Best and worst of Lumiere London – Kings Cross | Fitzrovia

I love Lumiere London 2 years ago and when I heard it was coming back I had to make sure I do it all again.  Now it is only the first night but I have been around Kings Cross and Fitzrovia and I feel like I can tell you what to skip and what not to miss from those sections at least! Keep reading as some of my highlights happened at the end of the night, and not in Kings Cross… shocker.

I went with a bunch of girls from my house which was nice and then carried on the night with just me and Ben. As you can see Ben is a girl. But we happen to have the same first name and that just won’t do! So we go via our second names, and even if I try that will never change now, soz Ben.

Enjoy this one, it a beaut! And portrait mode on the pixel 2 no less… I went all out for this one 🙂

 

Now you always start here, classic. Apparently this thing is called IFO. But ok. If you have the patience make sure you pop inside and blag on the swing as if you were 5 again. Day or night for that one guys so you can thank me later 😉

I mean this is called the bird cage right? It has to be! Also a permanent fixture in Kings cross so do not worry!

 

On the walk up to Granary square, they had these fun giant desk lamps which I really liked. You literally can’t miss them and in all different colours, it eases you in nicely. In fact its that kind of thing I would love to see there permanently.

They basically stole my IKEA lamp and made it green. But its ok I forgive them.

 

This next bit was always going to be good as they have such a space to play with and it didn’t disappoint. A definite highlight and with you guaranteed to come away with a photo that you love, this one was called WaterLicht.

 

Now if you wanted to know more about the actual piece itself, buy the guide or go to the website, you are not going to get that here I am afraid. What I will tell you, however, is it was a range of lasers that went across the square through a mist that was created. This complements the wavey lasers projected on to the main building itself and the area was choc a block. Not so bad that you felt crazy crammed an uncomfortable but a kind of community fun crowed. Everyone has space to enjoy and marvel at the lights we were all the center off and I would highly recommend!

 

Granary Square – Lumiere London

 

Now there were a few things in between the square and this next one. One included looking up at a dangling projector screen from a crane that I wasn’t all the enamored with and a small marketplace to grab some food and eat brightly flashing candy floss. However after seeing pictures of what to expect from Kings Cross, this next one was what I was most excited for, and ultimately most let down with. Talk about false advertising! Even Ben when we came home said ‘Hang on that looks nothing like it does in real life!’ And she would be right. Introducing Entre Les Rangs.

Lumiere London – Entre Les Rangs – Kings Cross | my picture makes it look better than its reality

So I won’t describe what the promo picture makes it out to be, as that would be like rubbing salt in a wound, let me tell you what it was really like (my name is Honest Emily after all.) You are fed through little walkways of plastic cladding that are laid over the perfect grass (must be fake) to stare at a bunch of those old reflectors you would put on your bike as a kid on top of sticks. You all trundle along, in an uncomfortable fashion being funneled past these old, bland patches of a child’s half-arsed imagination of space-age lollipops. Maybe I am a bit harsh, but there were lights that would flash over them to help illuminate in what I can only imagine is a trying to bring character to n otherwise plain display at a light festival. It was just a litte uninspiring for how long it went for as well. If it was more of a free for all through the reflectors it may have been more fun, and I get why they didnt do it, but it just wasnt all that. Its a look if you happen to be there kind vibe.

Lumiere London – Entre Les Rangs – Kings Cross – here you can see the different lights used to reflect onto them

 

I am not even sure what this next bit was about I can’t even be sure it part of the installation, but it was a pretty cool area to walk through. I will let my pictures do the talking but the use of old metal work and the cleer use of mirrors around a garden space were a true joy to explore. It made you look twice as you walked as you would see everything slightly differntly and twice.  This was also a favorite of mine, and worth a look around even though it is the one that is the further walk away from Kings Cross station itself.

 

 

 

Cheeky one of just me. Blame Ben for the photo quality 😉

 

Walking down it was very strange as you had to have a second look. Also check out the detailed cutouts in the ceiling.

 

There was something about these which makes it one of my faves of the night, and it did attract a lot of people.

After that, there were these really fun watering cans. At first, I thought they where plastic bag style lampshade but then eventually realised they are all little suspended watering can feeding the plants. This is another nice surprise and such a nice fun edition that I would recommend going around to see it.

