Look At It This Way - September 19, 2014

JIM MARTIN Reassurances on the old grey matter
JIM MARTIN Reassurances on the old grey matter
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His name is Jim Martin – and he’s made me very happy.

He’s just colour coded me green on my memory screening.

Jim’s a semi-retired medic who still likes to Give Something Back to Society... and that’s the news that I still have all my marbles. Or the right number of marbles appropriate to my age.

I took the 10 minute memory screening test, via memory app, thanks to the Charity Formerly Known as Blackpool Carers and now known as... I forget. And I do their PR. Oops.

There’s no conclusive early intervention test for dementia and the scientific jury’s out on memory screening... but a red or even amber result may flag up the need for further monitoring. The results go back to your GP.

I flunked one question – forgetting where two of the six (or was it eight?) shapes went after reshuffling on screen. Got it right next time. My mood was surprisingly upbeat given I’d only had two hours sleep the night before, had packed in with my bloke (once I remembered who he was...), and had got lost finding my way back from the Midland Hotel thanks to a sat nav which hadn’t been updated since Mr Rolls met Mr Royce there.

Thanks to Jim, I strode happily back into the sunshine, firing on (almost) all mental cylinders and promptly forgot where I’d left the car. I almost demanded to re-sit the test.

I then went to Tesco to get my car key cloned, forgot to hand over both sets of keys for re-chipping so had to go back twice.

I forget where I’d left my car (again), circumnavigated the car park, would have called police had I not forgotten to recharge my mobile, then 
remembered the car was having a pampering session at the store’s car wash.

At least I remembered to drop the right (charity) clothes into the right recycling bank rather than at the store’s dry cleaning unit... having put the dry cleaning stuff into the charity bank twice before.

I nearly broke my arm trying to get one bag back out and passing shoppers thought I was trying to rob the Sally Army.

My memory’s got decidedly worse since I left this paper. I blame all the cold calling from hot desks, the different passwords, strange computers and the fact I still say, at least once a day, “Hello, this is Jacqui Morley, from the Blackpool Gazette.”

One of my clients is double-barrelled so I stumble over that. I fluff Fylde Coast Carers Centre, Carers Trust, every time. Too much of a mouthful. Or mindful. Especially if I then have to talk about Cash Quest for Carers – or the new Britain’s Best Breakfast campaign. I keep calling it Britain’s Breast Beakfast. Over sexed gulls now follow my tweets on Twitter.

My mind isn’t so much 
broken as warped. It’s got worse since I got out of the old 9 to 5 routine (known as 24/7 to local journalists) and into self employment.

Have I got phones 4U? Yes, six colour coded for clients. Cheap and cheerful. The phones, that is. Although I’ve finally invested in a Motorola Moto G, an android which is to the latest iPhone what Peter Kay’s Rola Kola is to Coca Cola.

My working week is a seismic shape shifter. I have three wall planners, six diaries, and the other day used Outlook Calendar to invite a client to a Brianstorming session. That’s right. Brian. As in Life Of.

The other day I took pictures of Young Carers with egg and bacon rock supplied by Geoff Thorp (G at the front, no e at the end) of Stanton Novelty confectionery. I tweeted Jeff Thorpe and referred to Staunton.

But back to – what did I say his name was? – Jim running those free memory screenings for Blackpool... sorry, Fylde Coast Carers Centre. Age UK and Empowerment are doing much the same as part of an earlier intervention strategy to combat dementia.

It’s one thing to be offered the test, another to accept.My memory’s terrible. Ask Russell Grant. A few years ago I was supposed to call him on World Alzheimer’s Day to talk about his gran. I forgot. I called on World Heart Day instead.

Have a heart...

No grape expectations

It’s happened. The unthinkable. The undrinkable. The unsinkable. Spurred on by the sheer charm of Blackpool’s public health chief Dr Arif 
Rajpura, Ethel Red the Unsteady (aka me) has quit drinking. Or will. For October.

It’s not turning teetotal but it will soften the impact on my hardened heart and harder liver.

Go sober for October is a campaign run by Macmillan Cancer Support. I’d sign up as one of the online Dry Lights but some have raised thousands already and the month hasn’t even started yet. I just thought of putting in a fiver each time I resisted a half price wine offer or if someone caught me out.

The fact I now buy my own wine, rather than have it provided free for my old weekly wine column, is a key 
incentive.

It’s not just sour grapes, it really doesn’t taste as good when you buy it.

The last straw – not that I drink anything involving straws – came when I finally surrendered my 24 bottle wine rack to a charity shop – because I was using it to store umbrellas, Toblerone, and various odd cylindrical items of which I’d rather not speak. The search for (No) Red October has begun...