Taniwha Thames is one of the first shows I watched after I moved to England and it has stayed with me since. I went to the show with an English friend of mine, Grant, who had just spent some months in South Africa and was trying to make a new start in life. Taniwha Thames asked: what do you call home? The show was splendid and bittersweet for us as we had left one home and were trying to make a new one. This was over six years ago and I am not sure I have found an answer. Or rather I think I call home several places: the 'home' where I grew up and that no longer exists because it was 40 years ago. The 'home' I made in my 20s with all the first times. The 'home' I've been making since I moved to England just under 10 years ago. So I guess what I call home is the sum of all my previous homes and the ones to come and it's a constant work in progress. It is movable,permeable and expandable. #DoThinkShareDAW Daily Challenge, Tuesday 16th May Do Think of something that has meaning for you from your past. It can be anything, a place, meeting a famous person, a ‘first’ football match, but it has to have meaning. Then, try to find a picture of whatever it is, either online or in a scrapbook, old photo album or magazine. Next, think of a short piece of text to describe the place and a quote about your memory. Think Reflect on what that was like. Was your memory a happy or sad one? If you were doing it with someone with Dementia what did you learn? Share Share your RememberME on our website dothinkshare.com or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DoThinkShareDAW and #DementiaDO. t: https://twitter.com/64M_Artists f: https://www.facebook.com/64millionartists/ i: https://www.instagram.com/64millionartists/ Don't forget to hashtag #ABookofMe on Twitter & Facebook. #DAW2017 #DoThinkShareDAW Daily Challenge, Tuesday 16th May Do Think of something that has meaning for you from your past. It can be anything, a place, meeting a famous person, a ‘first’ football match, but it has to have meaning. Then, try to find a picture of whatever it is, either online or in a scrapbook, old photo album or magazine. Next, think of a short piece of text to describe the place and a quote about your memory. Think Reflect on what that was like. Was your memory a happy or sad one? If you were doing it with someone with Dementia what did you learn? Share Share your RememberME on our website dothinkshare.com or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DoThinkShareDAW and #DementiaDO. t: https://twitter.com/64M_Artists f: https://www.facebook.com/64millionartists/ i: https://www.instagram.com/64millionartists/ Don't forget to hashtag #ABookofMe on Twitter & Facebook. #DAW2017 So many perfect little moments thought about. Probably should have included all the wonderful family celebrations we have that add to the perfect day or the precious time my husband and I share an evening or weekend together. What's special to me about this image is the rich memory it evokes when I return to it. It reminds me of a past moment I can return to. Me & my 'to do' list. Didn't start off thinking this was what I would draw. Rather I saw the challenge as time to play about with drawing using a digital device. Though as I finished it I thought I looked pretty miserable lol!! And realised it was the thought of my 'to do' list weighing me down. So now feel very happy leaving the list and heading outside into the garden instead. Me & my 'to do' list. Didn't start off thinking this was what I would draw. Rather I saw the challenge as time to play about with drawing using a digital device. Though as I finished it I thought I looked pretty miserable lol!! And realised it was the thought of my 'to do' list weighing me down. So now feel very happy leaving the list and heading outside into the garden instead. A Perfect Day This is an imaginary day made up of pleasant incidents from many days that were patchier overall! I woke up early and immediately felt grateful because I felt relaxed and rested, having had an undisturbed night. I love our comfy bed, with its soft pillows and cuddly quilt, so I snuggled down, comfy and cosy, glad that we had no engagements today and I could lie in. Cautiously I felt the other side of the bed, it was empty and cold. My hubby who has FTD (Fronto-trmporal Dementia) must have crept out in the night to sleep in the other room. He must have felt itchy or twitchy, or needed to pace around for a bit, or just got fed up of my snoring. How does he manage to creep out so quietly? The cat meows sadly at the bottom of the stairs, she is lonely and asking permission to come up, (or is she lazy and avoiding a wasted journey upstairs?) I call her name softly and clap in her ‘come here’ rhythm and immediately I hear her bell tinkling as she comes up stairs. She walks all over me, purring and eventually settles beyond my feet. (I am so glad I am short) My husband comes in and asks if I want a cuppa. He makes and delivers it and we have a cuddle until it is cool enough to drink. We sit in bed for ages, drinking and nattering. We seem better able to communicate like this than at any other time! He can always make me laugh. Eventually we get up and I help him to shower, then it is my turn and I practise my mindfulness exercises, delighting in the feel of the hot water on my skin, the smell of the shampoo and the lovely creamy feel of the conditioner. It is such a lovely fresh morning that we decide to eat our breakfast in the garden, a rare treat. But we have overestimated the warmth of the sun and I dash in to find fleeces for us both. We take our time over breakfast, enjoying the sight of the birds on the bird feeders and a blackbird splashing water everywhere