Added by Jan Tchamani on March 27, 2013 at 12:10 — No Comments
Hi friends - I was thrilled to be named one of this year's two Age UK Internet Champions at an award ceremony at the Royal Society, London, last week. The trophy (see my Facebook page) was presented by the wonderful and kind June Whitfield.
I share the title with James Perry (92 from the Isle of Sheppey). We were selected because we have amazing stories of how we endured our own computing and internet challenges and are now helping and encouraging other older people to do the…Continue
The estate still suffers from a few negative people who do all they can to run down, criticize, mock and actually sabotage our project. Badly in need of a sense of humour a few months ago I nicknamed them the Death Eaters. One of them comes to events now - regularly - but don't get excited: he turns up with a sardonic smile on his face, counts heads (trying to make out the project is for a 'select minority' and therefore a flop) and leaves... Our innocent and optimistic workshop leaders…Continue
Added by Jan Tchamani on October 23, 2012 at 11:40 — No Comments
I'm about to be published in a new journal called 'The Newhaven Journeyman' (Eleusinian Press - see them on Facebook/Wordpress). A friend sent me the call for articles a few months ago, and when I read the motivation behind the journal and its aims, and list of suggested topics I was inspired to write. My article, entitled 'Sounds of the Rainbow' is about my lifelong relationship with Noise.
As a bipolar person, I am hypersensitive to sound, taste, smell, touch and light. I frequently…Continue
Added by Jan Tchamani on August 6, 2012 at 21:38 — No Comments
Incredible as it may seem, it's snowing here in Birmingham. Woke up this morning, went into kitchen to make a cuppa, thought 'It's a bit cold...' Waited for the rain... SNOW! And it's nearly the beginning of August.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Have we offended Mother Nature/Eywa/Gaia so much that even the farmers and gardeners are being punished?
The radishes are all leaf, the lettuces a soggy mass. The peas and beans are huddled at ground level and won't climb their sticks. Have only…Continue
Hi fellow Priders!
I'm so happy today. Our Big Lottery funded (Awards for All) project has got underway and is going so well, I can scarcely believe it. We started over a year ago, building on social contacts my OH had made (running bingo and skittles), by smartening up the exterior doors of the two tower blocks that make up our Sheltered Housing estate and running our Garden Development project with funding from the POC fund, CIF, and Community Chest. Then I put in a funding bid for…Continue
Added by Jan Tchamani on July 19, 2012 at 1:11 — No Comments
Some days you need lovely pictures of anything pure and good because the dirt (not good gardening dirt but the other kind) has rubbed off on you...
My partner/fiance/carer and I went to a coffee morning for people interested in public open spaces this morning. Braving the rain, we went to a local beauty spot to meet with like-minded people. It was great: most are friends of parks groups, or allotment enthusiasts, all helping make Birmingham - a city we love - a more beautiful and…Continue
Here's the joke, sent by an equally grey-haired neighbour:
To save the economy, David Cameron will announce shortly that he is ordering the Home Office to start deporting old people (instead of illegal immigrants) in order to lower the Pension and Benefits Bill and NHS Costs.
Why? Well it makes sense:
Old people are easier to catch, and will not remember how to get back home!
I started crying when I thought of you.
RUN OLD FRIEND RUN!!!
I thought it might be helpful, to those considering going to Birmingham Settlement for support/advice, and those who have friends/family who are considering them - it's a very positive testimony. None of the content is confidential - I believe in the power of honesty:
Best wishes to all, whatever your struggles
Lilac is (I'm sorry for saying this) an unprepossessing shrub when not in flower. And we wait a very long time for it to flower. And it doesn't flower for long. But when it does, WOW! As soon as I spot some, I bury my face in it. People can be like that: we can wait a long time for 'flowering', through many years of suffering and being bashed about by life. But when the time for flowering comes, it can be spectacular - almost miraculous. I believe older people understand that life isn't a…Continue
Added by Jan Tchamani on May 13, 2012 at 16:00 — No Comments
I write for 'Pendulum', the quarterly magazine (excellent) of the charity Bipolar UK. Last autumn, I wrote an article about the therapeutic power of writing - whether fact or fiction. My following article was about how having a hip replacement operation had led to my developing writer's block, such that I'm now unable to write fiction at all. Even though I had an opening to submit a novel for the first - and perhaps last - time in my life. Boo hoo!
I can still thankfully write factual…Continue
Added by Jan Tchamani on April 29, 2012 at 22:04 — No Comments
I went to a resolution meeting today at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, where I had a total hip replacement operation last October. My efforts to draw their attention to my bipolar, triggers, warning signs and coping strategies fell on deaf (or merely unprepared?) ears. Today I was delighted to see that when my advocacy worker from POhWER (ICAS) and I began to raise the issues of our desired outcomes from the meeting, the policymaker and the senior nurses present…Continue
I've just returned from a local meeting with Ed Miliband and 3 other members of the Shadow Cabinet, including the Shadow Home Secretary and Harriet Harman. I put a question to Mr. Miliband and got a very encouraging answer - and a promise. He will engage in dialogue with Disability Rights UK - the newly-formed umbrella organisation which will campaign on behalf of people with 'disabilities'/'impairments' (sorry to use those negative words). He will look at stigma, bullying over benefits on…Continue
I live on a 50+ assisted living council estate - 2 tower blocks side by side with a lot of green space that's unused. Then I heard about this:
- and what's being done there. So I got thinking, ran the idea past a few people (with their heads screwed on better than mine!) and came up with our Garden Development Project.
Basically, it's about…Continue
I just wanted to write a little bit about the condition I suffer from, which is 'cyclothymia' - or bipolar (manic depression) with rapid cycling - frequent, abrupt and extreme changes in what is still called 'mood', but is in fact brain function. I have a high IQ and a Master from Oxford Uni to prove it (though I'm sure I'm bound to get someone post back that it means nothing!) but when I'm 'down' I become such a mess I can burn a boiled egg, trip over my own feet, wet myself…Continue
Added by Jan Tchamani on February 25, 2012 at 14:33 — No Comments
I've just come onto the site and cast my vote on 'What should a Minister for Older People address first?' All the points on the list seem very important to me, but there was one that had polled an AMAZINGLY low number of votes: "Digital inclusion & getting older people online". Oh dear! The people who are voting are all 'digitally included' already - the evidence being, we're here on Grey Pride! Lucky us! Most of my neighbours on this 50+ Assisted Living council estate are not so…Continue
Last weekend I was at Charleston House in Sussex, once the home of Virginia Woolf, to receive my award as a finalist for the Asham Literary Award (Virago Books). When I was diagnosed with bipolar 4 years ago and lost everything, I decided to live an authentic life in future: no more fitting into other people's moulds. And as part of that I began writing in earnest. First it was newspaper and magazine articles (non-fiction is safer when one is fragile, I find). And last summer I bit the…Continue
I live on a sheltered housing estate belonging to Birmingham City Council. It is for people aged 50+ and consists of two tower blocks, eight storeys each, side by side with a communal lounge in between. This building also contains a laundry room and kitchen, and the support officer's office. It isn't the most picturesque place on Earth, but I love it for several reasons.
Firstly, I moved here having lost my previous flat, and it is my sanctuary away from the buffets of my previous…Continue
You can call this blog 'Grey Sex in the City' if you like. Except that I don't look anything like Sarah Jessica Parker, and certainly don't dress in frilly tutus and Jimmy Choo heels!
A friend phoned me yesterday, still giggling at a situation she and her partner had got themselves into the previous night. She's given me permission to write about it here so that people can share the humour...
They are both in their early 60s, having been 'dating' since last Christmas, and only…Continue