Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2017

The young, the old and the lonely, part 2: 'Babble and Bubbles' at St. Joe's.

After two years of trying and failing to set up a regular intergenerational social, I was delighted when Charley Allen, Activities Coordinator of St. Joseph's Care Home, Tring, commented on my post in the local Facebook group: a desperate last chance to team up stay at home parents, their little ones and isolated older adults.  The idea came from my often lonely and anxious experience of early motherhood. The major trial of leaving the house with a tiny baby was always rewarded by a natter in the shops or on a park bench, cooing into the pram, telling me "he's gorgeous".  His lovely little face brought so much joy.  Surely we could make this a regular thing?
Charley works with older adults in a local care home, specialising in dementia care.  She was excited by the possibility of opening the care home doors to babies, toddlers and their parents.  We chatted about what might appeal to both under 5s and over 75s, deciding on traditional nursery rhymes, a story, bubble…

The Young, The Old and The Lonely: Setting up a Playgroup in a Care Home, Part 1

When I first became a mum, the biggest surprise was how lonely the day-to-day could be. Sanity was usually saved by elderly folk, who were also out getting fresh air in the middle of the day. They had time to chat and stories to share. The baby in my arms was proof enough that I was harmless.  His tiny presence made opening lines easy enough; conversation flowed freely between strangers, bridging generations, differences and histories. A park bench or check out queue became therapeutic moments in the day, cooing over little one's eyelashes, or sharing ad hoc games of peekaboo. They were brief chance encounters but spread so much joy.

It seemed obvious that these meetings need not be left to chance. For all the new lonely mums out there, there's double the number of lonely older adults.  If only I could adopt a granny, or visit someone housebound, or volunteer for a befriend the elderly coffee morning.  A hot cuppa: that'd be a dream. Adult conversation? Yes please.  Bringi…

There's Still Wonder in Mankind

I began this blog a year ago today, with the smoke of bonfire night still clinging to my hair.  Since then, our eldest has learnt thousands of new words (maybe more), started nursery and now rides his balance bike everywhere. Our youngest (who slept on my chest throughout the firework display) is now fully mobile, brings me books to read, has grown fourteen (soon to be sixteen) teeth and says "papa", "mamma", "turtle", "tractor" and "bat".  He's asleep on me now, his little mouth recently unclamped from me as the fireworks explode outside the bedroom window.
Rereading this post confirms how much I'm enjoying our new town a year on: the most welcoming place I've ever lived; the amazing friends I've made and all the incredible growth and development that our little ones have been getting on with as the world does its thing, both organically and politically.
A year ago today, America was voting for its new president and I,…