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Seems like forever...

It's good to be back, having spent so long away (blame my broadband and health... both sick , for the reason). It's going to take me a while to get back up to speed so be patient :)
I'm so chuffed! :iconmarkkus76: has featured my painting 'Walking thru Fire' here markkus76.deviantart.com/journ… and here news.deviantart.com/article/11… and I'm so honoured to be in such excellent company. Thank you.
Yep... I've gone and done it: I've set up a new Group called Painted-Ladies painted-ladies.deviantart.com/ for all those artists (Painters, drawers, etc.) who need a little showcasing. There are plenty of photos of women that are easy to find, but a good painting or drawing? Not really.

So I've set up this Group for all created images of the female form from portraits to nudes (and everything in-between). It'd be great if someone were to take it over (as I don't have a hankering to manage Groups... just that I felt this one should exist) but until then, I'll run it.

So if you want to check it out or join, then please do so and add work and publicise the work of others there (and share the message).

Happy New Year to you all

:iconpainted-ladies:

At least I've had some spare time...

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 17, 2009, 3:56 AM
My health deteriorated somewhat (thankfully for only a couple of weeks) and because of some family issues (to put it mildly), I've not been very productive of late. So I decided to take this time to fiddle around with my other accounts on RedBubble and Lulu as well as my blog (check it out: sadisticscribbler.blogspot.com…)

While updating my RB account I noticed that my latest image seems to be a hulluva lot more popular there than here. Wonder why?

I have now finally got round to finishing a nude I'd been planning to paint for a very long time, although by the time I'd finished I had diverged from what I had originally intended... but I think it still works. This piece was a long time coming... I've been having serious problems with my computer... then my health... then back to the PC...  and then my brother died.

Rysz's death was not unexpected (he did have MND after all) but it still came suddenly and as a shock. I had wanted him to see the painting and I was getting frustrated at not being able to finish it. Just as things started coming together (better health, new OS, new software) and I was finally able to start the work... I got the phone call that Rysz's health was declining fast.

A day earlier, Rysz had gone to hospital for a chest infection. The next day I was told that he was responding well and would be home the following day... but that the infection had taken its toll and shortened Rysz's life expectancy to just a few months. I thought I'd create the painting to cheer him up.

Just as I was about to begin, I got a second call... this time saying that Rysz had deteriorated and might not last the night. I stopped the painting and set off 'up North' to be with him.

It was late and the motorways were pretty clear. I was fretting that I might be late but my other half had her foot pressed firmly against the metal. We were doing well... until...

Ahead of us was a huge tarmac lorry heading up to the M6 roadworks when suddenly he lost control and went into the central partition, spilling its load across both sides of the motorway. This new 'wall' immediately began to harden (a very cold night) sticking the lorry and us on an impassible road.

We were stuck there for hours.

Tragically, by the time I got up to the hospital (3:30am), charging through the door, my brother had died just a few seconds earlier. I can't begin to tell you how I felt.

Anyway, this was 2 weeks ago and we buried Rysz on Wednesday (strangely, to the tune of 'Popeye the Sailor Man' from a phantom icecream van), and were re-united with his estranged son.

It's several days later, and I am back with the painting. Finally got it finished, and I'm sure that Rysz would've liked it. I hope so.

If you'd like to more about Rysz, check out his memorial website (rysz.muchloved.com) wher you can also contribute to the MND Association.
Just found out that the British Government are looking at a Green Paper to 'improve care' in the UK.

In reality all it means is that many disabled persons who can no longer work and need much care will lose what little they get.

For those who don't know, the only benefits someone who has need of care may be entitled to which isn't means tested is DLA and AA. It's not much... about £100 @ week for the most severely affected. With this they need to pay for meds, help to clean themselves, feed themselves, etc. It really isn't that much.

If the plans in the Green Paper go ahead, then even this allowance will be lost.

People like I who have worked all their lives, paid taxes, never claimed benefits, etc. will find themselves housebound, needing round-the-clock care, on piles of medication, and with debts, mortgages, bills, etc. to pay... and with no support from the state. The meagre £100 @ week snatched away.

Please check out this site and sign the petition: tinyurl.com/lavbqa
Been a bit busy lately (tho' not in a good way...)

My brother is getting married in a few days as his time is running out (MND/ALS is nearing the end stage), so I thought I'd draw him a picture as a wedding gift as I'm totally brassic thanks to my own disability :-(

Now this sounds simpler than it is, as my hand trembles and I find it difficult to focus my eyes on what I'm doing, get dizzy after a few minutes, etc... so I started several weeks ago to give myself enough time. However...

Just when I intended to begin the work I became inundated with urgent work (such as developing some databases, some marketing, some photo assignments, an urgent painting commission, etc.) then my PC starts really playing up (again) so I can't use any photo manip software.

