The Lynda Bellingham Interview …….

….and how we were almost defeated by technology!

Volunteering for my local radio station has brought me into contact with some fantastic people both volunteers and guests alike.

It’s great fun and is run by the fantastic station Manager Lou Armer a ukulele playing hard working, no-nonsense, sweetheart of a woman with a heart and soul for the community of North Manchester where I live and the station is based!

When I first approached Lou about doing a show I pitched my show about older people in the community, news, views, recipes and reviews with of course some time to highlight the problems grandparents face in the 21st century! Did I mention the show tunes?

I covered Grandparent Alienation a few weeks ago and hopefully I can bring you that and some of my other programs soon, as I learn to master this new technology, and put it on a cloud???

Mastering the new technology is all part of my learning as I don’t wish to get older and be left wondering how to use a computer or even to stay in touch with my family, there are so many innovative things happening in this field, that many older people can feel isolated even when their families are close! Picture a family sitting around these days at home all on their own gadgets, and you will understand.

Anyway back to how technology almost defeated me this week!

On Tuesday of last week Lou got word that Lynda Bellingham was going to be available through a news media organisation for interview ahead of #dementiaawarenessweek, which began on Sunday 18th May 2014.

This was a fixed timeslot as these thing usually are, and the available time was to be Wednesday morning when I am normally in work, ( I work part-time) so I had to negotiate time off before I could put myself forward as a candidate for the interview which would be perfect for Nana’s Natter!

I work for a brilliant charity Get-Experienced part of the 4CT organisation which used to be a volunteer brokerage, but now runs smaller projects one of which is The Link East Befriending and activity scheme for older people.

My Manager Kate kindly allowed me to use some time owing to do the interview! So off I went and had my first big interview with a remarkable lady Lynda Bellingham OBE and Maizie Mears-Owen, head of Dementia at Care UK, click on the link below to find out more.

The interview went well even though I was quite nervous and I even managed to ask Lynda some questions that were not scripted a triumph for a local community radio station, I was feeling rather proud until I came to edit and found that I hadn’t recorded it!!! There was a glitch on the system.

Baffled and annoyed, I felt I had let everyone down! Not least of all my guests who had taken the time and trouble to go to such lengths to raise the profile of this little discussed disease!

Me being me of course I didn’t let it rest, I tweeted a plea for help to Lynda via Twitter and also sent her an email and of course because she is a compassionate and caring lady who truly understands the nature of this disease how it affects the person and the effects it has on the family as a whole, she contacted me and agreed to do a live interview today!

What an absolute star! Someone who uses her celebrity in a positive and caring way to help others

Tune in today between 4-5pm on North Manchester. FM 106.6 and have a listen.

Click on the links below for more information

Post show  19:09 pm update

Today’s show with Lynda Bellingham OBE talking about Dementia, please forgive the silence at 36:15 -37:17 I forgot to press a button!

and the link for the book The Things Between us :


The Simple Act of Forgiveness

I have long since learned to forgive, just small things, then some huge, but never more so than in the battle to see my granddaughter.

Forgiveness is also about your own pre-conceived notions and how to eradicate them, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate.

Fine words- hard to put into practice unless you try, try and try again.

How do you go about it? Well that all depends on the offence or level of it, could you forgive someone for stealing from you? For me it depends on what they stole but more importantly why they stole it?

Was it just to have whatever they stole as a possession? They didn’t have what you had, and maybe their envy caused them to steal?

Maybe they stole to survive, would you still condemn and thus not forgive?

I suppose that all comes down to the offence.

I have often said here that you must not break the law to prove your point, it may attract attention in the short term, but it does nothing for your long term goal, does it?

Or does it? Well that all depends on the law of the land at that particular time doesn’t it.

Think Nelson Mandela and then have a re-think, why was he jailed in the first place? Why was he freed? Why and how did he change history?

Then think again about his strongest message- forgiveness.

If you are a grandparent reading this, forgive and build bridges to move forward.

If you are a parent reading this, forgive and build bridges to move forward.

If you are a politician and law maker reading this, adapt and change law to move forward.

If you are a child reading this, forgive them for they know not what they do!

‘Cinderella’ emotional cruelty law considered’


Taking my own advice and changing what I don’t like!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

That’s what I posted on March 12 2014 I have not liked the look of my site for a while and getting someone to a) give of their time & b) do it for free has proved to be fruitless so far. So here I am learning again and again that if you don’t like it change it!

So I’ve added a new page all about the radio show check it out, and I will be adding more constructive information in the future about what YOU CAN DO in the event of being denied contact, or having full time care of your grandchild, and many other things to do with being a grandparent in the 21st century, so keep popping back for a look, you can even email me to have your say too, let me know what it is that you feel would benefit you as a grandparent.

If you have been here before and are wondering about the change in colours and the little blue flower, well green is my favourite colour, but it’s not very friendly on the screen and the little blue flower is a forget-me-not which is part of our logo and very apt for Grandparents especially those that are alienated, maybe this poem I wrote when I was being denied contact will illustrate it for you.cropped-forget-me-not-too.jpg

What’s your history?

I sit and wonder why
Oh my oh my oh my
I wonder where you will be
When you once again become me

How tragic our tale is
Of the life that we will miss
How we will never know
How either of us will grow

Can I ever bear this pain?
Or will I fight in vain?
To have no right to the past
Is a blight that will ever last

For now you are my future
But a disconnected suture
This wound has come between us
And I beg the law to heal us

But Grandparents have no right
And I will forever fight
To tell you that I love you
You make my heart take flight.





Bristol’s other great champion

Today I had the pleasure of chatting live on North Manchester Fm 106.6 to the lovely Jane Jackson, founder of the Bristol grandparents support group, you can listen again here:

Nana’s Natter Monday 10 February

If your a regular on my blog you know how passionate I am about family and the role of grandparents, and how important it is for children to maintain contact with all of their family members, have a listen and try and understand the heartache that occurs when grandchildren and grandparents are denied that loving bond.

If you are a parent and you are now re-considering your position, maybe you acted in haste and you don’t know how to put it right?

I know that if you make that first step toward reconciliation you will make your family whole again, you have nothing to lose but your child has everything to gain, please try, if you need help contact me, I would be delighted to help.

Bristol Grandparents Support Group raises awareness with Esther Rantzen as their Champion!

Bristol Group

This Thursday 6th February 2014 at 7:00pm on BBC’s The One Show, Esther meets some of the Grandparents who have been denied contact, In the home of Jane Jackson the founder of Bristol Grandparents support group. 

Read here Jane’s own account of the day :-

also if you were under the dellusion that it doesn’t cost a lot to go to court also read her other post :-


Just always remember to put the child first!