August Activities Summary…….

Hello everyone….sorry late short blog due to being away!

I do hope everyone is keeping well and you have been able to enjoy the sunshine!

I am afraid there is not much to say about my Mondays last month because as well as John and I having been away for 2 weeks!!!….not happened since the children were small! On the couple of Mondays I visited  it was so hot that most of our lovely ladies and gentlemen were in their cool rooms.  I spent a couple of hours just chatting to those who were enjoying a quiet time and not wanting to do ‘physical activity’   It really is just lovely having a chat…I love remembering the ‘good old days’ and it always brings a smile to faces chatting about days gone by.  Sometimes sad memories come to mind but it really helps to talk about these as well.

I must say what a lovely Residents and Family bar-b-q we had.  So lovely to see so many guests joining us in the lovely garden…as for the food it was absolutely delicious so a huge congratulations to the lovely staff who prepared and cooked and to the lovely staff who served and looked after us.

I am back on Monday 10th to see my lovely ladies and gentlemen…I have really missed the Valerie Manor family!

Bye for now


July Activities Summary


I have not been around much this month due to John and I having been on Holiday to Greece.

For the first time in years we went away for 2 weeks.

We had a lovely time but I think it was hotter here than there!

On the Monday before we went I was introduced to a lovely young lady…Chadia…who was on work experience from Steyning College where she is boarding.  After helping serve refreshments she was with me helping with the morning’s Activities.  A lovely young lady….her first task was to help collect lavender and herbs from the garden to replenish the bud vases with me.  We then set up in the garden by the conservatory for our exercises from our chairs with some of our lovely Residents.  Chadia joined in which was lovely for everyone.

We then had an American Independence Day Quiz which one gentleman visiting knew nearly all the correct answers!

We ended the morning with listening to The Sound of Music which had been requested the week before.

So sad we had to cancel the Garden party….so much preparation for everyone….I received a phone call on the morning from Zoe for John and I to go and meet her and Alan in the garden to help with the decision to go ahead or not.  It was very windy at Roxwell but when we arrived at the Manor the Gazebos were rocking and sun shades had been blown over as were big plant pots !!! no way could our ladies and gentlemen have been outside….we were expecting 100 visitors so we went worked quickly to let everyone know.

My young Maypolers were busy in the heat on Friday rehearsing when it started to rain…they were so excited they went outside of the hall in their ballet shoes!!  We thought it might be the heat or rain which would stand in our way not the WIND !  Needless to say the girls and their families were disappointed after attending rehearsals for their performance.

The Maypole has now gone to bed until next year…fingers crossed!

I had a lovely time on the last Monday of the month….I was in the Library when I was joined by a lovely gentleman who joined us whilst I was away.  Andrew was looking after him and brought him to be introduced to me.  It was absolutely amazing as the gentleman immediately sat down at the piano and started playing and singing…….Reuben was with me and we were both astounded and delighted at what was happening!

(hopefully Reuben will be starting lessons in September!)  Not a dry eye from me or other staff who were around!… dear dad played the piano…a present from his mum….I still have the receipt for it somewhere that my Nanna kept back in the 40’s….21 shillings!!!!!

Those of you that know me (staff included) know that although I know all of the words of the ‘oldies’… I was brought up on music….I cannot sing!   Can dance a little! that did not stop me!….sorry…Three Coins in the Fountain, If You were the Only Girl in the World, My Way to name but a few.  When the gentleman finished we spent the rest of the morning listening and singing along to…..yes you guessed it….show numbers which he requested.

Apparently he started playing the piano at the age of 10 and carried on.  When he was called up for National Service when he was 18 he thought his playing days were over but he joyfully played at Camps for the Troops…can’t wait to see him again!

Bye for now



June’s Activity Summary……..

Phew…so much going on….finished with some lovely sunshine!

I do hope you have been able to enjoy the sunshine…a bit of a shock it lasting for so long.

Some of our lovely ladies and gentlemen, not forgetting their visitors,  have been enjoying our wonderful outside space at Valerie Manor. Staff busy moving parasols every time the sun pops through the gaps!

The highlight this month for the staff and residents must have been the National Care Awards….see separate article.

