Two more preview trips to the Museum and Lovely Myra

I met Myra Lamont today, who volunteers for Life Changes Trust and is a volunteer member of  NDCAN

She was in the area to support carers and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her today, when she came along to the Museum trip with Solas and stayed to have a lunch meeting with me at An Lanntair.

I learned so much from Myra, her information was invaluable and I’ll be working on one of her ideas in the immediate future.

Meanwhile, the group from Solas loved the Museum preview trip. There were ten people with dementia, 5 staff plus volunteers and myself plus Myra.

The next group came from Blar Buidhe care Centre (having heard about how much people enjoyed it last week, another group wanted to come). Margaret Anne took great pride in being able to read Gaelic and another lady was so high in her standard of Gaelic, that she was able to correct some Museum resources! It was a beautiful day, too.

Opera Highlights at Harris House

I’ve just returned (over the icy Clisham and through a snowstorm!) from Harris House, Tarbert, where Scottish Opera brought their Opera Highlights tour for a mini preview before the main show in the evening.

They sang four songs for our captivated audience of fifteen residents and 6 staff.
Beginning with a rousing English version of Brindisi from La Traviata, finishing with the hilarious Flanders & Swann ‘Song of the Weather’. In between, we enjoyed the Barber of Seville and the Mikado in bite-sized form.

Afterwards, the cast/singers had a chat with the residents, talking about island life as well as their own influences. Conversation flowed about memories, music, wartime, all kinds of thoughts and emotions were opened up by the music and everyone commented on the quality of the programme, the power of the voices and the entertainment value of something so different.

Thank you so much, Scottish Opera. That was an unforgettable afternoon!

 

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Opera Highlights…..Highlights!

Opera Highlights from the Scottish Opera is coming to Tarbert tomorrow (20th Feb 2016). You can book your tickets on that link.

Generously, the singers and pianist have kindly agreed to offer highlights of that show to the residents of Harris House, being so close to the ferry and venue.

Naturally, we are grateful and excited to hear that the ferry is running fine and that the performers are on their way! There will be pictures tomorrow evening.

Spinning session with Mary Smith

Maggie Smith and Mary Smith held spinning sessions at Blar Buidhe and Dun Eisdean Care Centres today.

Memories flowed of carding and setting up weaving machinery and how the carding process was boring but machinery was available to do it.

We spoke about natural dyes, onion skins and flowers, different uses for urine(!) and that the spinning wheel was made in the 1980s in Carloway. Each area has a particular kind of drop spindle but the ones Mary brought were mostly used for plying the wool.

It was wonderful to work with Mary Smith after hearing about her work a few times…..and Maggie brought beautiful Gaelic flavour and a traditional weaving song to the sessions….but the cat totally stole the show!

 

Stornoway Rotary Club presentation today

Many grateful thanks to Stornoway Rotarians for their warm welcome and attentive reception for our project presentation at lunchtime today.

I was immensely honoured to be invited to present the project to Stornoway Rotary Club today and to be treated to an excellent lunch at the Caladh Hotel. The project was very well received and the technical equipment worked together perfectly.

I found it quite incredible to look back at the past year in the project and how much has been achieved and commenced already. I’m also immensely humbled by the generous and warm reception that the project is receiving across the islands.

The entire team loves the work that we feel privileged to be doing and we are grateful for the tremendous support that the community has offered so generously and that was so abundantly echoed by the Rotary Club members at today’s meeting.

Dementia Friends sessions at An Lanntair today

The An Lanntair team was the very first in the Western Isles to benefit from a Dementia Friends session today.

Fiona Macleod is the brand new Dementia Advisor for Alzheimer Scotland and she delivered our morning and afternoon awareness sessions with Geraldine Ditta, who flew over from Inverness (despite high winds and heavy rain) for us today.

The sessions involved a lot of myth-busting, information, discussion, practical work and plenty of tea/coffee and cake.

We learned about living well with dementia, how important community is and what we can do as a team in our work environment to support people living in our community with dementia.

 

Photos : Fiona Macleod & Paula Brown

Dementia Friends Sessions

Dementia Friends are offering awareness sessions at An Lanntair, in the Art Room for staff and volunteers on Weds 9th December at 11am and 2pm.

Please come along and learn what we can do as an organisation and individuals to support people living in the community with dementia.

Tea/Coffee and cake provided!

 

Little library session last night

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The team enjoyed an intimate library cafe session last night where we presented the project and shared the words of the people we have been working with. Ian Stephen shared his personal experience of working on the project and what it has meant to him as well as relatives of participants, through spontaneous feedback in the local shops. He spoke about the poetry, films and workshops and told several stories and shared his own poetry and the work of Frank Thompson. Ian explained that one relative told him that a session he was involved with immensely improved the quality of what turned out to be his father’s very last week. And that a poetry reading brought a much loved and missed relative back to life for a precious time.

Maggie told some wonderful collected stories in Gaelic and English and Jon offered a projection slideshow of images from the project.

We shared cyanotype images from Mhairi Law’s workshop, word portraits and collages and these were very well received.

The daughter of one of our participants read her mother’s word collage poems and shared with the group that her daughter was so excited about them that she shared them on Facebook with all of the family.