Then out of the blue I'm racked with pain in my abdomen and rushed to hospital. The docs think my bowel had ruptured and it was touch and go for a while. As it was, my bowel was still intact but I still needed surgery... but I was too sick for it. So I was bedridden for over a week, nil-by-mouth with morphine etc. in a drip until I was fit enough for the op. Then there was a case of something contagious on the ward so I was sent home to finish recuperating (hence this quick journal).

I'm due to go back to hospital on Monday (yay... not) to finish what they started.

Of course when I got home I noticed that while I was in hospital, my software & PC manufacturers both decided my problems must've been solved as I had stopped emailing them, so they closed my cases. Bugger.

I also notice that Tivo hasn't recorded diddlysquat as my Sky system also decided to melt down.

God I hate technology.

Now I've only got a couple of days left before the wedding... the picture to complete... a return to hospital... and engineers only able to come out to fix my techs only when I'm not around.

Whoopee... anyone want to swap lives?
It's been nearly a year since my last journal so I wondered if life had changed. Surprised to say... nope, it ain't.

I wrote then how my PC's hard disk had died and taken with it *all* my work going back years. My 2 backup regimes (on-line & external hard disk) had both let me down so I ended up with a new PC and starting again. So where do I find myself today? I sense a case of deja vu...

My new PC has just gone out of warranty, the day before its hard disk failed, taking with it everything. But what of the backups... the on-line and the new external hard disk? Yep, you guessed it, both mysteriously empty. I've been here before and it wasn't good then.

Is it me or what?

But what of my domestic life? Well I've given up on neurologists and doctors as they were just a waste of time. I need my stick all the time (still no wheelchair tho'... although I do have one just in case) and the constant meds don't seem to be helping. I still have no money... the credit crunch has been nasty with the banks all taking the piss out of me... with debts continuing to climb and clients reneging on paying me for web work and photo campaigns.

And to make things worse, the payment protection and critical illness schemes I'd paid into all those years have all declined my claims (quel surprise)... at least I now get free local bus travel. Whoopee.

And what of my brother? In the last journal post he had just discovered he had Motor Neurone Disease (Lou Garricks Disease?) Today he is totally trapped in a useless body, fed thru a tube in his stomach and only able to move his eyes. His mind is as sharp as ever... but it can't interact.

I wonder what next year will bring?
I haven't done much here in a while so here's a little catch-up.

My health still hasn't improved... and still no sign of a diagnosis anytime soon (tho' I'm seeing the Neuro next week) but that's the least of it...

My computer died and with it *all* my stuff (several years worth of data, pics, records, work for other people, etc.) but at least I had both a solid-state external backup drive and an off-site backup service. So I went and bought a new PC...

Plugged in the new(ish) external 'no-fail' backup disk to restore all my data BUT this drive had also failed! Still under warranty... but I couldn't get the data back UNLESS I pay £800+ and forfeit the drive! But I also had the double-safe option of backed up data online so at least I could get the drive fixed *and* get my data back this way.

Except... that the online data had backed up everything EXCEPT *all* my (500Gb) data (basically just my operating system and system and app files)! Aaaarrrggghhh!!

So here I was having lost *all* my data despite having 2 independent backup regimes and having to buy a new PC.

Then I find out that (because of the finance crunch) my bank is going to close my bank account (as I'm no longer earning due to my undiagnosed (therefore no pension) disability. My loans are therefore going to foreclose so I'm royally screwed.

And just when I thought I'd hit rock bottom... my brother develops aggressive Motor Neuron Disease: a seriously crappy fatal disease. So his health nosedived and I can't even afford to go see him.

So where am I today? Still at home waiting for the police to arrive as my neighbour from Hell twice destroyed my garden wall while also making serious threats yesterday.

Can anyone cheer me up?
I tried updating my normal journal entry here but somehow managed to delete it instead. What a moron I feel. If anybody knows how to get it back I'd be most grateful.

Anyway, on with the news...

My website is beginning to take shape... still no artwork (just photos)... but at least I've added my blog with deleted some other excerpts there, so check it out if you have time at www.idea-technology.co.uk and let me know what you think.

I'll still put my stuff up here... as well as the website as it also has all my other (non-art) stuff on it.

And now the sad news...

My cat Spot hadn't been feeling well the last few days so I took him to the vet. I got the call today to say that his kidneys have failed and that he isn't going to make a recovery. I have to decide how he ends his life. Now those of you with cats you're close to will know how difficult this is... especially if you too are disabled or housebound.

Sometimes life just really sucks
I've just started getting my website in order in case anyone's interested in checking it out at www.idea-technology.co.uk (beware, it's still pretty rough and empty)