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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Of hens, feet and art
From left: Martin Hudspeth, Jane MacKay and Paul Morgan
Martin Hudspeth, Jane MacKay and Paul Morgan
We revisit three people who have featured in our weekly Real Time series: a chicken rescuer, an artist who sees sounds and a man who wants to cut off his feet.

Martin Hudspeth saves ex-battery hens and teaches them to be birds again. He, too, has been rocked by the foot-and-mouth crisis.

If I can't find a sponsor or a financial backer to help out very soon, then I am going to have to close the Chicken Rescue Centre because I have lost the money I needed to build big enough to be self-sufficient.

Ex-battery hens
Martin teaches hens to eat, fly and lay eggs
I've got more mouths to feed and less money coming in. I'm looking after more than 600 hens and 49 cockerels.

I'm doing 20 hours a day, seven days a week - if I'm not working with the chickens, I'm wood turning to raise money to cover the running costs.

It's hard to get potential sponsors to realise that the rescue centre is genuine. And many agricultural shows have been cancelled, which is where I do a lot of fundraising.

I'm nine months behind schedule on setting up a visitor centre for the disabled, and about 45,000 short. I'd hoped to have two or three more sheds and a walkway for wheelchair access, but that's gone by the by.

Money's too tight

I could make enough money selling eggs if I had another 400 hens, but I haven't got the housing for them. It's a Catch 22 situation.


I make just 20 a week selling eggs

The foot-and-mouth crisis is still hurting me - people are still keeping out of the countryside.

At the height of the crisis, I made just 3 a week selling eggs to passing trade and had 150 a week in outgoings. That's now gone up to a grand total of 20 a week.

I've had a lot of e-mails from people wanting to adopt chickens. But no white knights have come forward yet...

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For artist Jane Mackay, sneezes are turquoise and Friday is chequered. She has synaesthesia, a condition which mixes up her senses.

I've been on the Richard and Judy show, almost certainly as a result of my Real Time interview. They wanted me to paint what their voices sounded like.


Richard's voice is ochre while Judy's is a pastel pink

It was great fun. I listened in on rehearsals and did a quick sketchy impression which I showed them when the show went live.

Richard's voice was quite an ochre colour with light brown edges and Judy's was a shiny pastel pink that curved towards me, like a convex tube made of plastic.

Sight and sound

My stint as artist-in-residence with the Cambridge University Musical Society has now finished.

Sketches of the first, top, and second rehearsals of a piece by Guy Woolfenden
Jane's sketches of a piece by Guy Woolfenden
I had spent the academic year sitting in on their rehearsals and concerts, trying to capture the synaesthetic images I got from the music. I had two exhibitions in Cambridge and sold 81 pictures, many to students.

Now I've got all sorts of commissions - so many that I've had to start saying no to things.

James Bowman [a leading countertenor] has asked me to paint his voice for his 60th this year. He's got an incredibly characteristic voice that I get strong pictures of during his concerts.

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Paul Morgan, of Mississippi, USA, wants to replace his wasted legs with prosthetics, but his insurance won't cover it - so he plans to webcast a DIY amputation, for cash.

I've put back the date of my online amputation to Halloween.

My website has had more than 340,000 hits in the past four to five weeks, but I've still only had about 20 people sign up.


I'm still an internet urban myth

There's still this scepticism about what I'm doing. I've done more than 100 interviews around the world, yet I'm still an internet urban myth. I hope to evolve to something more than that soon.

Money has started to come in from advertisers. I just got a cheque for $500 and another $1,300 is on the way. This will help fund the guillotine, which I hope to start building next week.

Long arm of the law

The Mississippi Attorney General's office has contacted my attorney.

Paul's feet and legs
Paul plans to charge web viewers $20 each
They don't want the spectacle, so they've offered a surgeon to perform the amputation for free - but no prosthetics, no rehab. That's not what I'm looking for.

The county authorities have also been in touch. They're not saying they'll arrest me but they're hinting around that if they know where the amputation is going to take place, they'll interfere and put the kibosh on it.

So the amputation may be moved to Canada. I'm going to need a pretty big trailer to get the guillotine up there.

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