Category Archives: A day in the life

Everyday experience of living with dementia.

Nominated for an award……

Never quite sure what I think of awards. I always feel a tad embarrassed to see my name on a list with wonderful people where in the end only one person will be acknowledged over others……🤔

Everyone is special.

That’s the negative…..the positive is that someone has taken the trouble to nominate you and that it brings to the forefront the work you’re trying to achieve….

Anyway some of you may have already seen this but for those that havn’t……

Winning is irrelevant as it’s the the message it gets out and the awareness it raises that is the selling point for me.

So it’s with a confused heart that I see someone has nominated me for the Yorkshire Choice Awards under the category Inspirational Individual……
It’s an awards that celebrate all things Yorkshire……I don’t see Yorkshire Tea on the list anywhere……..but then I suppose their award is me advertising it so much…..

anyway …..if you have a minute to spare and fancy voting for me, here’s the link…..

https://www.yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk/votehere

A village bus ramble, email from a Doctor and a Short Interview……..

I was on my lovely village bus on Friday trundling home when a conversation started about the time it took to be accepted as a villager…..it went like this……

”well I was told  I’m now a villager because ny husband is now buried in the churchyard”

How long have you lived here?”

”only 51 years…..I wasn’t a villager at 50 years but I am now” she said proudly and then went onto say……..

”My husband used to love a tot of whiskey every night, so now I go up to the churchyard every night to make sure he still gets his tot of whiskey…”

Priceless…….😍

Yesterday I received a wonderful email from a Doctor in Scotland. The subject title was:

“You’ve opened up a doctor’s eyes“

She said such kind things about my book but the most important were:

”But more importantly, there were many moments in your book which made me reflect on my own practice as a doctor, as well as the behaviour of my colleagues in the medical profession. You made me think about things in different ways, and realise how much of what we do in hospital must be completely disorientating and upsetting for some of our dementia patients, even though it is something we are aware of and claim to be trying to help. It became clear to me from some of your descriptions and stories that we can definitely do better for our patients, just by having a better understanding of the experience of the disease from THEIR perspective, rather than what we understand (medically) of it.”

It felt like a High Five moment…..🙌

Finally, a while ago I was invited to the annual BRACE Conference in Bristol. I was interviewed by  Sir Martyn Lewis, who used to be a newsreader for BBC television.

Well, now they’ve put a short cut down version of the interview on their web site. So if you’re interested, you can watch it here.😊

https://www.alzheimers-brace.org/living-with-dementia

Changing Relationships with my Daughters……

I noticed a while back my changing relationship with such simple things as my scrabble and solitaire games which wake my sluggish brain in a morning….the need to press the ‘hint’ button more to help me with, what would have once been, the obvious. Looking and not being able to work out a move that I would have got in a nano second a while back……

What is even more obvious is the changing relationship with the two most precious people in my life, my daughters.

We’ve all been aware of it happening for some time, but lately it’s become more apparent….to me especially.

I could have called this blog, Dear Daughters. But that seems too personal, too private, too public, so instead I’ll talk generally about how our relationship has changed, with their agreement.

You think you’ll always be there for your children if you’re alive. You never think that the way you’re there may change. That with dementia, as well as adapting to living with dementia you have to adapt to the way you are there for your children as well. That’s harder to cope with.

The girls have noticed. I once would have remembered everything – I didn’t forget……I’m still their mum but a mum with increasing deficits, decreasing ability to help. Once facts, feelings, issues were all stored safely in the organised filing cabinets in my brain but now I use ‘reminders’ …….for everything……when they ask me to get them something, they’ll send me a picture of the article in question to make sure I get the right thing, so we have our coping strategies. But being there on a personal level seems so different.

When things happen in their lives it’s harder for me and I feel like I’m letting them down. I know they won’t see it that way but I do. They don’t know what I remember, I don’t know what I’ve forgotten, so it’s an added issue for them. I don’t want their lives to have the added worry of me but it’s inevitable and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. No matter on their age, you always want to make things better and when that involves an uncooperative brain it makes it less likely.

