GoGo Gorillas Norwich 2013

This is rather long overdue blog post! Last August, the kids and I took a day trip to Norwich. Despite having had holidays in Norfolk in the past, I had never visited the county city. An added attraction was the GoGo Gorilla art trail which was taking place in Norfolk during the summer.


Here are some of the gorillas we managed to see during the day.

Gerald – Nathan Smith

Jungle Jenny – Jenny Leonard
Jungle Jenny

Gordon – Teresa Hill

Chromilla – Phil Daniels

Ray – Samuel Thomas

Catch Me If You Can – Hannah Nelson
Catch Me If You Can

Optimus Primate – Ross White
Optimus Primate

Whoop! Whoop! – David Hanton
Whoop! Whoop!

Yo’man – Phil Daniels

Georgian Georgie – Lottie Day
Georgian Georgie

Boris – Jenny Leonard

Gladstone – Phil Daniels & Mik Richardson

Freddie ‘Radio GoGo’ Gorilla – Mik Richardson
Freddie 'GoGo' Gorilla

Gareth – Gillian Jefferies

All photos taken with the Olympus E-PL1 PEN camera

Mini Art Journals

Over the last few months, I have been making little art journals, following a tutorial by Jennibellie. These mini journals are essentially hand decorated painted paper with collage, doodles and other embellishments.

Mini Art Journals

I’m aiming to use these as little mail gifts to family/friends as well as for art abandonment drops.

Art Journal 1
Art Journal 2
Art Journal 3

As always, thank you for looking <3

Greenwich: Books About Town

Earlier this week, we went into Greenwich to seek out book benches…Books About Town is a set of four trails in London that feature bench sculptures shaped as open books. We got to see almost all of them at Greenwich…the last one was just too far for my little legs and sore feet. Enjoy the photos…I’m planning the next one to do :)

Greenwich Park

Planet 42: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Deven Bhurke
Planet 42

Dr Johnson’s Wild World: Dr Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary – Scriberia
Dr Johnson's Wild World

Girl Engrossed: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Andrea Joseph
Girl Engrossed

Samuel Pepy’s Diary – Michele Petit-Jean
Samuel Pepy's Diary

The Railway Children – One Red Shoe
The Railway Children

The Canterbury Tales – Beth Quinton
The Canterbury Tales

On the Origin of Species – Jane Veveris Callan
On the Origin of Species

Frozen in History: Captain Scott’s Autobiography – Charles Bezzina
Frozen in History

The Jungle Book – Ruth Green
The Jungle Book

Elmer the Elephant – Giles Boardman
Elmer the Elephant

The Time Machine – Di Ralston
The Time Machine

All taken with the E-PL1

Wandering around South Bank

Back in May, I visited Leake Street Tunnel; the same day I did a bit of wandering around the South Bank.

Long Live South Bank

The skateboard park in South Bank is a great place to see graffiti. It is currently under threat by the South Bank Centre who want to redevelop the area for retail use. The Long Live South Bank campaign is dedicated to preserving this area for the skateboarding community.

Skateboard Park

I love these little stick people

Stick People

Miscellaneous street art

Street Art

A few candids at the Book Market

Book Market

Photos taken with the Olympus E-PL1

Curly Tree Paintings

Whilst I wait for my energy levels get better, I have been doing quite a bit of art in the last week or so. Something I love painting are curly trees, inspired/influenced by Gustav Klimt.

Curly tree

These are on canvas board, 8×10 inch and 8×8 inch, acrylic and ink. They are for sale, so if you are interested in buying, please email me: ahaylercchs@yahoo.co.uk.

Curly Trees

A little trip to Clacton-on-Sea

It has been a while since I’ve done a day trip, mainly because I have been very tired. But last Monday myself, my husband and my MacMillan nurse decided that it was time for me to have a proper break from my current chemotherapy regime, which made me very happy.

Clacton 1

Although I’ve still got a way to go in terms of regaining adequate energy levels for the things I want to do during my break, I decided to go to Clacton-on-Sea for the day.

It was a beautiful day…these are just a few black and white pictures I took with my little E-PL1 PEN camera. My little PEN has a set of art filters on it that you can apply in-camera…these were taken with Grainy Film and the only edits I have done have been to straighten, crop and resize. It’s nice sometimes to experiment like this and I quite like how these have come out.
Clacton 3
Clacton 2
Clacton 4
Clacton 5
Clacton 6
Clacton 7
Clacton 8
Clacton 9

Street Art: Leake Street Tunnel

Last week, I took a little trip over to London to take some photos of street art. I spent the morning at Leake Street Tunnel; this tunnel is about 300 metres long and runs under the platforms and tracks of Waterloo station. It was initially created during the “Cans Festival” organised by Banksy in 2008, and is now a dedicated area for street artists to display their work. The artwork is forever changing so the art I photographed that day may have already gone today!

