Category Archives: Celebrations

The Big day in the village dawned……

Last Sunday was a special day in the village. It had been in the planning for many many months. Our village cricket club is 150 years old this year and as part of the celebrations they are playing the mighty MCC. For those non cricket fans out there:

Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord’s Cricket Ground, which it owns, in St John’s Wood, London. The club was formerly the governing body of cricket and still holds considerable global influence”

The team had played a league match on the Saturday in the boiling heat, tempers had been frayed and the opposition batted freely 🙈 but Sunday was the start of a new day….

Kirsty was picking me up at 10.15 as she was presenting the club with a special birthday cake. I had to be there at 10.30 to take photos of them all receiving their ‘caps’ as well as the cake. It was forecast to be mega hot once more 🥵…so an early morning cool walk was in order first.

As I walked down the street the moon was shining bright at it was making its descent in the west

…and as I reached the field a hare was sat

….watching the sun rise in the east

It was such a beautiful walk to start this special day and ended with a deer and me staring at each other.

Once home, showered and ready for the exciting day ahead, I had a couple of hours to get my brain in gear and go through my morning routine….black 10 on red Jack…….

It was to be a timed match but I’d yet to find out what that meant 🤔 as me and Kirsty headed up through the village to the cricket field. You could almost feel the excitement in the air; the expectation of something special.

The sun was already hot and it was only 10.15 🥵. When we reached the pitch, music was playing and everyone was relaxed getting everything ready

The ladies had their tombola stall all set up

…and gazebos lined the side of the field.

Then to the presentation of the cake to the team captain, Phil, by Kirsty

….then each player in turn received their special official cap. What I wasn’t aware of was that I was also getting one as suddenly Phil, the captain, told me to give my camera to someone else 😳

I was overwhelmed, truly overwhelmed and felt so happy to be apart of this lovely village team. It even has my initials on the side like all the others 🥰 Kirsty had been asked to get me there for 10.30, not for the cake photos but for me to get my cap at the same time as the rest of the team 😂🥰

The MCC team started to arrive, driving across the pitch to the back of the field to park their cars. All came booted and suited and looked very young and fit 🤣…they’d driven from all parts of the country to our little village pitch…

Jane from the Ginery also arrived as she was opening up her stall in the afternoon – and her dog was getting some breeze through the open car window.😍

The official toss of the coin happened on the wicket itself with Phil having to don his blazer

MCC were batting first but before all that, the all important team photo

It was then the dreaded message came up on my camera – No More Memory 😳…I’d put a spare battery in my pocket, but totally forgot about the memory card 🙈 so I wobbled back home to upload the first set of photos in order to delete everything and start again 🥴🥵

As I got back Walky were in the field and the MCC batting

I found out that ‘timed’ meant 2 hour stints with lunch and tea added in. So the first was 11.30 -13.30

At the beginning of the day, the team were all thinking, “would anyone turn up?”….but I had no doubts in my head. I knew the village would come good and as the day went on people came and went but the crowd increased and by the end of the day the three sides of the pitch were lined with brollys, rugs laid out on the parched grass and picnic chairs. Everyone enjoying a lazy afternoon. Villagers coming together to chat, eat , drink and support this wonderful occasion, showing the MCC what a wonderful community we have.

I’d never seen the guys play with such conviction and pride. Lee, mine and many others in the village, window cleaner being wicket keeper from the start

Two of our local heroes from the past were invited to take to the field, Ben and Ray. Ray had arrived wearing his original pale blue hat that he’d always been famous for wearing in his role as wicket keeper extraordinaire.

It was as though time had stood still for them both as they played with todays team as though they’d never left.

As lunch time was called, I headed back home to put one battery on to charge and a new one in my camera. Had a quick cuppa then headed back again, only for them to tell me there had been a space laid at the table for me 😳 but I’d forgotten 🙄……

More of Walkington fielding, the tannoy announcing the state of play each time a milestone was reached. 

But at 256 the opposition declared leaving our team about 3 hours to bat. The heat was now intense and many drinks breaks were being taken on and off the field. Local businesses had come to lend their support, including the local real ale beer people – who had almost run out by the end.

