Are you there??

23rd January 2021

I open my messages to find a video of Kip the dog licking a soggy mound of cheese from Annabel ‘s hand. Her fist curled into a cone as she giggles encouraging him to ‘Enjoy his ice cream’ . I’m equally repulsed as I am amused.

So, who is this long-nosed mutt you ask? This is where Annabel’s story began. Unable to walk Kip the dog 89-year-old Mary needed a saviour. A local young theatre director came to her rescue and thus a friendship was formed.

Each morning Annabel would collect Kip from a grateful Mary, and they would exchange niceties. When Mary offered Annabel a room to rent it seemed too convenient to refuse. With all 2020 shows cancelled she was left with no option to find a cheap nest.

Living with an 89-year-old and dog that looks like an enlarged fox wasn’t quite how she expected the year to pan out. However, she committed to launching an ever postponed business idea . (Children’s theatre digital –

Since August the housemates have now formed an unusual friendship. It felt only fitting to take a portrait of the two to mark Annabel’s departure. So, after all the boxes were packed and in storage we broached the idea to Mary who was of course overwhelmingly keen.

Then the apocalypse of the winter lock-down swooped in without warning and Annabel found herself sleeping on a sofa bed and using her fridge as her desk. Thus, our project extended from one simple portrait to an extended activity.

This is a story of an unlikely friendship during a pandemic that has brought moments of joy, sadness, near death and chair spinning adventures. With Mary now all jabbed up and invincible we will continue to embark on capturing this tale as a team of four. Annabel, Mary, myself and Kip the dog.

Oao x