Even though Alastair and his sister have both got diabetes, they prove that no matter what, life's sweet.
"I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed. The vicar, Dr. Dewar, cycled all the way over the hills from Helen's Bay to Dundonald Hospital to see me. I wasn't on my deathbed but I was impressed and touched by his dedication. My little sister was only nine when, a year or two later, she was also diagnosed with diabetes. We found it all difficult, not just injections but giving up puddings and sweets as well.
I learnt to inject myself by practising on an orange and used a big stainless steel and glass syringe. It has to be stored in industrial meths. Nowadays, I use a cartridge pen injector - it's so easy.
I reckon I was dead lucky to survive my student days, what with all the things that students get up to. I felt trapped by my diabetes then - I couldn't go off anywhere at the drop of a hat. I had to think first and plan it out, remember my insulin and so on. Despite this, I did tour Europe with my friend, William. However, my sister Anna, travelled the world on a bicycle - crossing the Sahara; touring Asia; living in Botswana. I admire her for that.
While Anna was cycling, I was starting a new cycle of my own - a family with Julie. First Ellen, then Hannah. My work, my tapestries took on the theme of regeneration too. Now Anna has started on that journey as well and says that it's her biggest adventure yet - giving birth to Maurice Duncan Cooper."