Jane, who lives opposite the pond and owner of The Ginery, offering her delightful mixes.

The village bbq and tombola ladies raising money for cancer. And Abby, who owns Wally the sheep and all his friends who frequently appear in my photos, also owns Abbyo’s ice cream van and sells the most amazing ice cream

All were doing a roaring trade and how lovely that they were all local. A real Village affair…🥰

Our batsman did us proud

Alastair getting the highest score of 63…

Everyone just giving it their all

With the time running out and the last few overs being bowled, it became a real chance that we might win 😳….but in the end a draw was called. A fitting storyline for the most wonderful day posted later on the village Facebook page….you might spy me in my cap acting as first reserve 🤣

The team was buzzing, spectators clapping as the teams came off the pitch elated.

So just the final formalities left. The team were all asked to form a circle and I was invited to join them 🥰…Final thanks were made by an emotional Phil to all the spectators for coming to support them. How it turned out was beyond their wildest dreams and they all looked overjoyed, relieved and just overwhelmed at this dream of a day . The captain of the MCC said a few words of thanks and the match ball went to our very own James, given to him by one of the fabulous umpires, who’d also driven up for the day.

He then gave an MCC trophy to a beaming Phil to remember this special day

And all that remained was for the 2 teams to have their joint photo taken

As I finally left for home, totally exhausted but thoroughly on a high with a beaming smile, a man was walking ahead of me who just captured the essence of this lovely summers day spent watching cricket on the village green as everyone began to make their way back home…

As for me, well it was way past my time of brain switch off. I was like a Duracell bunny who needed plugging in to have her batteries recharged as they were now well and truly running on empty. But just one last task before switching off and staring aimlessly at the TV screen……my special team cap, given to me with so much love and kindness, now sat proudly on top of my Memory Box in my Memory room

A DEEP Celebration at the Olympic Park in London….

DEEP is a network of group of people with dementia all around the country. Minds and Voices are part of the DEEP Network and I believe every groups should join.

Well this year DEEP is 10 years old 🙌, having started up in 2012. It’s grown beyond belief since those early days, even before I was diagnosed. Across the country this year, there are many celebrations taking part and yesterday was one such party. We were meeting outside the Velodrome at the Olympic park, the venue for so many gold medal victories from British cyclists during the 2012 Olympics. So a very apt venue for this DEEP celebration as we would be riding all manner of bikes.

I had to stop riding my favourite pink bike some 7 years ago for the same reason I had to stop driving – I couldn’t turn right without falling off it 🙄 But today it hopefully wouldn’t matter as all manner of assisted bikes would be available to try. Our lovely able enabler from Innoventions in Dementia, Rachel Niblock had sent me detailed instructions along with a map. But I simply admired its colourful look as Rachel would be meeting me at Kings Cross

I’d also be meeting the “For Brian” DEEP group as they’re based down there and had invited me along with Amigo, Dory so at last after 2/3 years, we’d be getting a real hug.

So Tuesday morning arrived, yet another dull grey day, but hopefully London would be a sunnier place as my head was having a real problem with so many grey days of late. I’d actually managed to get on a Hull train for the outward travel, so it started at Beverley and went to London so no changes! I wasn’t so lucky on the way back, but 1 out of 2 isn’t bad….

Dory had been there the day before for their Jubilee party as she is a patron of “For Brian” charity.

It had been hard to choose what to wear as the grey cool morning of home would be replaced by a very warm London and then back home to a cool grey north 🙄 I’m really not good at decision making any more so that was quite 🤯……but at least I remembered to put my hearing aids in today 😇

The Humber had witnessed a fly past and a flotilla of boats sailing its length for the Jubilee celebrations but now it lay idol and grey, recovering from the festivities like so many others

It’s so long since I’ve travelled down to London, especially on Hull trains that I can’t remember the stations we stop at which would usually worry me if I hadn’t written them down, but if it’s Hull trains, they only go to London so I settled down, my head just not right today, and simply stared at the passing views. The once familiar route, now very unfamiliar and no longer comforting since Covid had robbed us of our routine.
Two solitary figures walking along the banks of the Humber suddenly made me yearn to be outside….

