Notes from the Neuro Café on 3rd February 2021.
Artwork by a LEGS participant
Equipped with pens, pencils, paper and paints, today’s session was all about making some marks on paper.
Conor showed some pictures of flowers and invited participants to sketch them.
Even if you do not have much movement or control, you can still do some kind of activity.
You do not necessarily need to make a full and realistic artwork! Your weaker arm can usefully hold or stabilise the paper you are working on. You can make small movements to improve your dexterity. Fine motor skills can be encouraged by simple movements such as mark making or shading. You can practise co-ordination while you are making an image.
Images made ranged from the realistic to the impressionistic. One participant thought their image was too shaky; I thought it looked free and had great expression!
Colouring involves co-ordination. Still life drawing encourages concentration.
One participant was using warm and bright paints to paint a dhow, inspired by a previous trip to the Indian Ocean and Kenya, Malindi and Mombassa.
Gallery inspirations: Le Louvre
Ten of the best galleries in the world
Gallery Inspirations: Korea
What do you miss most? The group had the courage to speak about what they missed from life before being ill. Included were:
Interacting with 20-30 different people who were walking through the door every day for medical treatment and meeting characters such as the person who invented the trouser press
Singing and performing
Being part of a group
Regularly meeting and socialising with people
People are the most important thing in life. They make your life.
Things do not work as well as they used to
Different time perspectives. A ten-minute shower might now take 40 minutes!
There was general agreement that things might not work as before - but you can still do things!
You need patience. Be careful not to fall as you mobilise.
Life: you still have something to say and something to do.
You need to accept you cannot be the same as you were before but you can come to terms with that.
Life is change.
LEGS people are keeping active. It was noted that jigsaw puzzles had become popular with all sorts of people during lockdown including LEGS participants. Someone had greatly enjoyed playing draughts, a game they had not played for a long time. Sudoko and word games were suggested as enjoyable things do to that stimulate cognitive abilities.
Future activities for the group were discussed, such as guest speakers and performers. It was noted that LEGS members have many interesting things and expertise to share alongside their current life experiences, including documentaries and performing. Contributions and suggestions are welcome!
This had been discussed in previous sessions. How do we motivate ourselves to go outside even for a few minutes every day? There was a suggestion and even a challenge. Go outside, prove it by taking a photo of even a small detail and post to the group. Do that for 31 days, please! We might make an exhibition from the contributions.
Languages and accents
Where do you come from? How do you speak? Some members have interesting accents influenced by the diversity of the places they have lived in.
One LEGS person was once on a train with a patient Hungarian lady, who kindly translated a discussion… from Scottish to Liverpudlian!