Getting personal, explaining dementia, and paper in art

We had 11 contributions for Week 5, with three themes emerging during the week: health issues, using social media in the public sector, and art. Gina Alexander returned to the  @dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog with Take a deep breath. I was amused that her first thought about that phrase was of giving birth. My first thought was of tests that I have had to take because of asthma. Her post is well worth reading if you’re a manager or have a customer service role, as well as if you work in the National Health Service.

Peter Olding’s post this week was about Personal Heath Matters as he tries to achieve a better balance of blood sugar levels, and considered doing more exercise, especially walking. I hope Peter manages to achieve that balance soon. Carol Woolley’s post might help to inspire Peter and the rest of us to exercise by walking. The flooding meant that she and her family had to take a different route to their usual walk and revealed a  Hidden gem at Burlish Top. I still miss taking my DSLR camera for a walk.

When I was a child, I heard the story of one of my great-grans going missing one day. Eventually, someone found her a few miles away, at the Pier Head (this was in Liverpool), still in her pinny and slippers. Nobody knew how she had got there – whether she had walked or caught a bus –  or why she had gone there. I’ve always wondered if she had a sudden urge to explore the world after a lifetime of living in the same place, being someone’s daughter,  then someone’s wife, and someone’s mother. The story as told to me assumed that she had dementia at the time, but nobody knew what sort.

Derek Barron’s post for Week 5 on the Ayrshirehealth blog – Dementia – what is it? explained clearly the main different groups of types of dementia. Since dementia is likely to affect us or people we know at some point in our lives, we should understand something about it.

There was a bit more about health matters in 303 Seconds, written by Chris Bolton for Good Practice Exchange at the Welsh Audit Office. Chris and Dyfrig Williams had done some epic blogging recently for the NHS Hack Day, and Chris talked about that for the 303 Seconds event, which was inspired by 300 Seconds. The idea is to encourage people to speak in public by giving 5-minute presentations to a friendly crowd. If we had 300 Seconds in the North East, I would offer to do a talk. The only way to get confidence about doing these things is to do them – and preferably at quite regular intervals, and I know I need more practice.

The Digital Access Team at Leeds City Council have been gaining confidence as they have increased their use of social media to communicate with Leeds citizens. They shared their experience so far with us in Social customer service on Phil Jewitt‘s The Sociable Organisation blog. There are some interesting comments too.

Building confidence about communicating online was a subject tackled at the LGComms (local government communications) seminar in Nottingham that Diane Sims attended recently. Some people familiar to those who have been with Weekly Blog Club from the beginning spoke at it, including Sarah Lay and Dan Slee. Her post about it Putting faces to names (and putting your name to content) includes some useful pdf notes too. It’s well worth reading by anyone involved in public or third sector online communicating.

Karen Hart wrote about someone whose written words have communicated with her in Russell Hoban: with love and thanks. He is not a writer whose work I have read but Karen’s enthusiasm makes me think I should sometime. I enjoyed the description of the book signing and the disruption they caused at the British Library.

Louise Atkinson was thinking about books in a different way, in her art, and returned to the material of most books – paper – in Practice as research Week 65: Paper as concept, the First Cut exhibition, and why books won’t disappear with digital. Do click on the link to the First Cut exhibition page – there are pictures of beautiful paper artworks. I really admire a lot of the work made by artists who use paper as their main medium. If you get a chance, do visit an exhibition or fair of artists’ books. Even if you are not very into art, I think you will find something to connect with and marvel at amongst the sculptures, books, comics, graphic novels, maps and other objects.

My own posts about art this week were far more pedestrian. I wrote about Hatton Gallery drawing session 6, in which I tried drawing some of a prize-winning drawing in an impossibly short time. There are pictures with lots of colour in Still lives – edging back to painting as I tried to convey liveliness and brightness and I think probably failed to explain the thoughts behind these pictures, including cultural history. But a few years ago, hardly anyone had seen most of what I’d ever drawn, painted, sculpted, photographed or otherwise made because I was too anxious that people would think it was dreadful. I have come a long way in now sharing pictures online, and wish it hadn’t taken me so long to dare to do it. I need to try to exhibit work this year (the prospect scares me – I haven’t done it for so long).

Be brave and blog about your work, or your pastimes, or your passions, or your life! Our About page gives advice on how to contribute posts to Weekly Blog Club (you can join any time and we regard “weekly” as an aspiration, not an obligation). We would love to hear from people interested in looking after Weekly Blog Club  for a week & having the power to do the weekly summary. Have a look at the guide on how to on our Admin info page ( but bear in mind it can be done differently – I need to update it to say as long as there’s a weekly post with the week’s summary list, & the list added to the List of posts by week page, you can summarise however you like).

As always, the people who have liked, favourited, commented on, retweeted, followed and read the posts are as much part of Weekly Blog Club as well as to those who have contributed posts. Positive feedback helps us to keep blogging and to improve our blogging skills.

Have a good blogging and reading week!


Janet E Davis

Summary of week 5 posts

Dementia – what is it? by Derek Barron on the Ayrshirehealth blog.

Social customer service by the Digital Access Team, Leeds City Council via Phil Jewitt‘s The Sociable Organisation blog.

Hidden gem at Burlish Top by Carol Woolley.

Putting faces to names (and putting your name to content) by Diane Sims.

Hatton Gallery drawing session 6 by Janet E Davis.

Personal Heath Matters by Peter Olding.

Russell Hoban: with love and thanks by Karen JK Hart.

303 Seconds by Chris Bolton for Good Practice Exchange at the Welsh Audit Office.

Still lives – edging back to painting by Janet E Davis.

Take a deep breath by Gina A Alexander on the @dghealth (Dumfries and Galloway Health) blog.

Practice as research Week 65: Paper as concept, the First Cut exhibition, and why books won’t disappear with digital by  Louise Atkinson.

Weekly Blog Club was set up in early January 2012 to encourage people to blog regularly, and especially to encourage those working in and with the public sector, charities and voluntary organisations in the UK to find their own 'voice' through writing.

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Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, blogging, communicating, conferences, customer service, digital technology, exercise, fine art, floods, health, health services, leadership, literature, local government, management, medical practice, mental health, natural environment, painting drawing, patient care, PhD, printmaking, public sector, research, setting goals, social media, society, Third sector, tourism, travel and exploration, walking, working practices
2 comments on “Getting personal, explaining dementia, and paper in art
  1. Thanks very much Janet – great round up as ever!

    – Dyfrig

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