• Conversations 1 14 March 2016 | View comments

  • 14th March 2016 | By David Jolley

    Tuesday was our first outing under the Conversations banner of Dementia Pathfinders. We had the use of Bowdon Vale Methodist Church schoolroom and the warm hosting of the chapel, their stewards Jane and Sarah, and the committed involvement of the Reverend Ros Watson. Cakes and liquid refreshment (tea, coffee – Fairtrade – with and without caffeine, and juice). Balloons to mark the way – including blue, red and green as in the Pathfinders Logo. Car parking arranged.

    Phew – Can we play a CD? No problem.

    Who will come? There have been emails, telephone calls and words of mouth - but will anyone come? Maybe there will be more than we have room and refreshments for.

    Keep Calm – This is important but DON’T PANIC

    The leading article in the current Bowdon Church newsletter is headed: ‘Are you listening to me?’ Catherine Cleghorn, the Ordinand, shared her pleasure at being in receipt of careful listening from a friend: ‘something that I certainly don’t experience all the time’. This gave us a firm and apposite steer to have confidence to offer people time and space to share their thoughts, take them back and rearrange them; to use the time and company to be fearlessly creative.

    A quote from the previous Minister at the humbly located Bowdon Vale Chapel took us further down that road (or path!): ‘reaching into the community, seeking to fill the gaps which remain between elements of existing provision: fill a gap where nothing is provided – ‘Mind the gaps’

    Those of us who have travelled by tube recognise the refrain – It is good to find how helpful it is in this different context.

    We had a lovely afternoon of talk and thought. We have listed things which are sound and identified areas of uncertainty and weakness and will look at these carefully and plan actions.

    Today is warm and we have sunshine. How strengthening the change is as we emerge from so many days of cold and wet. How extraordinary that the crocuses can shake off the damp and stand so proud and radiant to such a short timescale.

    Walking with Tilly our Whippet, I lingered to look up at a knobbled old tree bathed in sunshine. Pleased enough to dwell on the shapes, colours and shadows, I was given more as a Nuthatch worried about in search of insects under the bark. She had not made a sound. I might have missed her if I had been walking at pace.

    My wife says that this is a lesson in living.

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