Sunday, May 12

Contact The Elderly

William, age 98

I host a group of over-80s and a number of volunteers (Contact The Elderly a charity around since '65; last year they received the "Queen's Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award").

Madeleine and I set up for 14 guests as Sonnet and Eitan at a swimming gala (the boy disqualified in his one race, the 200 IM, attempting to qualify for the regionals). Madeleine reluctant given, well, these people are old. Me, I am concerned that the dog will take someone down and bust up a hip.

We serve tea and cakes and talk about technology (none of the elderlies have used a mobile phone), Second World War (vivid memories of houses destroyed or war serviced) and travel : most never out of England. It is a lively group from Southwest London, and good for Eitan (who eventually arrives) and Madeleine to engage. Jean (age 8X) flirts and I give it right back.

Grace taught me a valuable lesson at Bay Village, Sarasota : she went out of her way to hug and touch the seniors, making them feel wanted and loved.