Not today eczema. Today, you lost…


This weekend was a big weekend for me. You may think, PAH! You, dressing up as a Tudor, performing? Difficult? Noway! But I swear to you it’s true! Performing yes, comes naturally to me but TSW really knocked it out of me and for a year I’ve been hibernating like a tortoise in my little Victorian terrace shell!


To put myself out there on the stage allowing everyone to stare at me, judging my skills as an actor is something I’m used to. Having people judging me because of the way my skin looks is also something I’m used to but combining the two really turned up the pressure.  Pressure= Stress. Stress= ITCHING!


It was a weird little feeling. I was so excited to be back doing what I love more than anything but terrified of throwing myself out there for all eyes to see. What if I can’t do it?  What if I have a flare up and need to have a scratching fit? What if I start shedding skin everywhere? What if I’m just not ready for this yet?  So traumatic.


The stage isn’t a place whereby you can fade into the back ground going unnoticed. I will be centre of attention, I will have everyone focused on me, judging my ability to act. Little would they know just how hard acting would be for me this time. Not only am I Suzannah Shakespeare, but I’m also performing as a different me. The professional, confident actress with no troubles in the world. How inaccurate. It wasn’t my ultimate best performance I’ve ever done but considering the circumstances I think did pretty well.

The anxiety I felt the night before heading down to Stratford-Upon-Avon kept me awake, which was rather a good thing considering I was on a 12 hour night shift.

I know you all say I’m so strong to get through this with a positive attitude but I still get the same insecure feelings as you all do.  I still get worried, anxious, upset. I certainly felt all of this whilst on the journey down there. It was going to be the first time I’d have saw the wonderful people at Tudor World for over a year, what if they don’t recognise this new me? So much has happened in the last year that I feel like a completely different person and what if they don’t like this new Amy-Lou?

the falstaff experience

Turns out all of this worrying was for absolutely nothing because as soon as I took the first step onto the original 16th century cobbles that lead up to the museum  I felt like I’d come back home and I was so relaxed. I felt inspired, rejuvenated, alive!


It was amazing to once again get stuck into rehearing and to be working with my awesome colleagues again! I was so busy it really distracted me from my itchy nightmare. My colleagues made me feel so at ease, even getting changed in front of them just wasn’t an issue at all. It literally took so much man strength to squeeze me into my dress. I’ve put on a whole stone since I last tried to fasten up this little number. I’m pretty sure that’s down to not being able to do any exercise since TSW because sweat and eczema do not get on! If you could have seen me trying to get into this dress I guarantee you’d have been on your back laughing!


 Once in that dress, I felt amazing! I felt like me again! The ‘me’ that loves performing, that loves making an audience laugh and loves being complimented. I DID IT! I finally, after 11 months of TSW got back on that stage! I am so proud of myself for it! If we can get through all the pain steroids have induced on us and still stay positive, we can do ANYTHING!

me and chris framed

I spent a day having people take my photo, calling me beautiful because of the dress and I loved every minute of it! My skin looked great and I felt great! When you’re smiling no-one even notices your imperfections because smiling is so contagious. I was at no point questioned about my eczema and for once, I felt normal. People didn’t want a photo with me because I was the girl in the paper for having a skin condition, I was just a girl playing a character in a Tudor costume anonymous to the general public and I couldn’t have felt happier.

me and kim framed

I still stick by not pushing yourself too far and accepting your limits but sometimes you’ve just got to get out there and start living again! Challenge yourself! Whether that’s leaving the house, getting out of bed or even just making a cup of tea, try it. It is just such a rewarding feeling when you’ve successfully achieved whatever challenge you may have set yourself. It will be worth every ache, pain and effort to just feel proud. Just replacing that feeling of failure with success will pick you up if you’re having a down day. It will make you feel positive, it will make you realise you can still live life, and it will give you a taste of what life may feel like when you get to the end of our super dark, itchy tunnel. If you don’t succeed the first time, get up and try again, don’t give up. What’s that song about getting knocked down and getting back up again? There’s no such word as can’t here, if I can do it, you can do it. We are all in this together and together we will beat this!


What challenges have you set yourself? What challenges have you already successfully completed? Or what are you currently trying to work towards?

I want to hear all! 🙂

Loves.xx ❤


PS. If you like ‘The Terrible Tudors’, you will love ‘The Falstaff Experience. Tudor World’. Check out the website for up and coming events…





Seriously guys… We know you are only trying to help but trust me when I say, you’re not!