I know they’re more than capable of coping on their own but I want to be there….just as I was, as a mum.

How much do I remember them telling me? Have I asked the right questions? How many times have I repeated myself? Some days my mind is sharper than others and I amaze myself at the things I come out with, but on others, I’m cloudy, indecisive, struggle to help in the way I would.

No longer clutter compartmentalised in my brain, of work, of home and other strands of life. One subject, one thought at a time now the norm. That’s why I get a banging head when I’m with lots of people with lots of conversations going on. I just do my best in these situations to concentrate on one person and one voice but very difficult even though I love being in those situations. That’s why I find it easier to type my blogs in real time….my fingers do the thinking and leave my brain to relax………and ignore everything else around.

Totally gone off piste🙄……

My daughters used to come and stay with me when they needed a break. Sadly that’s no longer the case. I’m anxious if someone is in my house. How can I be anxious if it’s my daughter staying with me? But I wouldn’t remember it’s my daughter. It’s simply a noise in the night, an unfamiliar noise, a movement, an unfamiliar movement. So they wouldn’t feel relaxed either.

The one good bonus out of all this is that it’s brought them closer together. Not that they weren’t before but it’s different now; a nice difference…..every cloud.

Sad, how I’m still alive and yet I’m not there in the way I was………and it will continue in decline…..

This bummer of a diagnosis has a lot to answer for……

How Society Labels Each and Everyone of Us……..

Dementia has taught me so much, about stigma, about expectation but also about society itself……a heavy topic you may think! So here begineth a long ramble but please read….

When I was diagnosed I was suddenly labelled……and we’re labelled all throughout life.

This current label made me realise how I’ve rarely conformed to the labels society has thrust upon me throughout along the way. I’ve never conformed to type so have always been seen as a bit of an odd ball, as someone once said to me 🙄. Battling labels and expectation throughout life has maybe allowed me to fight the label of dementia in the way I do?

The labels handed out to each of us creates assumptions and expectations. Take my life for example……

At 15 I was conforming….I got 8 ‘O’ levels and conveniently slotted into my label and adhered to expectation and went onto do 3 A Levels. However, this is where I started to let society down……because I was also a sports freak and in those days the two often didn’t sit comfortably within an all female school. I wasn’t expected to pass my A Levels because I concentrated so much on tennis and sport in general. So imagine their surprise when I did get 3 A levels…….

So with 3 A levels I was ‘expected’ to go to University, but that didn’t interest me. I wanted to do sport, but females of the day didn’t ‘do’ sport, so I was forced down the College route to be a PE teacher, but ‘failed’ after 18 months. The College environment wasn’t for me, even though I loved teaching.

Because I was seen as a ‘failure’, I couldn’t get a job so went into voluntary work. I was then employed in that job as, surprise, surprise, I could do the job.

Moving around the country, for a variety of reasons, I found myself unable to find a job which matched my ability because I hadn’t followed societies rules……

In the 1980’s I suddenly fitted back into society as I got married and had children. Society was comfortable with me once more as I conformed to expectation.

On becoming a single parent, the stigma label reappeared….how could you possibly give a single parent a job? – far too unreliable…..I got several cleaning jobs to avoid the benefit system and suddenly I was labelled further down the ladder for taking on that job.

My 3 A levels buried under the label …..why would anyone employ a cleaner to be a receptionist and even more a problem, I was a single parent cleaner…..horrors amongst horrors……but someone saw my potential (and has been a friend ever since) and convinced the manager that I must be organised, have certain skills and want to work…….

I climbed my way through life, batting away labels and expectation along the way.

Of course, I never remarried – another case of me letting down society’s expectation. For me to be happy when single, well…. there must be something wrong with me……..

I climbed as high as I wanted in the NHS, but I refused to climb higher. I didn’t want the managerial stuff which would take me away from the job, people and nurses I loved…….not conforming once more. But this is also why I think so many people are in the wrong job. Promoted for the wrong reason with the wrong skills. Just because someone has ‘manager’ in their title doesn’t mean they have the skills to manage people. They may have years of experience and be good at their own job, but managing people requires different skills that aren’t natural to all.

