Archive | 15:07

101/1001 (13)

24 Jun

Thirteen weeks into the challenge and no bad luck at all so far, if I exclude falling off the spider web.

Expose myself to four new experiences (2/4)

You should have read all about Experience 2 in my previous post; I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Watch 101 new films (17/101)

I managed to fit in three this week, after a bit of a film drought.  One of them was True Grit.  I love a good western, and True Grit is a really good western.  My Dad, who made me love a good western, would have loved it.  It’s because of my Dad and his love for all things western that I know, if I am ever caught in a desert in a thunderstorm, to lie down flat on the ground.  Otherwise I will be the tallest point and the lightning will be gunning for me.  I read that in a Louis L’Amour.

Hit 100,000 visitors on my blog (55,874/100,000)

Visits to my blog have slowed down in the last couple of weeks, but Mirth & Motivation’s blog assures me it’s because of the summer holidays.  I’d like to believe her but I don’t take holidays and we don’t have summer here in Stockport, so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s just a blip.

Don’t forget to check out the other 101ers; their blog links are to the right.  In particular, go and visit Sarsm; she has a hilarious story about a train journey.

Newsflash: Riot At Poetry Gig

24 Jun

You may remember I told you I was invited to give a poetry recital at a retirement home for mainly dementia patients.  It happened yesterday.  I accepted the invitation for two reasons: to do something out of my comfort zone (dreadful cliché but brilliantly expressive); and to do something nice for old people.  The events organiser, Janis, told me that many of the residents would have enjoyed poetry, music and so on in their former lives, and she didn’t see why that had to stop just because they were in a different life stage.  I liked Janis very much.  In the photo below, you can see residents holding on to Janis; most of them were clearly attached to her, and one gentleman gave her a chaste kiss.

I wasn’t as nervous as I would usually be because I knew many of the patients wouldn’t follow what was happening, and I would never meet them again so, if I screwed up, no one except my readers would know.  However, I did prepare as if it was my big break; if you’re going to do something, you should do it properly.

I did some research and learned that dementia patients are stimulated by rhyme, so I trawled through my poems and picked what I felt were the funniest and most interesting poems that rhymed.  I had about forty, because I know how nervous I get and there was a possibility that I would race through them so fast that my thirty minutes of fame would be reduced to ten. 

The venue was Salford and I had intended to go by bus but, when the Hub heard it would take two hours each way, he insisted on driving me.  He’s a nice guy, if I’m honest; but don’t tell him I said so.  It took about twenty-five minutes to get there by car.  I love my husband.

For those who don’t know, Salford, not Manchester, is the home city of Manchester United.  The Hub wore a Manchester City shirt (the Hub always wears a Manchester City shirt; usually a t-shirt with the club crest and/or a slogan mocking the enemy).  When I complained he might cause trouble (Newsflash: Riot At Poetry Gig), he said not a chance: all the United fans live in London and Ireland.  He has a point.  Are you still with me, Tinman?

We were greeted at the door by the care home manager: a life-long City fan.

The residents were grouped in a circle around the room; I was on.  It went well.  At first.  Half the residents were asleep; some were elsewhere in their minds.  Janis moved quietly about, holding hands with some, gently prodding others awake.  I slowed down after the first few poems and began to enjoy myself.  So did a lady who thought I was singing, and began to dance to me, inviting her friend to join in.

There was a gentleman who objected to, well, everything, it seemed, and said so, loudly.  Another lady laughed in all the right places and some of the wrong ones.  I was grateful, until she told me her husband was working abroad and she was afraid of losing one of the children on the way home from school, because he wouldn’t like it.  I think she flitted in and out of awareness.

And what was the Hub doing?  Taking photos and having raspberries blown at him by a lady who complained that the resident he was standing next to got all the men, and she didn’t because of her nose, raspberry.

By this time, I was shouting poems over the combined noise of dancing, chatting, heckling people and, if I’m honest, having a blast.  The residents might not have been stimulated by my words, but they were certainly stimulated, so that had to be a good thing.  Janis said I might have found a kindergarten easier.  She also told me that, although it might not seem like it, I did get through to some residents.

One gentleman was uninterested in the poems (I didn’t take it personally; my family’s not much interested, either) and sat slumped in a corner, but perked up at the mention of South Africa.  He approached the Hub once I was done and had a long chat with him about Port Elizabeth.  Mr B had visited P.E. in 1941 with the Merchant Navy, collecting grain for the folks back home.  His talk with the Hub clearly brightened his day.

I was given a gorgeous bouquet as a thank you but, to be honest, I had such a good time that I felt I ought to have given them the flowers.

The staff seemed kind and the residents cared for, and the lady who gave me the flowers told me she was happy there. 

I haven’t included photos of the residents who were in later stages of dementia; they are just too sad.  The Hub and I left feeling glad to have brought a little cheer into their lives, however inadvertent, but also with a sense of There but for the Grace of God

I’m grateful for this blog and the gift of writing: if my turn comes, at least my family will have proof that I used to be a person, instead of a state of mind.  Make the most of what you have, dear readers, while you still have it.



Joke 92

24 Jun

When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple of days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noises coming from the area where Mozart was buried.

Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it.

The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, “Ah, yes, that’s Mozart’s Ninth Symphony, being played backwards.”

He listened a while longer, and said, “There’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backwards, too. Most puzzling.”

The magistrate kept listening: “There’s the Seventh…the Sixth…the Fifth…” Suddenly, the magistrate realised what was happening; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery: “My fellow citizens, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Mozart decomposing.”

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