Springdene Newsletter  October 30 2021

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Springdene Newsletter October 30 2021

IN THE PINK! As you can see from the picture, the residents of Spring Lane are all dressed up in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Day and having a tipple and a great time.

In fact, as somebody remarked: “It seems always to be party time at Spring Lane” –and manager Lori, with Magda and her team, have organised some fantastic celebrations over the past few weeks.

For animal lovers, there has been Pet Therapy Day and bakers have been engrossed in Fresh Herb-bread Baking Day. Not to mention fruit and vegetable printing, which was great fun for all, as well as indulging in a very popular pampering session.

Angela Peetamsingh, daughter of Vilma Ali, was moved to write: “Thank you, Lori. Mum was always very particular about her makeup, hair and nails. She was a personal secretary/shorthand typist in the city for most of her working life. I can see that she has enjoyed this session. Thank you so much for looking after her so well.”

Not just fun at Spring Lane, but the other homes as well. Music and art have been thriving at Spring Grove, thanks to Tegan and Odile, while Steve at Springview has been wowing everyone with his legendary singalongs. Everyone has had huge fun in the past week preparing for Halloween tomorrow. The decorated pumpkins look fantastic and we’re told the Halloween biscuits are especially delicious. A spooky time is sure to be had by all.

While our activities staff have worked so hard during the dark days of the pandemic to generate entertainment “in house”, we’re now looking at introducing more outside entertainment. Spring Grove and Spring Lane residents have been treated to the ever-popular musical talents of Roddy Skeaping, while a group of musicians from Live Music Now have been entertaining folk at Spring Grove. Other new outside entertainers will follow and we will keep you posted.

There’s lots of other good news to report. Springview has won a silver medal for its lovely gardens in the Enfield in Bloom competition. Congratulations to Stacey-Louise, whose green fingers helped make it all blossom. We’re happy to say, too, that the homes have remained Covid-free for many months now, thanks to all the precautions taken by our hard-working staff – and you, the visitors, who have patiently endured our testing regimes.

While the media have reported low rates of booster vaccinations in care homes around the country, we’re proud to say that almost every resident in our homes who is entitled to a booster has had one.

Also, as of November 11, all our staff will have been fully vaccinated and anyone who enters the homes – whether medical staff, tradespeople or entertainers – will have to show proof of their jabs. This will provide an additional layer of security.

However, a cautionary word. As you will have seen in the news, Covid infection rates are soaring again in the community. It is vital that the virus is not brought into the homes, and we would urge all folk to make sure they have had their vaccines. While this is not a legal requirement for visitors seeing their loved ones, we would urge you to make sure you have had all jabs available to you. It is a sensible precaution for all.

One of the nice things about our folk at Springdene is the fact that so many have a fascinating back story. Distinguished among these is Rachel Kidd at Spring Grove. Rachel, who is a wonderful painter in her own right, is the daughter of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and the artist Ben Nicholson.

Hepworth is regarded as Britain’s greatest-ever woman artist and Nicholson was one of the finest abstract painters of the 20th century. To add to this distinguished artistic heritage, Rachel’s grandfather was Sir William Nicholson, one of the most eminent painters and portraitists of the Edwardian era.

Chatting as the autumn sun beams through the windows of her fourth-floor room at Spring Grove, Rachel talks of the influence of her family and how it has moulded her life. At 87, still bearing her mothers’ striking features, she speaks of her upbringing in Hampstead and St Ives in Cornwall and how she didn’t start painting until she was in her early forties, after the death of her mother.

Barbara Hepworth died in 1975 as a result of smoking a cigarette in bed. “I have always tried to lead a healthy life,” says Rachel, “Never drinking or smoking.”

“I had no formal training and didn’t know I could paint till I tried,” she says. Yet her paintings, especially her quiet still lives and landscapes, are exquisite and have been exhibited widely in many galleries and collections. At her first London exhibition in 1980, her eminent father commented: “I never realised she could paint so well. I would have been happy to paint that one myself.”

“I was one of triplets,” she says, “and you can imagine what it was like for my parents with their artistic work and three brats on their hands. We must have been a pain in the neck!”

As a result, her mother was a somewhat remote figure. Rachel and her siblings were left with a cook and a nurse while her parents got on with their creative jobs at their studios, off Parkhill Road in Hampstead. Her father was a warmer character – she recalls him playing ball games with her on the sands at St Ives after they moved there from Hampstead at the beginning of the war. Rachel still loves ball games, she says, because of what Ben taught her.

Their Hampstead house was a veritable salon for the great artists of the day. Henry Moore dropped by, and Rachel remembers the great abstract artist Piet Mondrian coming for tea. As a young child she was appalled that he ate off his knife!

These days Rachel no longer paints – and devotes herself to her three adult children and their families. But she stays in touch with the artistic world by reading The Guardian every day, as well as indulging her passion for classical music. And she still has an eye for a landscape, savouring the view from her window with the leaves turning golden. “I saw a fox curled up on the lawn in the sunshine the other day. It was lovely.”

Meanwhile, we congratulate our residents of the week, whom we pamper with flowers and chocolates and try to meet their special wishes. Laura Davis at Spring Grove is one of our newest members. She was a journalist, and among other jobs, worked at Woman’s Own magazine in London for a while.

She loves Italian food and a glass of sauvignon blanc, so she’s being treated to some of those delights this week, too. She is a lover of music and sang in a choir for many years. Lots of singing and dancing, too, then for Laura!

At Spring Lane, Johanna Maund hails from the Cape Province of South Africa. she previously lived in Australia. Johanna was a teacher and thoroughly enjoyed her work educating young minds. She very much enjoys quizzes and documentaries, so we’ve been keeping her brain active with those this week. She isn’t a big eater, but adores fruit, so she’s been treated to a range of lovely different fruits throughout the week.

Joan Barnett at Springview loves keeping fit. We’ve made sure she attends all of the fun exercise sessions this week, as well as some walks, since the weather has been kind to us. She doesn’t drink alcohol, but is quite partial to the occasional fizzy drink such as Coca-Cola. She also really enjoys Chinese food, so we’ve ordered her an oriental treat for her special meal.

Finally, may we offer a very warm welcome back to Kathy, our Business Administrator at Springview, who has been away recovering from a long illness. As many of you will know, Kathy’s lovely smile and cheery manner always light up the reception desk. Good to see you home, Kathy!

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