Thursday, 15 September 2016

Curiosity - who knows where it will take you.

The say that curiosity killed the cat but I have always had an enquiring mind. I asked too many questions and was often referred to as a 'knowing child' or remarks would be made that I 'had been here before' or perhaps that , 'she knows things that she's not supposed to know.'  Well often I did and a public blog is not an appropriate medium with which to reveal close family secrets or how I came to discover them. All I will say is that as an avid early reader, it make assessments. In a way I was a child detective, investigating anything and everything.

My early reading, Aesops fables, Greek myths and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales often gave me moral wisdom way beyond my years and as the confident youngest child of four, I happily dispensed the lessons that I learned whenever a situation required my knowledge. I read everything from log tables and the bible to cookery books and my elder sister's Dennis Wheatley novels. What I most enjoyed was trying to research something that interested me and I was relentless in my pursuit of a solution to a problem.

Had I not been a gifted dancer, I think I might have had a career in science or perhaps law but in recent years I am convinced that I would make a really great detective. My reading favourite reading from age nine was Enid Blyton's Mystery series. Dad would buy me a new paperback at the Post Office every Saturday and when I had a good selection of books, I painted a wooden box yellow, decorated it with butterflies and started the Butterfly Club for the village children, charging them sixpence to borrow a book.

I still love to read detective stories, especially the Scandinavian variety but also fell in love with Alexander McCall Smith's traditionally built First Lady Detective, Mme Ramwotse.  They are great human interest stories. If being a private detective in the UK didn't involve so many licences, perhaps I would enjoy the work. As things go, the cuts in Legal Aid for matrimonial cases means that many detectives are finding work thin on the ground, so perhaps it isn't such a great idea.

I have a slight disconnect in my short term memory, I often lose items when out and about and although it is quite distressing to misplace my reading glasses, car keys or gloves, I actually relish the pursuit of their retrieval.  I love retracting my steps, thinking through the logistics and am always so delighted when I get things back that it is almost worth experiencing the initial loss. When I began having immediate recall problems, I did think that I was losing my mind and actually went through all the tests for Alzheimer's.  I am relieved to say that my problem is not progressive.  I was delighted to discover that my long term retention memory is in the 95th percentile for my age and even my short term memory is well above average.  It is just a concentration deficit due to chronic pain that affects me, my neural pathways divert so that my brain is not aware that I am in pain. The human brain is such a remarkable organism.

I spent a little time this morning in a newly opened dementia café.  This is an innovation to bring suffers of dementia and their carers together in a safe environment. Carers can open up, share their experiences, obtain help and advice. My friend and former college buddy Peter Brooks who works as demetia care homes officer for Blackpool Council invited us to go along to consider whether poetry is a medium that might help sufferers of this debilitating disease to unlock long term memory and open conversations.  We are going to give it a try. As a frim believer in QED - I won't dismiss anything until I have investigated it thoroughly.  Oh and if any of you think you might like to join in as a volunteer poetry reader - just email deadgoodpoets@hotmail.co.uk


Memory Café

You are locked in now,
a safe place,
because your forget,
your name, where you live
when to wash, to eat, to sleep.
They care for you,
keep you safe,
help you to keep you warm,
but all the memories that made you
are locked away too,
as if they could cause you harm.

Will Wordsworth's words unlock them?
Will Keats offer release?
Could a host of daffodils clear the cobwebs in the mind,
or neural pathways reconnect as 
seasons mists sweep away in rhyme?

If I just leave you there, to sit and stare,
or simply walk away
no one may hear the things you want to say.
If time told poetry and prose
reanimate emotion in your face,
then in your remembering smile,
I may find grace.


Thanks for reading.  Adele   
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