Going to speak to Norma about food went from being a quick meeting to becoming a burgeoning friendship. There is something about Norma which makes you want to be her mate. Not just a friend, but a mate. Norma joked about life in a way that made me want to spend more time with her.
When I went to speak to Norma about food, I was never expecting a history lesson. But that’s what I got.
I was taught about streets which no longer exist, shops which have since put up shutters, and a sense of community which we now lack. I don’t know the names of the people who live in the same building as I do; but Norma told me about Willy who was sweet on her and gave her extra butter from the giant slab they had in store, Miss Duncan who owned the sweet shop round the corner and Jip the Sheepdog, who could always be found outside. She brought to life tales of customers with ration tokens to get their single egg and 2oz of cheese every week.
I learned more about Edinburgh in the 2 hours I spent with her than I have in the 2 years I have spent living here.
Norma grew up in an age of austerity. A time of rations, make do and cod boiled in milk (it is, apparently, as gross as it sounds). Milk tokens, sweetie rations and thoughtful shopkeepers bringing up bags of coal; Norma has lived this life and she looks back fondly upon it.
A FIRM FAVOURITE
Norma’s favourite meal, growing up, is also one of my favourite meals. A mince stew with dumplings (beef suet, she was insistent on that fact) and mashed potatoes. It was regularly that or a decent stew, the gravy was always good.
Norma explained that there was a time when people went home for lunch. People had an hour and a half to head home and enjoy a hearty meal before heading back to work. Nowadays, we’re lucky if we have time to grab a sandwich at our desks.
There were enduring brands in Norma’s life which we still use today; Bisto Gravy, Heinz Baked Beans were always in steady supply and Picnic bars have been around long enough for Norma to remember eating them at a screening of Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’.
Norma doesn’t much cook for herself, she prefers to grab a meal from M&S. But she has tried her hand at cooking a couple of times, to limited success.
Norma told me about the time she attempted to make Swiss Roll. Everything went swimmingly in the mixing, stirring and cooking aspect of the cake. The issue came when she tried to roll it; which is somewhat pivotal in the making of a Swiss Roll.
“The damn thing wouldn’t roll”.
…Fortunately, Norma’s father wasn’t all that concerned with the aesthetics of the cake and enjoyed the lot!
Speaking to Norma about her life and the food she has enjoyed (or hated; eg. Boiled Cod) was a fascinating experience. It was great to have the chance to sit down with her and listen as she passionately spelled out “s-o-o-r p-l-o-o-m-s”, to make sure I didn’t get it wrong.
She told me about the worst macaroni cheese her mother made for them and how their brother joined the neighbours in ransacking a local sweet factory after a fire; “we had a lot of chocolate that week”.
It was delightful to have met Norma and I’m sure I will see her again… I’ve found somewhere which sells soor plooms so I’ll have to drop a bag off for her.
We’re looking to create a group of FAB volunteers and supporters to do the The KiltWalk Big Stroll, a 15.5 mile walk across Edinburgh on 16th September.
We want to get a gorgeous group together and have a wee party afterwards!
Either we will pay your entry fee and the suggested fundraising target is £300, or… there’s a £30 entry fee and *anything* you raise is a super dooper added bonus. Yay!
Either way we’ll give you loads of support and fun kits for raising funds to help us tackle loneliness!
The Scottish Government have opened a ‘A Connected Scotland’ consultation to ask what is needed to be done nationally to better empower communities and create the conditions to allow social connections to flourish.
THIS IS A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY!
Reducing isolation and increasing the range and quality of social connections does not have one single silver bullet. It is complicated, costly, and requires a combination of long and short term solutions that will change our communities for the better.
So, we’ve created a little document that outlines our recommendations; from helping employers to encourage volunteering, to creating a stronger mental health system, from improving transport options to implementing Social Prescribing.
These have been developed in collaboration between the staff, trustees, beneficiaries and stakeholders of LifeCare and The Broomhouse Centre & Enterprises as part of the Vintage Vibes charitable partnership.