Not that I did but lots of people go to hold them and take a fun photo, and I just thought this was a really fun little installation.

We then made our way around to Granery square and up through the centre to see Aether. Its all about the music on this one, but also don’t get too caught up in the dangling pins from the ceiling, but don’t forget to check the black slats they are reflecting on which adds to the whole dramatic atmosphere (especially with the music).

 

So that about does it for Kings Cross for us. I would say it is all on a nice walkable route so walk around, but dot miss out the watering can in the top right-hand order. The reflectors are next to the market, but it was the most disappointing. And Granary square is ALWAYS a good.

 

So this is where me and Ben when on our little Fitrovia little mission. And DO NOT MISS these little stops, which aren’t as central as any of the others. I mean whats in Fitzrovia anyway? Lots of nice places to eat, offices and a banging sale section in the massive paperchase. And these little beauties …

 

This was the cube based in Fitzrovia. This was pretty cool and reacted to your touch and changed patterns. I would recommend checking this one out.

 

Control no control is the title of this bad boy. It changes patterns and sounds over longer periods of time and is reactive to your touch. Not directly onto the cube but if you hover over it changes. Its genuinely engaging over a longer period of time, and its amusing seeing how other people react. How the pattern changes to something new you havnt seen and everyone rushes forward to try and touch and make the lights change to there movements.

 

From here we headed over to by far one of the coolest and most engaging from what I have seen so far. WE PLAYED A GAME ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING. After Ben hit someone in the face with her scarf (accident but hilarious) we found ourself in front of this huge building, trying to figure out what it is.

When you know you know, and it’s playing the old school A-Bit game, just on the side of a building. There are sensors you put your hand into to raise your bar up or down to try and bounce a ball from it and stopping it hitting the end. Once you know you go ‘OOOOO ITS THIS..’ and you can hear everyone else coming to join the group and the pennies dropping across the crowd, while we are all being very British and queuing to have our go.

 

So far this was by far the most impressive

Before we had our turns ( we only waiting before 3 pairs of people so we got there at just the right time!) there we 2 blokes in front, one with a blue hat and one with an orange/red hat. And they went to play and their hats matched their team colour perfectly, if only they had planed it, and if only I had a better picture video!

 

From here we potter over to this little chapel tucked away inside a brand new multi-use complex in the centre of Fitzrovia for what was called dripping. It was in an enclosed courtyard, with only a handful of others. It was very calming and just had a magical vibe, I am not sure how else to explain it. So tucked away and unexpected. Also I just feel like I have an assimilation with anything semi nature related, there is nothing more beautiful than nature itself and bring our own human spin on both nature and our relationship with it is what I go for every single time. Tech and futuristic themes are just not for me!  But check out the video, it does the trick at explaining it perfectly! 

 

 

Also last one for this one, and if you saw my Instagram story, I did it justice there. Did I have to stick around for longer? Did I miss something, please tell me because this was such a let down after what was there 2 years ago! And that’s putting my reaction in a more favourable light …  I mean I played a game on the side of a building ealier! LOL

THIS was a disappointment. Is this it? Are you joking lol

 

So let me end this blog post here, for all who actually read this far, you are a true legend or very nosey 😉 I will be doing a lot more of it over the weekend so give me a heads up if you have been out and seen what is good, I would love to know! xx

My graduation- year ago today

I do love the On This Day feature on Facebook, and on this say in 2015, I graduated with a Geography degree from Kings College London. And the very one thing I was determined to do, was to get my dad to the ceremony!

 

Now you may think that would be an easy task, any Dad would love to see his daughter do this, but oh no it was a job and a half, but I did get him there!

Now my own memory is patchy but I will tell you what I  do remember. It started with me planting the seed over the phone, and going up north to make sure he was fully prepared and knew what he was getting himself into.  Dragged him into town and said “You are coming to London with me soon and you need to look very smart, and we are getting you a suit! Go straight to the sales rack and get him to try a few on.” Now he was a good sport, the guy in the shop was helping me and I picked him a rather snazzy suit, maybe because it was on sale, and maybe because I thought lets just go big or go home. It was a very shiny grey, smooth fancy kind of grey with a black trim (I have no idea the proper terms for man’s suit!)

