Category Archives: Raising awareness

Dementia disability-tea-and hope…..

I did another webinar for the Young Dementia Network recently. This time I was with playmate Nigel Hullah – an absolute guru on human rights – and once again, my friend from Innovations in Dementia, Philly Hare.

We spoke about dementia as a disability and the fact that, no matter what stage of dementia anyone has reached, they still have human rights – from cradle to the grave, I think I said. Anyway, you can hear our chatter by clicking the words below…

Speaking in Paradise….. 

You can imagine the beam on my face when Jonny, who looks after my diary at Bloomsbury, emailed me saying he’d had a request for me to talk about my book in my paradise of Keswick 🥰 I had to think of all of a nano second before replying back….🤣

My one stipulation was that they put me up in Appletrees, my beloved B&B …..which they agreed. 

Now it would have been very remiss of me  (and very strange)  to stay just one night, so I immediately booked a few with Catherine to make sure I got my room. They hadn’t even contacted her at that point, but she knows me well and was happy to oblige.

It will be my first visit of the year so to say I’m excited at the prospect is an understatement 😂…..I’m on stage Friday 18th March at 10am and the festival runs from the 15th to 20th March

You can find out more about the festival on the website below

Join me for a chat with a cuppa…

On Wednesday February 16th at 2.30, I believe 🤔 I’ll be having a chat with my lovely friend Philly Hare from Innovations in Dementia. Philly is the person I visited on the Isle of Lewis and had the most magical holiday

When Young Dementia Network, of which I’m a member, asked if I would do one of their chat with a cuppa sessions, I, of course, immediately agreed. That feels like ages ago now, but the link to be able to book a place became available so I thought I’d share it with you. Young Dementia UK are now a part of Dementia UK, one of my favourite charities simply because it trains Admiral Nurses. Every person affected by dementia should have access to one of these wonderful specialist dementia nurses but sadly this isn’t the case 😔. My own county doesn’t commission them 🙄 but other areas have seen sense and do. You can see if there’s any in your area by checking out their website..

Home

However they have got a helpline that’s open to anyone anywhere – number can also be found on the web site. the helpline is staffed by Admiral Nurses

Anyway……I seemed to have gone off piste 🙄……in Young Dementia Networks blurb for my chat it says:

Wendy wrote a memoir of her life titled ‘Somebody I used to know’ in 2019 and has followed this up with a second book in January 2022, ‘What I Wish I People Knew About Dementia’. During this webinar, Wendy will discuss her life and read excerpts from her new book in conversation with Philly Hare, Director at Innovations in Dementia CIC.

It was as I was reading this that I suddenly saw that I’d be reading excerpts 😳….so I better get looking for some 🤣….it would be lovely if some of you could join me. Just click the link below to register and hope to see you on the day….it’s free!

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 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bgqnpr

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

https://www.ft.com/content/97c17995-e7c1-402b-8776-0ab3d7821138

(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…..☺️

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0013hv7

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……..

Asked to speak in church…….

I don’t think I’ve ever typed those words before 😳….

I’ve often visited our village church but only to take photos of the lovely rainbows the sun casts through the stained glass window. I hadn’t realised when choosing the photos that the church actually features three times in my calendar, with January snow, May blossom

And the other for November

Maybe this was why our local vicar, David, messaged me to ask if I’d give a talk at the Harvest Festival service on how I came to create the calendar…..🤔 as I’ve never been a church goer. In fact, I think I’ve only ever been in a church for a service once and that was either a funeral or a wedding. But I do love all the old hymns and especially carols that we used to sing at school each morning……

Anyway….it wasn’t until 4 o’clock and the morning had been very mizzly, but people were still out for their Sunday morning walk……I spied this lady on an electric trycicle which looked great fun and perfect for me 🤔…although I just know I’d miss my walking…..

