The March Instagram challenge – everything you may have missed…

Last month’s challenge was tougher than normal – but I managed it with a little help from two very young assistants. 

Day 1 – ‘something blue’

The portraiture of Ren Hang – who recently killed himself – was rarely displayed in his native China.

Day 2 – ‘my breakfast’

Hot cross bun! Excuse the awful crockery.

Day 3 – ‘upside down’

The way I feel today.

Day 4 – ‘contrast’

Hangover cured. Goodbye bags, hello sparkly disguise.

Day 5 – ‘picture of me’

Shelling broad beans to jar – with my father, aged 4.

Day 6 – ‘in the air’

Happy 80th birthday Valentina Tereshkova!

On June, 16, 1963 – aged 26 – Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space. Her three day mission was the 12th human spaceflight.

Day 7 – ‘on’

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy by David Hockney., 1970-1.

I love many things about this painting but Percy centre stage – perched on the knee of Ossie Clark – is a particular favourite of mine. Although the cat featured is actually Blanche. Hockney thought that Percy was a better name.

Day 8 – ‘fave part of my day’

I love getting dressed in the morning when I have to be smart.

Should I go badgirl or Mayflower Barbie today?

Day 9 – ‘miniature’

Lego Frida by Karen Cantuq – aka By K

Day 10 – ‘draw’

How I wish I could draw – left – in contrast to how I can actually ‘draw’ – right.

Alice in Wonderland looks rather different close up.

Day 11 – ‘two tone’

A return to my obsession with nail polish…more accurately, ‘vernis’ – as I will be using Mariniè and Garçonne by Chanel on my toes and fingers, respectively.

I do like a seaman – and my hair is quite a tomboy do at the moment.

Day 12 – ‘glass’

An Iridescent Kite Made From 3M™ Dichroic Glass Finishes

Literally the stuff dreams are made of…or dreams made real. Whichever, it’s fantastic.

Day 13 – ‘horizon’

Golden Supermoon photographed in South Dakota.

I should add that I did not take the photo but couldn’t find the name of the photographer and I would love to credit them. If anyone can help, I would love to hear from them.

Day 14 – ‘in motion’

Capturing the human body in motion is art in itself. Particularly when a photographer such as the wonderful Moscow-based Aya Kovlev photographs the grace and power of some of the world’s most elegant dancers.

Day 15 – ‘over’

Grief is agonising. And incurable.

I will never ‘get over’ losing my father when I was 16. I don’t even know if I want to. Would I lose him forever then? I don’t want to do that.

I just wish to remember him in a less painful way.

Day 16 – ‘key’

My keys – yes, I have VIP status. At the pet shop. Living the dream, people. Can it get any better?

That’s a Super Lamb Banana key ring, by the way – it’s singular to Liverpool.

Day 17 – ‘off centre’

Nothing in this picture matches – except the message on the graffito, which is barely visible.


Next to two giraffes and the sign for one of the most famous streets in the world, it seems fairly cohesive.

Incidentally, my eldest daughter wants me to report it to the police. I haven’t.

Day 18 – ‘daily’

I have epilepsy. Every day I take a cocktail of medicines to control the seizures. They work and I can now drive and live a relatively peaceful life…except, with epilepsy, you can never take your health for granted.

My prescription now affects my digestion and I have to counteract that with another pill. Epilepsy causes occasional bouts of aphasia too. Losing your words is inconvenient for a writer. And my senses of smell and taste can change giving foods a metallic edge.

However, that is nothing in comparison to the dulling of my mind that I can sense all the time. The drugs are designed to slow the extra electrical impulses that my brain produces. Sadly that spark is gone and it sometimes feels like the light has gone out too.

Day 19 – ‘orange’

Blood oranges. Delicious.

Caitlyn Van Horn’s work with colour is so achingly beautiful that she makes the simplest things look like jewels.

Day 20 – ‘wall’

Building new university halls of residence has so far taken 2 years. Seeing the daily progress on the school run is now less than fascinating.

Day 21 – ‘button’

1970s vintage Haute Couture Chanel 3 Piece Suit – cuff detail, right sleeve.

Day 22 – ‘stripes’

I’m looking forward to the stripy tan that I’ll get from wearing these lovely sandals from Matalan in the summer.

Day 23 – ‘anything’

My treat for the day is my Birchbox for March.

Full of goodies, I’m pretty pleased with the lovely luxuries it contains.

And the Batiste dry shampoo, which is basically how people with dyed grey hair deal with their roots – meaning that I don’t have to go through the horrible, scalp blistering bleaching and toning and twice dyeing process as often.

That is absolutely the best thing a shampoo can do for me.

Day 24 – ‘starts with ‘N’

Two of the original ‘nasty women’ – Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Here they are during publicity work for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in 1962.

Catch the whole story by watching Feud!

Day 25 – ‘half’

Half moon betta fish.

Day 26 – ‘aroma’

I love perfume and probably buy too much. The ones I use most suit different occasions. I love Chanel’s Chance for work, Stella McCartney’s Nude for days at home, Penhaligon’s Iris Prima for evening and Alexander McQueen for seduction.

Generally I like spice – although McCartney’s Nude is different. I wore it when I was pregnant – both times – and during maternity leave so my children associate it with me.

Chance is peppy and makes me feel energetic. Iris Prima is elegant but warm. Alexander McQueen is just supercharged. I don’t understand why but it makes me feel hot and the confidence just works. Try it.

Day 27 – ‘a quiet moment’

Time spent studying the cards my daughters made for me for Mother’s Day. According to the card on the left ‘my mummy is – brilit, prite, fun, cind, gudh, luvily and nis’.

That’s gudh enough for me!

Day 28 – ‘sharp’

Under the creative direction of my 3 year old daughter, I was asked to take a photo of flowers growing by the pathway – but to catch the dying undergrowth as well.

That turned out sharp.

Day 29 – ‘floating’

Dead Sea, Israel.

The excessive salination that means that the Dead Sea’s water allows floatation is clearly evident from salt crystallisation on the smooth stones that surround the water.

Day 30 – ‘starts with p’

Princess Julia (born Julia Fodor, 1960) is a legendary English DJ and music writer.

Also a style icon to me. She’s all glamour!

Day 31 – ‘numbers’

Teaching clock and abacus used by my children. Note that the numbers 1 and 2 are missing (of course – it’s an expensive wooden toy from Melissa and Doug Toys), although number 1 has been replaced with a small dinosaur.

Makes sense…

You can view the April challenge as it happens here.

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