Lost in my own thoughts, I saw a reflection in the window, a face half familiar. Then I saw the sunflower lanyard hanging around her neck – I suddenly realised it was me, which shocked me for an instant. Head down into my ipad…..black Jack on red queen…….

The guard announced the imminent arrival of Doncaster, shadows now appearing on the table before me and I looked out of the window to see the skies brightening and the sun burning down

The nearer we got to the big city the clearer the skies became and the grey heaviness that had been in my head also began to brighten along with the blue sky appearing. Never ceases to amaze me how the weather can impact so much on our mood, well my mood. It never used to. Anyway, this morning had turned into a sunny morning…..

I began to look out of the window again and once more saw farmers out inspecting their fields, walkers strolling along country lanes and although the pang of desire to be outside was still there, I was also looking forward to seeing and meeting playmates and our lovely enabler Rachel. AND I couldn’t wait to have a go on the bikes…..

I’m typing this on the train home but will need to finish in the morning as I’m sure I’ve forgotten lots of magic moments and need my photos to spark a memory. I’ll be too tired when I get home around 9pm and luckily the weather is forecast to be rainy in the morning so I’ll have time to finish it 🤣

We arrived to a very sunny, very warm London and Rachel was waiting for me as planned. She then said I must have my photo taken with the queen…which was a very strange sentence to hear, but I went along with it. I noticed someone crouching behind the cardboard cut out but thought nothing of it, then Dory jumped out and tapped me on the shoulder. My first hugs for years from both of them

We made our way, chatting and laughing as we went as I believe Rachel took us the scenic way and I pointed out the right way 🤣…..then once we got to Stratford International, just 6 minutes later, we again took the scenic route around the Olympic Park🤣, so what should have taken 10 minutes took over an hour 😂 but we DID see a lot more of the park including the aqua centre, the tower and beautiful clouds reflected in the London Canal

…and found a 10 years celebrations frame, just like DEEP is…..

By the time we got there lots of other playmates and enablers had arrived and were waiting. The bikes were all out ready for us to try, but first I needed a cuppa and I was desperate to see inside the Velodrome…what a wonderful place. I’d watched all the cycling events in there for the Olympics so it was lovely to see it for real. Shame they wouldn’t allow us to race our 3-4 and 6 wheeler bikes in there 🤣

Tommy and Paul from Liverpool were there, as were Dementia Diaries, Wayne and Lorraine, Peter Berry and lovely wife Teresa and friend Deb. A local Young Dementia Group had come en masse along with others and we all sat on the grass for our picnic. I wish I’d made notes of names 🙄 Our wonderful enabler Rachel from Innovations in Dementia made a speech celebrating the day

Wayne recorded a dementia diary with us all cheering in the background

I’d have been quite happy sat watching but people always worry when you don’t tuck in like others so to quieten the pleas from others I had a shortbread😂

Grey clouds were looming as we made our way back down to the bikes.

Wayne and Lorraine had already got a soaking, but we were hopeful that it would blow over

I knew I might have trouble steering on my own so I teamed up with bike enthusiast and penny farthing owner, Peter Berry. Peter had all the controls so I just had to peddle, well I probably didn’t even need to do that as Peter is a well practiced peddler 😂 We went altogether around the Olympic park…

…..and stopped for piccies under the Tower, the very Tower that Peter would be abseiling down for charity this month 🤣 how amazing will that be!

They’d planted the park with wild flowers and they looked so natural. It could have looked very formal, but this wild and natural look suited the environment better

Me and Peter chatted away, me able to enjoy the scenery 😂

We got to the far end of the park and the water fountains in the pavement. Children were happily dancing in the water.