WOW! Thank you for your advice Doris! I will stop scratching straight away! Who’d have thought it was that easy hey! If only we’d all been told sooner, we’d have saved ourselves from so much suffering! What are we like!!! *Rolls eyes*


Oh really!? Are we!? Aren’t we a silly lot…. Slap our wrists!!!  (Except, don’t do that as that may trigger a scratching fit… yes! We know… WE MUSTN’T SCRATCH)


YES! It is extremely contagious so you ought to stay the hell away! Like seriously, just talking to me means you may be able to catch it so better not breath another word in my direction! (There’s one way to get rid of morons)


Aaaaaand the award for ‘BEING ABLE TO STATE THE OBVIOUS’ goes toooo….. YOU! *Claps* What an achievement! And there we were thinking you were stupid!


Oh well that’s awkward! There I was thinking I was having a ‘good skin day’, I’d better put my long sleeve polo neck jumper back on then.


Well, it’s not is it but it’s nice to know you’d lie to my face just to make me feel better I guess. I will be sure to never ask you if “my bum looks big in this”.


Ok, let’s get one thing straight… Dry skin and eczema, not the same! Don’t compare your small dry patch to my itchy, scabby, flaky, weepy, eczema! Are you chronically under slept because of that dry patch you have there? I DIDN’T THINK SO.

So I mean really, the moral of the story is to take a leaf out of Ronan Keating’s book because *sings* “You say your best, when you say NOTHING AT ALL”.


Thank you,




Firstly, I sincerely apologise for my absence. Me and eczema have been in a bit of a disagreement for the last week. You see eczema has decided to get it’s own back on me for trying to banish it from my life by relentlessly attacking my hands, making me unable to type and therefore unable reply to you lovely lot. I haven’t forgotten about you, you are all amazing and I promise I will get round to it.
Since the article about ‘my’ story was picked up by the news I’ve been over whelmed by your wonderful comments, emails, letters and advice.
See news article here from ‘The Daily Mail’…
For any of you that know me, you’d know how much a hate the daily mail. You really can’t believe anything read in the daily mail because it’s such nonsense but for the first time EVER I’m finding myself thanking ‘T.D.M’ because most of my new blog readers found me through their article. So yes, this will be the only ever time I will say this, so lap it up whilst you can… THANK YOU DAILY MAIL.
I was utterly shocked when I started receiving emails from people in Africa, Australia, Canada and BRAZIL! Now I say ‘BRAZIL’ in capitals because I have to say, you beautiful people have literally been so supportive and your messages are so poetic but I need you to know right now, that ‘google translator’ isn’t translating your messages very well. Just needed to throw that out there because I need you to know…
See example below…
So I suppose I should explain why I’ve separated ‘The woman cured by porridge’ and myself in the title of this post. Well I guess I needed to do that because as fantastic it would be, I’m not the woman with severe eczema cured by Quaker Oats. If only it was THAT easy!!! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against Quaker, infact I welcome him into my life with open arms as you all know but he certainly hasn’t cured me and for the record I don’t pay £1.99 for my oats, neither do I get them from TESCO, as the article states. I felt that needed to be clarified considering I’ve been told I am a PORRIDGE SNOB by an outraged article reader, he suggests I’m sending out the wrong message to you all by making people who can’t afford to pay £1.99 for porridge feel really rubbish. I somehow feel like he’s missed the whole point of the article, don’t you?
You’ve got to laugh at these things.
If I’m not the girl cured my porridge, who am I?
I am Amy-Louise James. I am a normal human being battling societies idea of what is ugly and what is not. I am not just the girl with eczema, I am just 1 human in a huge sphere of being’s around the world clawing through the conflict of ‘The perfect Image’ set by the world wide media. I am just me. The same as you.
Whatever the skin condition. Whatever the emotional scarring. Whatever the cultures, the beliefs, the language spoken… we all have one thing in common… BODY CONFIDENCE. Whether you’ve reached it already or whether it’s still something you’re striving to touch, it effects the lives of all of us. Every individual is motivating the other to break out of that beauty stereotype created by the media and together, we will make a difference.
Yes, my story has gone world wide, but that’s just one chapter, in one book, in a library full of stories.
Let’s stop thinking of our physical and emotional conditions as flaws because there are so many of us with skin conditions that it kind of just makes us ‘normal’.
Don’t you think?
Amy-Lou ❤