Leake Street Tunnel

Here is just a selection of the photos I took…my photos from the South Bank will be up in another blog post in a few days…as always, many thanks for looking :)

Street art in Lower Marsh

Lower Marsh

Artists at work

Artists at work

Some of the art

Some of the art

People in the tunnel

People in the tunnel

Stairs and railings

Stairs and railings

Some more of the art

Some more of the art

Just outside of the tunnel

Just outside of the tunnel

All photos taken with the Olympus E-PL1

Art Journal Update

Let me say it straight up, I’m not a daily art journaller, I’m lucky if I manage one art journal page a week. I do write in a journal every day but it is just writing with bits and bobs stuck in that remind me of the day or cards I have been sent by friends. My art journals are for experimenting in and sometimes I can start a piece and not finish it until weeks later. Anyway, here are some of my art journal pages from the last 3-4 months; they are mostly faces, and the text around them are mostly quotes or lyrics from my favourite songs. Lots of inspiration and influence from Effy Wild and Tamara Laporte…thank you ladies xxx

Art journal pages

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness – 4th April 2014

Some Facts About Metastatic Breast Cancer

  1. Breast cancer can be treated but it can not be cured, despite the myth that is projected by the media. The main reason is because there is a chance (approximately 1 in 3) that it will recur (come back) and will have spread to other parts of the body. If you are lucky, it won’t come back. Unfortunately, the younger you are, the higher the chance of it recurring. It also means that finding the cancer early does not guarantee a cure or a higher chance of survival.
  2. Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It is also known as secondary breast cancer.
  3. Usually metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed some time after the primary breast cancer (the cancer that is in the breast)…that can be months or years (mine was 9 years after my first diagnosis). Sometimes it is diagnosed at the same time as the primary breast cancer or on rare occasions before the primary breast cancer has been diagnosed.
  4. There are a range of treatments for metastatic breast cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery) but unlike treatments for most illnesses, which focus on making you better, treatments for metastatic breast cancer focus on managing the disease, so you can actually feel ill due to the treatment. Often it is a balancing act in order to maintain some quality of life.
  5. Only 5% of funding for breast cancer research is devoted to metastatic breast cancer, which is rather disgusting given that it is the one that kills.

Why have a separate awareness day for metastatic breast cancer? Because we are living with this disease day in, day out, going from scan to scan, usually in three-month gaps, struggling with pain, fatigue, depression and debilitating side effects of treatment, constantly hoping the current treatment will keep the disease at bay until the next breakthrough drug comes along. This is a very different reality than the one painted by the media and, to a lesser degree, the medical profession and some charities, who tend to depict breast cancer as the “good” cancer to get. Sorry, but there is no such thing as “good” cancer!


Superficial Radiotherapy

Today I went for my first appointment for superficial radiotherapy. Superficial radiotherapy is “the use of exact, carefully measured doses of radiation to treat cancer. The treatment machine produces medium to low energy x-rays, and these x-rays are directed at the site of the tumour (cancer) in order to destroy abnormal cells”.


This treatment is to try and shrink the tumour under my arm (a.k.a Sweaty Betty), it won’t be for treating other tumours in my body. Today was about talking through what would be involved, drawing on the area to be treated and me signing the consent form, so no actual treatment was done today. The treatment is done at Essex County Hospital in Colchester and will last 5 days, starting this coming Thursday. I have had radiotherapy before, as part of my treatment for primary breast cancer over 10 years ago; that was also done at this hospital and lasted 15 days. I didn’t suffer too much with that treatment, but this time they will be radiating damaged and puckered skin, and it is in an awkward part of my body, under the arm.


Anyway, I came home with an interesting mandala drawing under my arm, I found a craft shop between the hospital and the train station, and the sun was shining.

Tomorrow will be a difficult day, as my consultant wants to discuss my last scan results in more detail; they found something that wasn’t showing in previous scans, in the “tummy area”. I’m not ready for the disease to have progressed but then I never will be. Unfortunately, metastatic cancer doesn’t involve “getting better”, it involves “getting worse”.

All photos taken with an iPhone