John and I would like to say HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all staff on such a wonderful result of Best Nursing Care….soaking up the passion to genuinely care for our ladies and gentlemen.

With our Zoë at the helm and Alan by her side….a wonderful combination for a wonderful Home…..very proud!

I would also on behalf of the staff to thank Zoe and Alan for organising the wonderful experience of travelling to London to attend the Event.

Back to business of our Monday mornings.  Quite often visitors join in with the exercising which is lovely.  After exercising we have enjoyed singing along to many favourites.  It is amazing how the memory of lyrics just come flooding back bringing smiles to faces….especially as the staff come dancing through the conservatory joining in!

We had a chat about the Queen’s Coronation….one lady camped overnight opposite the Cathedral with sleeping bags, flasks and sandwiches….another remembers spending the night before in the Mall to be sure of getting a good view when the Carriage passed….unfortunately there were so many people that by the time the Queen passed they had been shuffled to the back…still very exciting but not the view they camped out all night to see!  They had no chairs so sat on their rolled up sleeping bags.  Everybody said that the Golden Coach was spectacular and Her Majesty was very well looked after.

A Memory Game of Triads was enjoyed by residents once again our lovely staff joined in as they passed through the conservatory…..I read the first two words of the Triad and the third was guessed by our ladies, gentlemen and staff…..e.g.  Animal, vegetable and (mineral)….Lock, stock and (barrel).  There were 21 Triads which most people knew…. but stuck on one which only one lady answered…Winken, blinken and (nod)….have you ever heard of that one?

Enjoy July and we look forward to seeing some of you at the Garden Party…..some of our Let’s Dance! girls will be performing Maypole Dancing….something we have done every year since Zoe came to Valerie Manor!

Hopefully after the performance some of our visiting children will join in….see you there!

Bye for now


May Activities Summary!……..

Sunny sunny sunny May!

I do hope everyone enjoyed the sunniest month of May for a long time and did not get caught up in the floods!

The highlight of the month must have been the Royal Wedding…well it was for most of the Residents and Staff at Valerie Manor.

Union Flags everywhere….John even put my old Guiding Flag Pole up with a large union Flag….on strict instructions from our lovely carer Linda to ‘make sure it is the correct way up or you will have my husband complaining’!!! (he used to be in the army!)  bunting with Harry and Meghan’s photos on….red white and blue plates, napkins, balloons, cake stands and table sprinkles!!!

Most of our lovely Residents who wished to see the proceedings gathered in the Conservatory and at 12.00 enjoyed a glass Pimms to get us in the celebratory mood then after the Service most of us had a glass of champagne to toast the lovely couple!

As ever our lovely Alison and Steve prepared a special Buffet Lunch, cleverly using a British and American Theme in honour of the now Royal Couple….absolutely yummy!

John and I were looking after Reuben and Eddie that morning….the boys played football outside for a while but then joined us inside to watch the proceedings… is great to see Residents faces light up when the boys arrive…they are quite comical and feel quite at home at Valerie Manor having both accompanied us at various functions from an early age.

When the two little page Boys were attending Meghan it reminded me of when our boys attended Zoe and Alan’s Wedding as page Boys….Sally-Ann asked Zoe to get a few Haribo Sweets for them to enjoy during the Service….Zoe being Zoe bought 2 huge bags and the boys had lots of energy!!! But very funny!

The day after the Royal Wedding gave us a subject for our Reminiscence Session…’What memories have you of your Wedding Day?’

Carrying Red Roses, another carried White Lilies and Red Carnations….white Carnations with a tint of Pink…..and Cream Roses.

One Resident remembers getting married in St. Paul’s Church in Beckenham in 1940…another married in Acton in 1948…in 1947 another married in a Church near Bridgewater, Somerset.

Getting married to his beautiful German wife by an English Army Padre in Lubeck was another lovely memory of a gentleman.

Ava Maria was sung at their wedding which hosted 105 guests for a sit-down Wedding Breakfast which had been catered for by the WRVS…in the evening the Sergeants’ Mess was laid out for dancing!

At 12.00 midnight the happy couple left the Reception and went to Hanover then by train to Berlin where they had to sit on the doorstep of his new wife’s mother’s house until she came home…they then had their second German Wedding!

Lovely memories for lovely people!