in the bird bath, until the cat joins us, rubbing herself against our legs then having scared off all the birds, finding the warmest patch of sun out of the breeze. We decide to have a walk in Ratby Burrows where the bluebells should be out. It is still warm, but there is a breeze and there are some beautiful fluffy white clouds; What to take?? As usual I am over cautious and pack light cags, thin fleeces, sun hats and sun-shirts into a bulging rucksack while Paul gets the camera and GPS so we will know how far we have walked. It is so beautiful in the woods, the new leaves on the trees are that lovely clear clean green that you do not see later in the year, in the gentle breeze they make a delightful whispering noise. As hoped, the bluebells are fully out, carpets of them. In places they are mixed with shiny bright yellow celandines and delicate wood anenomies, such beautiful compositions, you could not arrange it better. There are other flowers and grasses whose names I can not remember. Last year I let this lapse spoil things for me, but since my mindfulness class I have learnt to let go a little and just enjoy the flowers for their beauty and charm, how can forgetting the name detract from this, they are just as beautiful! We are surprised at how few people there are, but it is not quiet, the birds are singing loudly. When we reach the top of the large grassy hill in the middle of the wood we sit on the bench and watch a buzzard showing off with aerial acrobatics. Eventually we start on our way back, now everyone seems to be out enjoying the woods, so we pause here for a chat and there to pat a friendly dog. We decide to make the most of the nice weather and stop at a cafe with a sunny terrace and eat our lunch outside. I refrain from nagging Paul about how unhealthy all the items in his meal are, he might as well be allowed to enjoy them! I will just have to fill him up with vegetables and fruit for his next meal. One advantage of eating outside is that we can hear each other talk. It is mid afternoon by the time we get home, and we are quite tired, so we make a large pot of tea and relax in the comfy chairs to watch a recorded episode of The Big Bang Theory, our favourite comedy. What a great day it has been, and we still have the pleasure of looking at all the photos we took to look forward to. Kathy Gill A Perfect Day This is an imaginary day made up of pleasant incidents from many days that were patchier overall! I woke up early and immediately felt grateful because I felt relaxed and rested, having had an undisturbed night. I love our comfy bed, with its soft pillows and cuddly quilt, so I snuggled down, comfy and cosy, glad that we had no engagements today and I could lie in. Cautiously I felt the other side of the bed, it was empty and cold. My hubby who has FTD (Fronto-trmporal Dementia) must have crept out in the night to sleep in the other room. He must have felt itchy or twitchy, or needed to pace around for a bit, or just got fed up of my snoring. How does he manage to creep out so quietly? The cat meows sadly at the bottom of the stairs, she is lonely and asking permission to come up, (or is she lazy and avoiding a wasted journey upstairs?) I call her name softly and clap in her ‘come here’ rhythm and immediately I hear her bell tinkling as she comes up stairs. She walks all over me, purring and eventually settles beyond my feet. (I am so glad I am short) My husband comes in and asks if I want a cuppa. He makes and delivers it and we have a cuddle until it is cool enough to drink. We sit in bed for ages, drinking and nattering. We seem better able to communicate like this than at any other time! He can always make me laugh. Eventually we get up and I help him to shower, then it is my turn and I practise my mindfulness exercises, delighting in the feel of the hot water on my skin, the smell of the shampoo and the lovely creamy feel of the conditioner. It is such a lovely fresh morning that we decide to eat our breakfast in the garden, a rare treat. But we have overestimated the warmth of the sun and I dash in to find fleeces for us both. We take our time over breakfast, enjoying the sight of the birds on the bird feeders and a blackbird splashing water everywhere in the bird bath, until the cat joins us, rubbing herself against our legs then having scared off all the birds, finding the warmest patch of sun out of the breeze. We decide to have a walk in Ratby Burrows where the bluebells should be out. It is still warm, but there is a breeze and there are some beautiful fluffy white clouds; What to take?? As usual I am over cautious and pack light cags, thin fleeces, sun hats and sun-shirts into a bulging rucksack while Paul gets the camera and GPS so we will know how far we have walked. It is so beautiful in the woods, the new leaves on the trees are that lovely clear clean green that you do not see later in the year, in the gentle breeze they make a delightful whispering noise. As hoped, the bluebells are fully out, carpets of them. In places they are mixed with shiny bright yellow celandines and delicate wood anenomies, such beautiful compositions, you could not arrange it better. There are other flowers and grasses whose names I can not remember. Last year I let this lapse spoil things for me, but since my mindfulness class I have learnt to let go a little and just enjoy the flowers for their beauty and charm, how can forgetting the name detract from this, they are just as beautiful! We are surprised at how few people there are, but it is not quiet, the birds are singing loudly. When we reach the top of the large grassy hill in the middle of the wood we sit on the bench and watch a buzzard showing off with