Category Archives: Mary Ward Centre

250th Summer Exhibition Royal Academy, London. Reading #3 My Art Class from ‘Woman in a White Coat’

What a brilliant idea!!

What a brilliant idea – having Grayson Perry curate this important 250th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.


Royal Valkyrie by Joana Vasconcelos



The brilliant mixed media sculpture by Joana Vasconcelos greets you as you enter. And I loved the Architecture Room.


The Architecture Room


Often I’ve felt overwhelmed at the Summer Exhibitions by the crowds and the works massed together higgledy-piggledy, but this year the exhibition is themed and great. It’s absolutely a ‘MUST GO’.

This fabulous exhibition  made me feel I ought to get out my paints and pastels and start painting and drawing again. After I retired in 1991 I went to a wide variety of classes including drawing and painting.

Hear about the Art Class at the Mary Ward Centre in Queen Square I attended after I retired in 1991 in this excerpt from my memoir Woman in a White Coat’  – Chapter 26 pp 355-356 and pp 361-363

Woman in a White Coat’  is available on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99

Chapter 26 Woman in a White Coat

I enrolled for lots of classes, some at one Further Education college and some at another – painting, drawing, cooking, history of art, Spanish, creative writing, pottery, dressmaking, machine knitting, felt making – everything I hadn’t had time for when I was working. It wasn’t just that I hadn’t had the time, I hadn’t had the inclination. My mind was always so full of work. Even when I was at the theatre, I would find myself thinking about a difficult diagnosis or a hiccup in our research.

Continue reading 250th Summer Exhibition Royal Academy, London. Reading #3 My Art Class from ‘Woman in a White Coat’

‘Woman in a White Coat’ and My Wonderful Family and Friends

Nathan Burton’s Great Cover

I emailed all my friends with the good news that my memoir Woman in a White Coat was finally on Kindle and the response has been amazing. Thank you all. I was expecting you to just use the ‘Look Inside’ feature or get a free sample, but you’ve been buying it. I might yet get to be a millionaire!!

Thank you all especially the first and the last of my Writing Circles,  all the Creative Writing tutors at the Mary Ward Centre, Morley College and CityLit, the literary agents who wrote encouragingly but didn’t take me on because I’m not a celebrity, my various mentors except the one that discouraged me so much I stopped writing for a year and everyone else who ploughed their way through my many drafts.

And above all my fantastic family – near and far.

I love you all!!


PowerPoint – my new toy

Well - it was only the second week!!
Well – it was only the second week!!

When I gave presentations about my work on cancer diagnosis I used acetate slides. First I had to persuade a more-or-less unwilling secretary to type up my acetate slides, get audio-visual to make them up and then, as a junior trainee pathologist, rehearse in front of my irascible Head of Department. As a consultant pathologist, I no longer had to rehearse in front of my boss though I got my youngest child, Jane, to work my slide projector when I rehearsed the timing. She gave  a wonderful gobbled-gook impersonation of me – ‘Next slide please’ and all.

Now it’s so easy with PowerPoint with yet another very good tutor at the Mary Ward Centre.  taking the course was stimulated by being asked by my local library to give a presentation on writing my memoir Woman in a White Coat. I’ve been warned by my expert son, Simon, not to incorporate music or animation though they are next week’s topics.

Can’t believe I made it – 84th Birthday today

My opening Google page with a message wishing me Happy Birthday
My Google page today with a fly-out message wishing me Happy Birthday – little bit creepy though! Thought police??

Yesterday I drove extra carefully to my classes on Native American History  at the CityLit and PowerPoint  at the Mary Ward Centre. Didn’t want to have a fatal accident before I got to the magic 84.
Started  today with lots of gorgeous presents from Joshua and the children and then went to Boots for an NHS ‘flu jab – talk about the sublime and the ridiculous!!
Hard to believe I’m so very much nearer 100 than 1!!

Photography 2 – Lines and repetitions

Ready for recycling
Ready for recycling

This week we went out into Queen Square to photograph lines and repetitions. I am so used to just snapping photos before someone moves out or into the frame. It’s quite different taking the time to compose the picture.

Can't have too many pockets
Can’t be too rich or  have too many pockets . The case has 5 large pockets  and one zipped pocket inside

Finally found a Briggs and Riley briefcase which doubles as a handbag and carry-all with a pocket large enough to take my laptop. A band at the back allows me to hang it on the pull-out handles on my luggage cases.

Photography at the Mary Ward Centre


Taking what promises to be an excellent photography course at the Mary Ward Centre.
After I lost my simpler digital camera I got talked into buying a Nikon 340 which has a fantastic lens and a huge number of possible settings. I joined the course to discover how to use them.

Using the MACRO setting
A late blooming white rose

During the first lesson we went out into Queen Square and took a number of shots using the macro setting, focussing on a near object and then swivelling to take in the distance which would then be blurred.  Great technique.

It’s that time again

The new CityLit building in Keeley Street
The new CityLit building in Keeley Street

Middle of August – time for last minute booking at one of the Further Education Colleges. When I first retired, I was taking eight classes a week – though one was a ‘cook and eat’ course. Next term I’ve only enrolled for three – Literature at the CityLit and at the Mary Ward Centre in Queen Square I’ve enrolled for  Photoshop and Photography – the latter two to help me with this blog. I’m still of course taking private piano lesson with my rather dishy tutor.

I’m not very good at painting or drawing but had a great time taking art classes at the CityLit when the art classes were on the top floor of the old Victorian School on the site where the new building now stands.   Not only were there lots of stairs but being built for children the steps were lower than normal and climbing felt really odd – even before I broke my hip.