And now to my current label, that of someone with dementia. In the beginning I  suddenly became invisible as that’s what people with dementia do……

But then I began to speak out as I wasn’t prepared to conform to this label of silence and the diagnosis being ‘the end’ – society’s expectation of how someone with dementia should behave. It was then society that began to question my diagnosis. How could I have opinions when I had dementia? How could I type when I had dementia. How could I speak out and have views? I wasn’t conforming so society began to question my actions…

The ultimate challenge to society was my book…..how could I possibly write a Sunday Times Best Seller when I have dementia?

Throughout life we find ourselves going in and out of this cycle of labelling and expectation. For some society wins and brings the person down.

Achieving great things academically labels you as worthy of a specific level of job. But academic achievement doesn’t always translate into being happy in that job. When students achieve great things academically we celebrate, we’re proud, but when their job then doesn’t match their qualification we often see them as a failure as they havn’t achieved their potential. The doctor who leaves to become a farmer is suddenly a failure for example, even though they’re very happy….
I’ve seen so many made to feel failures simply because they’ve chosen not to conform or simply, through them being unable to find a job to match their qualification have been labelled failures and have sunk.

Why don’t we simply celebrate their achievements and let them be happy in whatever job they choose?

Intelligence and Happiness are often uneasy bedfellows. Why not allow anyone to do a job they are happy doing instead of expecting people to fit into boxes according to their academic achievements, unless they wish and are lucky enough to be able to go in that direction?.
People without qualifications have achieved great things, those with high qualifications have found themselves in lesser jobs. If both are happy what does it matter?

At the end of reading this have you read it thinking, ‘How can a person with dementia write such comments. You see me as a person with dementia, not as a person capable of having an opinion.

People often find themselves in a situation that doesn’t  conform with society’s labels and expectation. So often though, the label dominates how we see those people……some labels can be positive but more often have a negative effect

‘Homeless’ masks the skills and talents once had
‘Failure’ in finding the job society expects, masks the academic intelligence………… ‘Mental Health issue‘ is seen as a weakness instead of someone strong enough to seek help……

‘Dementia’ masks the person beneath the condition

SEE THE PERSON beneath the label forced upon them…………………….you maybe surprised at the person you find…..

When my tea consumption came under threat….a Monday funny…

I had an appointment with my Gp on Friday. I had to have an ECG first – my body had been deciding to shut down and go on strike a few times lately so she decided my heart was a heart was a good starting point…..

The ECG went fine and the nurse gave me and Sarah a sealed envelope to give to the GP…….so as we were waiting in the waiting room to see her and with the distinct lack of steam from a kettle, we tore it open to take a sneaky peek…….
Lots of wiggly lines that meant scoops doo but we did fess up as we walked into her room……

A few pleasantries exchanged followed our confession as we handed the open envelope….🙄
Apparently it showed I had palpitations, which many people do…….she then asked…..

“Do you drink much caffeine?”……….sideways glances were exchanged between me and Sarah, with Sarah adding a knowing look for effect………🙄

I was going to say, “does day follow night”? But thought better of it…..

“Well, yes, tea is the main part of my diet” I said quite proudly, seeing in my mind all the people I keep in employment at the Yorkshire tea factory…….😇

She questioned how much tea i drank and then said……

I said i only had 2 flasks a day…….but then she asked how bigs the flask🤣 how many cups does it hold. I said my mug was very small and then whispered 6…. much laughter and threats of tea reduction followed 😳😱🥵

“Ahhhh, maaaaybeee it’s the tea then?”…………said Gp

I thought this was quite a harsh accusation, to blame my tea intake on my collapsing so I suddenly became all defensive….the only image I could see in my mind was that of newspaper headlines…..

YORKSHIRE TEA SHARES PLUMMET UNEXPECTEDLY- THREATS OF REDUNDANCIES AND LAY OFFS IMMINENT”

Yes, my Gp has read my book and know the devastating effect this news would have on me
Yet all Sarah and the Gp could do was roll their eyes and laugh!