On this grey and miserable day…I even had the light on at one point 🥴…I needed some colour and company, so off I trundle to see the ducks, always pleased to see me carrying food 😂

The Mandarin provided me with the colour

…..but I needed more…Thankfully the weather brightened up in the afternoon, so I went up to the village allotment to see if anyone was around…a woman was just leaving and about to lock up. She must have seen the look of disappointment on my face as she suddenly said she’d leave it open as now the sun has come out, others will arrive. As she was saying those words another car came along the track so I was able to have a wander round. Lots of beautiful bright colourful flowers

And more round the corner

Even the veg were colourful

After my fix of colour, I looked at my watch and decided I needed to get a wiggle on as it was almost time for the harvest festival…..

I didn’t know what to expect, the only comparison I had was to my school days when we took in a potato or can of something 🙄…..

As I trundled up Church Walk, Ginger biscuit and pals who live next to the church was busy waiting in the hope that someone would be bringing him some carrots

The church door was open, as it always is from dawn to dusk..

Inside people were already there and in their seats. David came to meet me. He’d asked me to bring some calendars and took my bag from me. I think some of the faces were familiar, but it felt like all eyes were on me so I hastily sat in an empty pew. Thankfully I knew all the hymns from school, so that made me feel more relaxed. 

The service began and I tried my best to follow what was happening. Part way through, David asked me to join him and we sat on seats at the front. He simply asked:

Why do you do what you do?”

I then rambled. I think or imagine I said how I’d been diagnosed with dementia in 2014 and how this village had become very special. I have no control over what I’ve lost and no control over the future, so instead, live in the moment. The calendar I put together was my way of saying thank you to everyone for making me feel safe trundling around the paths and lanes of the village. During lockdown, my camera and the village gave me a purpose and my way of saying thank you was to share the proceeds of the sales between village groups and my dementia support group, Minds and Voices.

Then David said that if people had brought money with them today, not to give it to the church, but to buy a calendar. They were so kind in their comments as they came up to buy one and it was all rather overwhelming. So to calm me down, I took a simple piccie…

And amid thanks from people, I made my way home……

Join me on a our bi-annual Recovery college course…..

I suddenly realised, when home from paradise as I scanned my calendar for stuff, that I hadn’t advertised our next Recovery College course – Living with Dementia 😳…..I say ‘our’ as me and my lovely friend, Cathryn Hart, Manager ofthe Humber Research Team, run these courses twice a year as part of NHS Humber Trust Recovery College programme. They’re usually face to face but like most things at the mo, it will be on line and because it’s the NHS it will have to be my least favourite Microsoft Teams instead of Zoom, but no choice there.

Anyway, it’s on July 12th 10.30-12.30 (yes, I know, sorry for the short notice!! 🙈) if you’d like to join us – people affected by dementia AND any healthcare professionals, Care Home staff, and anyone who’d like to join us for a couple of hours – please register by clicking on this link and registering Ignore the date that’s above my piccie, not sure what that means 🙄

https://humberrecoverycollege.nhs.uk/news-article/2021-06-22/living-with-dementia

Two things to watch, one to listen to……

The first was put together by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health & Care Partnership and is about Advanced Care Planning. As well as my own views, there are the views of many others. The theme from everyone being: 

Death is as natural as living. We plan for the birth of children why not our death?

That;s me and my lovely daughters at the beginning 😍

This second one was recorded by the lovely Philly Hare from Innovations in Dementiia and features myself and playmates Keith Oliver and Chris Maddocks. The aim of the piece was to describe our vision of the Social Care Future. What the future would have to look like to enable us to live with dementia in a way we wished.

And finally a pod cast interview I did for the American Marianne Sciucco who is a founder member of AlzAuthors.

The podcast is called Untangling Young Onset dementia and is a series of interviews with authors who have written about dementia in their lives…Mine was episode 1, so if you scroll down on the page you should see all the current episodes….

A day of two halves…..

I woke up yesterday, having been cooped up inside all weekend, by either the weather or my body simply not wanting to play ball…..it’s not like me to stay indoors all weekend and yesterday I decided I’d have words with myself and venture out whether I wanted to or not.

I had the morning to myself but no shopping needed and the thought of just sauntering around town for 90 minutes didn’t appeal, so I decided to try and walk into town and then catch the bus back….

