This has been the best day ever. I woke up to several messages sending me notice of an Independent Age study about sexuality and intimacy in the over 65s. I had 30 minutes to muster up a blog post for the most wonderful Jason Day, my PR guru. Soooo pleased that I managed to just sit down and write something, managed to set up some more appointments in New York, then it was off out to make my first appointment.
Enjoyed an interesting conversation with Dale Mitchell, the CEO of ETHOS. ETHOS is a ‘mainstream’ care provider who support people in their own homes. They have been instrumental in forming the LGBT aging project and was really great the hear Dale’s perspective. I am going to have to really take some time out just to consider all the different perspectives I’m hearing.
I then navigate my way back to the hotel to write up some notes and generally process stuff before heading out on the bus/train to the Hebrew Rehabilitation Centre where I met the lovely Rabbi Sara. This centre is enormous by UK standards. Sara and her team are working at rolling out LGBT sensitive care across the whole of their service. I can’t wait to find out how this work progresses and have made some great contacts here.
From here it was a bus ride back to join an elders of colour community dinner. I arrived before Bob but was made to feel so welcome that it really didn’t matter. This is a monthly dinner which is hosted by Whittier Street Health Centre and it is fab. It has such a great vibe and the room was all decked out for Valentines.
I met such lovely people who were so interested and supportive of the Fellowship it was just great. Bob left before me as I was so busy chatting to people. I have everyone’s details and promises of keeping in touch. After dinner of salad, pulled chicken and potatoes, there was news of an upcoming theatre trip, a talk by a new clinician working within the clinic – who handed out Valentines candy, my GP never does that…. We were then treated to a seminar about the importance of humour in older age. I was lucky enough to have a key ring under my valentine’s card which meant I won a bag of goodies 🙂
I was introduced to such an interesting group of people, it was just a joy to have so many interesting conversations, especially as I am so far away from my loved ones on Valentines. I met a wonderful woman called Eugenia who had only recently retired and I was told was such a powerful advocate for better services in the area. I love meeting women who change the world. I feel like I just met a legend!
I was slightly concerned because I had to make my way back on the train and it was getting later and later. I feel totally safe here but three women offered me a lift to the T station and I was grateful. I left the dinner feeling the love.
We walked to the car park together and I was put in pride of place in the front. Then the hilarity began. If one of my kids got into a car with a bunch of strangers I would be furious with them! Anyway, we started to drive out of the carpark but the ticket didn’t work. Her wife couldn’t get out of the back because the door lock was malfunctioning so there was all sorts of silliness trying to get people in and out of the car. Luckily, someone pulled up behind us who had a fob for the barrier and we were out. We were then heading off towards the T when it was decided that they would just chauffer me back to my hotel. All three women had a different idea of how best to get to my hotel and I did comment that this might be the most inept kidnapping attempt ever. So much fun and laughter in that car this evening. I was safely dropped off right to the door and I very much hope to meet these wonderful women again someday.
I arrived back to my room still with a big grin on my face from such a wonderful evening and was welcomed back with this by the world’s friendliest hotel:
Equally busy day booked in tomorrow. Cannot wait. I ❤ Boston!