April Activities Summary…….

Where did April go ?

Seems like only yesterday I was typing the March Blog !

Another wonderful Rabbit Hole Club evening….food amazing as ever….!  A lovely relaxed atmosphere with our ladies, gentlemen and guests.  Reuben and Eddie had a great time helping serve food, napkins and cutlery adding the real family atmosphere to the proceedings.

They were even invited to help Andy bring the Cake in for one of our ladies who celebrated their Birthday on that day….they helped eat it too !

John and I enjoyed a short break in Blackpool the reason being that The Association of American Dancing….that Sally-Ann and I are Members….put on a Gala with 600 pupils !  A real bonus was on the evening we arrived there was a ‘Celebration of Fred Astaire’ show on at the same venue…The Winter Gardens…I was in heaven watching and John really enjoyed it too.

We spent time in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom watching the Tea Dances.

This prompted our Reminiscence Session.  A few of the ladies had visited the Ballroom and remembers the Organ rising from under the stage…it still does !  There are two Organs there…..one higher on a platform which is fixed then after one hour of playing another Organist ascends from under the stage with the famous Organ which has been there for years and then he plays for an hour before handing over to the first Organist.

One of our ladies was stationed at Preston during the war when she was in Service and remembers traveling into Blackpool to dance at the Tower Ballroom….she also remembers visiting Lytham St. Anne’s and traveling on the Tram along the seafront.

Two more subjects came to light…..Trams along Lewes Road Brighton….one of our Carer’s Dad drove a Tram in Belfast…regarding the Organs…memories were of the Organ being played before films were shown at The Astoria and ABC Cinemas….another link….a visitor joined in by telling us she used to be a Box Office Cinema Clerk selling tickets for 1 shilling and 9 pence  and 3 shillings and 6 pence….1/9 and 1/6 for those of us who remember ! How many of you remember half a crown…2/6.   Residents, visitors and carers then all tried to work out the prices today…a shilling would be 12 old pence, the 1/9 would be 21 old pence so in

modern day currency that would be just under nine new pence to buy a ticket to see a film (yes John did help me out with the calculations as 2 and 2 make 5 to me !!)     Phew see you in the Merry Month of May !


March’s Activity Summary


As I write I am looking out over our garden with the beautiful trees in blossom and bees busily collecting their pollen !

So lovely to see the sunshine and seeing so many of our lovely ladies and gentlemen being able to enjoy the beautiful grounds of Valerie Manor either on their own or with relatives or Carers. Claire the gardener and Richard do a wonderful job making the grounds look so neat and tidy.

I think one of the best things offered to Residents at Valerie Manor is choice. I visit weekly and hear Carers asking……’after lunch would you like to go out into the garden, go to you room for a rest or maybe listen to music or watch television’

Also the choice of Menu is great….I must mention what a lovely time we enjoyed on Mother’s Day….the choice of Menu on offer from Chef Andy and his staff was amazing….the way it was presented was certainly restaurant standard not to forget how delicious it all was…I chose Salmon Mousse, Roast Beef and Profiteroles
All lovingly prepared at Valerie Manor !
Must not forget to mention the hard working Staff who served so beautifully getting the correct meal to the right people ! Even those Residents that preferred to eat in their rooms were served with flowers on their tray !
It was lovely seeing Residents, families and staff mingling together…Zoe’s vision once again being fulfilled.

Down to business !
After Exercising we had a chat about our mother’s names….see if you recognise any of them….Doris Bowden Radcliffe, Winifred Mary Moore, Edith Lucy, Wendy Joan, Susan Louise, Gwendoline Maud…remembered as being born in 1895 !
We also had a chat and played Vera Lynn music in honour of her 100th Birthday.

Whilst singing along to the favourites…White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again…another memory when one of my favourites was played…A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square…a friend of one of our ladies used to be in broadcasting and her signature tune for her programme was that very song !

I hope you have a lovely Easter…no doubt see some of you over the break.


February Activities Summary

Bye Bye February !

Our Monday Exercise Sessions continue to hopefully keep those that attend supple whilst relaxing mind as well as body to the variety of music on offer from Zen Relaxation, Aromatherapy, Sounds of the Sea, Nature’s Harmony  to Tranquillity !

After the Exercising we usually listen to some more popular music….Musicals are usually requested….where we sing-a-long to our favourites.  It never ceases to amaze me how we remember the lyrics from songs from years ago.

We enjoyed chatting about when the Queen ascended the Throne in 1952 making this year her 65th ‘Sapphire’ Anniversary.  Her Coronation was in 1953 and one of our lovely ladies remembering attending as her husband helped with the organisation of the event….she remembers wearing a lovely Gold Chiffon Gown on the day..

As we discuss memories from years gone by another lady remembers working as a Fashion Artist and was requested to produce a Bridal Gown design for Hardy Amis.  She remembers working in Berkeley Square and Farringdon Street.  She also remembered going to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with her husband who used to be the Chairman on Washington Parish Council….making her own hat for the occasion.

More memories include working at a Hospital in Sackville Road Hove…which is now a block of flats….another of being a Telephonist in the Holborn Telephone Exchange,  working at Green’s Sponge Factory in Hove, being a Librarian in the Public Library in Brighton….nothing to do with working but remembering a father being a dentist and listening outside of the practise door when Laughing Gas was used whilst extracting teeth !

Have you noticed the abundance of Snowdrops this year…Spring is really on it’s way !

Bye for now


January Activities Summary…….

Brrrrrrr ! A very cold wet January for us all.

Keeping warm and snug at the Manor though !

Residents enjoyed a lovely Burns themed food day organised by Head Chef Andy. The menu included Haggis for those who wished to try.  Scottish Flags and decorations added to the atmosphere !


One Resident had enjoyed Scottish Dancing for 30 years…her husband always wore a kilt on St. Andrews Day and they always attended a Dinner-Dance on Burns Night.  Another lady remembers her Grandfather’s surname as Maciemoir…. the Family came from Dundee.  One of the family designed the Forth Bridge and was Knighted.

Then there was the Chinese New Year of the Rooster…after our Exercise Session we enjoyed Prawn Crackers with Sweet Chilli (too hot for some !) and Plum Dips whilst listening to Chinese Music surrounded by Chinese Flags, Fans and Firecracker and Lantern Decorations.

We enjoyed a good old giggle when remembering our Dates of Birth finding out which Animal Sign we were born under…..the years ranged from 1918 – 1989 of the Residents, Carers and a family member who were joining in the fun…..We had the year of the Rabbit, Dog, Horse, Monkey, Goat, Tiger, Snake, Ox and Rat !  Fun when I read out ‘What Does Your Animal Sign Mean?’ ….did we all match our Animal ? it does not really matter as we enjoyed ourselves anyway !

The evenings are getting lighter…Spring will soon be upon us…keep warm and dry.

Must not forget a huge Congratulations to Zoe on the 9 year Anniversary on 28th January of owning Valerie Manor..we will be celebrating at the forthcoming Rabbit Hole Club Evening.  Maybe see you there.

Bye for now.