Wymondham Magazine lettering


Anne Bealing Published: 01 September 2023

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Our residents, especially those with dementia, will recover long lost memories. I guarantee it,’ Dr James had predicted. And so, on his precise orders, workmen had moved in to construct a seaside area under a glass roof at the back of Grey’s House Care Home. There was a garden shed painted up as a candy coloured beach hut, buckets and spades, beach towels and canvas chairs. There were pebbles and shells. And there was sand – lots of it. A Tannoy system played the sound of waves swooshing up and down and a jaunty version of ‘I do like to be beside the seaside.’ Dr James was exceptionally pleased with the results, but not all of the staff shared his enthusiasm for the new area.

‘Look at this. Sand all over the floor again.’ Jeanine waved the end of her hoover at the yellow trail that snaked all down the corridor. ‘I wish they’d never built the blooming seaside. Just makes more work for us. This place looks more like a seaside guest house than a respectable care home.

‘I’ll get a brush and sweep it up,’ Sally offered, ‘else your hoover’ll get all bunged up with the stuff. They’ve only had this seaside lark a week. They’re all being taken out there - to recover their memories or something.’

‘Well I wish they’d remember to put their shoes on before they come back indoors. It’d make life easier for us wouldn’t it? Yeah Sal, go and get a brush.’

Lily sat on the edge of her bed and looked down at the sand that had collected in a rather large pile beneath her feet. A smile flickered across her lined face. Today she had been there. She’d seen the sand banks at the river’s mouth; smelled the sea air; heard the gulls shrieking as the fishermen landed their catch; and felt the wet sand that she had piled into her red bucket to upturn into perfect sandcastles. There should have been Wall’s icecream eaten with a wooden spoon from out of a round cardboard tub – but sadly that had been missing.

Now she wasn’t sure where she was. She could hear the sound of movement and voices outside her door and the noise of a machine coming nearer then going away. Perhaps she was at the hotel. What was it called? It overlooked the beach. But the name eluded her. She frowned and wiggled her toes in the sand. She only looked up when a middle aged woman came into the room – she’d seen her before somewhere.

‘Hi Mum,’ the woman said with a smile. ‘No shoes on?’

The smile returned to Lily’s face.

‘I’ve been on the beach. Didn’t get an icecream though. Probably sold out.’

Was there a glimmer of recognition in her mother’s voice? Maybe a first step on the road to recovery?

Are you a writer? Prose or poetry? Beginner or published? Wymondham Writing Circle would welcome you at their monthly meetings held in the upstairs room at The Feathers pub in Wymondham. For more information contact Anne on 01953 571425. Come and join us.

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