I trundled along in the sunshine, taking piccies as I went, the first at the village pond


“I’m not coming back up until Spring has arrived…..”

And then passing by the beautiful gateway of snowdrops

and on out of the village heading towards the Westwood, stopping every now and then to take in the view….

Once at the Westwood I was in my element taking piccies

And almost forgot the time……I suddenly had to get a wiggle on otherwise I’d miss the bus back and have another 90 minutes to wait 😳🙄…….

One last piccie


I adore trees and their shadows are just as beautiful…

The bus was in as the bus station came into view……..

On the journey back, it became apparent that I’d been spied walking 😂🤣….and they were glad to see me taking the bus back. But then a story unfolded of the Westwood that I hadn’t heard before…..many years ago there used to be 2 kennels, one each side of the road where now lays a cattle grid, which housed 2 collie dogs who were in charge of keeping the cows on the Westwood side of the road. Every time the cows ventured near, the dogs would bark and the cows would get the message. When the dogs were no longer needed, one of the villagers Took one of them in , but eventually had to take it to the dogs charity as it just wouldn’t stop barking all day long – after all that had been it’s job for many years…..

I love the tales of old that I hear from those villagers who’ve been there most of their life…..

My village bus got back at 12 and I being picked up at 12.30 by Katie from the Humber research team as she was my taxi driver today taking me to the Trust Induction. New staff, new opportunity to sow seeds…..

We trundled up to the office as we were a tad early so I caught up with the girls in the office

As 1.15 approached we made our way across to the lecture theatre for the Induction session of new staff in the Mental Health Trust.

Mandy head of Patient Carer experience, joined me and after a hug we were ready for our double act.

It was a smaller group today – only about 25 newbies….and Mandy started off first….

The carer is just as important as the patient”……..

The patient and carers voice is “very very very’ important here at Humber Mental Health Trust. She went onto say how many people don’t like the word ‘carer’, don’t like to be called ‘a carer’……as a husband, for example, likes still to be a husband…….

The Friends and Family Test should be handed out by every department  – it’s the biggest quality measure the NHS has, to highlight the good and bad in all the services.

From April the question is changing from “would you recommend this service to your friends and family” to

Overall what did you think of our service today”

“Would you recommend…..”……wasn’t appropriate as people may be in a service they wouldn’t choose to be in so obviously they wouldn’t recommend it. A child having an injection, wouldn’t recommend an injection……so the question needed to change.

We rely on you to to enable patients to have a voice”…….”every service has a Staff Champion of Patient Experience Forum….but we always need more.”

The NHS 25 years ago was very ‘staff driven’…….now the tables are turning for it to be patient driven, equal partners with the public…..that’s the ideal…….me thinks not quite there yet but Humber are trying…..

Clinicians have the specialist expertise and toolkit to deliver care but the public are on the receiving end and their views of that care are key”

 Mine turn for the last half hour

……..talking about anything and everything including….:

I’ve had some amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t been diagnosed.I talk all over the country in many different setting because that’s how I believe I can influence change….obviously it’s exhausting and takes days to plan even though people think I just magically appear but I always say I’d rather die of exhaustion than dementia.

 But my greatest achievement so far has been the release of my book  Somebody I used to Know, which has become a Sunday Times best seller. One reason I’m showing you it is because it shows you should never give up on yourself, others will do that for you…and this is the proof ..”

 And that was the end for another month. Katie took me back home and the bloomin’ rain started to fall once more so I stayed snug for the rest of the day, flask at the side of me, cuppa in my hand…….

 

 

Final trundle of last week was to Luton…….

After the wonderfully different conference with the lovely dentists last Thursday, I left them at lunchtime to head for Luton for the final conference of the week. This time I was speaking at the Luton and Bedfordshire Memory Services Conference…….

I’d had to get everything ready for this week a fortnight ago so I was just hoping against hope that everything was in my pink file. I can only concentrate on one event at a time so couldn’t look at the paperwork until I’d actually got to Luton. If I’d have looked at that before finishing the Dentists event I would have got the 2 confused so times, venues and instructions would have merged into one and I’d have got in a pickle…….