Dory was the first to venture in…..always the first to set an example 🤣

Then me and Peter thought, why not? So we raced through hoping we’d got the timing right and my camera hidden out of sight – wonderful….all cycles stopped underneath the tower for a piccie – how I wished I could have laid on the floor like one playmate, to take this amazing piccie 🥰

We made our way back to the velodrome where final piccies were taken and Tommy and Paul cracked open champagne to celebrate the life of their enabler who’d died recently..she would have loved it hear and was hopefully watching these two loveable rogues from above…

……and where it was time to say our goodbyes. New friends made and bade farewell, old friends hugged. I wished I’d made a note of names as all have disappeared as I type this 🙄

Rachel, Dory, Tommy, Paul and me went back to the Stratford station where we sat with a cuppa , when Rachel suddenly instilled an ear worm in our head playing it on her phone and Dory was off dancing with the guards and singing away 🤣

while the rest of us were happy to sing at the table 😂

…….finally we headed down for the train, rescuing the guards from Dory on the way 🤣and headed to St Pancras where I left my lovely friends. I had around an hour to wait for my train, but that was fine. I sat invisible once more and watched the world go by with a cuppa tea.

It was 8pm as we passed by the Humber looking much brighter than when I left…..And an even lovelier sky as I waited in Hull for my final train….I’m rarely out in the evening so a treat to see the sun on it’s descent

I was gradually relaxing once more and felt back at home with the camera as the taxi passed by the Westwood, the town cows giving me some much needed reality…

I’d forgotten how exhausting it was to be at a gathering like that. Not that it wasn’t lovely it was, but it’s just so exhausting. I just wasn’t used to it any more. I can do Book festivals, no problem, as I’m there to talk about my books, I have a conversation prepared, it’s usually an hour long and it’s almost like ‘a lovely work mode’which sounds strange but that’s how I look at it to cope. . That’s why the ride with playmate Peter was so good. It was just the 2 of us talking on our terms and silences didn’t matter. I do love being with people, but I’m much better if I’m invisible and can just watch and smile at the proceedings 🤔.

It had been exhausting and I’ll pay the price tomorrow with a banging head as my wake up call….. but I also wouldn’t have missed this celebration and gathering of old and new friends ….and yes, the ear worm of Sweet Caroline was still be played on repeat in my head as I went to bed 🤣

Writing and Creativity with dementia…..

Over the years I’ve often visited Leeds playhouse. The “ever passionate about making it right for people with dementia”, Nicky Taylor, who now has the fancy title ‘Theatre and Dementia Research Associate’ has often invited me over to advise on shows which have a ‘Dementia appropriate performance’. Past shows have included Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Still Alice and I’m sure I’ve been there for other things 🤔…..

Just before Covid hit us all for 6 I was involved with the making of Maggie May by the talented playwrite, Frances Poet. I met Frances, according to my blog 😂, and talked through her ideas along with the lovely DEEP group that has its home at the theatre. Then life came to a standstill and the show, like everything else was cancelled. Well now the show finally gets to be shown on stage…

So last Tuesday, Nicky had invited me and my lovely playmate, Rosa, to be on stage talking about the role that creativity had played in helping us cope with our dementia. To help promote the session, I think we were both asked:

how has continuing to be creative helped you in life after diagnosis?“

My response was:

Continuing to be creative helps me escape my dementia, shows others I’m still a person with talents despite my dementia and in the process helps others to understand this complex brain disease.”

Many of us have proved that creativity doesn’t stop just because we have a diagnosis of dementia. In fact many of us flourish as dementia gives us the space and time needed to enhance our creativity. The lovely Rosa wrote a fairytale during Covid and would be reading that out to the audience, then Nicky would interview me about my books.

Crikey, I’ve just realised I’ve typed a lot without any photos 🤣….so let’s start the day properly. The taxi wasn’t picking me up until 9am, so I had time for my 5am trundle. However, it was a very overcast morning. I knew I would see no hint of a sunrise sadly, but I needed to walk as I wouldn’t get another chance that day ….

