans or I’m not able to turn up for an event or gathering, or I don’t visit as often as I used to.

One of the major ways M.E affects my life is social isolation. I had to leave my job as a teacher, sell my home and now spend long periods of time at home, often on my own. This isn’t about me looking for sympathy. This is how my life has been for a long time now, and in spite of all of this it’s a good life – and luckily I enjoy my own company!

Right now people all over the world are being asked to self-isolate to help slow down the spread of Coronavirus. It’s a scary time as we all face the unknown. People’s lives are being disrupted. They may have to stay at home, maybe work from home, maybe even lose income because they can’t go out.

I know the big changes that are being asked of people right now are really difficult and I want to say that I get it. I understand how huge uncertainties about work and your health and even the security of your own home can induce massive anxiety. I understand that you might feel angry about having to cancel your plans, or stay at home just as the weather might be starting to brighten up a bit (in some places at least). I know the worry you’re feeling about how long this might last or when life can get back to normal.

I’ve been through all of this (while at the same time, having friends, colleagues and doctors questioning the reality of my illness) and continue to go through it on a regular basis, so I empathise with anyone finding this time hard (I am too). Change and uncertainty are difficult and frightening, and we just want someone to tell us that everything will be OK.

I know you might also want to do something that is physically active, to feel like you’re helping in a practical way (and no doubt there’s a place for that too), but sometimes doing something quieter and more passive can be just as important.

Self-isolating can be really hard and I’m not saying this is going to be fun, but it is an opportunity for you to protect yourself and others from becoming ill, which is vital and a big responsibility. It won’t be easy, believe me, but it won’t be forever. And I wonder if it might provide you with an insight into what everyday life is like for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, especially those who are completely housebound and who grieve every day for the things they have to miss out on (trips to the shops, meeting a friend for coffee, even going to work). And I wonder if when these restrictions are lifted from your life, you’ll be able to hold on to that insight and empathy.

New Greeting Card and New Eco-Friendly Packaging

Dandelions Greeting Cards

Inspired by my 100 Day Project from 2019, I’ve been drawing flowers recently and I’ve turned these dandelion drawings into a greeting card, which is now available in my Etsy shop. This is the first of my products that won’t come wrapped in plastic as I transition to eco friendly packaging. Some of my other items will still arrive in plastic but only until I use up all the cellophane sleeves that I already have (because I don’t want to just throw them away unused).

These dandelion cards come wrapped in a recycled paper band which is held together with a small sticker, which is 100% compostable.

Even without plastic packaging I’m still making sure that everything I send out from my shop, is packaged carefully and protected for its journey to you!

Shetland Wool Week 2019 Sheep

 

Shetland Sheep wearing Fair Isle Jumper

Today I’m very excited to share with you another piece of work I created for the organisers of Shetland Wool Week. The annual, week-long event that promotes the textile and farming industries of the Shetland islands, started on Saturday and this year is their 10th anniversary. To celebrate, they asked me to create a full colour illustration of a Shetland sheep, which features on all their merchandise currently available to purchase in person this week. Any items they have left over once this year’s Shetland Wool Week comes to a close, will be made available in their online shop.

Shetland Wool Week Hats

Shetland Wool Week hats Illustration

Today I’m excited to share with you some work I did for the lovely people at Shetland Wool Week. As the name suggests, Shetland Wool Week is a week long event that celebrates the Shetland wool, textile and farming industries. It takes place once a year, during the Autumn and the organisers approached me earlier this year to ask if I would be interested in creating a celebratory print for 2019 – their 10th year.

For the past 6 out of 10 years a designer has created a knitting pattern for a hat that anyone anywhere in the world can use to feel a part of the celebrations, whether they’re attending the event in person or not.

My illustration of these 6 hats has been made into a beautiful A3 giclee print and is currently available to purchase through the Shetland Wool Week online shop but numbers are strictly limited so if you would like one, please order now to avoid missing out.

Hats designed by: