Category Archives: media representation

Interview for Australia and New Zealand …

I hope I havn’t shared these 🤔….just delete if I have…

The media down under have always supported me and my books and I know many of you who are reading this now are followers from that beautiful side of the world. It’s always a delight to talk to presenters from other parts of the world, and of course, technology means we can talk to anyone anywhere nowadays. The only downside is usually the time we have to choose to suit both 🤣

The first link will take you to a Saturday morning show with Kim Hill.

The second was on a programme called Life Matters ….

Not sure where the photo was taken that they showed on their website, but must have been some years ago 🤔

Anyway, enjoy…

Interview for Australian radio …..

A while ago I was interviewed by Erica Vowles for Australian ABC radio. I wrote this part when I’d done the interview and then let it lurk around my blog box until the link arrived🤣

Erica interviewed me via zoom and we talked for over an hour, but she did warn me that it would be cut to fit the programme, ‘Life Matters’ which would be around 15 minutes long. 

Well now I have the link and what I really enjoyed about it, was her mixing in of playmates from Australia. I love listening to other people talking about their experience….anyway, click the web link below and enjoy……

Publications that helped share my book….. 

No book can be a success without some publicity and Jonny from Bloomsbury who looks after me has been exceptional at getting publications to see the need to share my book, in some way, to its own individual niche of an audience….I always ask them to be mindful of the language they use and so far they’ve all been spot on and obliged.

This last week or so, it was Age UK who shared an interview I did on line which I thought was wonderfully written and well pleased with the content…. You can click the link to read it…

Then Saga magazine also asked us to write a piece, which made me feel so old until I saw my favourite actress on the cover…

And it was a lovely piece.

The Big Issue supported me with the last book and again this time. A wonderful illustrator whose name now escapes me 🙈 did a great image to go with the article

Finally I might have already shared the Countryfile article 🤔, but they promised to send me the hard copy magazine, and they kept their word as it popped through my letter box last week ☺️. You can see the heading is “A wandering mind”. 

They asked me if I was happy with the title as many people use the phrase ‘wandering’ when in fact the person with dementia is walking with a purpose! I loved it as it puts the word in a different context and my mind wanders perfectly when I’m outside with nature

They even put the story on the cover…

And the Observer had a great review written by Nikki Gerrard, author and the person who helped bring in Johns Campaign (John was her father)

Even The Week published an article…..

More publications are due out soon…..☺️….and yes, I know I’m very lucky….😊

Publication Day…… 

Crikey, January 20th seemed an age away when Bloomsbury first told me the publication date, yet here it is………although many people seemed to have received their copies from book sellers early 😳…not sure what that was all about…

I was hoping to send free copies to all those who helped me, but there were so many that in the end I could only give them to people living with dementia, which felt right to me. But everyone who helped is in the acknowledgements….can’t help but mention my lovely partner in writing here though, Anna Wharton. We met up in London last time and celebrated publication day together but Covid has put paid to that this time 😔….but none of this could possibly have happened without her. I’m sure this is the actual photo from that day 🤔

It’s a book you can delve into. You can start at the beginning if you want or you can start at a chapter that interests you. Here’s a sneaky peak of one of the contents page.

My first book was all about me and my life, but it led to some people with dementia feeling inadequate, “Yes but that’s you, I can’t do what you do” and the odd few professionals even criticising me for my positive slant……so this time I was determined to allow some of my  playmates to have their voice heard, to hear their views, their experiences. Some areas have been backed up by research…….you’ll see there are many similarities but many differences as well.

We’ve weaved in my stories and hopefully humour….and what I said for a banner Bloomsbury created still stands

There are two more important bits to the book…..firstly, the introduction where I thank everyone from Minds and Voices who helped me:

Secondly, the acknowledgements at the back of the book, where lovely professionals who put up with my constant emails are also thanked along with some very special people and furry friends….…..

And the third is the special dedication I had included……

I do thank him in the acknowledgements, but a special mention here must go to Jonny from Bloomsbury, who looks after me so well and each day sends me reminders of what I’ve got on each day with all the links – all just perfect and I’d have got in a right pickle without him. he’s literally worked his socks off for me…😍

Now all that’s left is to see what everyone else thinks of it………🤞

What a busy week……….

And that’s an understatement……..

Last week felt crazily busy with interviews for my book of one sort or another……which is lovely but on Friday it all caught up with me and for the next few days I felt as though my head would burst if I had to think anymore……..of course I love doing it and Jonny at Bloomsbury has been working his socks off for me, but …….and next week is looking just the same 😳

However tomorrow is the official publication day. Soooo exciting. For those who get UK telly, I’ll be live at lunchtime on “Steph’s Packed Lunch” – a lunchtime talk show with the lovely Steph McGovern on Channel 4. I say ‘live’ but the cameraman will be in my house filming me instead of me being in the studio. 