Sadly the light was very poor. No dramatic skies this morning…just grey and dreary and my camera didn’t like it one bit 🙄

I saw deer galore typically. These first were passed the last farm as I was heading for the single track road. I took loads of photos but only this one came out enough to show and certainly not perfect 🙈

But never mind, I saw them and watched them and two other surprised me by jumping out from by the fence as I trundled along minding my own business 😂

My camera really doesn’t like low light, which was such a shame this morning as a white barn owl hovered above the grass ready to pounce on its breakfast….but sadly the photos didn’t come out. But I can prove it was real by the blurry scene below 🤣

Spot the owl 🤣

More deer, more hazy photos 🙈

So I stopped zooming in, switched off my camera and simply trundled. By the time I got back the light was better and I snapped a piccie of Wally and friends. They’ve just swapped fields and had a new grazing spot

By the time the taxi arrived, the sky was blue, the sun was shining 🙄…typical….😂

I changed trains at Hull and started my journey to Leeds….the train was calm and quiet as we passed by the Humber

But then all chaos broke out between the couple in front of me. The man couldn’t find his passport. 😳 Bags were unloaded, contents thrown over the seat, arguments ensued about whose fault it was, the air was blue with fouled language as one blamed the other. Wife was going to go without the husband; divorce proceedings were being planned; and I was getting more anxious by the minute 🙈…..

Wife eventually found it for the husband – in HIS bag – where HE’D put it 🤣……divorce proceedings ended and both settled down, on separate seats away across from one another, and turned their backs on each other, a bit like 2 hares I’d snapped the other day after a fight 😂…..

I played solitaire to calm me down 🙄 The recriminations started up again as we reached Selby 🙈……..I was thankful Leeds was the next stop and I was able to leave them to it….

As I got to the Playhouse, Maggie May was being advertised on the boards outside

It’s had a major revamp since I was last here

I didn’t recognise any of it but luckily someone called Maggie saw me through the door and let me in. It was verrrry different. Felt in a totally strange place😳……but I sat on a seat and typed this while I waited for Nicky to arrive with Rosa.
It wasn’t long before two big beaming faces came towards me and we went upstairs to the room…..and an instant time for a selfie

Rosa allowed me to read her fairy tale, Rosa and the Magic Quest….which she wrote with her writing, Barney….wow…

…it was so wonderfully written and included Rosa going out in the dark, which, in real life, she’s terrified of the dark…hence the fairy tale. It was beautiful….and yes, she did go out in the dark….Rosa said writing makes her happy and forget about dementia, just as it does for me 😍

Then the star of Maggie May, playing Maggie, Eithne arrived to say hello…time for another photo

The writer of Maggie May, Frances Poet came to say a quick hello. She couldn’t stay for the session but wished us luck and thanked us for our contribution to the play….

Rosa was extremely nervous, and we tried everything to calm her nerves. Rosa didn’t want to face the audience so she faced the wall to and just concentrated on Nicky as she read her fairy tale to the audience

She was brilliant as I knew she would be but soooo glad it was over bless her….it was then my turn and me and Nicky had planned our questions and I read two extracts from my book about the ‘gifts’ of dementia and technology. It was then the turn of the audience to ask their questions. There were some really interesting ones which I obviously can’t remember now, but I remember thinking they were interesting and different from the norm. One that stood out was from the writer Frances Poet – I’m sure she’d said she wasn’t staying for the whole session 😂,,,,as during my piece I sang her praises. Nicky had asked me why it was important to include us when writing a play about dementia. I said Frances had seen the importance of asking many of us for our views; getting to know us; getting to know the reality of dementia, otherwise how could she have written such a brilliant play. Turns out Frances didn’t leave and was there when I sung her praises 🤣

Someone on Twitter captured this lovely piccie of me and Nicky….

At the end people were generous and kind with their applause and some came up to chat and buy my book. I didn’t take enough so I should have taken more 🙈…felt terrible when one chap came running in at the end when everyone had left as he’d got his money but I’d sold out 🙄

One very special, very precious moment, was when a man living with dementia came to buy a book. He said his son had bought him my first book 4 years ago when he was diagnosed but he’d never read it; he was afraid to. Now he’s met me and heard me speak, he was going to give his son my second book and go straight home and start reading my first as he was no longer afraid of it🥰 – tiny moments like that make all this worthwhile…

One last piccie before we leave of the three of us….it had been such a wonderful session….

