A little catch up…

Its been a while isn’t it. If I could count the amount of times I have opened this little white box and typed those very same words accompanied by an apology and promises to write more. Promises to update and be more present. But life. It has a funny habit of getting in the way and makes it tricky to be super scheduled and here all the time. I want this place to be an enjoyment, somewhere where I record my best bits (and some bad bits too!). I mainly want it to be a place where I share my special bits and the stuff I wish to remember. A corner that is my own and can be what it wants to be. I have found out that I don’t deal too well with the added pressure and stress of having to follow the conventional rules of blogging/vlogging and posting on social media. And I like it that way. It feels more natural and me. So if I disappear I am just getting over health stuff and also just taking my sweet little time to do things MY WAY!

    What have I been up to?

Well I have been busy making a video every week (More or less). Just documenting my days and life with an autoimmune disease, whilst trying to illustrate and stay creative.
Here are some of my very favourite videos:

    What else then?

Well I have been living SLOW. I have recently decided to buy a lot less shit, and to be pescartarian. I will probably be writing about these two changes soon.
I have also been enjoying living in the beautiful hills of Barcelona and just taking each day as it comes. Exploring out and about and just being content with being here.

I have also been hammering away at getting my PORTFOLIO ONLINE! I will do another post in more detail but until then here is a SNEAK PEAK

I have also been out on many adventures with my doggy. Just enjoying being in nature and being quiet with nothing else to do but just to be in the moment.


I have also had treatment (that has knocked me for six!)


Been to a screen printing course (more coming soon!)


Cuddled with my boy

I have been doing bits and pieces of sketches. Some things I can’t show but here are a few bits.



I have had some lovely visits and some great exploring some of my favourite places.














So there you go, these are bits and pieces of my life (according to my phone!). Its been up and down and quiet and busy at the same time. I CAN’T BELIEVE ITS AUGUST!

A country walk

I wrote in my last post that I have recently made a massive life change and have upped sticks and moved to the country. We are now pleasantly situated in the hills that surround Barcelona. It has been the change, the literal breath of fresh air, that we have needed.
We are spoilt with the choices of walks and hikes to explore and have been out quite a few times on dog walks that have taken us to the most beautiful vista’s of the city and the surrounding country side. I love nothing more than going out and just noticing the area around and nature as it grows and changes. I love going out with my camera and taking a million and one pictures of every tiny leaf and bit of beautiful light.I also love using these photos later as a reference for sketches and incorporating them into my work. I love drawing plants and botanical things. They will forever feature in my work because that is when I am most at peace and that is where I feel my happiest. So things are good and I am forever grateful to live here and often find that I am pinching myself just to see if it is all real.
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Bits and pieces- week 18

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What a week. It has been filled with highs and lows. The low’s been very very low indeed. I have had many a hospital visit (infiltrations, new medicine etc). ATM it seems like the second round of Rituximab has worked and I can finally (for the first time in over a year) reduce my cortisone dosage. Which is a small, good new step (YAY!).

This week has been the hottest so far and I can say that summer has officially started. Sleeping and feeling sluggish and heat and the sun for me in general are terrible. I try to hermit away in the day as much as possible because I just CAN’T. But it is nice to get outside and go on little strolls either to the beach or the park. Getting my legs out and freckles on my arms.

Thursday night was so nice, getting out for San Joan. San Joan is crazy, fireworks and fire and noise everywhere. We went down to our beloved Poblenou (our barrio) and watched the parade of the Corre Foc, with its amazing percussion band, go and ignite the bonfire. We then walked along the beach and watch the fireworks and chinese laterns before sitting in a park talking about our future and drinking a clara. Perfect.

Waking up in tears to the news on friday, manic family chats and feeling genuinely shocked and scared at the state of things here, there and everywhere. I feel sad and scared for my future as an EU Migrant/citizen. Now more than ever borders need to be opened. I can’t stand this “Great” Britain rule Britannia island mentality. Which to be honest I find embarrassing- its actually something I have noticed more and more when going back. I am also VERY angry that my postal vote did not arrive on time and my proxy vote was unable to vote for me. DESPITE sending everything well in time. I am shocked to the core at some of the things I have seen people I know think and believe (everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs BUT when they are just down right offensive and racist etc it hurts my heart). I will write something more on this in the future as my head is fuzzy and still reeling from it all. Tuesday marks my 10 year anniversary so expect a post then.