I just didn’t understand their reaction. To me this was a very serious allegation that needed further analysis…..

I then remembered the crucial piece of evidence as I suddenly turned into Agatha Christie……..I only have 1 tea bag in my flask………case dismissed m’lord……….🤓

I missed out the evidence that when I’m at events the copious cups of tea without flask equals a few more tea bags than at home……..🥴and I’m rarely at home……🙄

My GP eventually suggested that to avoid boys shut down I should break down my activities into short bursts of 10 minutes at a time…..Wonderful, I said, I could then sit down and have a cuppa……..strange how there was more rolling of eyes and shaking of head 🙄

I’ve never had such an hilarious consultation in a Gp surgery all due to a cuppa tea……but then I’ve always said:

“tea is the bringer of happiness”

After the close shave, me and Sarah went out for lunch/cuppa tea………. As they brought me my cuppa I spied the tea bag label hanging out of the teapot……….. they tried to serve me pretend decaf tea- its a conspiracy!!! 😂🤣😂

In the midst of a busy week…..

On Monday I made the long journey to Bristol. I hate Cross Country Trains so much that I went via London for the journey there.

I’d been asked a long time ago if I would speak at the BRACE annual conference and be interviewed by ex newsreader, Sir Martyn Lewis.

Each year they hold a national dementia conference featuring some of the UK’s leading thinkers on dementia (scientists, campaigners, politicians, care providers) and hosted by former newsreader Sir Martyn Lewis. So it was lovely to be asked to be part of this event.

The journey didn’t start off well as there was much confusion at the first station due to a delayed train, me misreading the information board and being on the wrong platform with a heavy suitcase….🙄. I ended up getting so confused that I got on the wrong train, but all trains go to Hull so I thought I’d work it all out and start again once we got there.


At least the sun was shining……

Once I got to London I went over to Paddington to catch the GWR Bristol train. I don’t travel with them very often, which is such a shame as the staff were very friendly and the seat reservations are much easier to understand than the new LNER east coast system..red for taken, green for vacant – simple……..and in words as well…….simple is often forgotten……

And so I ended up changing in Hull when I didn’t need to but hey ho……each of my connections were on time after that and kind smiley people helped me on and off with my laden suitcase.

But, hey, many hours later I arrived in Bristol and the taxi took me the short ride to the hotel. The Team, including Martin Broach were setting up the room in preparation so I went and said hello to find where I was going.

The next morning I trundled up to the top of the lift and found people arriving. Someone from the Alzheimers Society Research Network came over and said hello and then a Twitter pal came and made herself know – it was the only reason she’d come! Awww, I love Twitter pals……and then even more followed……so nice to see so many….

The conference was called #Together 4 Dementia

I met a woman at the tea stand who said her partner, who was now in a nursing home had spoken out lots about having dementia and still took part in research even though she was now in a nursing home – wonderful. Me thinks that where you are is irrelevant. It’s important that people of every stage take part in research.

It was still quiet as I’d purposely arrived early so lots of time for cups of tea and typing my blog, looking round the stands, before Mark introduced me to Martyn Lewis. We chatted about hotel showers and had to have a piccie

And then it was time to start. The day was being filmed as well, which is always nice.

Mark started off the day welcoming everyone to the Brace Conference. The James Tudor foundation funded the conference ….he then introduced Sir Martyn Lewis. Martyn has supported the Brace Charity for the last 5 years.

He said we were here for the ‘news of tomorrow’………and ‘All research needs to be put into context’ as many headlines offer hope but reading the article offers little evidence. He then showed a very simple video which you can watch here……

https://www.alzheimers-brace.org/timesupdementia

Professor Clive Ballard from Exeter Uni, was the first speaker talking about Psychological Symptoms in people with or a risk of Dementia……..he spoke of there not having been any licensed treatment for dementia for over 20 years. He said we’d been very one-dimensional when looking at dementia – looking at memory issues – but maybe we should look further at depression and mild behavioural impairment as markers. He spoke of the research they’re doing with this in mind…… Precision medicine exists in cancer, why not in dementia?

