The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in. Took a day off work today. Felt a bit under par and also needed to regroup. You and I know that running round like a blue-arsed fly is no solution; yet I’m getting caught up in a constant stream of work, tv shows, work. I know, I know. Choices, choices, choices.

Since I’m are trundling off back up to Hochanda for the 3rd time in a week this evening with Paul, in readiness for the first Pergamano Shows tomorrow (12 and 3), I decided to take a step back and go to pottery for the whole day. Wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered.

First thing was turn all the pots I threw last Saturday. For the not-yet-potters, this is when you shape the pots, like so:

I was alone at the wheel, head in a bit of a muddle, trying to snap out of my gloom. A little old lady joined me on the wheel opposite. She was very frail. Beautiful smile. What fantastic little pots she was able to throw! Crazy good. The teacher quietly told me that the lady was in the grips of advanced alzheimers, and that pottery was the only thing she remembered. And right there – I snapped out of my little poor-me mood and focussed on her.

She talked to herself while she was working, and I listened very carefully….. “Remember the power of positive thinking Pam” she said, “Look on the bright side” and “Always stay positive”.

“Oh blast!” she exclaimed at one point. “You okay? I asked. “Clay’s too wet. Makes it more difficult to throw” she responded. Yep. She was right in the zone.

Imagine that. I saw her little face darken when the time came for her to leave. “I hate this part of the day” she said to me. “Why’s that ?” I asked. “I don’t want to leave,” she whispered.

In the afternoon, I moved on to my African woman. Well chuffed with her….

Anyway. All good. Time to get back in the saddle.

Hope you can join Paul and myself at noon tomorrow. We’re showcasing a set of really lovely new Groovi plates designed by Mel, and we’ll also be exploring the difference between bold grids and ultrafine grids.

Love and hugs,

Barb xxx

26 thoughts on “The Power of Positive Thinking

  1. Alzheimers is a terrible disease, isn’t it – but I’m so glad that this lady could lose herself in her pottery and perhaps feel normal and in control for a while. Wish my aunt could find something of herself – she’s struggling to cope with the loss of liberty that results from being taken into a home, and she won’t take part in any of the activities, all she wants is to be able to escape – but where to?
    Your African woman has come on a treat – I look forward to seeing her partner, when you get to finish him.

    1. I took my former neighbour out of the home to walk down the road whenever I went to see her in the home. She was tired very quickly even holding my arm so we never went more than a hundred yards but she would then join in as she had been out and chosen when to come back. It might be worth you trying it. There’s a useful book about how to work out behaviour in dementia – I think it is called ‘And Still the Music Plays’.

  2. Hi Barb,
    It’s great that you have something to fall back on that you love. Glad that you’ve had a good day doing your pottery although sorry that you felt so c*** before you went! I must say that your African lady is looking good – much better than last week! I like the headdress. You must get fed up of going up and down to Hochanda and it’s a shame that you haven’t got someone to fall back on for the Pergamano shows. I’m sure the shows will be a success and the new plates look lovely. Have a safe journey, love and hugs,Alison xxx

  3. I’m glad you had a good day. What a shame Pam can’t potter all day and every day. It’s so sad but puts stuff into perspective. Looking forward to learning about the grids. Have a safe journey x x

  4. I look forward to tomorrow’s shows. I love the fine grids and really dislike the bold grids. I find it hard to get the kind of picot cutting I aim for with the bold grid. Instead, whenever I am at a class where the bold grid is in use, I adapt the design to the fine one. I know it takes longer to cover the same area, but I enjoy the process, and finish up with a real sense of satisfaction. Not doing anything practical today as I had a very stubborn tooth removed after a week of very painful infection. Hopefully back to normal tomorrow to get ready for the very first Groovi class in Redditch, thanks to Hazel. Only a five minute drive rather than my usual hour plus. What a bonus! Love your lady, she has such a wistful expression on her face. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

  5. Sorry you weren’t feeling too well this morning. I think maybe your body is asking you to slow down a bit Barbara. Your African lady is coming on a treat, it’s really nice that you have a hobby that takes you away from your work. It’s great that you are at Hochanda again tomorrow from our point of view, but it must be so wearing for you and Paul. Must admit my list of wants has gotten so long now that I can’t buy anymore for a little while once I put my next order in. Hope you have a safe journey with Paul and manage to rest in between the

