Yesterday I headed to London ….I’d been emailed a while ago by Sky 1 ‘What’s Up TV’ asking if I would be part of a programme for them……In their blurb it says~:
“It’s a broadcast magazine show which focuses on providing engaging and inspiring content for a 16 – 35 year-old audience. The programme, now in production of its 17th series, reaches over 100,000 households, making it one of Sky One’s most popular shows. We have covered topics such as; SUDEP (Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Domestic Abuse and many more.”
So it sounded like a good content programme and the emails I got were also kind and reassuring.
The aim of the piece they wanted me to do was to raise awareness of dementia, highlight the lack of funding for dementia as well as lack of understanding……
For those of you that have been hibernating for the last week or so, there has been severe flooding all around the Doncaster area and there have been no Northern trains running from my area to Doncaster since last Friday, I think…..so I was getting a tad worried about my plans…..I needed to get to Doncaster to catch the London train so I needed a plan B……and a plan C for getting back home…..🙈
I spent Saturday trying to work out what to do but gave up as the situation seemed to change by the minute so left it until Sunday morning to decide…..and thought and thought…..took me forever…..the web sites were no help as some trains said they were running on one site and not on another…..
The reason I decided to put myself through this was the venue they chose to record it in……The Clock Tower room at St Pancras……
The number of times I’ve looked up there to get the time while being in London, not realising it had hidden secrets and now I would be inside it. So I couldn’t resist the inevitable stress I would go through just to get there……..
Anyway…..my plan b was to set off 2 hours before I needed just to try and get to Doncaster for my connection…..when I got to Hull the boards were full of ‘Cancelled’ heading towards Doncaster, but the only direct LNER train to London was sitting in the station. It was the 7am and I hadn’t even been due to arrive into Hull until 8.45 🤐………but the thought ran through my head that if you don’t ask you don’t get…….
I walked up to the guard, and he immediately clocked my lanyard….I’d also put a card in my lanyard. I don’t usually do this,
but thought today I would as I knew I’d be doubly stressed about travelling and it might just speed up being helped…..and it worked…..he immediately said:
“Come and sit down so we can chat, we’re not due out for ages’
And so we did. I told him my predicament. How I did have a ticket booked from Doncaster but not until 10.18 but wasn’t sure how I would get to Doncaster…….
He immediately found me an unreserved seat, and then said, “just travel with us to London, then you won’t have to worry about Doncaster”
That small act of kindness that cost nothing, meant a stressful worrying start turned into a calm relaxed journey. Yes I did get there 2 hours before I was suppose to but so what…….
The start of the journey was in darkness but as soon as the world began to wake I could see the devastation of the floods in the fields on farm land…..goodness knows how households are coping…😔as we pulled into Doncaster the once clear landscape was heavily flooded……
As we trundled further south the landscape began to change to green and brown again…and autumn colours highlighted the landscape instead of a watery deluge….
The train manager came and checked on me every now and then to make sure I was ok, and asked if I needed to phone anyone since I’d be so early. I said I was happy watching the world go by for the couple of hours but he insisted I wait for him to come and get me, he’d walk me to the LNER lounge where I could wait in the warm with tea on tap….again, such a simple act of kindness and compassion for a fellow human being….he didn’t have to do that but he did…….I tweeted LNER to tell them so……
Katie Moore, researcher for the programme, had agreed to meet me at Kings Cross and walk me over to the venue. We’d exchanged phone numbers for txting, so I txt her the change of plans…I’d also had to book a different ticket home so I wouldn’t have the same problem in reverse, but they’d said they were fine with that and just to go ahead…..they’d refund me both…
The train manager kept his word, unlike Assistance, which forgot me, so I’m reluctant to use them again …..and he took me upstairs to the lounge area where it was nice and snug and tea on tap as promised…..👍makes travelling alone possible and manageable if people along the trundle are kind…..
Katie txt to say she’d arrived a tad early for me and we walked over to the clock tower
and here was the amazing view from our floor looking down to the ground floor…..
And here was the view of Kings Cross from the window of the room…..only a few minutes before, I’d been stood on the outside looking up…
Katie told me how they weren’t being charged for the venue but instead the company would donate to charity and the location manager, Peter, would also donate……how kind is that…❤️ as I imagine that venue could charge a huge fee……also on the way up in the lift she told me how some of Harry Potter was filmed here 😳❤️❤️❤️ The location was truly magical and I could well see the appeal for film companies…
I met all the crew who were just setting up and sorting out all their stuff….
Nayha, the interviewer arrived……and we chatted happily about the questions and just got to know one another….the term ‘sufferer’ was used by both Katie and Nayha, so I told them why I prefer ‘Living with’……..we had lots of laughter about Katie’s Liverpudlian accent, and how she must never lose it…….and then the director sat quietly and asked me questions simply to help in his personal life……
Nayha asked me 5 questions that turned into 6 after speaking about the word ‘suffferer’ …..around the NHS, symptoms, positive outlook and advice to people living with dementia and those supporting, what the government can do with regards to care costs, adapting my house, why I don’t like the word ‘sufferer’ in everyday life…..
We recorded the questions and answers twice and I did warn them that I might say something different 😂🤣
For the question that asked, ‘what should the government do ….’ I answered….
“Treat those of us with dementia on equal terms as those with other conditions such as Cancer . If you’re diagnosed with cancer you have NHS support until death, whereas people with dementia have to fund their own care costs….”
Once finished and while I typed away, they recorded the ‘nodding’ shots, the background shots of Nayha…….soooo funny…..asking the questions without me there…
I climbed the stairs up towards the clock, with everyone but me freaking out at me climbing so high 🤣 and took this piccie of the crew, me thinks they were more worried about me than I was until I told how I’d done a skydive earlier in the year 😂🙄
Katie then climbed the stairs………
but hadn’t realise until then that she was afraid of heights and had to be rescued…..bless 😂🤣 …..and someone else took the piccie…..
They were such a lovely crew…….so friendly, so kind, so willing to listen and ask questions…and it all worked because Katie did such a wonderful job of getting to know me via email first and sorted out everything I needed so perfectly…….just how it should be……
It will aired in February sometime and the programme goes out at 11.30 am on a Saturday and this piece will also include a Labour and Conservative MP, 2 sisters who lost their dad, Dr Selina Wray from UCL, …….they will also put a link on YouTube so I’ll share it when I’ve seen it……..
Katie described it as a ‘Celebration of identity’…….even though you’re living with dementia you are still a person with a life to be lived……………wonderful…..fab day with fab people in a fab venue …….and because they allowed me to book another ticket home, which was a direct train, it was also a stress free journey home…….