Firstly I've decided it's time to drop my 'pen-name' so you'll notice a change but I can assure you I'm still me. Although I must admit that I think Mari is a lovely name. It belonged to my Grandma and I didn't think she'd mind if I borrowed it for a while until I found the confidence to use my own name. But if I were ever to get published I reckon her name would look far better in print than mine so who knows? It may yet be 'borrowed' again. I used it when I entered a short story in last year's Brighton COW (community of writers) competition and was shortlisted so I reckon it brings me luck. And I'm sure it has nothing to do with the well established and popular Brighton COW site closing down just after I entered. No, really. I AM sure.
Secondly my studies with the Open University have come to an end with having completed my Diploma in Creative Writing and I've embarked on a course with The Open College of the Arts (OCA) which will hopefully lead to a degree in photography.
http://www.weareoca.com/ is full of inspiring information and well worth a look if you have hours to spare and are interested in the arts. Regarding the distance learning course that I'm doing (The Art of Photography) I'd like to say I'm a little startled to discover how inept I am at all things I.T. or maths related but the truth is it's not a surprise.With the exception of what I needed to know for work (drug calculations etc) numeric formulae have always driven me to lie down in a darkened room. I hasten to add that I was a whizz at said drug calculations. No what I'm talking about here are monstrous equations such as Pythagoras' Theorum and the like. It was a shock to find I needed to know such things to be able to take a photograph! Well, strictly speaking it's to understand how my camera works which is always useful when taking a photograph.
Thirdly and most serious for me is that a couple of months ago I suffered an exacerbation of my spinal condition that really did force me to lie down although fortunately not in a darkened room. Unfortunately it left me completely immobile for a while and has left a bit of neuropathy in my leg but I'm up and about now albeit a tad unsteady and even slower than before. On the plus side I've found that the camera tripod makes an excellent walking stick and the quest for suitable photographic subjects for the course-work provides great physiotherapy. So I may not be back in the saddle but it's good to be back on the blog. One step at a time.