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Update 12 November 2018

I have been finding it far easier and less time-consuming to post on my accompanying Facebook page so if you’re on FB, join me there!

First Night Design on Facebook

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Click to buy Bembridge Lifeboat Station framed print (Fine Art America) © Sarah Vernon

This not my usual type of post to be sure but it’s something I find exceedingly worrying. If we don’t do something about the Isle of Wight ferry companies and the truly extortionate prices they charge  — Wightlink and Red Funnel — the Island where I now live will go down the drain. No political party in government over the last few decades has ever seemingly given the Island the money it needs just to maintain the status quo, let alone improve and repair the infrastructure and services.

One of the reasons ferry prices are sounding the death knell is that tourists can’t afford to come over and we can’t afford to get off, whether it’s to visit friends, see our families on the mainland or go to a better equipped and staffed hospital. During the heat wave, Cornwall’s beaches were packed; on the whole, those on the IOW were not.

I could say more about the way the Island has been poorly served over the decades but I won’t. To find out more about the knock-on effect of the ferry prices at The IOW Fixed Link Tunnel Campaign on Facebook and The PRO-LINK Campaign for an Isle of Wight Fixed Link.

As I’ve said before, I have known the Island since I was a child in the ’60s and it is very dear to me. I will not let it go down the plug ‘ole. With that in mind, I beg you if you are a British resident to sign the petition and then re-blog, post on Facebook, tweet, or any other kind of sharing so that the word gets out. A fixed link is the only answer that makes real sense but that’s a long way off. Cheaper ferry prices have to be sought for the interim. It may not happen but the campaign getting headlines could make the right person or persons think again about what can be done.

safe_imagePetition
Empower the UK Government or Parliament to regulate ferry prices.
With current ferry prices being unregulated, companies are permitted to charge whatever they wish for crossings. UK residents living in such places as the Isle of Wight are charged excessive amounts for commuting or travel to see family and friends. Likewise for tourists going the other way.

via Empower the UK Government or Parliament to regulate ferry prices. – Petitions

Links

The IOW Fixed Link Tunnel Campaign on Facebook

The PRO-LINK Campaign for an Isle of Wight Fixed Link

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE: 9th March 2014 – I thought it was high time to be amused by this elephant again!

It doesn’t matter how often I watch this little video clip, it makes me laugh and empathise! The baby elephant shows the determination we all, or should, have. Pick yourself up, dust yourself…

Source: First Night Design | Baby Elephant Learns to Walk & Astaire Learns to Dance

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 


I’m delighted to have sold two of these greeting cards. It’s a montage of British actresses from the late 19th and early 20th century from my theatrical postcard collection. Those of you interested in theatre greats will be happy to learn that Dame Ellen Terry features three times, for which I make no apology! If young actors have not heard of her, they have no right to be on the stage. [Ed. Too obstinate?] As the late Alan Rickman said — and I’m oft repeating —  “The profession should be and is a kind of relay race – about information, opinions and passions being passed on.” [Theatregoer Magazine, November 2001]

Source: The Actresses Card | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I just know you’re desperate to discover the latest when it comes to my health. (Ok, well, I can pretend.) Just remember that boring you with such goes a long way towards helping me come to terms with the nitty gritty.

The Good

The Cardiac consultant said there was no reason on earth why I couldn’t have the cataract operation on my right eye as soon as possible. Having been offered a cancellation a couple of weeks ago that I turned down on the advice of my GP, going to Pre-Assessment after Cardiology meant I was able to arrange the operation for 1st June (yes, this year). I am jubilant. As some of you know, I haven’t been able to see properly for a good five years. I am trusting that the surgeon will also be able to pluck out the second stitch that has forced its way to the surface on the left eye from the cataract operation in Crete over a year ago.

The Bad

The Cardiac consultant was charming, shook my hand, looked me in the eye and apologised profusely that I had been lost in the system.  I was originally referred for an Echocardiogram by the Rheumatology department which monitors my LcSSc/CREST. It turns out that the condition of my leaky heart valve, or Mitral Valve Regurgitation, is serious. (Don’t all sympathise at once — I’d much rather you made jokes.) I have to have another Echocardiogram in a week or so in order for the surgeon to see how much it has or hasn’t deteriorated since the December one. A decision will then be made as to how soon I should have open-heart surgery. If it is not considered urgent, it will be a three-month wait.

The Ugly

I bet you’ve been wondering what this could refer to ever since you saw the title! Admittedly, the word also applies to open-heart surgery but for the purposes of this blog, it’s the unsightly distended abdomen I developed overnight some while ago. This morning I’m at the hospital (again) to have an ultrasound to check what might be causing it. I’d have said it was just fat if the rest of my body had followed suit but it hasn’t. Naturally, I’ve been searching on Google and the possibilities are endless. I’ll keep you posted!

I nearly forgot — a course of iron tablets has done wonders for the breathlessness. It’s all tied up with anaemia, the heart and much else besides.

Footnote: Some of you may have noticed that I’m visiting blogs again. I can’t guarantee any consistency but I do feel better than of late.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Bartolomeo Veneto [Wikimedia]

Portrait of Lucrezia Borgia by Bartolomeo Veneto [Wikimedia]

At some point in the 1980s, life was going particularly badly — plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — and my dear, late friend, actor, writer and director Bill Moody, decided that to be reaping so many challenges, I must have been Lucrezia Borgia in a past life. I now begin to think he was absolutely right!

