We have begun to co-design our third interactive book with another resident at Blaise Weston Court. When we approached the Tangible Memories group about the book project and showed them our first one, The Eye of the Hare, one man came up with an interesting suggestion. Rather than making a book about his life and memories, he said he would like to create a book about Blaise Weston Court. With so many terrible stories of cruelty and neglect in care homes featured in the news recently, he wanted to document one of the success stories and celebrate the place where he lives.
In our first session, he talked about his idea for the book, how he came to live at Blaise Weston Court and his impressions of how care for the elderly has changed over the decades. For our second session, he wrote up those ideas in two documents, which we are working with to include in the book.
We are co-designing a format to test for his book, which draws on the work we have done so far with books one and two. He is happy for the book to be introduced by him, but in order to give a good overview of Blaise Weston Court we are all in favour of involving a number of different voices including other residents and possibly staff members. For each person, we want to have a photo and short profile followed by the results of a creative activity, which we will do with them in one-hour sessions. We have come up a selection of activities, which include a range of ideas to allow for the varied abilities, interests and memories that exist at Blaise Weston Court.
Co-designing and testing the activities with other residents, will help us to further develop our blueprint.
We are in the process of creating our second interactive book, this time with one of the residents at Blaise Weston Court. It will be a collection of memories, photos and stories from her life. As before, the finished book will contain AR triggers, which allow you to listen to her recalling memories of her mother, the music she loved during the war, and lots of other audio clips and films to add depth to the text and images.
We have been visiting for the past six weeks to build up material that will make up her book. Each session has had a particular focus, such as food, music or clothing. From our conversations each week we have compiled a series of pages, taking text from things she has written and transcriptions of her words to show snippets and memories from her life.
The next stage will be to work with her to decide on which order she wants the pages. As with our first book, The Eye of the Hare, we are interested in juxtaposing memories from different times in her life, rather than displaying them in chronological order, to reflect the fragmented nature of memory. This process of ordering will also allow her to highlight any gaps or significant events/times that she would like to include.
Co-designing is helping us to develop a blueprint of tasks that we hope eventually can be followed by other older people and their carers/relatives who want to create their own books.
We were also pleased today when she said how much she was enjoying the process. She said it has helped her to remember all kinds of things that were buried, going right back to her childhood.
This is a photo of her that she sent to her husband in 1944, when he was stationed in Holland during WWII.
We had never made a print on demand book before, so wanted to test it out before we start working with people in the care homes to create their own reminiscence books.
Barney and I are brother and sister, but we also work regularly with other members of our family, including our parents, Pip and Ali Heywood. We developed a show with our Dad Pip last year, called The Eye of the Hare, which is an autobiographical piece about aspects of his life. It’s a one-man show with him on stage reading extracts and stories from a book he has been writing combined with film and audio clips.
As we have all the material and multimedia for The Eye of the Hare already, we decided to use that to create our initial prototype book. So, the three of us got together with the script and media from the show and tried to figure out how to turn it into an interactive book. Continue reading