Courage On The Catwalk: Vanessa Love…

I sometimes feel like I talk too much about myself so I’m dedicating this to a much more awesome person than I could ever hope to be with a far more inspirational story…

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May the third Courage on the Catwalk took place at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom, featuring 24 brave women who have faced battles with cancer. When the line up was revealed in February I was really pleased to see this person standing at the front…

This lady is called Vanessa and she is my FFF (Favourite Facebook Friend). The reason I call her a Facebook friend is because although I have met her once, she is a friend of a friend, we somehow randomly connected on Facebook and I am so glad we did – the updates from her crazy (surreal?) life really do make me laugh out loud.

My friend had already told me of Vanessa’s story but I don’t think I truly appreciated it until I had a connection with the person behind the story. That somehow made it real, if that makes sense…

Read this article from Tuesday 16th May 2006 and see for yourself why I think she is awesome…

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There was a follow up story in 2010 when the twins started school and her husband and daughter are just as awesome as Vanessa by raising lots of money for charity through various fundraisers they have set up.

So, quite deservedly Vanessa was at the front of the queue to take part in the amazing Courage On The Catwalk event. Take a look at her and all these amazing people strutting their stuff…



Well done to everyone involved!


So, what about the lady herself? Her story above is, without doubt, inspirational and she tells it so well. I’m sure she’s had to answer the same questions quite a lot over the past few years, so, here’s where I come in. I’ve had a glimpse into her crazy life and I want to find out more about that Vanessa. I want to know why she carries a John Barrowman doll everywhere with her, why she thought it would be a good idea to put a can of gin in her nice catwalk shoes prior to wearing them and does she ever stop f***ing smiling? Let’s find out!

Ladies in background: "That's the one who drinks gin at work. That's the only reason John Barrowman chose her over us
Ladies in background: “That’s the one who drinks gin at work. That’s the only reason John Barrowman chose her over us…

Vanessa – congratulations on your debut as a catwalk model, you looked stunning! Since you were involved I just know there must have been a lot of backstage craziness. Can you share with me a funny story with a “Vanessa Love-ism” twist?

I have absolutely no sense of direction and between costume changes I’d visited the little girls room wearing only my Spanx, footless tights and a manky old dressing gown, lost my bearings on the way back and almost came down the runway wearing just that!

Now that certainly would have shown more than just your courage on the catwalk!


On a similar note, you’ve have had an incredible journey and your story is inspirational but you always seem to find a laugh in any situation. Do you have any “Vanessa Love-ism” light stories from those darker times?

Before my chemo started I had a central line put in under anaesthetic. I have no recollection of anything for about four hours after the procedure, but apparently I had wandered out of my room into the main hospital corridor, taken off my hospital gown and tried (unsuccessfully!) by myself to get dressed. Thankfully a couple of nurses came to my rescue, covered me up and put me back in my bed.

I’m starting to think you have a secret desire to be naked in public. I’ll be closely monitoring the local paper for a “Westhill Streaker!” headline from now on. In fact – I haven’t yet convinced myself that this isn’t you…

Watch out Westhill – Vanessa is literally spreading the Love!

So, the John Barrowman obsession – what’s the scoop? What’s with the doll, when did you meet him and has he or has he not now taken out a restraining order?

I met my JB doll at a Brownie Spring Fayre in 2009, he was in a box of bric a brac and cost me 50p. He has not taken out a restraining order on me but sadly the real JB has!



Do you have any photos where you aren’t actually showing that wonderful smile? If so, please show me as I need to prove to people that you are in fact a human!

Afraid not, I have checked with my Mum and apparently I came out of the womb smiling, however not with quite as many teeth as I have now though…

(Vanessa’s Mum obviously doesn’t know how to do Facebook stalking as well as I do)…




Dorothy would never have put a can of gin in her ruby slippers – what made you think it was a good idea to put gins in tins in your pretty catwalk shoes?

If The Wizard Of Oz was set in Westhill…
My beautiful sparkly shoes were the most hideously uncomfortable things I have ever had on my poor size four feet. The gins in tins were used to stretch them and they helped enormously.

Ah, that all makes sense now – repeat after me “there’s no place like gin, there’s no place like gin”


Are you going anywhere nice on your holidays?

I’m going to Minecon in London the first week in July. I don’t really know what this is but Charlie and the twins are very excited.

Hmmm, I’d possibly advise you to pack an extra set of “gin shoes” for that!


Do you know what the number one song was when you were born?

“Angel Fingers” by Wizzard

That’s a fab song! Let’s listen…


Do you know what the number one song was when your twins, or as you refer to them – “ginger buddhas” were born?

“Mr Lonely” by Akon

Well, I guess being twins they will never be lonely...


To quote the wonderful Haddaway – “What is love”?

Love is…wanting to smother your other half in the middle of the night with a pillow when they’re snoring but not actually doing it as you would miss them. Also, who else would make me a cup of tea in the morning?

So, to clarify – love is not quite murder but is possibly slavery. Fantastic!


You have a brilliant attitude to life – what’s your best piece of advice?

Don’t sweat the small stuff, and the truth is, it’s all small stuff 😉

Perfect, absolutely perfect!



Thanks Vanessa for taking the time to answer these random questions – all the best for the future and I look forward to more of your Facebook updates!


Vanessa has set up a JustGiving page which you can donate to here.


For more randomness take a look at my Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts…







12 thoughts on “Courage On The Catwalk: Vanessa Love…

  1. What a beautiful post about a lovely lady who clearly brings a lot of light and warmth to those who meet her. I wish her all the best with her health. And I have to add that her definition of love really made me laugh 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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