Paint pottery and chill


One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about writing this blog has been the chance to recommend fibro-friendly activities; the things that chronic pain patients can do alone or with friends as a way of relaxing and having fun.

Something’s gone awry though… These days I seem to be doing too much, doing too little, or just sitting on my arse and reflecting on life as I know it. Remember the old days when I was falling in love with bingo, trying out art therapy books and making teapots? It’s time for more of that.

This weekend I went and did something that on the scale of zero to cool is definitely not a high scorer, but it totally ticked all the enjoyment boxes. I got some of my favourite girl-friends together and we went pottery painting.

Have you tried this? If not you should definitely check it out. Unique Creations, and the many pottery cafes like it, provide a wide range of cups, plates, jugs, piggy banks and ornaments for you to choose from. They’re plain white and waiting for you to ruin or improve, depending on the level of your artistic skill.

I could have split my friends quite easily in to two camps: those that found the exercise therapeutic and relaxing, and those that found it stressful and overwhelming. I was firmly in the second camp, and had to repeatedly remind myself I was there for the fun – not to try and win the Turner Prize. As I stood in front of the numerous items waiting for me and my paintbrush, I only became more and more overwhelmed. I stared at all the amazing creations on the wall as our host explained the numerous techniques to add colour, patterns, textures and decoration to the items we had selected. It seemed impossible.

Thankfully, as time went on, it got easier. It became more relaxing and more enjoyable, and by the end of the 2 hour session I was beginning to wish I could stay longer and paint more. In fact, I am currently considering taking this up as a new therapeutic hobby.

When you develop a chronic illness or have a baby or experience something that completely changes your social life, I firmly believe in the importance of finding new things to do and new ways to have fun. Change isn’t always a bad thing. Pottery painting, bingo and art therapy aren’t for everyone but they’re three things I have absolutely loved doing since I became unwell (even though I’m crap at them) and now I just want to make sure I keep doing them.

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Aren’t we a creative bunch? Check out Unique Creations in Oxford if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, a good teacher and a place where you can bring nine bottles of Prosecco in to a room for 13 people with no judgement whatsoever. Then sit back and watch as you create masterpiece after masterpiece – or mess after mess. Hurrah!