I recently led a workshop at London Bubble Theatre Company, as part of their Creative Elders Program. As part of the workshop I asked the different individuals attending if there was something in their lives, and object, that they were particularly fond of and why. Here were the different responses:
I've got a big box of photographs. My grandfather in the first world war. My mothers and fathers wedding photographs. My children photographs when they were small. Yeah photographs mean a lot to me. I like looking through them. They make me smile.
I’ve got lots of things that belonged to my mother.. but she’d written funny things in notebooks about people she didn’t like. She always wrote down something nasty. She was quite a church goer. I’ve got a prayer book of hers which she wrote down in what different people there were wearing. She had dementia. She accused my father of stealing her purse once. I told her to apologise, and she took her hearing aid out (and said) can’t hear what your saying I’m not apologising.
I’ve got a set of darts at home that belonged to my dad. Wooden darts, they don't make them now. He was 20 when he started playing darts, before he was married, and he must’ve played up until he was 45/46. Not through the war though. And the other night I’m looking at this box what I found, and in it is about 17 or 18 medals. And he must’ve been pretty good at it, better then what I thought. Because he had winners, runners up, everything in there. And I got them out and I thought, I never realised he liked the darts as much as that, but he must’ve loved playing. And them darts, after I took them to find out how old they really are. They’ve got ordinary cane in them they’ve not got the plastic, and paper flights that are advertising Watney’s, I think they’re called, Watney’s beer. Local brewery. I found a photo as well of him with Arthur Asky the comedian at a darts championships. Big fella as well, and I thought that’s my dad in there. And it was of him getting presented with some trophy.
I’ve also got a BAFTA, I don’t know where it is. I held it for a second, and it went. It was for the series Bedlam. It’s a treasure, but I don’t have it.
I have a doll. And I was never a doll person even as a girl. Never. That was my sisters thing. But every time my mother was going to town, we were five children, she took one of us. And we could get two tickets for the tombola. And I was looking on the top shelf, at the really nice big doll with curly hair, long eyelashes. And we came up, mother said two tickets. And the lady behind said ok. And then there was a man on the side (who said) I’ll pick it out. And then he said first ticket… no you didn’t win, and then again the tumbollar went around around around, and then the man said yes, you’ve won, you’ve really won, you really wanted that doll didn’t you? And i kept it, I would never ever forget it. And when I had my daughter she was playing with the doll, and decided to cut off all of it’s hair! And I was going mad. I said Catherine what have you done? She said that she was playing hairdresser. And I thought to myself ok, I’ve got the memory, I’ve still got the doll.
When I started with my Parkinsons course I listened to my CD’s. I have an obsessions with music, with just music. I would put in one (CD), and take out one. And I would cherish the CD’s. Now I do dancing, dance classes. That was one thing I kept very close to me when I started with Parkinsons. I think the majority of my friends (who also suffered from parkinson) have told me that they would either turn the radio on and listen to the music, or they would go out dancing. They would go to somewhere and listen to the music. So I think that was one thing I kept. I cherish them with my heart.