sweet balm…

Sensory overload. What is it really like? Difficult to pin down, common to most autistics, yet different in each individual and varying from one circumstance to another. No, it’s not just “all in the imagination” and no, we are not deliberately playing some dramatic role for whatever purported attention-seeking accusation.

Right. So, here. Today’s episode.

Heat. Humidity. Crowds. Smells. Noise. Lights. Over-exposure.

11.45am – 1pm. Just a wee bit over an hour.

Nausea. Vertigo. Uhoh… think I am going to throw up – search frantically for a plastic bag. OK, this is going to be awkward, standing at the bus stop. Should I give up and go sit down somewhere? Bus is arriving in 2 minutes. Determination and stubborn grit – just get home, Bunny!

I did it!

Safe, tucked into bed with my panacea for all woes – Canine Angel and warm vanilla hound.

Ah, so lucky to have my Lucy Like-a-Charm!


haptic pyjamas

“Haptic pyjamas!” has been bouncing in my mindscape with sonic, rhythmic, and visual vim and vigour, refusing to make a quiet exit. I am not sure why, but I have a strong suspicion it has to do with this latest piece of work and its nocturnal unfolding.

Two fluffy 60x60cm cushion covers, a vegetarian dinner of stir fried flat rice noodles and red capsicum and a gentle evening doggy-walk later, I decided to embark on reworking the Haptic HugShrug. It was already 10pm when I began. Lucy was snoozing in her favourit fluffy rug, occasionally opening an eye to check on me, and interjecting the quiet night air with a huff and groan every now and then. She does not like it when I stay up late. Her bedtime hour is 8pm, and I usually crawl into bed with her, working on my laptop until she shoves my laptop off the bed at around 10pm. Our routine has been very much upset lately, of course. I managed to complete it at 12am, by which time I was nauseous and dizzy, but feeling rather chuffed.

The Haptic HugShrug was first created in 2012, as part of the Haptic Interface event in Hong Kong. It is inspired by the concept of deep pressure stimulation as a calming therapy. It is made from Woolmark Merino wool top, but instead of crochet, this version (#3) is arm knitted, giving it a looser weave and more floppy movement than the former two versions.

Dimensions approx 110x70x4cm.

Available for sale as part of the installation catalogue, 100% of proceeds will go to mindDog Australia. Reservations and all enquiries welcome. Please message me at

sensory contrasts

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Jolted from my sleep at 3.30am by a smashing crack! Heart thumping wildly, as if wanting break free of the ribcage, I broke into a cold sweat. The seeping, sickly warm-cold sizzle of fear crawled up my back and clamped around nape. The Door Slammer was up and about. Again. A faulty hydraulic door stopper? No doubt, but knowing that, why couldn’t she make sure to hold the door and close it manually? Doesn’t the sudden explosive crack bother her at all? Obviously not. The terrible thing is, this person persists despite already having been spoken to by the building’s manager. What is worse, since the manager sent out an email to residents about the noise and door slamming issue, urging everyone to be more considerate, a few others have now decided to join in the fun and games, as if in defiant retaliation. Will it, can it get any worse? The saga unfolds… Continue reading

visual comfort

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Another day crashed and washed away, down the abyss into nothingness. Nothing achieved. Apart from cupcakes. The only important activity in my day today was hugging and cuddling my Angel. Well, here are some visual images, taken over the last few days of struggle, that have brought me a measure of comfort… Images that trigger more than just visual pleasures of symmetry, asymmetry, colour contrasts, shape, pattern etc, but also associations with motion, movement, taste, smell, texture, personal history, nostalgia, and emotional connectivity.

sunshine on my shoulders

I had originally planned to work at my art studio today, but the body wasn’t cooperative, there was that too familiar unpleasant detachment of mind and corporeality again, as the pain returned. After walking Miss Lucy, my back began to throb with a rhythmic savagery that would rival Stravinsky’s Le Sacre, though it probably wasn’t quite as refined in its delivery. The weather is still glorious, though, and that helped my mental mood greatly, despite the physical struggle. We spent a bit of time in the balcony, I did a bit of reading, and Lucy napped. I’ve hit on an optimum design for the space, so that Lucy would be more comfortable. Layering is the key: first, an old foam doggy bed, then a lightweight fluffy rug, and finally the sheepskin rugs. Lucy loves it, and I love the sight of her basking in the mild morning sunshine, her coat shining and glistening in the dancing light. Continue reading