Friday I escaped to my favourite place, sat on a rock and watched my busy, hot chaotic home from above and felt a sense of pride and belonging for one of the first times since arriving. It felt right to be where I was and looking at it all pan out from above I felt incredibly lucky and fortunate to experience it. I took a deep breath and felt instantly better. My favourite place is magical like that. It is healing and where I shall escape to more frequently.

Lets see what next week brings!

Life lately…

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Hello! Its been a while since I have sat with my laptop and opened up this little white box to write an update. The week in photos came to a stop for a while after the last round of treatment as I have been feeling totally whacked out from it, both physically and emotionally. I just haven’t felt like sharing a whole lot. I took a big break from my daily project and everything really and I still feel like I am gathering up the pieces a little bit. However I have missed these updates and diary like entries. I love looking back on them and seeing what I have been up to and reading where I was. I also want this space to be more about my work and what inspires me. My little corner of the internet and my home. I want to make sure that I am updating this place for the right reasons, because I want to and feel like and not because I have a schedule to keep and feel like I ought to. So yep. Weekly updates will most likely continue but they won’t be forced and I will update when and where I wish. Non of that scheduled best time of day blogging for views shite. I love my little blog and want to nuture it and want it to feel natural and like me. I know the blogging world feels dead at some points but I want to do it because I love recording, writing, remembering and creating content. In fact thats one thing I have realised about my self. I LOVE CONTENT CREATING. I want this to feel real and not some weird false instagram version of myself. I think we are all getting a bit bored of the perfectly created sponsored posts right? I get it, blogging and content takes an absolute AGE to do and put together and why should their not be some monetary reward for that? But its making the right, conscious intelligent choices and also not being scared to be different and stand out and have a voice. Its alright if its not all polished, in fact the blogs I love the most are those that show interesting, different things and not in a weird stylized, shiny box. GAH! I needed to get that off my chest. I feel like I can take a step forward now and get back to doing what I love without feeling all the pressure.

So where have I been at? In a black lonely hole to be honest. I haven’t been feeling all too great at all. I have been trying to make the most of my “up” moments by getting out on walks and sitting in my favourite cafe and trying to buck myself up a bit. Its been hard to do and I still feel like I am there. Is it ok to admit that I am not ok? I am not. Just for the record. Not working, not being able to go out, feeling guilty when I do go out, not seeing friends, not having family, being stuck creatively and just feeling in a lot of pain has taken its toll. Funnily enough the moment I start to embark on a project about my illness is when I become stuck and unable to continue and hating everything I do. I think maybe the project is still a bit too raw and I don’t have enough perspective on it to feel great. Alas push through I shall do.

So here are some bits and pieces (that might be the new name of this here feature) of my life lately. Oh and a video from last summer that I hatched together that never saw the light of day.

Back for more next week. I am thinking of doing another weekly what I am working on round up that is separate to this. However not made my mind up yet? What do you think? An illustrators week in photos including bits and pieces or bits and pieces and a separate post with just my work? How have you all been? I hope not in the same black hole as me! <3

 

My week in photos 17


Good things:

This week started by going to “the top”, whilst Borja runs I sit and watch the view with this chap. IMG_4285

A few new updates to my shop, some new things added.IMG_4288 IMG_4289

Daily life things like spaghetti and comfy patterns.IMG_4301 IMG_4306

Sketchbooking some idea’s. More on this in another post 😉IMG_4316IMG_4327

Felt very lonely and a bit lost this week. My remedy for that is to get my self out of the flat for a walk and an adventure. I need to listen to the warning signs and listen to when things get too much and get out and distract myself.

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A giant massive 8 kilo tortilla de patatas at my neighbours birthday party (convenient social events next door means I can see people and literally go straight to bed!).IMG_4334

This baby boys sleeping smile <3IMG_4272

Walking around Poblenou (love it here).DSCF8379DSCF3900
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Not much to say about this week that isn’t a repeat of last week and the week before that and so on. The treatment has left me really knocked out with very swollen glands and a very swollen knee. I have barely left the house. I did venture out around my barrio of Poblenou though and snapped a few of my favourite bits.
Next week I have the second round of treatment so I am expecting much of the same then. Heres to naps, sleep, comfy beds, puppy hugs and good books.

