About Me and My Site
My name is Caroline Crocker and I live in Devon in the UK. I have had a very strange year this year as I caught a flu virus last September which has left me with Post Viral Fatigue. I have written about my experiences of this condition on my M.E. page in the hope that I might be able to help others who have this, or similarly frustrating illnesses. I started this site, after encouragement from my husband David and my cranial osteopath Mary, as the latest in a long line of things I have found to do sitting down!
When I am well, I enjoy my job as an English teacher at a local community college. My greatest passions (apart from my husband who I married last year after twelve years together) are gardening and ducks which go very well together since my ducks are great slug hunters and, being miniatures, do no harm to the garden as they forage about. They also combine well with a love of cats as our two hunters are inexplicably frightened of the little ducks and so don't consider them as a lunch option. We seem to specialise in keeping barmy pets! You can read about Sheldon, our latest addition, on this site.
I have always loved Art and was successful at A-level. I chose to study English Literature at degree level and somehow, with the pressures of teaching and the pace of life generally, I hadn't found time to draw since my school days. In January this year, after a particularly frustrating relapse in my condition, I decided I had to find something that I could do with very little movement and energy. I started by drawing my ducks and it has grown from there. My dad has been particularly supportive and his encouragement has helped me tremendously. I am sure it has helped my progress to have something creative to do as I am a notoriously busy person usually and so doing nothing was a nightmare.
This site also contains photographs of my garden. I have always loved taking pictures regularly so that I can chart the progress of my plants but, since we purchased a digital camera, this has also really taken off. Again, I found that being able to take photographs, even if I could only stand comfortably for a few minutes earlier in my illness, leads to a great sense of achievement I am very grateful to my mum for all her hard work in my garden this year. It would have been very hard to watch it get out of control whilst I can't work in it but she has kept it looking good.. I have now started to produce greetings cards from my garden images as well as my artwork. I hope that I can continue these new interests, as well as getting back to T'ai Chi which I had been learning for a year, when I finally get my old energy levels back.
Well, this brief introduction is in danger of developing into an autobiography so I will leave it there except to say that I am extremely grateful for the support of many friends and my family this year. It must be much worse to try to beat an illness like this on your own and I feel very fortunate that I have not had to. In particular, I must thank David, without whom this particular venture would have been impossible. I knew nothing about writing websites before this. He has led me every step of the way, and yet I am proud to say that this website is (almost) all my own work!