Last year I wrote this blog for ARUK about the memory tree I created the year before for our village church (you can read more about it here). Interesting that I was up to 31 marathons then and now my tally has crept up to 40.
Several months back I was asked by the lovely Felicity at www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk to think of a piece of music that was either special to my mum or reminded me of her. She was putting together a list of 'memory tracks' that reminded people of the loved one they had lost to dementia. Musical memories seem to last longer as dementia takes hold and there are lots of people providing music therapy in Care Homes.
I thought long and hard as there has always been music in our lives but what came to mind was Three Little Maids From School Are We from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. The reason I chose this was that mum sang this when she was at school and we often used to have sing-alongs with me and mum crooning whilst Mike played the piano. Although my dad wasn't a lover of G&S, mum and I often went to see performances whenever we got the opportunity.
Since then I've tried to think of a song that reminds me of my dad and they're all rather unusual! When I was little he used to drive me to the Newsagents to collect the newspaper on a Sunday morning after Church and he would sing really old songs to me (such as this one which I believe was performed by Billy Cotton?) but the one I remember best is Little Brown Jug (originally a Folk Song but also a hit for Glenn Miller) and I always chuckle at the line " and when I die, don't bury me at all, just pickle my bones, in alcohol"!
Having typed all that I'm feeling much happier and will be singing my heart out as I drive to the doctors to collect my prescription of asthma drugs (let the good times roll!!!), deliver the last few cards and pop in to see a lovely lady who is living with dementia.
Happy Christmas everyone.