Saturday, 28 November 2009

My Latest Painting - 'A Dappled Life'

I've been working on a commission for the lovely DJ and she's just given me permission to post some pictures of it. I used gold leaf on the background which made photographing it very difficult....I hope I've managed to capture the colour and the feel of the painting.

It is called 'A Dappled Life'
(Click on the image to enlarge it)

(If you want to know more about why it's called 'A Dappled Life' I believe that DJ will be blogging about it tomorrow)

A friend of mine has suggested that I use the same technique and do a series of four paintings representing the four seasons. I think I might just have a go at doing that!!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

1st Assignment Results

Well, I handed in my Self Audit about three weeks ago and have now got the results back!! The passmark was 40% and I am thrilled to be able to tell you that I got 67% :-D. I got the 2nd highest mark in the class which I think is not too shabby considering that it was the first proper academic paper I have written in over 10 years!! The piece of work is only worth 20% of my final mark but it's a good start!!

*goes off to do a wee happy dance*

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Oooohhhh a new toy!!

Look what I've got to help with my feelings of not being settled in one's so I can keep all my files in one place :-)

It's tiny and I just want to stroke it lovingly

Monday, 16 November 2009

How do I do this ethically?

So here's the thing....

I have to undertake a Community Profile for my Community Development module. The lectures so far have been on the history of Community Development (the theory and thoughts that have shaped what we do today), who has the power and how is that power used (It's scary how many organisations use their power to keep people oppressed), how communities are represented (Who is 'the voice' of that community and do they actually represent those they claim to or are they just voicing their own views), how to involve communities in the decision making process (in most instances the people that use the services are the best people to make decisions on how to improve those services) and what the best practices are for engaging and empowering the community. Last weeks lecture was cancelled because we were to spend the whole day on Saturday learning how to go about doing a Community Profile.

Now, before I go any further a Community Profile is defined as

'A comprehensive description of the needs of a community, and the resources that exist within that community, carried out with the active involvement of the community itself, for the purpose of developing an action plan or other means of improving the quality of life of the community' (Hawtin et al, 1994:5) (Ooohhh get me with my referencing!!)

Oh, and I should probably say that a community can be either a group of people living in a specific area, a group of people that share a common interest, a group of people from a particular ethnic group or a mixture of all of the above.

The community I am going to focus on is what is known as a 'hidden community'. I am going to be looking at people who are housebound due to illness in an area of Tower Hamlets (Tower Hamlets is too big to cover so I will have to chose a specific, smaller, location within it....I'm not sure where that will be yet but I have a few organisations to speak to who should be able to help me narrow it down).

I already know that the statistical part of the profile will not be easy to do but I am planning to get statistics from a number of organisations and then compare them in order to try and build up an overall view (I'm thinking Age Concern, GP Register, Social Services, NHS Trusts and the benefits agency...I will use the 2001 census as a starting point but the information contained in it will be very out of date so I don't think it will be very reliable.....if anyone has any other thoughts they would be most welcome) but there are two things that are worrying me. The first is the time scale, I only have three weeks in which to do everything, and the second is the reasons for doing the profile in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I think Community Profiles are a wonderful tool that can be used for all sorts of brilliant things (to show where there are gaps in services, to highlight the fact that a service needs to be improved or expanded, to be used as part of a funding proposal....the list goes on). My problem is that I will be doing it because I need to submit a Community Profile for what do the people I am profiling get out of it? Do you see what my problem is? If I just do it in order to pass my course then I'm just as bad as all those organisations who use people for their own gain and that goes against everything I stand for!!

My solution, sorry I'm using this post as a way of structuring my thoughts, is to identify three (I don't think I can do any more in the time I have) housebound patients to visit with the purpose of undertaking a 'Discovery Interview'. (This is an interview technique used to enable a patient to tell their 'health story' in their own words. It gives them an opportunity to talk to someone about the problems they have encountered, what experiences have been positive, how they feel emotionally as well as physically and how they feel things could be improved upon). If I did this then I could make the information anonymous and, via THINk, feed it directly back to those providing the services in that area. That way the people I was speaking to would benefit from the process and I could use the information to cover the community aspect of my profile and to form the action plan. I can't see any other way of doing the profile without exploiting those I want to help and I just can't do that!!

What do you think?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Bloody Brilliant News!!

As the title of this post suggests, I have some bloody brilliant news *Huge cheesy grin*

Mini Me has shrunk........and.......not just a wee bit!!

(In case you've not been reading for long and are now wondering what the hell I'm on about....I have a benign tumour in my liver that Chris named Mini Me. Hehehe, yes the picture is my MRI scan and you can see her, the light fuzzy bit, on the left hand side...although she's much smaller now :-D. If your interested you can read about my diagnosis here)

She's gone from 3.5cm to 1.5cm which means that the medical people are no longer concerned about her.....which means I don't need to be either *does happy wiggle on sofa whilst trying not to drop laptop on the floor or disturb the cats*