….good that a different angle is being investigated even though they’re at the very very early stages.

Up next was Chloe Meineck talking about her Music Memory Box. She has worked with people with dementia to design the boxes. Each piece from the box is linked to a piece of music. A sensor is stuck on each piece so when they’re lifted out, they play the chosen music. Unlike some things, it can translate to any culture as it’s personalised to that person.

More can be found here:

https://www.watershed.co.uk/studio/projects/music-memory-box

After Chloe came researchers from Bristol Uni talking about their research on Connections between dementia and Oral Bacteria. Sadly I think the presenter was quite nervous or something and I didn’t understand this one as it was very confusing. The theory sounded very interesting re the connection with dementia but I couldn’t understand the detail…shame…

The last session before lunch was me being interviewed by Martyn….
It seemed to go down very well and I finished with my story of Billy……..obviously couldn’t type so can’t remember the detail.

Over lunch I signed copies of my book…….we seemed to sell a bucketful so that was so kind of people to buy it and to say such nice things…..

After lunch it was Tony Hall from Bristol Dementia Action Alliance about the state of play in Bristol.

“Dementia has no barriers and we’re not going to create any”

They seem to do an awful lot in this area and Tony was full of funny tales…….wasn’t quick enough to write them down as brain was starting to shut down…….

Nothing else typed as I was getting very tired and brain must have closed up shop…..

There were people from all walks of life at the conference – local NHS Trust, Community Health, Universities, Researchers, Health Care Service providers and many many more which was so nice to see. I had a wonderful day and met so many wonderful new people…….one person handed me a card during the book signing. I didn’t have time to read it until I was on the train. It was from an Occupational Therapist called Diana and the card thanked me for writing my book. Part of her message said……

”I work in a Memory Clinic ……and have students with me for several weeks. I always give them a copy of your book……….”

Amazing end to an exhausting day………..

The vital NHS on Wheels….the Village Bus….

Last week, I had a wonderful journey on the village bus, starting with time to catch up with people at the bus stop. A huge juggernaut, far too big for village roads, crawled past to the village shop. It started people talking about the time the village was a village with peace, tranquility and very little traffic.

They spoke of the village dances; the first ‘new’ house being built and Tina, who had lived in it for all of its 55 years…….Of the man the children named Mr Quack Quack as he lived opposite the village pond and would be seen feeding the ducks everyday….

So many happy memories came flooding back to them and wistful looks filled their faces. I’d never mentioned my book to any of them but some clearly knew of its existence. Tina suddenly mentioned that she’s finally managed to borrow it from the library the day before and couldn’t put it down. So much was she enjoying it that she had to catch the next bus home in order to sit down with a cuppa and finish it………..wonderful……..

When the bus came I was ushered to the front as usual, by people so much older than me and we were met with shouts of ‘hello’ and waves to friends.  The bus was alive with conversation as old friends caught up with news. Smiley animated faces were all around me. It reminded me of a blog I wrote some time ago renaming the village bus as an NHS on Wheels……so thought I’d share that once more. Public transport, especially in rural communities is a far better than a prescription for depression and loneliness ……..

We’ve lost our Sunday service and the rest has been reduced and altered causing so many problems. Of course our worst fear would be losing it further….

An Alternative NHS on Wheels……

Since moving to my lovely quiet village, I’ve begun to appreciate the value of the village bus service. The impact it would have on people’s lives if it was cut would be catastrophic.

