Blog 5 – Hugh Nankivell – BSO Associate : Friday 20th May
All a bit sad at the end of the project, but at the same time a really lovely celebration and a chat later about finding a way to continue it in some way. Let’s hope so. I think this model of bringing together three different groups of local people in a creative group like this needs to be investigated further as there is such positive energy coming from everyone involved.
Today we had ten residents, including a new woman, Betty, who joined in very happily, eight elderly visitors from Buckfastleigh and Ashburton, several care home staff who sang and played with us at times, three musicians (Andy, Daniel and me), Suzy (of course) and then later on twelve family members from five different familes. So by the end the Biscuit Band had well over thirty members, a great BIG band.
Anne arrived with a complete new song, three verses and a chorus and 25 copies of it all ready to go. She presented it to me at 2.20pm with the session due to start at 2.30. So this was a great challenge; I knew I could not change any words at all and had to find a tune and chords and work out a little arrangement. With Daniel and Andy we made a version that seemed to go down well when we sang it at 3.35! Actually I am still singing the chorus a day later, so, to my mind, it must be ok.
Anne explained that she could not sleep a few nights ago and so got up and started on this song, which then occupied her attention for a few days and she even phoned Suzy up at one point to check with her that it was alright. I love this little journey that Anne has come on, from having a little interview and an instant song made about her in week two, she has subsequently brought new verses along, contributed positively in the creative sessions and finally brought along a complete work.
LIVING IN DEVON – by Anne
We like to walk in the countryside
Seeing all the foxgloves side by side
The honeysuckle smells oh so sweet
And all the daisies so small and neat
They’re there to admire and enjoy everyday
We stop just to smell them, then go on our way.
We live in the country
Peg out on a Monday,
Rest on a Sunday and
Hob Nob Club on Friday
Another day we can go on the moors
Where we could roam for hours and hours
The ponies they are a joy to see
And the gorse and the heather looks just lovely
We can go to the seaside on a sunny day
And watch the waves as they roll away
Have an ice cream, then go for a swim
Then build sandcastles till the light starts to dim.
We also added two new verses to ‘Our Furry Feathered Friends’; we played ‘Taverna several tmes through and were told very clearly by Margaret about the order of verses for My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean and we had a good chat about whether we should enter ‘The Voice’ or ‘Britains Got Talent’ or ‘X-Factor’ (unecided!) and would our costume be different kinds of biscuits? At that point one Mum revealed that she is a costume maker and would make them for us. Hooray.
At the end of the session we played pass-the-parcel (with chocolate and forfeits). Anne won the final prize – a pack of cards, Bill tried to open several layers, the youngest person there (aged four) got the forfeit of ‘tell us something you did when you were younger’ and after much thought she said ‘I used to sleep a lot.’ Everyone really enjoyed that measured response that relates to all of us. Juliette got the forfeit: ‘tell someone a secret’ and she decided to tell everyone clearly ‘I don’t like porridge’. Gladys told us without a doubt that ‘we are going to have a great summer’, when her forfeit asked her to tell us something about the future and the favourite song was, of course, what else but ‘The Quartermaster’s Stores’.
Finally we all sang a capella the song ‘We’ll Meet Again’, which was very moving for all of us, whether or not we knew the words.