So much has changed since my last book release when Covid was unheard of as a word, and I was able to be in front of the cameras in studios. Sadly we live in a different world now but where’s there’s a way………

 Last week I had a lovely interview with Mishal Hussain on Radio 4’s Today program. Hopefully the link below will work if you’d like a listen to our chat

The press have written some amazing reviews of my book. The Financial Times has always supported me, not sure why, but they did a brilliant review in the Saturday paper

(I had to look up what ‘sentience’ meant 😂

On Sunday the Sunday Times also wrote a piece. The reporter and photographer came to my house some time ago….they actually gave me 6 whole pages in the Sunday Times magazine which was just amazing. AND the village ducks got a double page photo

I just loved how she introduced the article; it’s just so clever at showing the public and private side of me, the side people don’t see…

There’s been other reviews in publications I’ve not heard of but Jonny always send them to me if he sees them….including Countryfile magazine. A villager stopped me to say she’d received her copy so I asked Jonny to see if he could get sight of it. Countryfile have even said they’ll post me a copy when they’re back in the office 🥰 but the ducks have got in on the act again AND my paradise of Keswick gets a mention….😍

On Sunday I was also live on Radio 2 Michael Balls programme. I used to listen to his programme a few years ago before the radio became a distraction ….I was actually continuing a really bad spell and we had technical problems which did’nt help my head 🙈. However, everything was sorted in the end and Michael was so kind 

You can listen to it here – I was on around 90 minutes into the programme. He gave me the most wonderful build up right at the beginning too after the first song…..☺️

Once it was over I just sat there….empty and finished – the energy it took to deliver those few minutes just finished me off. But I was able to relax for the rest of the day. I went out for a short trundle and fed the ducks telling them all about their fame……funny they only seemed interested in the food 🙄😂

I’m also on Radio 5 Live today between 11-1pm with the lovely Naga Munchetty – she interviewed me on BBC Breakfast for my last book, so I’ve been catching up on my blog in case she asks if I remember 🤣

And finally, tomorrow, 20th, publication day 🤩….I’m live on Channel 4 around 12.30……

Still more interviews coming up this week, next and beyond. But the best email I had yesterday was an invitation to speak in my vary own paradise at their Words on the Water Festival…😍 so I’ll have to force myself to go to Keswick and appear there on Friday March 18th……it’s only for a day but it would be rude not to stop longer, so I’ve booked myself a long weekend……🥰

Am I blowing my own trumpet? You bet I am…..after all….who would have thought I’d publish one book, never mind 2, on the 31st July 2014 as I walked out of the consulting room believing my life to be over…….what my books prove is that you should never give up on yourself, no matter what life throws at you. Other people will do that for you, but NEVER give up on yourself……..

A busy few days…….

The day after coming home from paradise I had the inevitable banging head. It was as though I’d forced it to stay away while I was there, but as soon as we left I could feel it was dementia pay back time. I woke feeling as though it had a vice round my head and was slowly turning the screw 🙄….I went outside as much as I could simply for fresh air and to get back to my home routine. As least the ducks were pleased to see me….or maybe it had more to do with the food I’d brought 🤣

On Saturday afternoon it was the dress rehearsal of the village pantomime and one of the cast had said I could come and watch while it was quieter 😍….my head still wasn’t back to normal, but I had to get out. We’d had storm Storm Arwen passing through, so trundles were out of the question today, so the panto at least gave me a bit of fresh air….

However, when I got there, I was told it was going to be quite full as not everyone had been able to get tickets for the main performance. I decided to sit at the back so I could sneak out if it got too much. 

It was soooo good. With songs where the audience joined in, like YMCA, The Twist, the ugly sisters singing “I’m too sexy” and it was all set in Walkington with local references. They did brilliant and the costumes were so funny too. But I left at the interval as it was all a tad too much “Oh no it wasn’t”……sadly oh yes it was…..I also found it a tad disorientating, which surprised me. The curtains were closed so we were in the dark so time became really confusing…..oh well, at least I saw some and the whole weeks shows are a sell out, always are apparently…

In the evening I was due to go to the village lights switch on by the pond, but the pantomnine had finished my head off good and proper and I never made it.😔

The following morning, I was still not quite right, but decided to go straight out for the sun rise to see if that would help. We’d had a stormy night but it had passed over now and had left a sprinkling of magic white dust…

I soon realised I was actually a tad late for the sunrise, but it was still a beautiful sight, but bitterly cold. I’d even had the sense to put my snow boots on as it was an ice rink underfoot.

Even the squirrel seemed to be hugging himself as I trundled along, not quite knowing where to go…

I let my legs decide as my head wasn’t capable… didn’t go through the fields today, just a walk along mirage lane 

And then home……

And so to Monday, another busy day….but as I got up I could tell my head was in a better place. Three days of a banging head if a hefty price to pay, but at least now it felt lighter.

The media stuff for my new book has started and today I had the Sunday Times coming. They had got the rights to the first interview, so the photographer was coming in the morning and the interview was the afternoon. I hate photographers coming into my house after an incident last time where they rail roaded me into letting them have free run of the house. but since then there’s been strict rules in place – downstairs only; they’ll have to imagine what my memory room looks like!