See you next week xx

A week in photos / Notes from this week 15

Well this week. Not much to say apart from the fact that I have been under such a big black cloud this week battling ugly thoughts, anxiety, illness and other goings on. This has made me feel quite lonely and isolated. So there. Thats all I am going to say on here as I don’t want this blog to be a weekly moan.

There has been some shining lights through the black clouds though. Like having the time to catch up on my Lost girls series and experimenting with different materials etc. Also Saturdays quick outing, to the print studio in Gracia to see a friends work (it was great). Through all this I have realised that I am motivated and a fighter, even if I don’t feel like one. Despite everything I keep going and I am doing well. So yes.

Next week will be treatment week, so a quiet hospital recovering one. Its probably what is needed. I also need to see my family, so will have to arrange that happening.

This weeks glimpses of light (light chasing all the time atm):
1. This message from last week really rings true this week. I should get these as tattoo’s just to remind my self (a la Casey Neistat’s “DO MORE” tatt).IMG_3992IMG_3995

2. My lost girls. I love drawing them and seeing their different characters and stories come to life. I often feel like a lost girl with a lot of stories so I guess this translates into my drawings. I have really enjoyed this week, and working on the tiny postcard size drawings. They will be for sale in my shop next week and through instagram. Watch out for them. IMG_4104 IMG_4097 IMG_4072IMG_4063 IMG_4062 IMG_4058 IMG_4054 IMG_4051 IMG_4050 IMG_4046 IMG_4001 IMG_4034 IMG_4031 IMG_4036

3. Spotting the little tiny details in life.DSCF8017 DSCF8015 DSCF8002 DSCF8019 DSCF8018 DSCF8039 DSCF8072

4. Spontanious adventures and stumbling across good things like Els Gegants.DSCF8026 DSCF8034 DSCF8036 DSCF8037

5. Gracia’s streets and getting lost in them.DSCF8006 DSCF8079 DSCF8099 DSCF8096

6. Random nice/funny things.DSCF8102 DSCF8108 IMG_4040

7. Rainy Barcelona is the best. Its been raining ALL weekend and its been GLORIOUS!DSCF8008

8. Inspiring places and people (even if it was so very crowded).
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9. Watching these naughty birds squawk from my balcony.
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THE END, see you next week 🙂

 

 

 

My week in photos / Notes from this week 14

So this week. It started at the hospital, as most of my weeks seem to do. And ended in some sort of despair. My mental health has been really hit and shattered this week. I blame feeling so bloody useless and stuck and not being able to live the life I want to at the moment. Also I have had bloody enough of medication, hospitals, dr’s, pain, tiredness and being a hermit “recuperating”. At the moment I can barely manage normal life, I mean getting up out of bed and getting dressed. I have had a black cloud over my head and feel like I have been slipping into a black vortex that pulls me under at a speed unknown to man. I try with all my might to turn off the thoughts and feelings of not feeling good enough, the worthlessness and loneliness but it all gets too much. So after speaking with my darling sister and having all the tears I decided that enough was enough and that I would try and dust myself off and do little tiny things that make me happy. I know I need to get out and not isolate myself so much, and learn how to turn down the volume of these bad whirring thoughts a little. I need to avoid these massive gaping sink holes that appear. So that was fairly honest and open, I am really not sure why I insist in writing such personal posts but its what happens when I type in this white box. I am forever an over sharer.

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Monday 7.00 am MRI scan, the weirdest feeling laying in a noisy tunnel to start of the week. I was in there for ages, so used to them now. I nearly slept and actually was quite the mediative experience. My hospital is right on the beach which means I step out and have this view. Its like some sort of oxymoron. I like it though. MRI’s and the dye they use make me very dizzy so I always appreciate the fresh sea air and view. Repeat all this for Tuesday.

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By Wednesday I had decided enough was enough and ventured out on my painful puffy knee (I had some sort of keyhole surgery last week, where I had this weird radioactive liquid inserted to clean the knee joint). My knee is still the same as it was before but any way I NEED to get out and see the world a bit. Walks to the local park with my pup are everything as are pretty flower shops and green leaves.

IMG_3876Spying this message and I think this should be my mantra, this made me wake up a little and really think that yes, it is true and I can choose what happens to me here and now. I must remember this! I love whoever has written this everywhere.

