• The beauty of simple 19 November 2018 | View comments

  • 19th November 2018 | By David Jolley

    Essay twenty six of J.B Priestley’s Delights celebrates his joy and satisfaction with achieving clarity, through simplicity in writing. Musing on an exchange with a ’youngish’ professional critic who congratulated him on the complexity and subtlety of his thinking as revealed in conversation – in contrast to a perceived simplicity in his writing - the great man takes pleasure in the appreciation of his written word. It is not easy to grasp the kernel of a topic or thought and translate their essence into a form which will be understood by almost everyone. He rails at the fashion for complex, ornate descriptions which may obscure meaning, demean readers and seek to be available to an exclusive elite.

    One of our revered teachers explained: ‘I am sorry I have you written such a long letter: I did not have time to write a short one’.

    Our park is rejoicing at the return of a trail of outdoor exercise stations – These are made of wood with minimal steel. There are no moving parts. Seven stations are costing less than £20,000 whereas many ‘modern’ individual pieces of apparatus for an outdoor gym will be priced at this or more – and maintenance costs are such that our council would refuse any grant to buy them. Each station has a small notice carrying a cartoon, etched in wood, which illustrates what to do with the apparatus and the muscle groups which will be exercised. No words – just brilliant.

    Last years’ congress at Doncaster was notable for signage which left no one in doubt where the toilets were located – and once inside the toilet there were clear directions of which door led to the outside. The same was true for the location of refreshments, seminar rooms and everything. The signage had been planned by a group of people with dementia. What works for people with dementia works for almost everyone.

    In contrast I hear that only people equipped with an IPad, and able to use it, could vote at the congress this year. That would have excluded me and probably many people with dementia. Which reminds me of our Dementia Conversations this week where we considered Kitwood’s Dementia Reconsidered.

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