Comfort in tea
There are few more satisfying and savoured moments in the day than when you get to put your feet up, take the weight off and enjoy a nice cup of tea (other beverages are available). Having a natter over a cuppa is one of life’s rituals and can bring great comfort and pleasure.

Learning from the best
My mum, and hers, would spend endless time nattering over tea. I can see them now in my Nana’s kitchen, sitting on their stools opposite one another, putting the world to rights. There were other rooms and comfier chairs they could have sat in, but it was always the kitchen and the stools. I would be nearby amusing myself counting the green shield stamps and organising the drawer full of Embassy cigarette coupons. And listening, always listening. To the chatter, the stories, the melodies and rhythms of a good natter.

Being social
Neither of them are still with us. Before she died mum spent 5 years, mainly contentedly, in the excellent Bakewells’ care home. She liked nothing better than a cup of tea and a sit down. It broke the monotony of days that stretch out in perpetual lockdown and was an opportunity for social interaction. And she never liked to be far from a biscuit.

When Covid-19 meant the care home had to close its doors to friends and family visiting, it was important to find alternative ways of maintaining contact. Video chats, letters and cards helped – deploying old technology and new. But since there’s nothing like a nice cuppa and a natter I set out to replicate the experience in blog format.

Blogging for Bakewells
Bakewells Care Home uses the blog posts as stimulus material to get conversations started with their lovely residents over a cup of tea. They project the blog pages on their smart TV screen and the carers and Activity Co-ordinator facilitate the nattering – and of course they join in. Some residents just enjoy being read to, looking at the images and listening. Carers and residents alike love to connect over old times, recall memories and learn from the stories that are told and re-told. Sometimes there is song and dance.

Let’s get nattering
I’m envisaging that other care homes, and similar settings, might do likewise. All you need is a tablet, smart phone and TV/display screen connected to the Internet to show the blog. There are no limits to the direction that the nattering might take.

If you have any requests for topics to natter about, that you would like to see included – loosely around the tea theme (see what I did there?) – please get in contact.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then, let’s get nattering ….