IMG_3940 IMG_3920 IMG_3885 IMG_3883 IMG_3945To be honest not much time has been spent in my studio this week, in fact I have ignored it and not really had the energy to go in. Having a creative block and creative crisis also feeling like whatever I do is not what I want to create and uninspired. I think this contributes a lot to my emotional state and vice versa. I need to get in the studio and just play and let go a little. Its ok to have a break and be behind and not have everything so controlled and planned.

DSCF5467 DSCF5468 DSCF5471 DSCF5473 DSCF5472So by the time Saturday arrived I couldn’t wait to get out and have a little date day with my Borja. It was a very grey day, after having rained all night and the sky kept threatening to rain. My favourite kind of day. I took these photos to remind my self to continuously look up and see the beauty that surrounds me. Barcelona is a beaut of a city, it really is. The history that surrounds everything is quite magical. So Sarie, don’t forget to look up and appreciate everything a little bit more.

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IMG_3977DSCF5429 DSCF5428 DSCF5426This is one of my very favourite little pockets in Barcelona, it reminds me of a scene of a book and the atmosphere is so good.

DSCF5433 DSCF5441 DSCF5438 DSCF5443These streets. I love just exploring and being in them and appreciating all its beautiful chaos. I also love the mundane every day bits of life, like hearing voices, seeing people chat on their mobile phones on their balconies, washing drying etc. I also love the pretty bits like flags and lights.

DSCF5444 DSCF5446 DSCF5450 DSCF5454 DSCF5457Unintentional beauty everywhere. Appreciating this city much more these days.

DSCF5429 IMG_3979 IMG_3977 DSCF5469Also look at all the small beautiful details, that you will find if you look hard enough.
DSCF5473 DSCF5474 IMG_3975IMG_3966 IMG_3965 IMG_3964 IMG_3963 IMG_3947La Virreina is one of my favourite places in Barcelona. Just off the chaotic, soulless Ramblas you will find this hidden gem of a building that encases a beautiful (free!!) gallery. I love its grandeur and the fact its peaceful space. We saw a brilliant exhibition on social documentary of Barcelona. It made me think how many beings this cities buildings and landscapes have seen. How many stories have unfolded. It makes you feel quite small actually.

We had very good burgers for lunch. Love going on lunch dates very much. Also love a good burger and this one I can recommend. Bocoa burger, a new one to add to my list.DSCF5462 DSCF5463After lunch we strolled (hobbled) down to La Central. This has become a bit of a tradition to browse this shop on a Saturday. Its one of my happy places. I love looking at all the illustrated novels/comics.
IMG_3969 IMG_3973 IMG_3968 IMG_3967This original Keith Haring wall <3

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So what was a total bummer of a week actually turned out alright, and I think that is key. Finding what makes you happy and doing it, no matter how hard it might be to do. We all need to appreciate things, live in the here and now and think about what makes us happy. For me its about appreciating the small moments and snippets and not always wanting more. Its being happy with what I have and aiming to make things better but not always looking at what I don’t have and want and trying to constantly grasp at it in the future tense. Its great to have aspirations and dreams and all that but I do think its a bit of the millennial curse is that we are never happy with our lot and constantly having to better ourselves and not taking the time to breathe and appreciate our lot. SO here is me taking a conscious step to live a little more in the moment and the here and now. See you next week!

Notes from this week/ Week in photos 13

NEWS FLASH! This weeks series is going to be #REALLIFE. Tune in next week for pretty photos and more fun vibes.
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So this week. A bit fat wobble of a week. The word of the week being HOSPITAL. I have been unable to escape it. Recovery also being a word of the week as well as wobble, emotional and useless.