Get him to part with his money and then we go straight over the road to M&S to get him some shoes. Now my Dad has always been a certain way, and I have always known to manage his moods, so we needed to be quick and precise. Picked up some smart shoes, put them on his feet before he even knew what was happening and he did like them on! BOOM shoes bought. Little did I know that literally a year later he would wear this very fancy shoes out walking on a wet Friday night, not knowing where he lived before he was hositalised.

 

Again, my memory is patchy but I don’t remember how he got down to London. He must have got on the train at Liverpool and me meet him at Euston to come back to the pub where I lived at the time. I had use of a small little flat above all for me which I loved, which meant my dad had my room and I was on the sofa.

 

I do remember trying to get up early the next morning and rushing to get us all ready. If I remember correctly I brought all his clothes down for him, to give him one less thing to remember and worry about. Then we come downstairs, ready to get the tube to the Barbican and Clare who I lived with at the pub took a quick photo before we left. Otherwise, I didn’t take many photos myself as I was always a believer in just being in the moment and enjoying it. But now my memories are fading and his are completely disappearing I wish I had a balance of that, but hey hindsight is a wonderful thing!

My mother and her husband were coming down, and so was one of my sisters and her husband, so we would meet them there, and I popped off to get my robe, fake certificate, and all that jazz. After the main bit of walking on the stage then comes the awkwardly talking to people you know and your lecturers with a glass of wine and a sandwich. I distinctly remember speaking to my favorite lecturer who was my dissertation supervisor, and my Dad just wanted to make a conversation, but he simply didn’t know what he was talking about and didn’t make a great deal of sense (really should of known at this stage too!). He kept talking about how he didn’t know how great the university it was, and prestigious and all that good stuff, and I must of just try to close the conversation down an move on, but I loved that he tried.

Jump to a few hours later, we have a family photo and then everyone starts to leave. He is going back to Liverpool that day and his worrying kicks in. I mean looking back at what he is like now, this must of been signs for us that maybe something wasn’t right, but he has always been a bit like this, and you just try and manage it through the day, day by day, and just consider that a win. At this stage, I was just so happy I had managed to get him down, but he started with his usual routine of saying we need to get to the station for his train. His other daughter and husband are there that he spends no time with and trying to force that just was not going anywhere and he was just getting agitated. So they left, we had tried for as long as we could manage (and he could manage.) To then make a point we hopped in a black cab to get the station, and it was at least an hour early.

So we get the station, he has his stuff and it kicks in that we are here so early and I am annoyed. He becomes super apologetic and soppy,’oh you know I love you don’t you.’ Now I wasn’t being a bitch, I just kept making my rational point of you never spend time with us, and we had hours to get here for his train. And that was it, he went home and he made it to my graduation.

When he went missing that Jan weekend of 2016 a year later, it did cross my mind that he had left his normal walking shoes in the corner and somehow grabbed his posh shoes. Which are so much harder to put on (I had to help him for my graduation) so he must of not know and be so disoriented that he went without his coat, proper shoes, keys, and phones to walk around town, and then didn’t know where to go back to. And that brings us back around to a story I won’t say again.

Going to Kings was one of the greatest experiences I was so privileged to have done, people said don’t move down to London, its expensive but I love it! And I will always remember that I dragged my Dad down for such a key moment in my life, and call me selfish but I don’t regret the work or his rattiness at all. It happened 🙂

 

 

 

2017 Recap

Let me take it back a min to 2016. It was a tad rough in places as that was the year where I spent half of it going back and forth, every weekend up north during the time my father was getting a diagnosis. And the second half making sure my Dad gets settled and just adjusting. And it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then …

2017

I started a blog!

Having gone through the year trying to get my Dad sorted, I had not ever seen the impacts Alzheimer’s elsewhere (as an adult with full recognition). I decided now is the time to make my own memories and help record them for other people to see the reality of Alzheimer’s for a loved one.  Also, 2017 was going to be the year of discipline for me, and what better way to give it ago then to keep on top of recording the relationship between me and my father, and lots of other stuff in between.

My first ever blog post! Exciting right …

I started making videos first

The first place I looked to find information on Alzheimer’s and how it manifests was youtube. There were a lot of videos with high production value from charities and companies which is great, and the odd semi-viral video of heartwarming moments between families that would be 3-5 years old, an in portrait mode.

I am dyslexic and would rather sit and watch a video than read a full article, its just time saving and a picture can tell a thousand words, so that’s where I started, with my first vlog.

 

My first blogger event.

I have struggled a lot with the idea of people making themselves a brand, being quite self-obsessed, and where people get the ideas for content from. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, and I think you need to have a little of that in order to get the ball rolling and actually get people to see what you create. But the idea around being self-centered made me feel very uncomfortable, and my first event kinda highlighted that for me. However, it also opened my eyes to how I can best film what I want, which is vlogs on the go, that is watchable with good sound quality. And I meet other people doing their blogs and vlogs alongside there daily lives which were great!

So for me, I had no real idea where to start so just used my phone (which is actually a tablet) to record, and started a blog and just wrote my thoughts and experiences. And I am pottering along and learning as I go 🙂

 

I went on 2 holidays to Portugal and countless trips around the UK

I like to travel and this has been blessed to go to Portugal twice and lots of other small holidays with Elliot, including climbing Snowden, taking Elliot back to Liverpool and countless trips to the south coast to see my Father. All of which I have tried to make some kind of record of, including might I add vlogging the whole of our Portugal road trip, so watch this space hahahaha.

See, we did film I promise 🙂 Also how cute is this photo I love it!

 

Seeing how my fathers memories are all but disappearing, its so important for me to have the balance of recording for future and enjoying the moment, so that’s my best advice for anyone. Treasure every moment, good and bad and make a small record of it all if you can.

 

And I just found this bad boy action shot, Elliot is going to kill me, so lets see if he reads my blog hey ….

 

I moved house! 

Feb this year I moved into the most stunning house I will ever live in hands down, in London with such an amazing bunch of like-minded people. There are 7 of us under one roof and its great to always have someone about, have deep chats with, watch a film or cook with. It also gives me space and the freedom to do literally whatever I want. Sounds weird but I love to have people over, and I have a lot of stuff and we just have the space for everything! London flats an can often be very small, and there is a lot of me and a lot of my stuff to squeeze into living spaces lol.

The view from my old flat

 

3 different job opportunities and 2 trips to Paris later …

I don’t want to go into to much detail but for everyone who knows me it has been up and down, for no real fault of my own, job wise this year. But I am now settled in a job I love, that challenges me in lots of ways and perfectly fits my life at the moment, and I couldn’t be happier.

And all this from the top of my head! I am so looking forward to 2018 and what the year will bring, but I think its a great habit to be able to look back, see how you have grown, how things around you have progressed and have a gratitude for it all.

I hope your 2017 was the best it could have been, or if not you simply made the most of what you did have, and here’s to a progressive 2018! xx

Christmas Eve 2017

I get there a lot later than I want, but that’s life. And if I don’t write this now, I will forget everything.

He was having dinner, and he knew my face but not sure he knew must else at this stage, but that is an assumption.

There were 2 other people visiting someone else and he was certain they were police, and all he could talk about how they want to put him in prison, and they can do, he just doesn’t care. To be honest, there was no real difference, he has always thought like this, maybe just not of been so open about his thoughts, and talked about it for so long. But that’s what paranoia gets you.

I made sure to drop in where I naturally could that he is my father, and I am his daughter, so that if he wasn’t sure, its a gentle reminder for him. Towards the end, he got there.

As it was dark, we sat in the front conservatory bit, and every second sentence was asking how I would get home. He wants to walk me home, he keeps repeating:

‘I know where I am going, and what I am doing you know. And I walk a lot, that’s how I keep fit. And in the dark, I want to make sure you get back ok.’

‘I would feel a lot better if I knew you got home ok, I can walk myself home you know.’

So I would make light of it, change the subject and say I would feel better with him staying there. Towards the end, he would say, ‘what kinda father would allow his daughter to walk home in the dark.’ to which point he lost his rag, and I knew there was no entertaining him.

I knew it already, an it was worth a try, but there is no staying past dark, he just won’t allow it.

And whenever I visit he will just try and get rid of me, but I tried, and I will see him tomorrow.

Christmas with my Dad

I have not spent a Christmas with him since I was very small, and even then I don’t remember much either to be honest.