Catching the bus is some people’s only contact with other people.
So many times I’ve heard people say that they wouldn’t see anyone if they didn’t have a trip out each day.
People often go to the bus stop early for the simple reason, to catch up and chat with their fellow travellers.
It runs once an hour but the last bus home is at 17.10, which is a bit of a nuisance, but it provides a valuable community service. Many residents catch the first free bus at 10am – the first one where you can use a bus pass. I join them when I’m home as it’s a fountain of knowledge for everything that’s happening in the village. You hear who’s ill, who’s better, who’s on holiday and where; you hear stories from the past. This week I heard all about the time the village was cut off by the snow. Goodness knows how we got onto that subject but it was lovely to hear the stories. My own street had been wall to wall snow and the snow plough had come to a halt outside the village so everyone had to trundle through the drifts home, helping each other back to their houses. It was all told with tales of excitement, adventure and community spirit. Everyone at the bus stop had lived there a long time so could remember except me! I might be an outsider but everyone is so warm and welcoming. No-one passes by without a smile and saying ‘hello’.
As soon as people get on the bus there’s lots more greetings and smiles from everyone. Even the driver knows everyone and everyone seems to know the drivers by name. Due to the passengers being of a certain age, the drivers appear to automatically be more considerate and jolly.
It may be that the driver takes little money on these journeys as most people have a bus pass but the service it provides is so much more than a transport service. It’s a social connection that would otherwise be non existent in many people’s lives.

I like to call it the NHS service on wheels…..and far better than pills and potions……..🚌

Recording an Interview for Canadian Radio….

Last week I was asked if I would be interested in chatting on Canadian Radio about Memory.
It was a request from the CBC Radio One program, ‘Out in the Open’. who are interested in speaking to me as part of an upcoming episode on the fallibility of memory, and more acutely, on dementia and Alzheimer’s. They’d asked if I would do a pre interview via Skype video with producer, Debbie Pacheo.

I really don’t like Skype. It’s not very friendly and never works straight away but it was all they could offer as they usually do the interview by phone, which I can’t do. True to form, as the Skype call started, a blank screen appeared; I could hear them but they couldn’t hear me. Then I could see them but they couldn’t see me. Anyway after much faffing, we found each other.

Debbie, the Producer, was lovely and the pre interview seemed to go well and the real thing was arranged for yesterday.

They’d decided to send over someone to my house, to record the sound from this end so freelancer, Lucy Ryan arrived nice and early and then the internet connection decided to play up……..😳🤯….cuppa tea time…….when in doubt, switch off, switch back on again……

While I ignored the red light and flickerings from the little internet box, me and Lucy chatted away. She’d come on the train from Sheffield and, as well as being a freelance audio buff,  taught Chinese students how to speak English at the University …..because she was Irish, I asked if they spoke with an Irish accent, but apparently she has a teachers voice as well as her everyday voice……..☺️

I was due to speak to the host of the programme, Piya Chattopadhyay and was glad to see red become orange and the internet connection come back to life again. Right on queue, the Skype sprung into action and Piya’s face appeared on screen. No technical hitches this time!

She asked if I remembered the detail of the pre interview I did the other day ……..😳………..nope……..🙄……as usually they relied on the person talking about the same thing😶………was never gonna happen. But I knew if she fed me words, that would bring out sentences I’ve said a thousand times before, we’d be ok. If I’m not reading my own words, the interviewer has to know the magic words which will ignite a sentence to appear out of my mouth. That’s why it’s so important for them to have chatted to me or read my book. Otherwise, I’ll ramble about anything. I’ve got a good excuse if it all goes wrong, but they just look incompetent……..🙄

We must have spoken for well over half an hour about this that and everything ……I so wish I could remember most of it but I can’t. I did remember one thing…..Piya asked me whether I trusted my memory. My response was no, and that I have to place a lot of trust  in others…….and we also spoke about the advantages of living alone, as I remember her laughing at my responses……..🙄

Even though I’m typing this straight away after the interview, the detail has gone, vanished……..but hopefully I did a good job. What I do remember is that Piya had a nice smiley face and was lovely to chat to……..apparently, for anyone in Canada, this will air  on January 6th and be up online the Friday before.

Once again, I forgot to take any piccies🤯…..so instead, I’ll show you the Korean version of my book that arrived in the post yesterday just before the interview….…stunning cover design…😍

Looks so weird but beautiful written in their language❤️

Filming in London with my partner in writing…….

Yesterday I trundled down to London to film some videos in preparation for the release of the paperback version of my book……The lovely folk at Bloomsbury had suggested we make 4 – 2 of me reading extracts and 2 of me and Anna chatting away.

