Birthday Girl

It was my birthday last week and I got a surprise present. When Paul came in with my cup of tea and birthday present I said to him ‘ just think next year I will be 80’ He looked a bit askance and said you are only 77 today. For I don’t know how long I have been telling everyone I am 79 this year. So I’v gained two years. I also got a flip across the head from my best friend, friends since we were in reception class in Primary School, when she came on a birthday visit because if I had been 70 so would she.
It was a spread out birthday celebration because I went to London later in the day to be ready for the Dementia Action Alliance AGM in London. Met up with lots of good friends and spent time looking at the Dementia Statements and how important they are. More Dementia Campaigning at the weekend when I went to York to a Quaker Mental Health Forum day on Dementia, where I was one of the speakers. One of the things we talked about was how the emotion stays long after the event. This is so true and I am living at the moment in my Quaker Meeting. Earlier in the year I was upset, quite reasonably, by something had happened and decided to go home by bus because I need to calm down. But I wasn’t allowed to and the person who wanted to take me home got angry and drove alongside me on the road yelling at me to come into the car. It got so bad that passers by stopped because they thought I was being harassed and wanted to call the police. It spiralled and I ended up having gone back to my former home where a neighbour spotted me trying my key in the door.
It’s all over now and we are all friends again, but I remain terrified of the two people involved, the woman who upset me and her husband who insisted on taking me home. At the moment I can reason that it is the Alzheimer’s rather than a reasonable fear – doesn’t take the fear away though. A couple of weeks ago I was rather bossily told that the same man would drive me home. I managed the 12 miles – just- but as his car left the car park outside the flats I was sick in the bushes. What bothers me is that before long I won’t be able to reason with myself and only the fear will be left. Not going to Quaker meeting at the moment because of all the fearfulness and I really miss it.
The journey back from York was a nightmare I had to stand from York to Manchester on a crowded train. Young people don’t offer seats any more and one person standing was a mum with a tiny baby who howled all through the journey.
Still on to more cheerful things but I can’t think of any. Is it Gin time yet?

2 thoughts on “Birthday Girl

  1. Have just started to read your blogs Shelagh – I’m a Court Manager for H&C21 in Stafford, have been to Lea Court and it seems a lovely place to live. I just absolutely love your sense of humour and hope that if I admit that I laughed out loud a few times at the predicaments that you have found yourself in, that you don’t think I am laughing at you, but with you. You are a very courageous lady to attempt to write down your thoughts in a blog and I think this effort needs to be spread far and wide. You must get exhausted trying to find the right words to express your thoughts – I know I sometimes can’t seem to find the words for something that I should quite easily be able to and it just gets harder the more you try to think of it. I am so looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Carry on the great work and like you, I have a birthday tomorrow (15th December), I’ve decided that I’m 40 instead of 59!! Kindest regards.



  2. Hello Shelagh
    It was lovely to see you again on Friday and you mentioned your blog, so I decided to have a look. I’ve never followed a blogger before.
    I love your honesty, and I would expect nothing less from you 🙂
    I hope you don’t mind but your insight will help me in my work, thank you for sharing.


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