In July 2008- I debuted my first paper line! I had posted a picture of Louie on flickr a little while back, asking if anyone would be interested in me making some vespa-inspired papers... and Rachel Denbow answered back saying YES PLEASE and could she put it in the RVA Kit Club that was going on back then. My heart was so full! Two of my very favourite things coming together in such a great way. I worked hard on these and it was amazing to see something come into fruition like this. A real dream come true- and it was confirmation of what I really wanted to do. Memorable little shoot with Louie and my newly designed papers! Heather took about a gazillion of them for me (thanks again!) and I edited them all up and opened my Etsy Shop shortly afterwards. I think that was the same time that I switched from blogger to typepad too. Big times guys, big times. Art Equals Happy was real!
In the same month- the same time, actually- I had to nip into an internet cafe to check and see when the Kit went live! haha.... I went on a trip to Spain with my art class. The good memories that I took from that trip- I will always cherrish, but I got sick. I mean... really sick. I think the water was affecting me, we walked way too much for my out-of-shape self and my sore legs, I was overheating all day (even though I was wearing less that I felt comfortable with), and the stress of trying to stay 'mod' and keeping a good sketchbook/seeing stuff while feeling so rubbish collided and I couldn't do it. I stayed in the hotel for some of the time and turned in early most evenings. It was only a 5 day trip or something but... it was hellish for me. The places we went to were amazing! I saw Miro's work and had many delish meals with friends, drank a bit of sangria with my girlfriends and played with masking tape... but it was overwhelming. I didn't even text my parents to tell them I was ill, because I didn't want to admit it to myself! But it was my first taste at what life would be like with CFS/M.E. and what happens when you push yourself too hard. Everyone was great about it- Jayce offered to carry my bags and my tutors even bought me a sweet pair of sunglasses at a market I couldn't attend, and Becky went on detours with me to buy iced tea... I digress...
When I got home- I thought, rest for a while and it will go away. It didn't. Long story short- I was diagnosed and riding my scooter less and less because of how tired I felt- I was a little scared that if I rode too much I might get 'foggy headed' and endanger someone. It was all so new to me.As summer came to a close- I knew that there were some things I was going to have to give up. I didn't want to admit it yet- but in order to focus all my energies on my studies/art (I was attempting to do a full 2 year course in 1 year plus my other subjects)... something was going to have to give.
On my 18th birthday I 'met' Jon and we started dating. It was incredible not to have all that pressure for me to look like a 'face'. The combination of my supportive, chilled out friendship group and finding out how to deal with CFS meant that I learnt to relax in my dressing style and my lifestyle. Another long story short- Mum drove me to school most days.
My scooter club were obviously wondering where I had disappeared to. I kept saying that 'I'll be better soon', because I honestly believed that. I didn't get that much better. Slowly I was only in contact with Eddy Bullet, and popped round his shop a like once maybe. Then... it was summer again and I was planning on moving to London. I decided to keep him at my parents house- it didn't make sense to move him when I rode him so little and I was in halls.
Poor Louie, stuck in the garage. :[ I'd go out and sit on him sometimes, but mainly I just waved at him through the window. I missed him a lot. Sep- I moved to London. Oct- my CBT expired. So now I couldn't ride him even if I wanted to. He kind of took a back seat in my life, like an old photograph of happy times past.
Wow. Lots happened in 2010. I had survived my first year of going to University in London and living in Halls and I had survived the breakup with Jon when he went to India. I had new friends in a new town and I bought my first flat, moved in... but there was still something missing (besides my energy!). Louie!
My parents also moved in the summertime- closer to London and Louie came with them! When he was driven out of the truck- I fell in love all over again. I missed him alright. So. My goal... Get back on the road soon.
There was a lot to do, to get him ready- his battery had gone kaput and I had to sort out my licensing and check him up and all that. With the start of term again, he got pushed out of priority- and I was worried about whether or not I'd be well enough to ride him. During the fall and winter, we managed to get him running (got to love that kick start) and seeing as my parents were living on a private farm, I rode him around to get requainted. It was great. My heart was full. Then the battery really when fut...
Part IV coming up soon!
Read Part I
and Part II of The Louie Story!