Hand on Knee

Saturday, 10th December 2005

handI can't hold my left hand in this position for long. The proportion of the index finger didn't seem correct but I looked as carefully as I could and couldn't see it differently.

Any pen that I get my hands on gets used for drawing. This was drawn with the smallest of the the Crayola calligraphy pens which I used for writing the Christmas cards.

Ruff Patch

While we're in the bookshop a lady dog-walker we used to see down by the canal gets talking to me. I sign a copy of Rough Patch as a gift for her friend and ask if she'd like a quick sketch in it.

Jack RusselShe requests a Jack Russell, a small terrier renowned as a rat-catcher. She's astonished by my drawing.

'It's just like my friend's dog! He had a patch on the eye like that, and he had one ear that stuck up and the other down, like that.'

That's always how I picture Jack Russells! Appropriately he was called Patch.

The Rough Guide to Healing Therapy

I tell her that I was reading about a 15 year old who was caught up - traumatised though not seriously injured - in the 7/7 London bombings. For his birthday the family bought him a Jack Russell and this seems to have made a big difference to him and helped him begin to come to terms with his experience.

dog walker'Yes,' the woman says, 'I once recommended a man to get a dog. He'd lost his wife and was just sitting at home watching television, getting depressed, and I said to him “You ought to get yourself a dog!”

'I saw him weeks later and he said “Do you know, that was the best advice I've ever had . . . ” - I'd only been joking! But it had given an interest in life, given him a companions, it had got him going out again, talking to other dog-owners.' Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk