Firstly I wanted to start by saying today’s blog entry is our 100th submission. What a milestone and I hope you are still continuing to get a lot out of it.
As always, we welcome carers writing in with stories, information that needs sharing, photos, and anything fun.
With that in mind I am pleased to showcase a wonderful story from a carer, Bernadette Wright who responded to the request for a story about the beach and summer days. You will find this further down the blog so keep reading.
Carers Week is well and truly underway and yesterday we had a session of Stretch & Self Massage with Casey and a big thank you to her. We also had our monthly Carers Forum and our guest speaker Denise Radley Corporate Director Health, Adults & Community for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Denise thanked the carers for their contribution to Tower Hamlets as a community, acknowledged the increased workload associated with the pandemic and went away with some great suggestions from the attending carers.
Thank you for attending Denise it was very productive…
Today at 1pm we have our Walking Wednesday, walk to Tower Bridge and bring your own picnic.
Meet outside the Carers Centre at 1pm and off you go but remember to use sun cream and have fun.
Strawberries & Cream, Massage, and fun
Come and join in the fun tomorrow June 10th, 2021
from 10.30 to 3pm
1pm Mayor John Biggs will be joining us to thank carers for their valuable contribution to Tower Hamlets.
June 30th – 2pm to 3.30pm via Zoom
Carers who care for someone with Dementia Peer Support Group.
Researchers at the university of Groningen in the Netherlands are seeking carers for a study on mobility experiences. The participants must be 55 or over, provide unpaid care for someone with memory problems and/or Dementia and live in England. The research entails a drawing activity and a telephone interview. If you are interested you can contact the lead researcher, Tom Lowe, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and telephone (07957757805).
The beach of darkness
I rose early before the others. There was bread to slice, ham to layer, cucumber to chop.
‘‘Not cucumber in the sandwiches, makes them too soggy, I don’t like soggy sandwiches.’’
I could hear the young one’s voice in my head. I knew she was asleep still, if she was awake the house would be full of giggles, her sister would be woken and there would be shrieks. As it was, the house was still and quiet but for the sound of my chopping and the only evidence of the children was the abandoned buckets and spades by the back door that they had played with the previous evening, when they had pretended the garden was a beach and the paddling pool the sea.
We made the plan after they were in bed and so I rose early to organise. Once the picnic was sorted, I quietly left the house to fill the car and by the time I returned the house was awake. Dad had made breakfast and was urging the girls to dress.
‘Mum, dad says we’re going out but he won’t say where’.
‘It’s a surprise’ declared dad.
‘Go get dressed so I can sort things’ I say and reluctantly they leave the room.
‘Please don’t tease them I can’t deal with the drive and fifty requests for information on where we’re going.’
‘Sorry I’ll go explain’
‘No load the car and then…,
He acquiesces and loads up the car, he’d much sooner be fueling the excitement upstairs I know, but it’s soon done, and he goes to find the girls. Shrieks fill the air, mostly from dad. The child inside is out. He wants to run into the sea, he wants to build the sandcastle, he wants to be nine.
We’re off. How many games of eye-spy are possible? Why do my daughters know the grounds of 40 football clubs? Why do they always forget Leicester City play at Filbert Street without a clue?
Finally, we arrive. The sea can be seen poking above the roof tops. It’s warm and the town is busy. Ah there is a parking space empty, my lucky day. We unload the car and head to the beach. My favourite beach, the bay curves and shelters bringing memories of my childhood to flood my brain, memories of days being buried in sand, of chasing my brothers along the beach, of folk music wafting through the air.
The girls run straight to the sea the small white waves gently lap the shore. I gingerly dip my toes in the water – it’s freezing but they don’t care running in deeper, jumping as the waves ride towards them.
Is it time for lunch?
‘No, it’s half past ten’
‘But we’ve been up for hours.’
It’s summer, it’s the seaside, who cares if we eat lunch mid-morning, so we settle down for sandy sandwiches. They spot the trampolines further along the beach, dad donates crazy amounts for the privilege of seeing them bounce. Where does the energy come from? Were we the same?
Finally exhausted they return to sit down for more sandy offerings. The birds are squawking, the sky turns dark and cold, we reach for jumpers. The girls shiver, they look frightened, suddenly younger. They snuggle in like small ones whilst the squawking birds flash enmasse across the disturbing sky. The birds fall silent, the sky turns black, we shiver simultaneously.
‘Is this the end of the world?’
Around us families sit in stunned silence. The sea is empty, there is just the sound of relentless waves.
‘I don’t know?’
We huddle together for warmth or is it comfort? We don cardboard glasses and stare at the sky. Time seems to stand still, whilst we wait in anxious anticipation.
A solitary bird flashes across the bay. The brave one, the outlier, testing the waters.
The sun peeps slowly out from the gloom, a golden halo bringing hope. Slowly, very slowly the sky opens up, day light returns, the birds chirp. The beach begins to fill with life. The heat of the day returns and families slowly, very slowly, release their hold on their young ones.
‘I was so, sooo scared’ said the youngest.
‘I knew what was happening’ said the other ‘I saw it on the news’
I too saw it on the news but wasn’t so sure I knew what was happening. I felt the fear, the fear of generations who’ve witness strange cosmic events; fear that the sun will not re-emerge, fear for their children; finally… relief on faces around us as the sun broke out to bring light, warmth, comfort.
More bouncing, pedaloes, ice-cream, donkey rides.
‘Can I sit across like Mary in the bible?’
‘Mary in the bible? Where in the bible?’
‘Yes, I saw it on the Christmas cards’
We giggle…times to cherish.
The smell of fish and chips fills the air as we stagger off the beach. Real fish that’s fresh and flaky and we wonder why we ever buy from a supermarket as we fill our tummies with real food.
The drive home soon descends into silence, alone with my thoughts, they sleep as I head into the darkness and emerge in the comforting, twinkling streetlights of south London suburbs.
Back home I lead three sleepwalkers to the door, two of them straight up to bed, which they crawl into barely stirring, but for one asking …
‘Can we do it again tomorrow?’
I drag heavy legs downstairs, now aching from the pedalo. Dad has unloaded.
‘They’d like to do it again tomorrow’
’So would I but my wallet or pedalo legs can’t cope.’
Then we two crawled up to bed to dream of black skies, sandy sandwiches, bouncing and pedaloes. Sometimes when dark thoughts envelope me the dream returns to comfort. We’re on the beach in August ‘99. Darkness passes if you hold your family tight, the sun shines again.
The Department for Health and Social Care are seeking our views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy. The easiest way to participate in the call for evidence as an individual is by completing the public survey.
Everyone aged 16 and over is welcome to contribute to the call for evidence.
June is Pride Month, when the world’s LGBTQ+ communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.
Sadly, discrimination against LGBTQ+ people still exists throughout our society.
Discrimination has a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are twice as likely to have poor mental health.
This is why we think Pride remains so important.
Click link to watch full video
Unpaid carers can still access FREE PPE supplies. If you would like to receive PPE, Please contact the Carers Centre on 0207 790 1765 or Ayeda directly.
Domestic Violence Duty Line: 020 7364 4986 between 9am – 5pm.Victim Support: 020 7364 2448/7957
Just wishing everyone a peaceful, safe and week and remember if you need information and advice from the Carers Centre just email email@example.com
Carers Academy Manager
Monday - Friday – 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday – Closed