My first mistake was at St Pancras station in London. I was booked on a direct train to Luton, no stops. But the way the man sent me, took me to trains that all had stops on the way. It was even a different train company than I was expecting. So I missed my booked train and simply got on the next one that arrived. Thinking about it afterwards, me thinks I should have gone to the upstairs platforms…..but hey ho….I got there….

My hotel was only 5 minutes from the station, but you have to start walking in the right direction for that to be the case. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Luton, so it was totally unfamiliar but my app got me there eventually……I just had to keep turning round as left and rights were getting in a pickle 🙄…..

It was a strange hotel…….no tea making facilities in the bedroom😳😱…..unlimited drinks but you had to go downstairs every time tou wanted one 🙈 but the staff were nice and helpful, especially when I lost my key card within minutes of entering my room 🤐…never did find it….the key was white, the linen was white and I just couldn’t see it 🙄

Aneeba had emailed me the night before with her mobile number and to check I was ok which was good.

The following morning I had a sore face 🙈…I remember something happened in the night and I’d become disorientated and think I must have walked into a wall or door or something – I just remember it hurt! So I had to send my daughters a black eye alert once more just to warn them 🤐🥴

I ambled the short way to ‘The Hat Factory’, our venue for the day……my app thankfully sent me in the right direction and they were busy setting up…so I sat quietly in my own world typing away. A Gp came up to me and asked me to sign his copy of my book – always satisfying when Gp’s have my book……

It was a strange room where we had the stands and tea as the walls were black curtains so very disconcerting….but Reinhard and Jacqueline Hussey soon joined me for a hug and distracted me…..

I had to take Reinhard’s arm to get me through to the lecture theatre as the floor was horrendous and I had to look up to the ceiling….


Who on earth thought this was a good idea for a floor….🙈

The lecture theatre was also very black so sadly it wasn’t very good for me……..

Aneeba started off the day with general housekeeping

Dr Sen Kallumpuran gave an update on the county services….and used the same sort of slides as Alistair Burns around Diagnosising well, living well and Dying well……which I’ve wanted changed for a few years now…..they trip off the tongue nicely, I just don’t like the phrases…..they were fine when there was nothing else but I think they need an up date now.

Dr Vaness Raymont then gave a talk on prevention in dementia – and the role of research.

24.6 million people in the UK have a family member of friend living with dementia. She said:

We have an increasing problem but we really havnt shifted at all in clinical practise” and

In the clinic we are focusing on diagnosis dementia but maybe we should focus on Alzheimer’s disease that occurs before Alzheimers dementia appears.”

The public often don’t think there is anything they can do to prevent dementia in the same way as they can with heart disease. But there are many changes they can make to reduce the risk. Me thinks this is true but also, if dementia decides it’s going to get you it will but by doing everything right, you’re giving yourself the best chance….

There has been no new medication since 2005.

She believes we’re tackling dementia too late, we should be starting before the clinical changes exist. To do this we have to have a better understanding of this disease. Clinicians and the public have to come to terms with the fact that this disease can be delayed or the risk reduced. So that would mean changing the culture which is not easy.

The ideal would be to start creating personalised prevention plans…..

I think this is where the biggest breakthroughs will be, as well as in imaging and the work of Nick Fox, me thinks the preventing and identifying risk before it exists is where we should be going…whilst not saying to the public if you do XX then you won’t get dementia as this is giving false hope and will cause bigger issues

The slides were rubbish and too many but the words she spoke were good………..why show slides where you feel the need to say, “ I’ll explain this as it looks very complicated’…..🙈🤷‍♀️ and “this is an old slide so it’s out of date’😳🥴

There was a good slide at the end for how all this work will impact on clinical practise, especially changing ‘memory clinic’ to ‘Brain Health clinic” but It felt a very medicalised view…..

