February 2016

The Memory Cafe on February 1st saw one of our largest gatherings since we first opened. Once again we were pleased to greet new guests, as well as welcoming back old friends who we’d missed over the last few months for a variety of reasons, and not forgetting our ‘regulars’ who support us throughout the year! As a result, there was perhaps even more happy chatter than usual as old friends caught up on the news and new members got to know each other.  There were, of course, some word puzzles for those who preferred to find a quieter corner and, as Valentine’s Day was fast approaching, there was a small but interesting display about Welsh ‘Lovespoons’ for our members to peruse. Meanwhile, Di was kept busy giving some soothing and relaxing hand massage. 

Our theme for the afternoon was a nautical one, and our members were swelled even more by a visit from ‘Oll-an-Gwella’, the wonderful a capella male voice singers from Newquay who entertained us throughout the afternoon with sea songs and shanties – they encouraged everyone to sing along, and there was soon plenty of foot-tapping and clapping as well as some extra voices added to the choir!

A colourful display board of sailing ships, nautical terms and sailors’ knots and tables decorated with a selection of seashells added to the atmosphere of the afternoon.

Before the music began, everyone was very interested to hear from two of our guests who spoke briefly about their naval experiences. We first heard about life on board ship during the Falklands War of the 1980s and with the aid of maps, charts, photographs and diaries learnt a compelling story of war at sea. This was followed by recollections from an earlier generation – naval experiences from the Second World War, and a family’s naval tradition that began in the early twentieth century and continues to the present day. Both of our speakers left us in awe and admiration of the risks and sacrifices made on our behalf by members of our armed forces, and although our limited time left plenty of stories untold, there was the opportunity to chat with them throughout the afternoon and we’re sure that more will be revealed in the future.
Afternoon tea took a slightly different form this month, as we welcomed Julie and Brenda from Wiltshire Farm Foods. The company, based in Falmouth, provides a service of cooked meals, desserts or afternoon teas delivered to the door of individual customers, including those with special dietary requirements. They brought a generous selection of delicious cakes for everyone to sample, whilst our regular catering ladies kept us supplied with teas and coffees.

A happy mix of refreshments, music and chatter made the remainder of the afternoon fly by and all too soon we said ‘farewell’ to the boys from Oll-an-Gwella who we look forward to welcoming back later in the year. The cafe closed its doors at 4pm as usual.

February 15th was the date for Memory Cafe Extra, and the first sunny afternoon for weeks seemed to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. After a chance to settle in with a cup of tea, and a puzzle or two, all enjoyed watching a classic episode of ‘Dad’s Army’ and smiles were soon turning to laughter. It was generally agreed that Captain Mainwaring and his platoon just don’t seem to age, and afterwards Richard tested our observation with a quiz about the programme.
After tea and cakes the giggles began again as we all joined in a communal variation on the game of ‘Pictionary’. This involved everyone guessing what word was represented by a picture drawn (or at least attempted!) by someone in the room – easier said than done, and some of us were definitely more artistic than others, but it was certainly worth having a go, as there were chocolates to be won!
As usual, between the entertainment and the refreshments there was plenty to talk about, and the afternoon passed quickly – let’s hope the sun is still shining when we meet again on Monday 7th March at 2pm.