But first things first, an early morning walk to start the day off on a good note. Even the moon had hung around..

It was bitterly cold again, but such a lovely gentle morning

Frosty and calm…just beautiful….

Time to just chill as the photographer was due at 11…and at 11 he and all his paraphernalia arrived. he was a lovely smiley man and instantly won me over 🙄….the minute he arrived the sun was in the perfect place in the conservatory and he snapped away with his hand held camera. After that he unpack all the gubbins and took more. we then went down to the duck pond where the ducks performed beautifully and flew straight over to me, allowing him to take ducks all around me. we then went to the far end of the pond and the ducks, bless ’em, followed us once more and did the same thing at the other end…🤣…what they weren’t too impressed with was my lack of food…I’d forgotten 🙈….I promised them all I’d be back later….we had a wonderful time talking all things photography….

It was almost 2 when he left and the interviewer was also due at 2 😳… just time for me to have my porridge otherwise it would have been too late when she left…Audrey arrived within a few minutes of me finishing and we chatted happily for an hour or so. she’d read both books so had double the amount of questions. Not sure whether I rambled or whether I said everything I wanted to as I can’t remember any of it as I’m typing this….🙄 As I thought might happen, she did ask to see my memory room. I hesitated, then said, ”but no photos”….she agreed. as we stood there, I remember thinking how each photo is jam packed with emotion, happy emotional memories ❤️

As soon as she’d left, I kept my promise and went to feed the ducks…they seem to forgive me 🤣

We were due to meet as the 4 Amigos at 4 but unfortunately Dory’s bus broke down so the 3 Doritos just chatted amongst ourselves on zoom for a few minutes to catch up before I slumped onto my bed with a cuppa tea…😴….

Just one more media to complete but that wasn’t until 7pm. it was the earliest time they could do as it was with New Zealand presenter Jack Tame for his Saturday morning show. We were recording it so it won’t be aired until around the book release…7pm is usually my shut down time so goodness knows how that will go…

A massively busy day, and yes, it is truly exhausting, but a nice exhausting when the people are nice and all in a good cause. As I said to the interviewer, ’Things like this also keep my brain ticking over”. I’ll pay the price tomorrow but then I’ll be on a train to Manchester as I start recording my audio book on Wednesday… least I’ve got all tomorrow to recover and recharge 😬

A podcast chat with Pippa Kelly…….

Social media has been a wonderful platform for meeting people since I was diagnosed with dementia. Amazingly I’d never used Twitter or Facebook pre my diagnosis and now I’m a Twitterholic! That’s how I met journalist and broadcaster Pippa Kelly

I’m not sure that I’ve actually met Pippa in person before, but may well have done at conferences or events,  but I feel as though I’ve known her for years. We regularly follow each other on social media and comment on each other’s posts. She now has a successful podcast series “Well I know now….” And recently she was kind enough to interview me…..

Make yourself a cuppa, along with a biscuit or 3 and have a listen to our chat….

In Conversation…..

On Tuesday 18th May, 12.30-13.30 GMT, I’ll be in conversation with the head of Barbican and Community Libraries, Carol Boswarthack.

I first met Carol after her book group asked me to chat to them after they’d read my book, Somebody I Used to Know. It was after that, that she invited me to speak to the City of London Libraries.

You can even send in a question for Carol to ask me if you wish! Just scroll down the Eventbrite page until you see ‘Contact’ and that will open up a box where you can contact the organiser.

Hope some of you can join us. .The event is free and you can sign up here on Event Brite to join us.

Talking about the role of Fiction in Dementia on Woman’s Hour….

On April 1st, my partner in writing, Anna Wharton released her first fiction book, ‘The Imposter’.

I’d helped Anna with the dementia element in the book and also a piece about gardening! So I was thrilled when she asked me if I would be on Woman’s Hour with her. We had a pre meet with the another Anna from the show who chatted to us about the session on the programme. She also told us that my good friend Prof Jan Oyebode would also be on it with us discussing from an academic viewpoint. 

So we were on live last Wednesday…we had to log onto the Zoom at 09.15 to check sound and to check our connection etc and then stay logged on until transmission time which was 10am. 

Last time I was on Woman’s Hour it was for the release of my book with the lovely Jane Garvey but Jane left a few months ago so the interview was with Emma Barnett, her replacement……

Anyway, our section starts around 15 minutes into the programme….hope this works for everyone and you enjoy it…

Hallucination video available to watch until midnight UK time

Not sure if this will help many people but for those who didn’t manage to see this afternoons showing of ‘Hallucination’ by the wonderful Suki Chan, Suki has allowed me to share the video until midnight tonight, UK time, after which it will disappear from view….

We had a wonderful event this afternoon spoilt by the Hackers that cam in at the end and abruptly finished the session.

it was lovely to be on screen with Suki again.

anyway I hope some of you get a chance to watch it during the few hours it’s available ….