Hallo, Gillian here!
I am a retired primary school teacher, having taught for 30 years, mostly in South and Mid-Warwickshire.
Caring has been a feature of much of my adult life as I helped my mother look after my father and then later looked after my elderly mother. I married in 2008, having met my husband through the Stratford Renaissance Dance Group where we both provided the music for the dancing. Sadly my husband developed Parkinson’s Disease and I became his full-time carer.
Before Parkinson's struck, my husband and I both enjoyed creative activities and loved playing music together, he on his violin or recorder and myself playing piano, recorder, viola da gamba or violin. As a singer I love rehearsing and performing with my chamber choir, Cantamus, based in Shipston-on-Stour.
Derek’s creativity was in the field of woodwork and also words. He made beautiful musicstands and ingenious toys. He loved playing about with words and there is quite a catalogue of poems and stories that he’s written over the years. His set of Pillocks (13 humorous poems about people who come to a sticky end because of greed, avarice, etc. etc.) have been published and are sold in aid of Cancer Research in memory of his great friend Albie. Please send me a message via the Contact Us page if you would like a copy. I am also planning on publishing his sonnets and a miscellany of various poems and short stories.
Sadly, following my husband’s death in 2015, I lost my mojo for creativity. I had always enjoyed nothing more than an opportunity to bury myself in my craft studio and mess around with paint, inks, papers, rubber stamps and so on. It is gradually returning but four years ago I treated myself to a new sewing machine and started refreshing my sewing skills after a period of about twenty years. My first major project was a baby quilt for my beautiful little great niece, Alice. I now sell a range of items that I make at Farmers' Markets and Craft Fairs, raising funds for a carer support group that I started in 2012 called Carers4Carers.
I hope you will enjoy looking at some of the things I have created.