Tuesday morning, the taxi came to take me to the Railway Station, the breeze as I left the house, a welcome relief from the heat of the last few weeks.
No surprise the train was late but I was able to join Wendy Mitchell for our journey to Birmingham for a Dementia Diaries Meet Up.
If you are not already aware reader, Dementia Diaries https://dementiadiaries.org/ is a website where people living with Dementia upload audio diaries about their lives which are available for the public to listen to.
It was good to catch up with Wendy and we had plenty of time as the train went slowly at times and we were late arriving at Birmingham New Street.
We made our way up the escalator to a smiling waving Rachel Niblock who had met us to guide us via taxi to Woodbrooke House.
Woodbrooke House was founded by George Cadbury in 1903 and is the only Quaker Study Centre in Europe, set in beautiful grounds next to the A38, although apart from some traffic noise you wouldn’t know you were near the centre of Birmingham.
We had some lunch catching up with friends and Twitter friends I hadn’t met before.
After introductions and housekeeping we were shown to our rooms which were lovely as were the staff, very helpful and then we were back for the main part of the afternoon.
We were introduced to Professor Amanda from Maryland USA who had joined us to do some research. Amanda spoke with us about Dementia Diaries, technology, how to better design technology for us and how it benefits us. Over the 2 days, Amanda would interview us all for her project to get our individual views.
After a break we talked about how we felt doing our first diaries and how to promote them further to get more people involved as there are only about 50 of us doing them at the moment.
Rachel then talked about her role as the “Editor”, how she listens to them all and how she finds them emotional at times. She talked about how there have been a few occasions when, for whatever reason she didn’t feel able to put a diary on the site and had contacted the diarist and how there had been an occasion when someone was obviously distressed and this had been followed up with the assistance of Philly Hare.
We all know Rachel and feel she is doing a fantastic job for us and we all trust her.
Wendy Mitchell said that the Dementia Diaries web site could become a valuable historic document.
The session over we had a quiet hour before Dinner, time to chat and relax before the evening Bonfire.
We all sat round the Bonfire for about 2 hours chatting, eating toasted marshmallows and singing songs with Rachel and Amanda doing a rendition of Let it Go from Frozen.
As the fire died down, it was getting cool and time for some well deserved sleep.
Being in a different place that night some of us found it took time to finally drop off but sleep finally came and a new dawn followed.