Monday- Hospital appointment with my specialist that was quick and rushed > Home > Bed.
Tuesday- Bed and too tired to even move.
Wednesday- Operation/ Procedure day. Lots of lying on hospital beds and being wheeled about, prodded, scanned and poked. Left feeling in pain, dizzy and tired. They cleaned and swept my left knee with radioactive (!!!!) liquid to clean out all the bad inflammatory cells that attack my joints. My body creates these cells and they are evil. Why? Well we don’t know that yet. Monday is scan day and that will decide whether I have to continue with the same biological treatment as before or whether I will start with a new set of drugs. In the meantime its a waiting game. I am grateful that I am getting listened to and that this is being treated and that I am not just feeling like this is something I have done wrong and its all my fault (weird brain black holes where my thoughts disappear too!) Its also good to realise that this is REAL and not invented and as much as I have tried to hide it from people (especially at work) and am embarrassed by it it is there.
Thursday- Recovering at my inlaws. Being waited on hand and foot and being served food on a tray. Sleepy daze and barely human. I can’t describe how good it feels just to have someone looking after you and caring. I have missed this a lot as I tend just to get on with stuff here and try and ignore that I need that sometimes. I need to be spoilt and have “mimos”. It makes me feel weird to ask for help and I feel guilty that I am putting the other person out.
Friday- Yet more recovering and being spoilt. I got to go home in the evening though and had a dreamy sleep in my own bed with the pup and Borj.
Saturday- Sant Jordi and getting a rose. Also home made pizza club night ( a tradition in this house!).
Sunday- Yet more resting and netflixing and blog reading etc.
SO this week has been a tough one, one where it has made me feel not good enough and where I am the illness I have rather than Sarie who has this illness. I have wobbled and doubted and felt a whole lot of guilt and just felt like it has been too much. A drain on my loved ones and just in general a bit crap and useless. Next week shall be better and I can hopefully start to get out and about a bit more. I have also been quiet with a few of my projects because its ok to fall behind and allow my self time to recover, this doesn’t mean I am a massive failure (note to myself). Also all this time off is justified and medically backed up. Please remember this future Sarie if you are reading this!

So if I have been a crap friend/sister/daughter/colleague then I am sorry, I feel like I let a lot of people down and more than anyone myself.

 

My week in photos (sort of) 8

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So this week. I am having/have had a wobble. A big one. It has surely been one of the hardest weeks I have had to endure in a long time. I have had to go to a medical tribunal and that really tested my nerves and strength. I have also been so very ill, with a very swollen knee and general other ailments that happen when my disease flairs up. It its all consuming and draining and has made me feel quite rubbish. Thank god for friends and family chats to make all seem a little more bearable. I don’t really have much more to add, nor have I felt like taking any photos. Besides I have been in my bed-prison all week unable to walk or move. Onwards and upwards though as they say, next week is a new week and tomorrow a new day.
GOOD THINGS though:
-Rain and grey days
-Soft, warm pyjamas
-Hot water bottles
-Came cuddles
-Whatsap chats
-Downton Abbey. I am literally that bored ha! Also I have become a bit all consumed into the world and it has made me feverish and weird
-Comfort food like things on toast (egg, avocado, baked beans, marmite et- not all at once).

I feel stuck behind a bit at the moment, with projects and with life in general. Hoping my next round of medication improves things somewhat for me and I can start taking back some of that time that has been stolen from me. I have a list that as long as my arm that constantly needs rejigging and just feel like a bit of a failure in general. Until I stop and think that I am fighting on getting better and living with this disease, which is just good enough. I need to lay off on the bad guilt feelings and stop being quite so nasty with myself and just realise that the little battles and effort are good enough. And if my good enough is another ones ok then so be it. I do get angry and want to scream and shout and ask why me? Why did I get chosen to have this bloody vile body eating disease (auto immune means self attacking- my body quite literally HATES me which doesn’t bode well for my self esteem hmmf. Much asked questions like how can I really love my self if my body has chosen to hate me and attack me and eat my bones, vessels and skin?). Then I remember there is just no bloody use in going down that path, it doesn’t help. I hate when those dark thoughts creep in and I just don’t feel good enough for the world. I have to reclaim what is good enough though. Barely there survival. Brushing ones teeth and doing ones hair, being able to tie my own laces and butter my own toast.. and even on the darkest days being able to get to the loo on time. Those things are in the minor success club and those things are good enough. I can’t expect my body to be nicer to me if I am not nicer to me. Minor successes and the good enough club need to be celebrated. I just need to constantly remind myself of that fact.

