Rehearsal Diary – Day 6

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Hello week 2!

After an interesting, and worryingly plain-sailing week 1, forth we go into week 2 of our reminiscence project. How smooth a start things got off to last week filled us with optimism, courage, and a minor but lingering sense of fear. At what point will something go wrong? When will we fall short? Obviously, the answer here is hopefully never and not at all, but it would be foolish to pretend those aren’t very real fears we have. But I once heard that the key to discovering the best things in life was to Follow Your Fear. So I guess blindly listening to, and trusting, some haphazard words of advice is how I’ll be proceeding these final two weeks. What could go wrong? (Please, no one answer that.)

Today we began conducting our final interviews with the truly, and I do mean truly, delightful residents of the Bentley Care Home and surrounding sheltered accommodation. They had all given us so many wonderful and rich memories already, I couldn’t wait to get back to Joan’s house for our second interview and hear more about her gang of streetwise friends who ran wild in the streets of suburban Birmingham. It was an absolutely delightful morning, as anticipated, as we sat around in Joan’s living room armed with cups of tea and biscuits; not a hindrance to asking questions at all, Joan seemed to have an endless stream of many hilarious adventures and vivid memories. And a history of being somewhat of a dancing queen too! She even shared with us some incredible photographs. A true insight.

In the afternoon we also had the pleasure of meeting with a new face, Rita, who we had been told by care home staff was feeling somewhat (in her own words) ‘miserable’ today but was still up for having a chat with us. Well, not to toot our own trumpets too much, but as we spoke to her more and more she kept saying how much us coming to visit had brightened her day and brought her out of her slump. It really put into perspective for me that not only are they helping us with our project, but that we’re helping them too, and giving something meaningful and special back to them, even just by coming to see them. I’m already sure I’ll be paying more visits once this project is over, as I’m sure we all will.

And now, to round off the day, transcribing! Hooray! Turns out though, that’s not a simple skill to master at all…



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