For you, what has been the biggest impact of this very odd year?
I REALLY miss being able to hug - and huge thanks to Ian for dealing with everything (my shopping, food, cooking, washing, showering, drugs, and when poorly, many doctor chats, annual specialist by video call). Also, I miss family birthday meals and Ian's and my meals at the pub.
Also, it's horrid not regularly seeing my wonderful support team that help keep me going and the great housework team (Ian tries hard!).
I know you have to and choose to do lots of physical stretching and strength exercises to maintain your flexibility and stamina - have you had to change your routine this year?
I am so lucky to have Ian who does my training 3 times a week, with Scriv instructing him by video call but my neuro-physio has stopped, I do some of my speech therapy by phone, no hair cuts, gel nail varnish on toes, eyebrow plucking and chin hairs!!! I still have seated Qigong (Tai Chi) with Jo outside the house and me inside with the french windows open (and the heater on!).
In the summer, Ian took me swimming in our pool a few times, with lots of floatation aids.
Lit and Ian
What are your favourite songs to listen to?
Lol you are getting to know my weird habits!! I have a list of my favourite songs for playing when I die - Some ideas, possibly …. I am so fickle my tastes are sure to have changed!
Eva Cassidy - ‘Fields Of Gold’
Sinead O’Connor - ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’
Alison Krauss - ‘When You Say Nothing At All’
Alice Martineau - ‘Forget What I Said’
Edwyn Collins - ‘A Girl Like You’ (good one to end on?)
Katie Melua - ‘The Closest Thing to Crazy’
Johnny Cash - ‘Hurt’
Tom Petty - ‘Learning to Fly’
Lifehouse - ‘Only One’
Natasha Bedingfield - ‘Chasing Cars’
The Pretenders - ‘I’ll Stand By You’
Johnny Cash - ‘Rose Of My Heart’
Tracey Chapman - ‘The Promise’
Kate Bush - ‘Cloudbusting’
Rufus Wainwright - ‘Hallelujah’
The ‘John Dunbar Theme’ from ‘Dances with Wolves’ (by John Barry)
Joan Armatrading - ‘The Weakness in Me’
What do you do to stress-bust when you are frustrated?
I try very hard not to get stressed - I keep news to minimum.
What music has kept up your spirits particularly this year?
I listen to iTunes, iPods and we have a Siri but it does not understand me.
Can you share a little of your and Ian’s dance story?
We no longer dance - I was quite poorly, so stopped. Ballroom is great though for any neurological illness. When we could do it, it meant I could walk backwards and go on tip toe which I can’t normally do because Ian had hold of me. Sadly, I think I am too far gone to go back to that.
Kate filmed us —
Lit and Ian dancing
What have been the most positive moments this year?
Getting better and putting back 1 and 1/2 stones, which I lost around July when I was struggling to eat and swallow! I have a beautiful new ensuite accessible wet room, with a great shower and body drier and a very fancy wet dry toilet. It sounds daft but the toilet is a brilliant thing that has made my life so much easier.
I know how much you love nature - have you managed to be in it this year?
My weekly outdoor Tai Chi can be a challenge - I loved seeing gardens but rain can be hard. I have a lovely new bird feeder outside the window by where I spend most of the day, which is packed with nuthatches, goldfinches and loads of tits. Ian took me out into his woods a few times in the summer in my wheelchair and its off road extra wheel.
I have been poorly but while they made my new wet room I stayed with Kate and Sam (lucky girl) and we made a bird bath from an enormous leaf and bird house.
Interviews like this help to voice your views and experiences as a ceramicist and someone with Ataxia - if you could, how would you make your stories reach a wider audience?
I have shared some videos of my art work, my exhibitions and so on, to highlight what you can do even if you have Ataxia. Kate has used this video (link below) to show her primary school kids, so they see it too (and of course I met you through a school). I have been featured a few times in Ataxia UK’s magazine and on the social media platforms.
Lit, demonstrating her ceramic leaf process
Ian has also shared various videos and photos of what I get up to on Twitter.
Do you have words of wisdom to share from your life experiences?
No real tip, just that people can react oddly when they first find out - and you find out who your real friends are (you and Sue are definitely in this category).
I LOVE my personal trainer (Scriv) who comes on his Harley when good weather - his phrase is “it is all about the ride”.
I know Christmas is huge in your house - do you have a theme this year?
Christmas will be mistletoe.
I took the above photo but must offer thanks and apologies to Sharon - who loaned me her recently picked mistletoe...and then lost it, as, post-photo, I accidentally knocked it over the bridge!!
I thank Lit from the bottom of my heart for her generosity, positivity amd honesty in her interview. I am sure that it will inspire many people.
There are a couple of short video clips below of Lit at work, earlier this year - but please also visit her Blogspot, Twitter page and web site, for more information - the links are:
BlogspotTwitterLit's web site