aerial acrobatics. Eventually we start on our way back, now everyone seems to be out enjoying the woods, so we pause here for a chat and there to pat a friendly dog. We decide to make the most of the nice weather and stop at a cafe with a sunny terrace and eat our lunch outside. I refrain from nagging Paul about how unhealthy all the items in his meal are, he might as well be allowed to enjoy them! I will just have to fill him up with vegetables and fruit for his next meal. One advantage of eating outside is that we can hear each other talk. It is mid afternoon by the time we get home, and we are quite tired, so we make a large pot of tea and relax in the comfy chairs to watch a recorded episode of The Big Bang Theory, our favourite comedy. What a great day it has been, and we still have the pleasure of looking at all the photos we took to look forward to. Kathy Gill A great big mug of tea surrounded by all the words that would make up my perfect day. It's all the simple things that make me happy and I hope I'll always be able to do them. We decided to put our perfect days together as they seemed to paint a similar picture. We all would like to have some quiet time, outside in the fresh air. Yummy food and dogs would be plus! Day one and two pictures done in a rush today - would love to sit and read with a large mug of tea but no time, no time , no time My image as I'd like to be - no lines or wrinkles. My mum doesn't have dementia but her memory is fading fast. I'd like to get her involved in this project. Love doing these tasks! My perfect day is made of good stories, good company, good food, and a lot of silliness. My perfect day. Do: I'm a Spring and Autumn fan. I love the wind, rain, bursts of sunshine and all the smells that go with those seasons. I'm also very happy being on my own, so part o a perfect day would be outside, walking the dogs somewhere peaceful and full of nature. If I can do that every now and again it recharges my batteries and I'm ready to go again. Think: Sometimes when I meet people who now need a lot of support, I wonder whether they have full control over how much space and time they have for themselves. I know I would hate being encouraged to do group activities all the time, having to sit with a television or a radio on full blast all day or being cooped up inside. Being outdoor in the elements brings me back to life - central heating makes me want to sleep all day! That's just one reason why I developed A Book of Me, because it's so important to get those things down somewhere for anyone supporting you in the future to read, understand and respect. My perfect day. Do: I'm a Spring and Autumn fan. I love the wind, rain, bursts of sunshine and all the smells that go with those seasons. I'm also very happy being on my own, so part o a perfect day would be outside, walking the dogs somewhere peaceful and full of nature. If I can do that every now and again it recharges my batteries and I'm ready to go again. Think: Sometimes when I meet people who now need a lot of support, I wonder whether they have full control over how much space and time they have for themselves. I know I would hate being encouraged to do group activities all the time, having to sit with a television or a radio on full blast all day or being cooped up inside. Being outdoor in the elements brings me back to life - central heating makes me want to sleep all day! That's just one reason why I developed A Book of Me, because it's so important to get those things down somewhere for anyone supporting you in the future to read, understand and respect. Whenever I do or think about this it always surprises me how far this is from my urban life in London! I crave nature and stars and sleeping.. hmmm.. maybe I have some thinking to do! My perfect day would be taking a walk in the countryside... there would be a slight breeze but the sun would be out. Birds would be singing and flowers blooming. My Grandma, with Dementia, loves walking. It's nice to be together but also quiet- taking in our surroundings and being calm. Do Imagine what your perfect day would look like. What would you do? Who would you spend time with? Write a short story describing the day, or if you prefer you can draw a picture. Don’t forget all the little details. The sounds, the smells, the way you would feel. Think How did that make you feel? When could you plan in your perfect day? What would you need to make it happen? Not every single day can be perfect, so have a think too about the small things that help make a day as good as it can be. Share Share your perfect day by going to the website dothinkshare.com or you can share on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DoThinkShareDAW t: @64M_Artists f: https://www.facebook.com/64millionartists/ i: https://www.instagram.com/64millionartists/ Don't forget to hashtag #ABookofMe on Twitter & Facebook too. Do Imagine what your perfect day would look like. What would you do? Who would you spend time with? Write a short story describing the day, or if you prefer you can draw a picture. Don’t forget all the little details. The sounds, the smells, the way you would feel. Think How did that make you feel? When could you plan in your perfect day? What would you need to make it happen? Not every single day can be perfect, so have a think too about the small things that help make a day as good as it can be. Share Share your perfect day by going to the website dothinkshare.com or you can share on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DoThinkShareDAW t: @64M_Artists f: https://www.facebook.com/64millionartists/ i: https://www.instagram.com/64millionartists/ Don't forget to hashtag #ABookofMe on Twitter & Facebook