One of the things I do remember is taking him a Christmas dinner on boxing day and that was about it.

Now before my Dad got his diagnosis, he volunteered at a placed called The Misson. I am not sure how to describe it as a place, but it does amazing work for the poor and homeless in Birkenhead and is very close to my heart. He would drive the van and pick up donations or help drop them off to people and families who need anything really. Along with that, he would pick up people for their big Christmas meal, with something like 200 people that go (I think) down in the rugby club or somewhere similar.

This is a picture I found above one of the doorways in The Mission from a previous Christmas that nearly made me cry. I just stopped in when I went in there once after he had moved down to Kent and couldn’t believe it <3

That was his community; he loved it, he was social, had value and got a huge social Christmas meal with all his friends. Which if I am honest I may be a little jealous off ;). It wasn’t all rosy mind you (when is it ever, let’s be honest) but it gave me peace that he was having a great time, so I didn’t feel the need to get involved. And I just hop around great family and friends for my Christmas.

But this year I want to spend some time with him, and it will be our first proper Christmas together since I was maybe 7?

 

What am I expecting?

I feel like I have a good handle on what his moods can be like, we can squeeze a nap in there too, but other than what he is usually like, I don’t know how Alzheimer’s is going to play its part.

We have never done presents either. I remember trying to get him things for Father day and Christmas and just struggled a bit, he didn’t even seem to care really, he doesn’t like the idea of being made a fuss of. But I always know if there is anything I needed in the year, he was my go-to for anything. So I don’t need birthday or Christmas presents as I get everything need and more throughout the year, and Christmas is so much more than just the presents.

So I have bought him some CDs in the hope he can have some variety of music to listen to, and with four complications of 5 CDs each, there should be some music he likes that will stick. And I will make sure to open something with him, so it’s not awkward and makes it a little more Christmasy.

I know he is better in the morning and grumpier in the afternoon/evening (who isn’t). And it’s been a long time since I spent four days consecutive with him. I want to go to church with him if I can, and just see what he is like an how things have changed over a more extended period. He always tries to shoo me home back to London whenever I arrive, but in staying in the same village, he might be a bit calmer about it all.

I think I am going to be shocked, or maybe just more things revealed to me about either how good or bad his memory, functions, or moods are. I will try and film as much as I can, but I still want to make my own very natural memories with him, I never want to force anything and make things uncomfortable.

 

The big question is will he know me and my relevance?

My guess is he will know my name (sometimes), and he probably won’t know I am his daughter (most of the time). And of course, part of me wants to ask him these questions, get it on camera, and be up front like ‘Do you know my name? Do you know who I am?’ But that’s just the morbid part of me that like the idea of picking at scabs and just seeing what happens, and it just makes things worse. But that would only be forced, and ignorance is bliss, right?

So wish me luck! If anyone has any ideas of activities or things we can do, I have not planned the time at all; I would just be happy even being in his company for the holidays, so let’s see how we go.

If anyone who reads this knows him, and wants to wish him a Merry Christmas I would be more than happy to pass the message along, and even try and do a little video message for you! Now that would be interesting …

 

Nov Edit 2017

Can you spot him?

So November as basically been and gone and I haven’t written any of the blog posts I have wanted to, and so much has happened to me and in the news for Dementia.

So let me give you a rundown of Nov:
– Got a job in a pub didn’t I!
– Got another full-time job as well!
– Late night visit with the old man
– Sophie Hammond came down to visit
– Nottingham to see Menekse and Ken Costa
– Ice skating at Tower of London

 

So let’s get started with jobs stuff, shall we…

So for all who are in the know, the last six months job wise has been full of ups and downs! But I was made redundant in a job I had just started and loved. And so the Netflix marathons, late nights and cheap bottles of wine ensured while I was enduring the roller-coaster that is applying for jobs, interviewing and the endless call from recruiters.

To eventually get myself out of my PJs and into normal clothes with an excuse to shower, I decided to get a job in a good old pub. Not a fancy cocktail bar or a restaurant or anything, just a good old pub. And I managed it, but it was still a little of a shock to my system.
I go from business trips to Paris to cleaning up fag ends in the beer garden. But I do enjoy working in a pub, I have always found I would rather work at an event than be at one and still sympathise with whoever brings my food over wherever I eat. So I am working in a pub, and decided to keep it going during my full-time job.