Dr Jaqueline Hussey was up next, and me and Jacqui are both on the Young Dementia Steering group network…….she was there to speak about her work with Young people with Dementia in Berkshire……

Because numbers of us are relatively small, so commisioners often think there’s no point providing services but numbers may be small but our need is huge.

Gp’s often don’t record Young Onset so numbers really are guesswork……many people under 65 don’t want to go to ‘memory clinic’ or ‘old age psychiatrists…..Jacqui asked how many neurologists were in the room and there were none. We need to work together and neurologists should be here.

Age appropriate services are often non existent and run at the wrong time. So there’s a high unmet need. There’s little appropriate residential services and current ones that do often can’t cope with a younger age group.

Berkshire has now appointed their first Admiral nurse for Young onset dementia…..they set up the charity in 2012 (Young people with dementia in Berkshire ) to provide meaningful activity for those with young onset.

They wanted, in a world where there is little choice for people with dementia,  people to have choice. So they publish a prospectus every 6 months with various workshops they can attend….people are referred to the charity at point of diagnosis.

The variety of workshops was impressive from wall climbing, choirs, photography, to kata canoeing, running and cycling…..and many more…..

Wonderful work going on in Berkshire, they’re very lucky…..

Me next and once again I spoke about this that and everything, but because of the audience spoke about language more…….including the alternative delivery of diagnosis of ‘There’s nothing I can do”  to :

Yes, the diagnosis is that of Young onset dementia and not something anything would wish to have. But think of it as the start of a different way of living; a way of adapting. I might not be able to do anything for you but there is still so much you CAN do, albeit differently and with support.”

Reinhard, a Consultant clinical psychologist was after me and before lunch

‘Fear’ is what we see when you google dementia – the fear of getting it, the economic fear, the images fear etc…

He spoke of the fear imagery fuelling the stigma associated with dementia…..

He also spoke of getting to know the person and those around them to know who are the glass half empty people who will need more support and those with glass half full who will willingly accept strategies.

He spoke of the various tests they do or can do and knowing the best level of testing appropriate for each in individual…..it’s important to challenge the current processes and ask what the person would prefer – e.g. would the person prefer a Carer to be present during testing etc, there’s no one size fits all.

People need TIME when delivering information….professionals shouldn’t have to pack everything into the diagnosis process, all the information about signposting and packs of papers should be for another time and not simply because it’s part of the tick box process……we can’t process so much ‘stuff’ being thrown at us all at once. Nice one Reinhard….

It was also lovely of Reinhard to promote Dementia Diaries and the DEEP Network, showing slides of me and many of my playmates….

I spent the lunchtime selling my books and chatting to lovely people, One man, who works at the Memory Clinic,  came up to thank me and said:

“I feel like I’ve had a bucket of cold water thrown over me” such was the wake up call I’d given him…….☺️

Another interesting morning but, again, I had to leave at the end of lunch in order to get back down to London to get my train home at a decent hour but another worthwhile trundle to end the week…..

 

 

Return visit to Cheltenham Book Festival……how lucky am I?…

I often end a talk speaking about the ‘advantages of dementia’ ….eye balls roll, cynical looks pass between the audience……the audience always think I’ve totally lost the plot 🤣 But Dementia has opened up so many new worlds to me….focusing on the positives is my way of coping with this bummer of a diagnosis…..

Since my book, one whole new world is that of Book Festivals…and Friday saw me back at Cheltenham Litertaure Festival. I was there last year being interviewed by Julia Wheeler. If it’s of interest,doing a double act with neurologist, Jules Montague you can read about that trundle here:

https://whichmeamitoday.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/starting-to-run-on-empty

Amazingly they asked me back again and this year I was doing a double act with Nicci Gerrard. We were being interviewed on stage by Alex Clark. We make a good duo as Nicci writes from the side of the supporter of her father and me, obviously, as someone living with dementia. I always say that both sides live parallel lives, rarely meeting, but both equally important in the need for advice and support, just different advice and support.

