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Happy Grampa Day

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014, 20:20

Fig. 1 Jack Wilson MM with his daughter, Tyne Cot Cemetery, August 1992

I'm sure everyone has a date when they recall a close family member: my late grandfather would have been 118 today. He was born on the family farm in Dalston, Cumberland on this day in 1894. Now that would have been something to get the attention of the news and social media: 118 years old. The oldest man alive celebrated his 111th yesterday and there's a character who still goes into work four days a week in New York - he's 104. If I am not mistaken the oldest person ever to live was a French woman who made it to 126 and only died in the last year or so.

From E-Learning IV

 

Fig. 2. The oldest man in the world ... with more than just one foot in the grave?

Twenty years in a care home? It must depend on the quality of life you have: bed ridden, or like the late Norman Wisdom the life and soul of the party. From about age 86 onwards my grandfather would say, 'I've had a fair innings. His wife had recently died. A decade later he was still coming to 'ours' for Christmas lunch with three sisters in law who in turn were 98 96 and 92 ! They were long livd, frugal, non-alcohol drinking Quakers who kept themselves engage and busy. My late great aunt Mary was doing home visits to 'her old ladies' who were ten years younger than her. This all in the North East (Fenham, Gosforth, Ponteland). 

So, no more 'grampa' (as we called him as children), and no more mum either: she would have been 83. So much for expecting to outline the Queen.

How we mark the passing of a loved one, and what record we have of their lives fascinates me. Who could unscramble the mass of data that we create, or is created on us and digitised in 2014? Has the nature of an personal archive changed? Who has time for it? Can we rely on or get value from an algorithm that seeks out patterns and narratives in a life story as it occurs and once it is over?

In a dozen posts or more here I look at 'life logging' and what it means: for supporting those with dementia, for example, to supporting and gathering a record of value to family and others.

 

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Taking a second look

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While waiting to see someone relating to some timeshares my late father bought I decided to look more closely at the deeds I had brought out to France only to discover that they are some kind of legal evidence of my late father's divorce from a) my mum and b) his second wife - he's been married to his second wife, who had also been divorced for all of two years - very profitable, though she had told me for some spiteful reason that she had no intention of staying with my Dad and was only aftr his money - my late father was not the kind of person you argued with. I go into the meeting and find myself speaking to a woman who after 35 years is retiring - we had something in common: she had known all my late father's wives too, four eventually. The legalease wasn't her responsibility. Returning to a timeshare flat I last occupied in 1977 I felt the presence of my late father, his four wives ... and some seven or eight girlfriends. Any chance I'll be able to sell it or give it away? For what it isn't worth we timeshare owners will be given ownership of the entire 1970s edifice in 2024. Will this give me a 1/1600 or less share in a building site without further damage to my wallet? 

So, it pays to read a thing closely - it is in French though and I'm sure French legalease is worse than our own which explains how in France you can be charged 1500 Francs to sell a cupboard in this time share block. 

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Parents

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012, 14:14

Who said your perspective on life changes when your parents are no longer alive?

It makes life feel terribly short.

You reflect on the life of the person who has just passed away (or is on that path)

Twice last year I create a 'Book of Condolences' for colleagues which in the immediate week and then for a few months gather some 100 or 70+ comments respectively.

As someone said, 'funerals are for the living'.

Sorry to sound downbeat, but I do wonder 'what is the point?' Short of completing the animalistic duty of reproduction. Growing old can be enjoyed with marriages, births and memorable anniversary but there comes a point when even the grandchildren are forging lives of their own and the generations forget that the oldest generation is still with us.

Especially if you are part of what I call the 'splat generation', those kids who went away to university (when the government and local authority was paying for it) and don't go back.

On reflection I'd have liked to have bound our extended family more closely, that having us in the same town/region or community would have benefited everyone, not least from the love, encouragement and 'life-lessons' we pick up from each other's behaviours (mistakes especially).

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Dreams. If you've just had one, try this.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 18 Apr 2015, 07:04

"Nights through dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day." — C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)

1: Who are you in the dream?

2: Who are you with in the dream?

3: What details stand out?

4: What do you feel about these details?

5: What are the various actions in the dream?

6: How are you acting and behaving in this dream?

7: What relation does this dream have to your personality?

8: What does the dream want from you?

9: What are the various feelings in this dream?

10: What relation does this dream have to what is happening right now in your life?

11: Why did you need this dream?

12: Why have you had this dream right now?

13: What relation does this dream have to something in your future?

14: What questions arise because of this dream work?

15: Who or what is the adversary in the dream?

16: What is being wounded in this dream?

17: What is being healed in this dream?

18: What or who is the helping or healing force in this dream?

19: Who or what is your companion in this dream?

20: Who are your helpers and guides in life as well as in your dreams?

21: What symbols in this dream are important to you?

22: What actions might this dream be suggesting you consider?

23: What can happen if you work actively with this dream?

24: What is being accepted in this dream?

25: What choices can you make because of having this dream?

26: What questions does this dream ask of you?

27: Why are you not dealing with this situation?

28: What do you want to ask your dream spirits?

My older sister got me into this in the 1970s when I was in my early teens.

I would cite where it came from if I had the foggiest idea. Do help if you know as I think we all deserve to be recognised (and occasionally rewarded) for the words we write.

Extraordinary as the mind is, reading a few lines about a dream I had 35 years ago does bring it all back.

Actually I can recall a dream I had when I as about four, being strangled by Rolf Harris. I asked my mother recently if my father had a beard at the time, he didn't, though there were plenty of times he said 'I could strangle you.'

Bingo! Eureka!

That's it, I wanted him to be like Rolf Harris but he was rubbish at painting and wanted to kill me smile

So that's explained, 44 years on.

Nothing like giving it time ...

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Ivan and the dogs

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 22 Oct 2010, 08:00

Ivan and the Dogs

Occasionally I am engaged by a radio play, this one had me parked up for the final 15 minutes. Yes, I can get it on iPlayer, but I enjoyed it on its first outing (I think).

Dickensian, gripping, magic, visual and dramatic.

If I had the means to buy the film rights I'd get them in the bag tonight. This is one for Warner Brothers (does that diminish it). I hope not.

Hatti Naylor's play directed by Paul Dodgson. A Peer Production for BBC. 14h30 Thursday 21st October 2010.

From the BBC iPlayer podcast blurb:

Based on the extraordinary true story of a boy adopted by a pack of wild dogs on the streets of Moscow.

Ivan Mishukov walked out of his drunken, arguing parents flat aged 4 and went to live on the streets of Moscow. There he was adopted by a pack of wild dogs and with them he spent two winters on the streets. When the play begins Ivan is now 11 and has never told anyone of his time with the dogs until one night his foster mother promises another dog if he will tell his story.

The story takes us though the backstreets of Moscow at a time when the idea of life itself was being devalued and where we meet glue-sniffing children who fight for their territory in underground sewers and drunks who will freeze to death in the winter. Amidst this human catastrophe Ivan learns that only his dogs can really be trusted and embarks on an extraordinary relationship of mutual need.

Credits: Ivan: Tom Glenister Cellist: Sarah Moody

Go listen while you can.

Simple, engaging, moving, relevant ...

and if you have children (an 11 year old boy at some stage helps) and have or have had aa dog, you'll love it.

Which probably explains why it caught my attention ... narrowcasting like a rifle at the man with a 12 year old son and a 2 year old nonsense of a fluffy white dog.

(If you are going to write, know your audience, for radio, this is a single person. Is this not the case with all stories? )

Is this not valid for any kind of communication?

 

 

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