Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Dreams from my mother?
I recommend Barack Obama's Dreams from my father. It is the best political autobiography I will ever read, never mind have ever read. Anyway my mother has just won the Alan Hurst award for outstanding achievement in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Joe and I are very proud of her. It feels like a bit of a turning point actually. Mum was a bit worried about the video they did as part of the process. In our family we tend to be less articulate orally than on paper. None of us are that great at getting job interviews for example. I think it might be because we're too honest. Anyway Mum managed to stick a bit of a political point in at the end of the video apparently. She said something about recognition for some of the most discriminated groups - people with mental health problems. For the past fifteen years or so Mum has been working, voluntarily, back in the Staffordshire Moorlands helping people with mental health problems, the housebound and the rurally impovershed. She's set up Lord knows how many charities, raised goodness knows how much over these years. Finally it's been acknowledged and rewarded. "History Live" is a charity she set up with others in our village which helps record and chart history - they have gone back thousands of years making sure all the Tumulii are in the right places amongst other things. "History Live" was a charity that was set up in memory of our dear friend and neighbour, Helen Rowland, who was Ann's Mum, my village childhood friend in Hollinsclough. Helen died, very prematurely, when we were thirteen. Almost all of us will get some sort of mental health problem - it's bound up with physical health a lot of the time. Helen, Mum and I have all been affected. Mum also set up "Borderland Voices" which has helped people with mental health problems - through creative writing, art, reminiscence and gardening. Unlike Barack Obama, I don't have to have dreams from my mother. She is here, doing all this stuff and it's a reality. Thanks Mum.