  6. Absolutely loving your lady Barbara, it’s amazing what therapy pottery and crafting can do for people who are suffering from memory loss! I have lost 2 uncles to dementia and what a horrible disease it truly is. I’m sure her time at the pottery wheel really helps both her and her husband and really puts things into perspective for everyone else! Hope you are feeling a bit better soon, could be you are doing way too much and have got run down, just take a bit of you time! Take care xx

  7. I love your African lady Barbara. I can’t wait to see her with her fella. Sorry you weren’t feeling that great this morning but glad you were able to turn things around. It sometimes takes others to make us see how fortunate we are. X

  8. You are turning out to be very good at pottery, am I surprised well not really. Wonderful that you can relax and enjoy it. Alzheimers is a horrible disease, one that is common in my husbands family his mother had it and so have several relations. So we always try to support the charity if we can. One day maybe they will find a cure for this dreadful disease. xx

  9. Sorry you were still feeling under the weather this morning, hope your day off has given you a bit of a boost.
    Your African lady is coming along nicely, love the turban!!
    A few years ago one of the ladies in my crafting workshop came in one day and said she wouldn’t attend any more as she was not able to concentrate very well. Later she told me she had been diagnosed with dementia and said the worst thing was still being aware of what was coming. It was so sad.
    My mother-in-law had Alzheimers, came on very fast.
    The only person she recognised right up to the end was me, not my name but she knew I was the wife of one of her sons although she didn’t recognise them. She was such a lovely gentle lady and she is sorely missed.
    I hope Pam can continue her pottery for a good while.
    With all you have going on I am surprised Paul didn’t ban you from the Pergamano show so you could rest a bit more. Do take care of yourself, don’t overdo it.
    Love and hugs 🍒🍒🍒

  10. Hi Barbara
    Certainly puts things into perspective Alzheimer’s is an awful disease
    Your pottery is amazing you have definitely got the gift 🎁
    I will tune in tomorrow can’t wait although I have not had time lately to do any groovi I love all the new designs.
    You have a safe journey and a great show. Hugs 🤗

  11. Love how your African lady is looking but sorry that you felt so rough today. Hopefully stepping away from everything work related for the day will recharge the batteries enough to get you through tomorrow. It must be nearly time for your holiday in California with Mark.
    Pam’s situation certainly puts everything into perspective & makes you appreciate everything that you are still able to do & to make the most of every day.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s shows to see what tricks & tips you & Paul come up with.
    Take care & safe journey to & from the studios

  12. Dear Barbra,

    I know it is an especially busy time with the expansion and all that is happening. To tell you the truth I’ve been a little worried for you. I am new to Groovi work however, I have watched your series for a long time. You represent a more artsy approach to card making which I appreciate very much. I could see the pace you were keeping and how it appeared to be taking it’s toll. I hope you treat yourself more often to a day off or even better three or more days soon. Please take care of yourself I want to continue watching you for a long time.

  13. This post brought tears to my eyes and memories of my dear mother to my heart. I remember when she was still on this earth and living with me. I could give her a big bowl of mixed buttons and little pots to sort into and she would be happy as a clam for hours. We all need a happy place and to go there often.

  14. Lovely to see you had a whole day at Pottery, something you enjoy so much. A change is as a good as a rest apparently! and mindfulness is a great way to get away from all the chaos of normal life.
    Your pots and African lady are fab and very impressive! – Hope you feel back to normal soon, one day at a time ‘ey!? 😃 X

  15. Love all of the pottery and so glad it made you feel better. Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease and affects people in all kinds of ways, wonderful to hear about Pam and that she can find some peace in the pottery.
    Take care on the journeys xx

  16. Its so important for all of us in the midst of a maelstrom to take some time out to refresh and look after ourselves. We don’t pay enough attention to our mental health. So glad you had a great day. Your pottery is amazing – I love her facial expression. Hope today goes smoothly in the studio.

  17. I’m glad your pottery helped clear your gloom. I just don’t know how you do it all Barbara, makes me feel exhausted just reading what you get done each day and I’m a fairly energetic person lol! I absolutely love your African lady. Superb xx

  18. Am in the early stages of Alzheimer’s myself and refuse to let it be who I am, Barb. Love hearing about someone who fights it daily and is still winning.
    I love your pottery too 🙂

  19. Many years ago I worked for a director of nursing who was dying from a long term condition. He came to work every day as he wanted to live with the disease rather than give in to it. Your story of Pam has brought dear Malcolm to mind after almost 30 years. Different disease, same mindset – same inspiration to stay positive x

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