My week in photos- 5

What a week! This little project/series/diary has really made me realise that even if the majority of the time is a bit (a lot) shit the best bits and things are about stopping and appreciating the small little tiny details and capturing them, holding onto ones breath just to breathe it in and saviour it all. Time goes so so fast and in a blur and its easy to get stuck in it all and just trudge along. So this week, lets start with the not so good:

  • Monday starts with stressed trips to the hospital (typical Sarie style I wrote down the wrong time). Also scary MRI results (bleed in my spinal cord and having lesions on it). Also bad bad back pain and a buggered knee that just won’t give up. Finding out that the strong medication is not doing the trick and walking into my consultants office to find 6 dr’s al wanting to study you because you are such a weird rarity. Scary stuff.
  • Scary test results resulting in yet more tests and uncertainty. I now have to visit a neurologist as have CNS involvement to add to my list of ever-growing symptoms. More MRI and more medication. More doctors and more diagnosis’ and more puzzle solving. I have had enough of this.
  • Bed has been a place I have been for 80% of this week (these pictures and weekly posts are quite deceiving!). My body has felt like sludgy led iron and the tiredness (plus pain, mouth ulcers, burning face and flu-like symptoms). These do not make for great pictures though.
  • Behind on my drawing project and being so uptight about trying to produce the impossible and not letting my self off the hook. I am too ambitious and then end up being late and not doing anything at all.
  • Bad moods and black clouds. I get angry, ashamed and feel so trapped and stuck with this all. I also have the imposter syndrome and constantly feel like I don’t deserve stuff or that I am not good enough.
  • Feeling isolated with my illustration stuff and work and like the above point illustrates. I JUST DON’T FEEL GOOD ENOUGH. Also working on it alone with NO feedback is hard. I just don’t know if what I am doing is achieving anything or if it is any good. I am finding it really hard to judge my own work and have lost all confidence in my self (thanks to health and other traumatic stressful situations which I will write about in the future when I can ;))
  • News on having to go to a tribunal to be judged by people who don’t know me on whether I am sick or not. This is so stressful and scary. I know I have all the facts behind me. I just want this all to be resolved and to feel better. I don’t want this unknown hanging over me. Its one of my trigger points for anxiety and such a cause of stress and worry.
  • Being that flakey annoying friend who can’t ever keep a date or a promise.

Lets get onto the GOOD things:

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The view from my hospital is pretty spectacular. Also my medical team are amazing and have seen me and are working so hard and are so passionate and amazing really.

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My dearest most -querido- Poblenou. I love this place so much. Its industrial glory (it was once all waste land and old factories).

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Can we just take a moment to look at these great textures, colours and lines? Its spotting little details like these that make me happy.
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This week has been one of spotting great vans. I love old vans. I want one, and often day-dream about travelling around in one and stopping off at the most amazing places. One day!

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Finding really good little places tucked away inside of old warehouses. Pretty foliage and good installations (see bird houses <3).

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Sushi for lunch when I am too tired/ill to cook!

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Going to an event with my partner in crime Borja . He was invited to a Instagram Spain event. Free food(!!). I was umming and ahhing about going (didn’t feel up to it and guilt about doing anything). So glad I went though. We were totally awkward and joked around together in the corner and ate all the free food. It was so nice to get out for a few hours and just be doing something a little different from hospital or lying in bed. The place was amazing. Its places like this that is why I love Poblenou so so much. It’s also good for me to try to do semi normal things, even if it did mean straight to bed after only a few hours out. Had the best time though, thanks Instagram!

IMG_2882 IMG_2883Finally sorting out little prints and all of my illustrations!

IMG_2906 IMG_2909Oh the moon and night-time walks to the beach with my little family. I need these mini adventures to clear my head and feel like me again. The moon oh the moon. How can you not feel better by seeing this big guiding light in the sky?

IMG_2966My outfits are literally just the most comfortable things that I own. I don’t think I have worn proper shoes in so long now and just live in trainers. These are new, a present from the sales.IMG_2977My little family keeping me sane, I am not the nicest to be around when I am so ill and in pain. I am like a grumpy old woman. It’s these two that are always by my side. Thank you both, I would be lost without you. (even if I am a grumpy beast 99% of the time!)

IMG_2994 IMG_3002February has been a month of focusing on little favourite things and birds are top of my list. I do love them, and drawing them too. Swans and magpies. Ideas swirling around in my brain.

IMG_3019IMG_3029RAIN, it has really rained like it only can here in Barcelona. I’ve enjoyed the wet and damp so so much. Pretty pavements and reflections.

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Lastly enjoying how weird people and things are in this city. Very random and strange.