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Spring 2021

26 February 2021

Dear Gingernuts,

I have had my vaccination.

One week ago, a giant biscuit nurse with kindly sultana eyes, delivered the injection so efficiently that I just about managed to utter my thanks before being swiftly corralled through the health centre and expelled un-glamorously, via a fire exit, onto the street.

There wasn’t time to consider the significance of the moment. A moment in which many months, some might say years, of scientific effort was pushed into my bloodstream. Only later, as I lay recovering from minor, flu-like symptoms, did I ponder that what had been needled into my arm will be the difference of life and death for some.

Nothing can bring back the loved ones who succumbed to the virus – bless them all - but we CAN go forward knowing that in the face of an unhappy collective experience, we worked through the fear and confusion as a nation (I’ll not mention Andrex-gate). Brilliant people found solutions and are gradually steering us to safety again; we can be grateful for that, especially when there are countries who still have no access to the vaccine.

To those who are concerned about the jab, not least because of spurious theories about global government agendas or troubling side-effects like microchips charting your every move, I can't offer certainty and I have little or no relevant scientific knowledge (unless you count my biology ‘O’ level) but I’m reasonably happy to report that my DNA seems unaltered and I have not become a robot ready to do Bill Gates’ evil bidding.

Speaking of gratitude, I’ll tell you what else I’m grateful for: faithful art collectors.

My little painting of ‘The ginger syringer’ was recently released as a small limited edition print run for charity. All 86 copies sold in minutes and I was, as I often am, taken aback by the swift response.

St Oswald’s Hospice, A Newcastle-upon-Tyne charity which serves a large area of the North East has been severely hit by a lack of fundraising opportunity during the pandemic. Their service is of real importance for terminally ill adults, children and babies, so If you purchased a copy of the print, you helped to raise over 6k for their kitty, HIGH FIVE, PEOPLE! Thank you very much indeed.

if you want to know more about St Oswald's, here is a link:


It’s almost time for us to think about the next challenge: easing out of lockdown. 

For those of us who are not social animals at the best of times, it’s going to feel odd engaging with fellow humans again, though I am looking forward to a haircut, especially after I accidentally gave myself a new 'look' using real fire. Do not try this at home as I can confirm that candle flames and dry hair do not mix well. I would also like to visit the library or cinema, preferably wearing new knickers not bought from a supermarket. But mainly, I'd like to get my arms around friends unseen, even at a distance, for over a year. I'm sure you want that too, with your own friends I mean, not mine, although they are an obliging bunch if anyone needs a hug.

We aren’t quite out of the woods yet so, until June 21st, good luck with the remaining months and weeks of restrictions.

Come back stronger.