Some of you may have noticed that I was visiting your blogs again yesterday. Has my sight been restored? Nope.

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news is that I learned from the British ophthalmologist that the cataract operation on my left eye that was done in Crete a year ago was so out-of-date that the Isle of Wight specialist had not performed that particular procedure for twenty years.

The good news is that he was able to remove the stitch at the front of the eyeball. This, sadly, has made only minimal difference to the vision but enough to be able to read a little better and see pictures in more detail. The difference was not immediately apparent but became clear (pun intended) about lunchtime yesterday.

The bad news is that all the other stitches from that operation are still in the eyeball and deeply embedded.

The good news is he doubts these are affecting my vision and would prefer to leave them untouched unless later events change his mind.

The bad news is that should the need arise, it’s major surgery for the eyeball.

The next piece of news is good and bad. There is scar tissue that’s developed over the months from, I think, that one stitch he took out but it can be removed by laser and within the month.

In the meantime, I am now on the waiting list for a cataract operation on the right eye. Hurrah!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


happy-new-year

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


img_0513

Okay, so (as Gigi might say), I have a problem. I find it ironic that only a day or so after discussing The Art of Taking a Break with Teagan and the difficulty thereof, I am being forced into a break by the condition of my eyes.

Many of you know that I had a cataract operation on my left eye in January while still living in Crete. The stitches were not the dissolving kind and while the surgeon removed some of them, one was left. No problem, I thought; however bad the NHS has become courtesy of the Tories’ destructive tendencies, I’ll get it sorted in England.

I am still waiting for a referral. That wouldn’t be so bad if the burgeoning cataract in my right eye had not increased in intensity in a very short space of time.

img_0509

The worst of it is, though, that when I woke up on Wednesday morning, the stitch in the left eye had appeared to shift making it impossible to see with any consistency or clarity. It’s not even a question of magnification as the stitch (or whatever else is at play) is cutting a path through everything. I can almost work something out with the aid of my magnifying glass but it’s awfully tiring, my darlings.

I will not be blogging, visiting or commenting for the foreseeable future. If you knew how long it has taken me to write this post, you would order me to step away from the computer and put down the magnifying glass and you would be right to do so!

I’m seeing my GP tomorrow and will not leave the surgery until I’ve seen him chase up the eye department at the hospital.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I’m  not sure about this piece. Are you?

Extreme Vogue © Sarah Vernon

Extreme Vogue © Sarah Vernon

The starting point was a vintage Vogue cover from Wikimedia and a couple of textures from my arsenal. I love the colours that have been produced by adding these backgrounds but I need some other opinions before I decide to upload it to my galleries. Thank you in anticipation!



Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


blog1-sarah-vernon-1460986311-medium

I’m not well at the moment, hence my lack of blog posts and comment answers.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


It’s World Scleroderma Day so another outing for this post to spread awareness of this little-known auto-immune condition that affects me.

It’s a very strange feeling when you discover that an artist you admire had the same disabling illness as you have, especially when it’s relatively rare, not to mention impossible to de…

Source: First Night Design | Me, Paul Klee, and Scleroderma


This is a shameless plug for my friends Ana-Luisa and Simon Scrutton who recently moved to South West France to open two exquisite, traditional gites for idyllic holidays. As soon as I am properly settled back in England, I shall be booking myself in for a restorative break, of that you can be sure.

Fancy-Keyhole-Ornament-GraphicsFairy

‘We offer the visitor the most wonderful and unique experience in the tranquillity of a beautiful traditional Charente village of Lesterps, which is famous for its bonhomie, 11th/13th Century Abbaie (which can be seen from our garden) and the Richard Coeur de Lions trail which begins nearby. Lesterps has many public events including a famous accordion festival. The gardens here are extensive, We offer two splendid gites, Garden Gite, opens directly onto the landscaped grounds, from its beautiful kitchen, equipped with a splendid cooker range and log-burner. It has its own dining terrace which invites the visitor to…’

Source: Traditional Charente Holiday Cottages

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Hello, My Lovely Friends,

I’m back, albeit at half-tilt. Bless you for your comments. Rather than the lovely break some of you sweetly imagined for me, I was undergoing a traumatic sea-change and I am now living back in Blighty, staying with friends until mid-July before moving to the Isle of Wight where I have bought a 300-year-old fisherman’s cottage.

I plan on lots of relaxation and recuperation for the next week or so but hope I’ll be doing the odd post until I’m back up to speed.

Yachts_at_Bembridge_Harbour

Yachts preparing to race at Bembridge Harbour, Bembridge, Isle of Wight [Wikimedia]

OSBORNE HOUSE.—This view of Osborne from the south lawn is the most picturesque, and gives the late Queen's apartments standing out in bold relief in the centre of the picture. The terraces below adorn the building, and the rosary which extends on the right to the lawn is gay with a blaze of colour in the month of June. Now that Osborne has been made into a Naval College, the grounds are open to visitors on Fridays in the winter, and on Tuesdays and Fridays in the summer season; it is visited by many thousands during the year.

Osborne House is a former royal residence, beloved by Queen Victoria, in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, in 1910 [Wikimedia]

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Me with the divine Pisch!

Me with the divine Pisch!

Dear Blogging Friends and Supporters,

I will be offline for the next week or so.  As the saying goes, ‘Be good and if you can’t be good, be careful!’

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 8th October 2012

Two Delicate Screens Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”

How wise the creator of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Source: “You are Never too Old to … Dream a New Dream”

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