Hugs All Around Today

How many Christmas dinners will I get to where the seniors don’t take off their coats, come in with their trollies, and the men leave on their caps and hats? Today I had a dinner which was cold and over-cooked, where the vegetables tasted of salmon and the roasties were anaemic. Yesterday my friend went to a free Christmas dinner for old people where the pudding had such sugar over-load that you would not think we had a diabetes panic in the UK. When she , a godly person, mentioned how uglily sweet the dish was she was sounded out with lines along be grateful for what you got. I say NO. Do a job and do it properly. Don’t give cold dinner to the poor of the parish. Think about healthy living as though you were feeding your own parents or children.

So far, the Antic pub dinners have outstripped all else in the realm of freebies for the old.

It was interesting for me to reflect on the bus coming home how as children, my age group and older had school parties where we took our own teaspoon for the jelly, ate cheese and cress crusty rolls, managed chocolate cornflake crispies and had a treat of entertainment and often a projected cine-film of a cartoon where my dad was the projectionist, where the prism of floating dust beaming from the projector to the rolled white screen was fascination itself. The format for we as kiddies and we in the waiting room of life or the spurt in the second wind for the Party is the same.

Yes Antic pubs responded to my request for Up Your Street seniors to have a free Christmas dinner in their dark and warm saloons and we did well. Of course we had to stand in line behind Age Uk as they command dates to suit their minibus drivers. I patiently waited for the date changes whilst seniors waited in the wings to get the go-ahead,

For another date, we have an invitation again to a school where the young students experience working as hosts for their elders and the school can be confident that their self-description as ‘community schools’ is valid.

Many seniors do not want to partake of a freebie because in many areas seniors are comfortable. For Up Your Street I know that many seniors need the meeting up, the human warmth and the FELLOWSHIP.

All that talk

So much in the news all year about including seniors in everyone’s plans and lives then you go along to a Newham nursery and find out the council moved the seniors along to the library where before the toddlers and seniors interacted quite nicely thank you in a purpose built community centre: Obviously the building and the seniors were not fit for purpose. And then in come Age UK’s ad on telly all about a miserable-looking old man being lonely. He needs to buy a telly with more than five channels, join the two fifths of old people who have telly for company and accept that. There is no parallel universe where your clone is happily conversing with all your jolly neighbours. Life is suckable. Then along comes the gravy advert to entice the family kitchen woman to invite in that live-alone neighbour who eats alone. Almost pathetic. I am only disturbed because AGE UK thinks it has all the old-age situations covered and in its trumpet-blowing saga then does a great job spending thousands on its own adverts and the fact that even the gravy-makers jump on the old as problematic charabang to sell their cornflour dust.


Up Your Street is on a free from email listings to its subscribers for another six months or so. That’s because there are many interns listing up community hub events online so in Up our Street’s eyes there’s an opportunity for seniors to find events and activities then to share with others. That’s the theory.

Up Your Street is as a dead pigeon. Community centres attended by its subscribers have staff who care not a jot about the fact that Up Your Street is neither promoting nor using the venues. They should be wooing Up Your Street and its mass of seniors. Over the past months Up Your Street has supplied audiences for events; there is a caught audience ready to join in and be part of the tick-sheet “Have you included the community in all your projects?” However when it comes to keeping up the relationship in its embryonic state between consumer and supplier, the supplier, in this case funded by the council or the lottery, community projects, Up Your Street keeps in the eye-line but always the supplier drops Up Your Street and certainly NEVER responds to emails. Talk about being invisible.

Of course much of the time the suppliers are Council employees waving like a victory flag their brief to include old people in the community and knocking off at four after a three day week. The commitment vanishes away from the desk. All that talk, eh?

They should be wooing Up Your Street. There are big enterprises who continually refuse to recognise that Up Your Street is also on the playing field caring about seniors’ welfare and that’s because they are afraid their funders will take away the money if they collaborate or lose the enterprise’s integrity and identity. Gawd, eh?

As many Up Your Street seniors say and have said over the last ten years,

“They don’t care if we come or not. We are just part of their forms and tick-sheets. They should be chasing after us.”

They should be wooing us.