too. I started by trying to draw myself, but didn't really feel happy about that. However, it was good to spend a few minutes thinking about myself for a change and then I enjoyed making me. I think these challenges are a great idea to promote awareness of dementia- which my mum has. This challenge made me think about how I feel when I make something. And of the importance of sharing. Making is a safe space, free from all the noise surrounding us, where I decide what the moment will be made of. Sharing is accepting what I am and encouraging others to do the same. This is me with my first greyhound Ellie Jo. My Mum-in-law had dementia. Ellie Jo made her smile when people couldn't. Self portait Day, not easy to look I tried to write a poem, but it would not come, but I will not forget to try again when the idea has had time to mature. I drew this pic of me on a walk because my husband who has dementia and I love to walk, there is so much to see and to talk about, I have drawn some of them. We spend as much time stopped, looking at things and photographing them as we do walking, and there are always other walkers to say hello to and maybe chat a while. My husband loves getting to know all the dogs we meet and makes great efforts to learn their names, when he forgets he just calls them 'Rover'. I tried to draw a camera around my neck but rubbed it out, it looked like a name badge. Anyway my husband takes most of the photos, then we look at them together on the computer. He labels each picture so it helps him to recognise the walk and the event. I decided to use play dough for my challenge. It was great fun and really took me back to my childhood- especially the smell of it. I wanted to make my portrait playful and funny because my partner's Grandma has Dementia and she is always the life and soul of the party, smiling and having fun. I always start off by overthinking these things and then find doing something simple really enjoyable. Less is more for me, so focusing in on a lovely smiley mouth with lipstick on was nice. I'm quite happy with my portrait as I always tell myself (& others) that I'm not good at drawing! This is the first time in a while I have allowed myself 10 minutes to sit down and be creative. I really enjoyed it. I also think it's a great way to raise awareness for dementia - to see the person, not the dementia. I decided to only draw my eyes as eyes can communicate so many things without the need for words. My Grandma had dementia and sometimes she would look at me and I knew she recognised me, even if only for a second. Those fleeting moments were so special. Juanita chose to draw a self portrait of her favourite self, in the place where she feels best and most in her element. And amazingly this is on the race track! Juanita volunteers as a marshal. She has been doing this most of her life therefore really values that her dementia hasn't stopped her from volunteering. What an amazing hobby! I didn't know this about Juanita and it was such a lovely challenge to provoke stories and memories. I saw this orange and thought I had to include it because I have ginger hair and because it's what people often refer to when they think of me. I also drew myself wearing my yellow mac because I love it.. and also I think it says something about me that I am quite good at having a positive bright outlook on rainy or difficult days. I am jo and my grandma had dementia, I've started working with people with dementia now and I'm looking forward to doing these challenges. This is a portrait of Margaret at her art class, drawing a glass. Margaret has been going to weekly art classes so this was really fun for her and a great opportunity to share her drawing talent! She does admit that she finds drawing faces hard though. I made sure I did my portrait quickly because I knew I'd overthink the process and end up taking the fun out of it if not. I wanted it to be organic and playful. I was slightly nervous because it's hard to sum yourself up in one drawing (if you're thinking more than visual likeness). I wanted to try show my personality too. This was easier than I thought though because it seems you do this instinctively. I was surprised what you can convey in a quick drawing. Doing this challenge was great! I like the colour and pattern of my portrait and pledge to do more quick, fun drawings! I wanted to be involved in these challenges because my Grandma has dementia. Day 1 Do Draw or make or take a self-portrait that says something about you. It could be you wearing your favourite hat, or playing your favourite game or with your favourite people. If you’re drawing it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t take longer than 10 minutes or so. It’s just about having a go and getting involved. Think What was that like? Did you like doing it? Have you drawn in a while or was it easier to take a picture? Did you feel nervous? Share Share your picture or just your thoughts about it either on our website dothinkshare.com or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DoThinkShareDAW Day 1 Do Draw or make or take a self-portrait that says something about you. It could be you wearing your favourite hat, or playing your favourite game or with your favourite people. If you’re drawing it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t take longer than 10 minutes or so. It’s just about having a go and getting involved. Think What was that like? Did you like doing it? Have you drawn in a while or was it easier to take a picture? Did you feel nervous? Share Share your picture or just your thoughts about it either on our website dothinkshare.com or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #DoThinkShareDAW