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Remembering

Sorry – I forgot. Can you remind me, what date were we due to meet up? I’m sure you’ve already told me but I wonder if you can show me the way to…

We all need prompts to help us remember dates, events, places to visit and we now have a wide range of technology to help us.

I have been monitoring punctuality at school recently and in spite of handing pupils a note to remind them to report for detention, several of them failed to show up so I was forced to put out a call and look for them.

When I challenge the young people about their lateness and ask if they have a watch, most will reply that they don’t. When I ask if they have a phone of course they reply that they do and so I remind them of the alarm on their phones and how to set prompts and reminders.

Some things we never forget – the way a certain person has made us feel, the smile from a child radiating unconditional love, a view or vista that has taken our breath away.

I was chatting to J the other evening and she has no memory of our return trip from Nijmegen, in our early twenties and she asked me why she had insisted on getting the overnight ferry. I regaled the story but her memory was blank. We laughed about it and teased each other about ‘getting older’ and failing memory.

We can joke about it but it must be terrifying for people who lose their memory through ill health and disease, and they deserve our utmost respect and care and attention.

I have always had a reasonably good memory and remember details about people and places that others forget. When I was 21 I Inter-railed around Europe for  month – on my own. I don’t know why but I made a conscious decision not to take a camera with me and wrote everything down in a notebook. I can still recall that journey so well even to this day – the people I met, some of the finer details of the accommodation I stayed in – some much less pleasant than others, but that can wait for another day.

Ironically in spite of the title of today’s blog this was not my intended topic – but I can’t remember what that was going to be!

Remembering – a poem

Can you recall how he held you close

how his heart beat against yours

his unique smell – spice and citrus.

Look into your mind’s eye and hold that image still

the clear dark waters of a mountain loch,

the burnt umber of an Autumn walk.

Paint your pictures with words.

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