As we left, the sun was still shining. I didn’t have long to wait for a train. I used my app to see what time my connection would get into Beverley, then rang my taxi people. They’re the only people I ring because as soon as I say it’s Wendy, they recognise my voice and save me any hassle of having to explain anything. What I hadn’t realised was it was Beverley Races and Michelle on switch said they were chaotic, but to come to the desk when I arrive and she’d sort something out for me 🥰…..that’s why I always use my taxi firm as they always look after me no matter what……..

A trip back to my childhood town…..

I can’t remember how or where I first met Laura from Yorkshire Ambulance 🤔….but I’d made a couple of training videos for their staff and public alike, the link to one is below…

Some time later Laura invited me to speak at their Dementia Campaign Celebration. It had been cancelled a couple of times I think, due to Covid and pressures on the service, so quite rightly so. But eventually a date was set of Thursday 5th May – last week.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read where they were having it…….Pontefract! My childhood home town 😳. I havn’t been back for years, probably since my parents died. I was so excited at the prospect.

I had to put out a post on the village Facebook page the night before, telling my neighbours not to panic if they see me being helped into an ambulance along with a suitcase 🤣….Craig was picking me up in an ambulance needed for the event and the suitcase was full of my books should anyone wish to purchase one.

I went to secondary school in Pontefract, the girls high school as it used to be then as we hadn’t been transported into the comprehensive system back then. I loved it there and my brother went to the boys equivalent, the boys grammar school – Kings School – and the event was being held at The Kings Croft Hotel, very near to his old school.

School days of my years were free from social media, mobile phones etc and I took pleasure instead in all the sports available. Playground bullying, yes, cyber bullying, thankfully no. But any misdemeanours were punished by a visit to the Headmistresses office – Mrs Molly Jackson. I always thought ‘Molly’ was too cute a name for her as she went everywhere with long strides and a flowing batman cape billowing behind her 🤣 We had to wait against the wall outside her office – a red light above her door meant ‘don’t you dare enter’ and a green light invited you to knock and wait for the command to ‘come in’.

Soo many traditions at my old school and I loved traditions; you knew where you stood with traditions…for example the last hymn of every term was always Jerusalem. Assembly was always at 9am and each year had their place sat on the floor. It wasn’t until you reached the mighty realms of the 6th form that you could actually sit in a chair – first year 6th, down the middle of the hall in twos and final year 6 were promoted to the stage……

I had some wonderful times at school…..I wonder if you can pick me out…..the first when I was in the first year

…and this one in my final year…

I’d totally forgotten that school uniform rules were relaxed in our final year 🤔…very ahead of its time…🤔

Anyway, enough of my wistful reminiscences….back to present time…

Originally I was due to meet playmate Gail for the very first time at this event, but sadly she’d had to cancel. But we promised each other that we really WOULD meet one day…

Craig was due to pick me up at 8am. It was 04.30 when I woke. I lay there, toying with the idea of going for a walk but resisted in the end, instead, having my shower and purposely not looking out of my window first. When I did, I could see that for once in several days, it was going to be a lovely clear sunny morning 🙄 with wisps of clouds instead of a wall to wall grey…

Oh well….tomorrow may be even nicer…I put my washing on so I could hang it out before I went and snuggled back in bed with a cuppa, going through my morning routine…

When Craig arrived I was met by a lovely smiley eyed masked ambulance man. I immediately took a selfie 😂 just to set Craig straight for the day ahead.

Off we set….we chatted happily for about an hour about this that and everything – such a lovely friendly caring chap – until suddenly, I started to recognise the surroundings – my childhood home…..Box Lane appeared and I remembered Hilda Pickersgill from the wool shop used to live in the post office on the corner. I used to go and ‘help out’ in the wool shop every Saturday morning, probably while my mum was at work or shopping but I soo loved it ‘playing shops’…….

Then we arrived at the hotel, and I’m sure, my brother will correct me if I’m wrong, but it looked like the place we met after my mums funeral 🤔

….after a piccie in front of our ambulance with Craig

And then with Laura who had been doing all this work

I went for a wander around the grounds…..the views were lovely

And also a twisted marvellous ancient looking tree…

I could have sat out here all day snapping away…..but I made my way went back into the room. I said to Laura how sad it was Gail wasn’t there and bless me, she led me to a board…and there was Gail’s face staring back at me – wonderful…..so I did manage to get a sort of hug from her after all…

The event began and I opened the day ending with my Billy the cat reading from my first book as I hadn’t read it in ages…….their applause was much appreciated.

