Leading A Merry Dance


 

img_6029I celebrate the word old. I am old. The older I’ve got the closer I’ve felt to the label. I love labels I choose to wear. I am now an old disabled disability equality trainer. I’ve always believed that the lessons of the social model are valuable to other marginalised groups. So, it is I look forward to working with the old. My peers. My people.

Bean runs an elders Healthy Eating lunch group in North London. The lunch is preceded by a dance movement class. We were called to tell the teacher could not attend this week and Bean was asked if she could fill in the time. I woke up and devised an exercise. Its basic reminiscence I know. I came up with a list of 12 conversation starters. I felt some of them may be risque, others may be fun. I presented it to the group.

My feelings were right. There were some tuts, some ‘oh Richard’s’. But, i was not responsible for the starters they pulled from the bag (see picture). ‘My first crush’ was followed by ‘the first time’, followed by ‘I really love’. All potentially adult themes. But the group soon found that words are what you make of them and younger readers might be surprised older people can do grown up.

Regardless of who we are and what we said, we appreciated our time together. The learning about our friends was valuable. North London is rich in diversity. Men, women, irish, jamaican, swiss. I think the surprise is how close our experiences are. How we are defined by church, by culture, by state, by social controls, by each other.

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