I was delighted to have been invited to the Memory Café at Winterbourne last week. The empty tables beautifully adorned with blue flowers (the forget me not is central to the Alzeimer’s Society Dementia Friends campaign) soon filled up and the hall was alive with conversation, jokes and general hubbub.
I was providing a taster session for RE:MAPPING, our new arts based project which starts again this September (Tuesday 15th at 1.30pm) in Staple Hill Library. The afternoon sessions are aimed at people living with dementia, their families and carers.
Seeing as tea was to be served I thought I’d bring some teas of my own along to start off the conversation. We sniffed and felt Jasmine, Darjeeling and several other fragrant concoctions. We watched a beautiful flower tea unfurl in a glass cup. Everyone gave me one word to describe their thoughts about this strange sight. This wonderful group was very poetic, in the cup they saw: Sea Urchins, Kelp Forests, Other Worldly Coral Reefs In Bloom, Artistic Creepy Animals… No one however was brave enough to drink this particular tea!
People had very definite ideas about what makes the perfect cuppa. I found out about peoples’ favourite mugs bringing memories of loved ones, when the best china comes out of the cabinet and some very particular instructions for stirring your tea! As you may find from this list, the ‘perfect cuppa’ is a very personal thing…
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA, by Winterbourne Memory Café
* Put a tea bag in a cup OR warm the pot
* Use one tea bag per person OR one between two
* Use boiling water OR let it cool a little
* Mash the tea against the pot OR stir it 3 times anticlockwise
* Put in a pinch of salt OR not!
* Leave to brew for two, three, five OR ten minutes
* Choose your favourite cup OR any cup will do
* Pour the milk in first OR the tea in first
* Fill your cup not quite to the top OR always leave a little undrunk at the bottom
* Enjoy your brew!
BUT the best advice I found at Winterbourne for the perfect cuppa….?
Get someone else to make it for you!
I had a great time getting creative with people at the Memory Café. It was gentle introduction to the many things we do at our sessions. We use stories, poems and pictures to take us on creative journeys together. We create writing, performances, films and much more in our sessions. The afternoons are fun and enjoyable, and yes we do drink a lot of tea!
I would like to thank everyone at the Memory Café for welcoming me into their group, and for being so poetic and artistic with me in a short hour. If you would like to find out more please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call:
All are welcome to join us at the sessions whether you are living with dementia, are a family member or a carer.