We hope you enjoy it!
To submit your own ideas to the Scottish Government click here. Deadline 30th April 2018.
We’re looking for amazing volunteers to assist with the running of a film group that meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at a Cinema in Edinburgh.
Come along and join other volunteers to help make a friendly community group for over 60s (VIPs) happen. Every fortnight 10 VIPs (lonely over 60s) meet to have a coffee and then go see a film together.
The films are varied, from classics to brand new features, and the group enjoys a variety of types of film!
THE ROLE INCLUDES:
As a volunteer you will get your cinema tickets free as well as travel expenses paid for.
The time commitment is 3-4hours on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month (includes watching the film).
Want to get involved? Contact Heather on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 343 0955
Join us for a night with the joyful Got Soul Choir on Saturday 19th May at the Queen’s Hall.
Got Soul Choir have invited Vintage Vibes to fundraise a part of their fantastic music event. They have chosen their best and brightest to perform with Basement’s Jaxx’s Sharlene Hector as part of this annual Soul Review and it should be a truly wonderful evening!
Do you enjoy the music of Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin? Do you find yourself periodically breaking into song, dance or “doo wops”?
Do you like the sound of live music performed by a talented, professional choir?
BOOK A TICKET:
You can book your tickets here (they are going fast!), and come and enjoy the festivities.
DO YOU LOVE CHATTING, EATING AND SHARING IN COMPANY?
We’re looking for a lovely volunteer to assist with the running of a community group that meets weekly on a Tuesday from 12-2pm in Corstorphine.
Come along and join other volunteers and community members to help make a friendly community group for over 60s (VIPs) happen. Every week between 10 and 20 VIPs meet, try new activities and have lunch together with the aim of creating new friendships and the chance to be more connected to their community.
THE ROLE INCLUDES:
Skills & Experience
No previous experience, just a positive attitude and an interest in events organisation and tackling loneliness. You must be able to come to the lunch every week.
Scrumptious lunch & Travel Expenses covered.
GET IN TOUCH:
Contact us at email@example.com or call 0131 343 0955 for further information. Yay!
Do you love vintage fashion? Are you organised and dedicated? Would you love to create an event reminiscent of times gone by?
If so, we’d love to hear from you!
We’re trying to find a super dooper amazing student to put together a Vintage Event with the aim of raising funds to help us tackle loneliness and isolation in Edinburgh’s over 60s.
We’ll give you a budget of £150 – £500 to turn into a fantastic day and you’ll have our lovely events organiser to help you in any way they can. You just need to find a venue, handy band of volunteers and make the event a reality.
If this sounds like you, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plus, imagine how *good* running a fundraiser for a local charitable project would look on your CV!
WAYS TO MAKE SNOW DAYS BETTER FOR VIPs:
AND DON’T FORGET TO CONSIDER YOUR OWN SAFETY:
Friendship and laughter are two of the rare and beautiful things in life!
Come try something new and help us build a social group aimed at getting the best out of life.
Join us fortnightly starting Thursday 25th January 1 – 3.00pm at Carrickvale Community Centre, 2 Saughton Mains Street, Edinburgh EH11 3HH
Download the poster here: Vintage Vibes Gather and Giggle Group
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT ALL OUR GROUP EVENTS!
Do you want to get fitter but aren’t sure how to start? Or maybe you would like to lead some walks?
Stroll Patrol is a friendly, fun, local, accessible walking group for over 60’s.
Walks will be 35 – 50 minutes and will start at Carrikvale Community Centre. Free tea/coffee after the walk and a chance to natter.
Every Wednesday at 10am from Wednesday 31st January 2018.
JOIN US: First Walk of the year 31st January 2018!
£3.00 min donation (first taster free)
Download the poster here: Vintage Vibes Stroll Patrol Walking Group
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT ALL OUR GROUP EVENTS!