It can be strange and uncomfortable when we suddenly find ourselves having to take responsibility for our parents. These people, often, took care of us when we were tiny, taught us most of what we needed to know about the world, made decisions about where we lived, our education and our health. They helped us through teenage difficulties and gave advice (which we might or might not have taken) when we were launched on the world as young adults. The reality of beginning to make decisions about their care, their health and even their financial affairs is a shock even if we know it is likely to happen.
Every family’s situation is different. I have come across so many varied circumstances. Children, siblings, nieces and nephews may all be called to take on responsibilities and decisions, sometimes formally, sometimes less so. The weight of responsibility is usually heavy as no-one wants this. The fact that our elderly relatives need such help is sad, and the fact that we are the people called on to provide it reminds us that we are now real grown-ups. There is no-one else to turn to, no-one to tell us if we are getting it right … Read More »
Today I’ve been on a Magical Memory Tour. I had an appointment at Newnham College, Cambridge, to finalise details for the venue for the Mind Calm workshop on 21st November. I was an undergraduate at Newnham, reading English, in the early 80s, so it’s also a former home for me.
I had a lovely stroll in the gardens, for which Newnham is deservedly famous. For two of my three years there, I had rooms looking out over them, and we enjoyed walking through them every day and many hours were spent reading and revising in their lovely tranquillity whenever the weather allowed.
Later, I took myself round the town and revisited some old haunts. The Copper Kettle on King’s Parade, a convenient place for a quick coffee; Auntie’s tea room where I first experienced coffee from a French press; the Gardenia which in those days was ideal for a cheap last minute date. Many of the shops are updated, just like every other town, but the small Sainsbury’s where I found myself at the checkout paying for my groceries next to Prince Edward doing the same thing is still there, much the same.
I was surprised by the intensity and variety of emotions … Read More »