Sunday, 2 August 2009

An Attempt To Hang On To Memories

My mother has Alzheimer's disease. It is a terrible thing, a living death in some ways. It is hard for the people around her and difficult in an unimaginable way for her. I worry about losing my memory and sometimes when I juggle too many things I forget what I have said to someone and what I was about to do. I know this is symptomatic of all of us super-busy working Mums but I still worry that it is the beginning of something sinister.

I have often kept diaries from time to time. I have started again as our family is doing so much and the children are changing so fast. I don't want to lose those precious times. Easier now is to combine the writing with something visual as my world is more visual than auditory as it was in my musical life. The entries might lead to something textile or not...who knows yet. All I know is that it it can be a good way to sit and appreciate the day gone by.

Talking of days gone by; this picture was reprinted in the local paper this week. It was taken in 1940 a couple of miles from here on a day when my father was off school poorly. He was in his house when he heard a terrible noise and looked out to see the payload doors of a German Bomber open and a large bomb coming out. It dropped creating a huge crater here and sent clay flying through the air, damaging 200 houses and an apple tree in his father's allotment.

I can't imagine having experienced war like that.
Today we went up The Long Mynd, a seven mile long hill, in Shropshire. The 360 degree view across Wales, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire is stunning but so was this little micro view of tiny fairy-like mushrooms growing in some old, hardened sheep dung. I wanted to bring it home but the screwed up noses of disgust of my family said a firm "no". Philestines!


  1. I can empathize with what you are going through - my mother is in late-stage dementia. One thing I have gained through the experience is an appreciation of just simply being with her, in the moment, no expectations. This has spilled over into my daily life in ways I could not have imagined before. Your notebooks are lovely! I'm enjoying your linocuts too!

  2. I was thinking today about how we hold on to memories, the memories that I cherish.

    Picking lunaria in my garden right now too. I love peeling apart the layers.

  3. Your notebook pages are very appealing... - being quite bored with my own diary routine at the moment, they inspire me to try a new approach, thanks...

  4. your poor mum. i like your diary pages - i keep thinking i should do something like this but i dont ever seem to have the time/motivation ...and, faced with my own expectations, i sort of get stuck for ideas.

  5. Hi Clare...I have enjoyed looking through your blog and the journal pages are great. I sympathise with what you wrote; my father has severe dementia and no longer recognises any of us. I get very scared when I can't remember things!
    Kit is right about the visiting...we have had to come to terms with it in the same way.

  6. You voiced all my unspoken fears too.Glad to have found your blog.

  7. Your journal looks lovely, so many great images.

    I am sorry to hear about your mum, this is happening to so many of my friends, it must be very distressing. There does seem to be lots of research going on, I read an article recently about turmeric which was encouraging.

  8. Sorry about your mum. It hurts so much to see parents so vulnerable - even if you're grown up yourself.

    Your diary is fantastic - just the kind I always wanted to do myself but never managed to ... It looks wonderful and it's a great idea!


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