So it was then that I set off on a very misty morning. I’d found my planned train had been cancelled – surprise surprise………but luckily Jasmin had booked me an Anytime ticket so I could go on the earlier train as the next one would have made me late…..

As it turned out it was a good job I caught the earlier one………as we became later and later as one issue after another caused delay – the level crossing not working, signals the wrong colour, slow train in front🙄

I was sat on my own until Doncaster but then a business man came and sat beside me. Turns out he was an Insurance Consultant so not the sort of person I usually chat to! But he made phone calls and did some work and then suddenly struck up conversation about Glass Half Full versus Glass Half Empty people – goodness knows why😳 but after half an hour of chatting happily I mentioned my book🙄 and how I felt very lucky to be a Glass Half Full person as this meant I looked for positives to help me cope. Turns out a friend of his had recently been diagnosed with dementia so we had plenty to talk about…….😊
By the end of the journey he’d ordered my book on Amazon……amazing what you can achieve through a simple random conversation☺️

Anyway, me and Anna arranged to meet for a cuppa beforehand for a lurgy hug and catch up.
We went through what we might chat about and had a catch up before making our way across Bedford Square to the offices where we were met by Hannah.

Hanna from Bloomsbury has obviously been stalking me as she told me exactly which top to wear😳😂. It will be shown come spring so we had to be ‘springlike’, which is very hard when Christmas is a coming🤣

We walked upstairs to the office to be met by a lovely cameraman who would be doing the filming. I also remember having lots of cuppa teas and look what they’d made sure they had…..

I recorded 3 readings with the auto queue, which was weird but went well I think before filming me and Anna chatting randomly. We chatted about all manner of things about our writing process, how my book is about so much more than dementia and had lots of laughter and giggles.
Emma and Alexis joined us towards the end but had to leave at 3.30.
On hearing that time I suddenly realised I was booked on the 16.03 train😱, so we had to make a swift exit and Anna walked with me to Kings Cross, both of us huffing and puffing our way through the street. We made it with 5 minutes to spare🤯😰. So quick hug, quick goodbye and I was on my way home

What a wonderful day……..🥰. The only sad thing…..and I didn’t realise until I was on my way home……..was I didn’t take any piccies of people😱 sooooo disappointing☹️


Hardback cover and the paperback due out next year, the piccie being one I took of my gorgeous daughters……☺️

The lurgy is still clinging onto me and has dragged my mood down, but put me in a room full of smiley happy people and I spring back to life that the moments I’m with them. Anna had the lurgy too but hopefully the chemistry between us shone through on the videos

Finally most of you might of already seen this on Twitter or Facebook……. The film I made with Nicola Leddy has been put forward for the Charity Film Awards. So if you have a few minutes to watch it and then vote if you like it, I’d very much appreciate it.

https://www.charityfilmawards.com/videos/somebody-i-used-to-know-wendy-mitchell

The difference between the visible and non visible…..

With a physical disability the focus appears to be on enabling what you can still do. Look at the Invictus games. It was wonderful to watch people, who often had extreme disabilities, take charge of their life and turn their talents to different achievements.

I was so impressed with their attitude and the attitude of those around them – some amazing people with extreme disabilities being encouraged to focus on the positives, on the ‘can do’ and their disability put into the background……..so why isn’t this the case with dementia or with any mental illness?

Often the focus is on our losses, the losses in the present and the losses that havn’t even happened yet in the future……the negatives.

How many people living with dementia faced with such negativity go home and wait to die? Give up living?

No one tells them the possibilities, the challenges, the hope of what CAN be achieved. How many could achieve great things if only they were given hope, given positivity, given encouragement, instead of negativity…..

FOCUS ON THE PERSON, NOT THE DEMENTIA and see how much can still be achieved.

Such a shame that no matter whether a physical or mental condition, that the focus isn’t always on what we CAN still do. We still have talents, maybe different, maybe the same as before.

No matter how small, every achievement is a positive.