Call me crazy, but a lot of the time the pub doesn’t feel like work. And the extra money is always helpful. With doing a lot of travelling for my dad and always put a value on experience rather than money, and this has put in red at the bank like every other person who lives in London. So its time for me to learn the lesson of hard work and sacrificing more of my social life to get a little more money in the bank and gain a bit more of work ethic.

Which bring me on to my new full-time job 😊 I am now a project manager back at a publisher, and I love it! In adverting but not selling it and on the publisher side I get to have lots of input, and I am chomping at the bit to hit the ground running.

 

How is my Dad doing?

Our fave graveyard as the sun sets over his little village

I did try to film a little, so there may be more to come, but we (being Elliot and me) rented a car and drove down to see him. I was a little later than I usually would be as my father can typically be better in the morning than he can be in the evenings. But we rock up and go for a drive to all the different scenic points around the area. We watched the sunset above the graveyard we always end up at, and saw the lights of Folkestone and ended with a good old fish and chips in the only café that was open on a Sunday night.

Sunset over Folkestone Harbour

 

I could just sit there an watch him eat all day. Weird I know but he was umming and arring about food so I order him the fish and chips as he will eat it and get some peas into him, so he is at least getting his greens. But he tucks straight into this fish, and I just can’t describe the feeling of overwhelming love and protection for him that I just want to scoop him up and watch him eat fish forever hahaha.

Overall his language skills are getting worse, he might not be able to complete a sentence or will get words mixed up, but on the whole not much else of a change there, still his usual self with Alzheimer’s thrown in there for good measure.

 

All the feels with friends

So I had my old roomie and bestie Sophie come down to visit, for lots of reasons, some not great, but she got the great privilege on sleeping on my sofa bed and sharing my company most nights. It was so lovely to have her back, and it was just like it was back in the day slipping right back into old habits and chats and realising how much not keeping in touch was a bit shitty. So I need to make an effort to stay in contact even when we are on the other side of the UK, if not the globe. I value Sophie so much as a friend and was at one stage very close to her, especially when we lived together when my father was diagnosed. Leaving it so long in-between talking, I forgot how much her option means to me and our friendship and never want to lose that. Also, I would never be able to say this kinda soppy stuff in person, so ill leave a blog post for her to find 😀 (Also happy birthday! – see I am such a shit friend lol).

Elliot and I (is that the right English? Lol) went on a little trip up to Nottingham to see my other bestie Menekse and her husband, Andrew. I knew Elliot was going to love their house, and Dougal the poodle and its love to have a nice catch-up, and let Julie (Menekse mum) do the grilling and get to know Elliot a bit more. They really are my second family, and I love them all dearly, except for Meric. Ish. HAHAHA

I mean look at how beautiful their house is!

We also popped up because Ken Costa was speaking at a local church. And I won’t go into detail but I wasn’t that impressed. If you want to know more comment below and I’ll let you know.

And to top it all off I went ice skating at the Tower of London with these lovelys as it starts to get very festive!

So I have had a great little month with lots of news on every front. But last but not least, let me make a quick record of what I am going to dub mouse-gate. Let’s just say it’s a big old house, and there where serval mouse drama I think we have sorted! Hurray 😊

So let’s see what next month brings in the way of Christmas, New Year, a new Christmas work party to navigate and not forgetting my 26th birthday. Pressure is on Elliot 😊 xx

 

Oct Edit 2017

What has happened in the month of Oct! A lot, and let me tell you all about it!

So I have had a bullet journal now for nearly 2 years, and as much as I try I can never use it properly every day. But one of the things I really enjoy is looking back through and seeing everything I did, the ideas I had and it has all the important information in one place. So why not take it a step further and write a blog all about my month!

 

Elliot’s birthday!

So he turned 25 and we have been ‘dating’ for a year now and I wanted to do something nice. In the spirit of it all I had 2 weeks of surprises for him, with a different one pretty much every night. He would take a card to work with a clue in it to where to meet me and by what time he needed to be there.