It was then the turn of Cherry Tatlow from the Alzheimers society…….Who sadly made me sad……when she kept saying, ‘Alzheimer’s or dementia’ – Alzheimer’s IS a dementia…..such a basic mistake which will continue to confuse people if those who are suppose to know, don’t get it right……dementia is the umbrella term for all the different types of dementia including Alzheimers…

Then Karen Owen from Yorkshire ambulance spoke oodles of praise for the lovely Laura and the wonderful work she’d done along with the team. And she mentioned a phrase Laura had said to her:

Getting it right for people with dementia means you get it right for everyone” – perfect..

Then it was the turn of the Blue Light theatre company…..all ambulance people but in a charity amateur dramatic group….they performed a wonderful little play about dementia with lots of laughs and said and did all the right things 🥰…….2 different stories intertwined ..one of a young couple with the dad diagnosed and a mans mum having dementia…..very well done 🙌. that could have been sooo naff but instead was one of the best I’ve seen ⭐️ And I went and told them so afterwards before they left…

It was then time to do some work on scenarios but me and Prof Clare Surr from Leeds Beckett and another researcher whose name escapes me 🙈 went to look round the ambulances….the first was the Patient transport ambulance but I had to stop in my tracks as the slope up into the vehicle was black – apparently I hesitated and looked fearful, which Clare knew wasn’t me……

So that was really interesting….and fascinating to learn all they do……

Back to the workshop, we had to look at images and say which represented dementia best……some we didn’t think any did but it was an really interesting activity.

After an amazing lunch, which went down very well with everyone, people chatting and just enjoying the face to face experience with their colleagues again……. it was time for the final speech….the Trust has supported this event to the full and want to make a difference

So Kathy the chairman of the board for Yorkshire ambulance – said the final words, how the joy of today was seeing people not on a screen and reconnecting in person. The pandemic affected us all and not always in a good day….they put up with the demand in a way not thought possible. She made us laugh and she made us want to cry. In the middle of Covid they took on getting the Yorkshire ambulance to be dementia appropriate. At the time they wondered why when so much else is happening and it was Laura who convinced her why….

People with dementia need the ambulance staff as much as anyone else – we need to be compassionate to all our patients”
And so the day was over friendships reunited, people giving hugs, and simply chatting, just as it all used to be before Covid changed the world…..and as they all scattered back to their individual roles once more, the over riding message came…..

We must do it again!” And hopefully they will….

P.S. well did you spot me? In the first photo, I’m in the middle row, 3rd from the left and in the second, I’m in the top row 3rd from the left….☺️

Good resource for care partners…

I don’t often promote booklets but I think this one is very useful for anyone supporting someone living with dementure. They’ve captured the right balance between maintaining independence and supporting…..it’s the outcome of a research study by the University of East Anglia.

You can download a copy of the booklet from their website below

Hope the easter bunny brings you lots of joy and sunshine…back next Tuesday…

Fantastic News yesterday……. 

Well, amazingly, I’m not only a double doctor, I’m now a double Sunday Times best seller 😳

The publishers always get the list on a Tuesday, but I had to wait until Sunday to see it for myself in print. I got the email from our wonderful boss at Bloomsbury, Alexis Kirschbaum, which read:

Very thrilled to tell you Wendy that you charted at number 5 on the Sunday Times bestseller list this week! So many congratulations!”

I just couldn’t believe my eyes…..well they were leaking profusely so couldn’t even see through my eyes 😂….and I’m telling you all this on my birthday – what a present!

The fifth best selling non fiction book this week – isn’t that just crazy 😂 and Bloomsbury even sent me a new piccie of my book to use ☺️

And my daughter bought me this card to celebrate

It may only be there a week, but a week is all that matters…….☺️

No one knows what life will throw at them so never give up on yourself, no matter what; others will do that all too quickly for you…….after all, you never know what you can achieve unless you try…..