I wonder what Nicci thinks of being with me again 🤔 as we’re often put together and will be together again a couple of days later on Sunday at Ilkley Festival, which will be tomorrows blog ………

Nicci has always been very kind and patient with me. She wrote a lovely article when the hardback version of my book came out a couple of years ago.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/28/wendy-mitchell-somebody-i-used-to-know-interview-dementia

Any back to Friday……..a blustery night was followed by a blustery wake up call. It was silly o’clock…..we were speaking in the afternoon so I opted for overnight stay on the Friday instead of Thursday. I don’t mind setting off in the dark as I know it’s going to get light but travelling at night can be quite disturbing, with confusing shadows, Inability to see where you are and no opportunity to take piccies to calm me down…..so a silly o’clock start it had to be….

The taxi driver was from the night shift so one I’d not met. We got chatting and it came out that I had dementia…..he then told me his story – his father has dementia in the later stages. He doesn’t know who any of his children are but comes alive when they visit….I told him why and we chatted more. By the time we’d arrived at the station he was busy downloading my book on audible …….❤️…….it’s amazing how much you can say in a 12 minute trundle……..

The journey to Cheltenham is a long one and involves my least favourite train company – Cross Country……..🙈…..their trains are soooo claustrophobic and squashed…but first I had to get to Sheffield, which meant a change at Doncaster……it was so dark I missed the trundle alongside the Humber 🙄 no stunning sunrises today……just splashes of rain on the windows, car headlights in the distance with windscreen wipers clearing the deluge…….

But a glimpse of autumn on the tops of the trees at Sheffield as I waited for my connection brighten my day

I used to have the lovely Jasmin looking after me at Bloomsbury but she’s now departed to ventures new and I have an equally lovely Ella. She sent me my usual detailed plan of my stay  – and I was told someone in a bright pink t shirt carrying a festival sign would meet me at Cheltenham……Cheltenham looked after me really well last year but I txt the number Ella had given me, just to make sure someone was on the other end. I needn’t have worried as Louise came back immediately so I was a very relaxed bunny……..

I arrived and sure enough, Mr Pinkman was waiting for me and we happily chatted to the lovely writers room they provide to chill…. all the helpers were dressed in pink tops so they stood out wonderfully……it was so windy outside, the tent was billowing and pictures of farmhouse people on the tent walls were bouncing around….😂

A man came over to me, introduced himself as James and said how he’d interviewed me at Bath Festival……☺️…….just nice that he took the trouble to come over and say hello….. and then a Julia Wheeler, who interviewed me here last year and knows my partner in writing Anna!

We would be in the Garden Theatre…..what a lovely name, so I spent the next couple of hours people watching, catching snippets of conversations and just enjoying the wonderful atmosphere……heaven…….and so calming….

Nicci was also with husband Sean French later on. For those that don’t know, Nicci and Sean write as Nicci French, writing crime novels. I remember being fascinated when she told me how she and Sean wrote their books……..

Alex came over and said hello as Nicci was caught up in one of my nightmare trundles and would be here late 🙈….but still with time to spare hopefully. Alex was so nice and smiley and kind. We chatted for ages to get to know one another before heading over to the Garden theatre to be miked up

and wait in the Green Room for 2pm to arrive….Nicci arrived with minutes to spare, but still time for a piccie….

Obviously I wasn’t typing, but I know we had a wonderful time, took lots of questions and it was very emotional….a full house were so kind, so generous in their applause.

On the way to the Book signing, we were stopped by various people just wanting to say thank you, just wanting to chat. Some were in tears and one said she’d now realised she wasn’t alone……. We signed lots of books, had lovely chats with lovely people about their connection with dementia before making our way back to the writers room……

Here I was met by Jill Ronnie and Sue Learner to record a podcast for their series called  ‘Let’s Talk about Care’ ….They’re from from Carehome.co.uk and Homecare.co.uk………it felt like we spoke for ages but again I wasn’t typing so no idea what we spoke about – this, that and everything probably…..I’m sure they;ll let me have the link when it’s published …..

Time for a quick piccie

….before heading back to the hotel totally exhausted but happy…..I’d had such a wonderful day and the pink t shirt brigade looked after me wonderfully……feeling very lucky….