There are far too many things to cover, and really it should be a blog post for each of the events in and of itself but here’s a quick overview for you below:

London cocktail festival and all-star bowling

 The first night of all the happening and probably the most jam-packed and fun! I mean this is only a small selection of photos. London cocktail festival has a village at Spitalfields market and we made the rounds and got a few cocktails there. then off the cuff went bowling and ended in a bagel! YES 😉

See the play Prisms at Hampstead Theatre

This one was a bit of a killer. Such an eye-opener for how some people with dementia see/hear and feel things which I am not going to lie left me sobbing! Here is a good review to give you more of an insight.

Dinner at Lobster and burger

Popping his cherry for lobster and of course more cocktails for London Cocktail week as it would be rude not to!

National Theatre to see St George and the dragon

This one was interesting, the way the stage moved was up there as impressive but while the idea was cute and thought through it was a tad off the mark in my opinion. And the fact I thought the stage was one of the best bits is telling … Heres is what someone else thought about it!

Alternative dance piece about maps at the Kings College London

I have no words. Just click here. Or watch below.

 

Terrarium making workshop on Columbia Road

Elliot found this one a little stressful just to try and catch up! But it was fun to get my hands dirty and now I can’t stop looking at it waiting for it to grow more! And I can’t stop scrolling Geo fleur Instagram page! I just want plants coming out my ears, thanks 😉

Weekend away up to Liverpool

The photos of this one maybe TOO much for this post 😉

Edinburgh fridge award show in Convent Garden

Elliot doesn’t stop banging on about how I need to go this year, so I served him a little bit of it in London instead, and actually quite enjoyed it! Time will tell if I go to the real thing or not 😉

As you can see a few of these things are just a sneaky way for me to do something I like too (all ladies take note haha) but it was a really nice two weeks where we felt we made the most of the time we had free and pushed ourselves to do stuff we wouldn’t normally.

In the middle of all this, I also had the pleasure of going to see my Dad with Lottie and take some lovely photos. Here’s another sneaky peek into another few we have. And a picture tells a 1000 words right? What do you think?

There were a few other events in there thrown in for good measure such as going to St Pauls Cathedral for Souls at Stake: Tyndale, the Bible and the 21st Century. Very interesting indeed! There is a link for a video of the night above too!

The Trans-Atlantic jazz night back at KCL arts and humanities festival and a house party was thrown in there for good measure. That you can see at my Instagram over there >>>>>

And to top all that off I have had my girls Jenny and Beccy down for the night. Had a timeout in eat London with my second brick lane bagel of the month 😉

 

As you can see October has been a fab month, there has been so many things, so I hope you enjoyed having a nosey! I can assure you November is not going to be like this one!

Dementia update – What changed

So dementia is a progression, so what changed?  Let me update you.

The other day I had a little photoshoot with Lottie Poval Photography, and she was brilliant all day and let me and my dad do our thing and just took part and get some lovely photos as we went.
But I did notice a few things that were different this time around that I thought I would point out and this photo does a great job of illustrating my first point.

 

On the beach with Father collecting stones and shells. He has his room key around his neck and his cheeky little face as always.

 

 

His paranoia means he says that some of the staff are police and he wants to be able to have his room private. The care home then gave him a key to his room which was brilliant, and where that made a slight difference, it doesn’t lessen the feelings of paranoia around people going into his room and having a good rummage.
Off the back of that, he is always so keen to lock his door whenever we leave his room and this time he forgot. Sounds normal I know but it was a bit of a moment for me as his paranoia has always been such HUGE part of who is he. So with a gentle, ‘do you want to lock your door?’ and he went oh yeh and grabbed the key from around his neck and locked the door. And you can see this key attached proudly around his neck using shoelaces.

 

How you will always find us, and continue to find us, arms linked and out and about. The journey is a long one!

 

 

Another thing we do a lot is use his phone, and he always has it on him. When we first landed to see him I didn’t think twice about it and I usually pop on his phone to make sure he can make calls ok and all is well. But we get halfway through our walk and I say ‘oh let’s get your phone out and you can take pictures too.’ But he didn’t have it on him. And he always has it on him, even if he doesn’t know which pocket its normally in.

 

What does this say to me?
The obvious. That his Alzheimer’s is long and progressive, taking what might have been commonplace for him and taking that away. What’s still there is it’s my dad, his personality and humour. He still has a good time and we try and keep things as independent and fulfilling as possible because it is possible to live well with dementia.

