Tuesday, December 21, 2021

What's been different in 2021 for me

This last year has been VERY different for me when it comes to blogging about art.
  • Firstly because of all the obvious constraints on getting around and going to art exhibitions during the first part of the year.
  • Secondly because walking became so much more difficult - and painful - for me (due to bone on bone osteoarthritis in my right ankle)
  • Thirdly because, by the summer, I'd become increasingly preoccupied with getting ready for ankle fusion surgery - in terms of the need to think about 
    • all the things that needed to be done to be able to live on one leg for three months 
    • from doing the research and getting kit to be able to get around on one leg after surgery - for up to 12 weeks (and maybe more)
    • making my home more disabled friendly 
    • plus some hard graft in decluttering!

Plus I got the results on my NHS App from a lateral X-Ray of both hips at the end of last month. The bad news is and I've got osteoarthritis in both hips too - with the right one being the worst. Which explains the pain in my right hip and extremely distracting collapsing movement it exhibits from time to time - with absolutely no notice! Think leg suddenly gives way beneath you....

It resulted in fewer blog posts this year compared to earlier years as in 
  • fewer exhibitions to visit - for external reasons
  • fewer exhibitions to visit for personal reasons
    • some were just completely inaccessible to people like me - too many stairs and no lifts
    • others I was less able to walk around exhibitions which take a lot of walking round - and a lot of walking to get to them (as in I can't walk for two days afterwards if I walk too much!)
  • less time for blog posts!
  • very distracted by other matters.
  • and very, very tired - because movement is very tiring and pain is tiring - and it's difficult to sleep when you're in pain.....  It's also not easy to acknowledge that one if getting older and less able and less energetic.

Me at the Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society on 14 July 2021 

But I did get a rollator - and the rollator has been to quite a few exhibitions. Mainly those which don't involve lots of walking just to get there. 

My very light carbon fibre rollator which now goes to every exhibition (minus stick)
- on its first outing back in June at the NEAC Annual Exhibition

Plus I've now lost 
43.2kg / 6.8 stones / 95+ lbs since June 2020 - which has helped to reduce the pain and make me more mobile - and better able to cope with the one-legged post surgery challenge in future.

HOWEVER, the net result has been:
  • fewer posts about exhibitions I've seen
  • more posts about exhibitions posted late - because I'm now very tired after an exhibition outing
  • more posts about the art which transferred to television / video / Zoom
  • more time spent watching Zoom and webinars and talks
  • more time spent doing other stuff!
Later this week I'm going to highlight some of the more popular blog posts in 2021

Mobility issues for those interested in art

In the meantime I've been considering writing more, in future, about disabled friendly - and less friendly - places for others who are interested in art and viewing art but also have mobility problems / accessibility issues.

I'd be interested to know whether other people would find this useful.

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