• DIY Beach Party 30 August 2017 | View comments

  • 13th August 2017 | By David Jolley

    As planned we bought the beach to Bowdon Vale this week – with sand and windmills, sounds and stories. 

    Dina told us tales of Wales in her beautiful Welsh voice – and brought along a conch she rescued on a cruise to the West Indies. 

    Stuart is a natural in the sand and dressed for the weather. So we saw skills with bucket and spade – later turned to good use in French Cricket. But mostly he and Aileen would tell us about South African adventures. 

    Two new friends from a housing trust joined us for the first time. They came to see who we are what we do but also to say a bit about their interests and initiatives. They threw themselves readily into the spirit and set up a brilliant performance of Punch and Judy. 

    Jack and Emma, as ever, were stars of fashion and narrative – beautifully supported by Sarah and Anita. They showed talent with magic painting – and disappointment when their spectacular creations faded as they dried - reusable product!

    Jack gave guidance to late comers: Andrew came by bicycle, as did Barry who came even later. Bikes are a new thing for our Tuesday group but perhaps show a widening of appeal. 

    We had ice creams from the ice cream man and cakes and sandwiches galore. Alex’s family gave us the joy of generations all at ease with competition and understanding on the beach. The spade, which had made sandcastles, now became a bat and the soft ball a means of stirring contacts between groups. Bubbles from those little tubes and the sound of the sea from a special CD. The duff of the day was the promise of scents of the seaside – they all smelled much the same – and we had ice-cream for real and could get sun oil – why not for next time!

    We liked photographs and a picture book. We will make our own as a scrap book using photos and words from our own past outings. Stuart mastered the jigsaw. We guessed the picture came from a rather posh resort – no knotted handkerchief hats on these sands!

    This was our holiday – but it made serious points of how we can make contact with each other through memories linked to sensory experiences now and long ago.

    Back in Manchester, Altrincham and Bowdon. Ann told us of a most encouraging meeting with the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. He is determined to see Greater Manchester lead the way as a Dementia Friendly community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpztY6BQARE

    We are with him on that. 

    Our next venture is to create a Dementia Friendly Harvest Festival – encouragement for thi8s came from a study day at Luther King House – It will be a challenge to put the learning into practice. One day on the beach, soon to be on the farm. This is OK – and all the time we are listening and thinking.

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