Happy Birthday Father! 74 today

Look at this little cheeky man’s face!

I am shocking at remembering birthdays, like truly. I am awful at buying presents and always forget for even the closest people to me.

But my dad’s birthday is always one I remember, even if I don’t get a chance to do anything.

In the past, I have tried to do something for him, but he never really cares. We never did Christmas presents, even from when I was little (between him and me that is).

So one of the things you learn growing up is how different everyone’s history is and how it shapes them as people. So today it thought I would give a little insight into our relationship over the years.

 

Why do I call him father?

When I was little, I always called him Dad, but the only time I can think of any real change in me calling him father was because it just suits him better! He is 74 today, and it sometimes feels a bit weird to call him Dad.

Dare I say same for my mother (will be interesting got see if she reads this too) But she isn’t a spring chicken, and she used to hate being called Mother so of course it has stuck 😉

 

 

Was it a ‘typical’ relationship?

No.
Well, not from the bog standard happy family viewpoint (that’s whole other debate). My parents divorced and rightly so, but my father is no saint. And paranoia is not a new thing for him.

Let’s just say he always has Paranoid, to a medical standard, that was my norm and I know how to deal with it.

 

Does it matter?

No. not really.
He is still my father, we have a relationship, even if it gets turned on its head and continues to do so. And even with all his many flaws, I love him truly.

So happy birthday Father, and here’s to the years to come!

Learning the hard way – Talking to someone with Dementia

Learning to talk to someone who is living with dementia if you don’t know already can be a minefield. But I also think it should be something EVERYONE should know about.

No one is perfect when it comes down to this, myself included but it irritates me when I see supposed professionals not even trying!

There is are a couple of great blog posts at the end which can say it far better than myself, please do check them out below. But here are a few key points I would summarise or add to this discussion with examples:

 

1. Do not talk about the person like they are not in the room.

‘Oh yeah, John Doe often this, that and the other.’ And he is still sitting right there. Even if that happened to you right now, and they were talking about you as if you were not there, didn’t acknowledge you at all, you would be pissed.

It’s exactly the same for them. They may not be able to express themselves in such a way that answers your question, or even care, but include them.

The example I have was sitting down with my fathers minister after he came out of the hospital and trying to explain to him he has Alzheimer’s, telling him this is what happened and how he is affected. How can you have that conversation with my Dad sitting right next to me without being disrespectful? On top of that, he will not acknowledge he has any kind of issue. So I went along the lines of:

‘So what happened is that, that and the other, isn’t that right father? ‘

‘And me and you did this together …’ (addressing my father)

‘Also sometimes you can forget the odd simple thing (addressing my Dad), and it’s just something to acknowledge and roll with and help where you can (addressing the minister). It’s not a big matter but…’

 

2. Do not say ‘I just told you that’ 

Or ‘Don’t you remember you just watered the flowers in the garden!’

‘I just told you my train is leaving at 5’

Patience is a virtue and I just try and either say it again or distract or inform in other ways. He has just watered the flowers in the garden 3 times already in the space of half an hour. I would say, ‘Why don’t you show me all the different kinds you have here?’ Or ‘Why don’t we feel the soil to see if it wet or dry?’

If I say ‘But Father you have already watered the plants 3 times already, let’s just leave it and go out.’ He will be in a mood for the rest of the day and say, ‘Why didn’t you let me water the flowers, now they will die.’ There is no telling him any different (for as long as he remembers, and sometimes they will surprise you and remember it longer than you wish 😉 hahha)

 

3. Don’t start sentences in such a way you are expecting a solid answer.

What I mean by this is ‘Don’t you remember this, what was the place again??’ because it puts pressure on them to remember something they really might not know, and might not remember. Isn’t it the most annoying thing in the world for example when you have an ear worm and you simply can’t put your finger on the singer or name of the song? I can only imagine its like that but worse, like how many children you have :l

 

You can never tell if someone has dementia just from looking at them, but you can never know when these ideas can come in handy, so just keep them in mind when you can and the situaution or conversation will be better for it.

 

Give these blogs a go too!

https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/social-life-blog/2017/aug/09/losing-marbles-what-not-say-people-dementia#comments

20 things not to say or do to a person with dementia