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I am sure I am not the first to muse on BC having become ‘Before Covid’ more often than Before Christ.

Before Covid – at this time of year our Dementia Conversation sessions were devoted to a holiday at home (Bowdon Vale Methodists) – not the sort of holiday where you have to queue at an airport, but a trip to the seaside – with beach games, sand in a bucket, beach balls and games with skittles and quoits and all. Jon – who was a regular selling ice-creams on our park – would divert to be with us – and ice-creams were on the house for everyone who attended and anyone along the street who just wanted an ice-cream – some came in for a while to see what we were up to.

Jon was an early victim of Covid-19 – still in his 50s he had a heart condition. He is greatly grieved – there is no replacement yet and the park has lost some of its heart and bounce.

We have not succeeded in getting back to in-person meetings of Dementia Conversations. The On Line version works well – we will try again after the summer – depending on what is happening covid-wise. It is not easy to read what is safe for vulnerable people.

We can still enjoy holidays – in memories and talk amongst ourselves. Remember when we went to Skipsea (Yorkshire) for the first time. We were going to stay in a caravan on a farm. The caravan was owned by Dickie – a commercial traveller, friend of Uncle George. In our terms Dickie was well-off and could afford the caravan – it was set by itself in the orchard of the farm which was owned by a family which did business with Dickie.

We had no car and so the journey was by train to Bridlington – then by bus (once dad had found one) to Skipsea – There was still a mile to walk to the farm along a road we were not sure of. What a relief when we got there – What a magical setting. There were hens in the orchard and a lady called Carrie came each morning to collect eggs. Dad was always keen to get a big egg – and hope it would be a double-yoker. There were cows (brown and white). There was a white horse. A boy from the next farm – he had ginger hair – came across and we played cricket together on a bumpy grassy field.

We did go down to the seaside – but it was a good walk and then a climb down a steep cliff to get there. We loved being in the caravan but dad complained that the bed was breaking his back. On the Friday evening we were all squeezed into the farmer’s huge and wide Humber along with his wife and their grown up son. They were taking us to the Circus: sounds and smells, music and juggling, clowns and the ring master, glamourous ladies on horseback. It was dark before we got back to the caravan.

Saturday we retraced our journey – bus to Bridlington. Train to Wolverhampton.

You do remember holidays, don’t you?

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