Marian @ Krysan


Planting golden seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham





"... people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  MAYA ANGELOU


Forget me not flower



B O R N   A   L A D Y 

(Dementia Friends)


Marian Moore 


For the title of this blog, I have to thank my mother who often remarked as I was growing up that, "Our Marian should have been born a lady". This was on account of my propensity to always have my nose stuck in a book, this to the exclusion of all else. Nothing's changed, there!  Ask my husband ...

That aside, both my mother and my sister were to live out their days with dementia.  It is in remembrance of their dignity and courage that I have become, over several years, My Best Possible Self as:

  • A wellbeing consultant/webmaster/blogger/speaker
  • An elected governor for a NE mental health trust (NTW)
  • An Older Leader for Change in mental health (OL4C)
  • A Time to Change Champion, and as of now -
  • A Dementia Friend

So, I am not 'a one-trick pony' by any manner of means, rather I am someone with a great liking for Psychology, Philosophy, and people - above all things! Speaking of which, I am reminded of these words of wisdom from a best-selling book published immediately after the carnage of World War Ii. The book is called, The Meaning of Life by psychiatrist, DRVIKTOR FRANKL.  He wrote:

"Everything you have in life can be taken from you except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. This is what determines the quality of the life we've lived — not whether we've been rich or poor, famous or unknown, healthy or suffering. What determines our quality of life is how we relate to these realities, what kind of meaning we assign them, what kind of attitude we cling to about them, what state of mind we allow them to trigger."  VIKTOR FRANKL


Despite my mother's worst fears, my love of books has stood me in good stead throughout my life. Curiosity is, indeed, my middle name and possibly my greatest signature strength. With the passage of time, I even morphed into a fairly-passable school teacher, devoted to her students and supportive of the mantra, Education, Education, Education.  My dear mother also told me that I was born with a smile on my face and I know - from experience - that my default setting is joy.  

This has to be the diamond in my pocket and also in yours ... be my guest.  

Now, think on this conundrum, "Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count." I rather suspect you are at One with Albert Einstein, here.  There's a lot to be said for the Wisdom of the Ages and, of course, the wisdom of the aged. So, bear with me for I have accomplished two great things this week;

  1. I trained as a Dementia Friend, and
  2. I put together a Memory Box - lest I too forget.

What did I say about the diamond in my pocket?  You can't put a price on it ...


Dementia Friends Training

I was trained as a Dementia Friend, alongside other NTW governors, this only last week.  In honour of the occasion, we each received a Dementia Friends badge - to wear with pride.  It shows that we are part of the one million other Dementia Friends helping to create Dementia Friendly Communities - together.

These are five things you should know about dementia, five things that I for one beleve are worth committing to memory;

  1. it's not a natural part of ageing
  2. it's caused by diseases if the brain, the most common being Alzheimer's
  3. it's not just about losing your memory - it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks
  4. it's possible to live well with dementia
  5. there's more to a person than just the dementia

With support, people with dementia can and do take an active role in life.  Start a conversation - set the ball rolling. Discard outworn beliefs built on the conventional wisdom. 

This is what Geraldine from London said after her training: "As a Dementia Friend, I'll use my badge to start conversations with people so they know a little more about dementia and to encourage them to go to an information session."  

You can find out more by simply clicking on the links at the bottom of this blog.


Memory Box

The success of Dementia Friends relies on people learning a bit more about what it's like to live with dementia and then turning that understanding into action. The action I took immediately on returning home from the training session was to put together a Memory Box, this intended as a private good and (maybe) as a public good, too.

I had been thinking about putting together a Memory Box for some time and I now had the impetus. These are just five of the small treasures that I quickly gathered from around the house for my new Memory Box. They were found hidden-away in drawers, discretely posted behind curtains, and forgotten about in cupboards; they are mentioned here simply to give you, dear reader, 'the idea'.  

My treasures may be small in size, but they are big in memories (and heart).

Item 1:  Dogs have played a large part in our lives, and one in particular has been chosen as representative of them all.  So, a small statue of Mandy, the Golden Labrador who turned a house into a home, got chosen - pride of place.  A star.

Item 2:  Work, too, has been a big part of my life.  In memory of my time as Sunderland's  first enterprise teacher thirty years ago, I have placed a pair of hand-made Cloisonné earrings in my box. They are there to remind me (and maybe you) that learning can and should be fun.

Item 3:  Lest I am ever left alone and in the dark, I searched out a small pen-like torch in a box - complete with spare battery and wrist strap.  This was a gift to my late mother-in-law from her son, my ever-thoughtful husband.  Not forgotten.  Only love remains.

Item 4:  Then there is the most charming of gifts from a once very small granddaughter - now fully grown.  Written on a silver plaque are these words: 'For a loving grandma. This Guardian Angel has been sent to watch over you each day. With warm and loving care this Special Angel will help guide you on your way.'  Lovely thought.

item 5:  I put two butterflies in my Memory Box.  One is to remind me of the friend who winged it my way for my seventieth birthday; the other is a bejewelled butterfly hair ornament bought in a little shop in Crete - a reminder of all those holidays in the sun with my husband.  

Each small item (and there were many more) was chosen with loving care to become intrinsic to the new contents of a beautiful jewellery box, itself a present.  Unceremoniously stripped of its former glory, the box proved to be exactly the right size and, even when full to the brim, it is still usefully portable. Moreover, it looks good - a delight to behold.


I am painting now the picture

  • When my hair is thin and silvered,
  • And my time of toil is through,
  • When I’ve many years behind me,
  • And ahead of me a few;
  • I shall want to sit, I reckon,
  • Sort of dreaming in the sun,
  • And recall the roads I’ve travelled,
  • And the many things I’ve done.
  • I hope there’ll be no picture
  • That I’ll hate to look upon,
  • When the time to paint it better
  • Or to wipe it out is gone.
  • I hope there’ll be no vision
  • Of a hasty word I’ve said,
  • That has left a trail of sorrow,
  • Like a whip welt sore and red.
  • And I hope my old age dreaming
  • Will bring back no bitter scene,
  • Of a time when I was selfish
  • Or a time when I was mean.
  • When I’m getting old and feeble,
  • And I’m far along life’s way,
  • I don’t want to sit regretting,
  • Any bygone yesterday.
  • I am painting now the picture
  • That I’ll want someday to see;
  • I am filling in a canvas
  • That will soon come back to me.
  • Though nothing great is on it,
  • And though nothing there is fine,
  • I shall want to look it over
  • When I’m old, and call it mine.
  • So I do not dare to leave it
  • While the paint is warm and wet,
  • With a single thing upon it
  • That I later will regret.



Leap, and the net will appear. Julia Cameron

A Call for Action is at the very heart of the Dementia Friends campaign.  As you go about your daily business, watch out for the lovely 'forget-me-not emblem' shown at the top of the page.  I would remind you again that you can find out more about the campaign by using the links below.

Thank you for joining me today.  Watch out for my next blog, MEMORIES R US, where I will share how I developed the idea of becoming My Best Possible Self - a Positive Psychology strategy that worked for me.  Well, that's the plan ...

Finally, lest I (or you) forget ... Wink ... I was born a lady.  


  • Marian Moore (storyteller)
  • email. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • May 2014





For information about dementia go to and alzheimer'

if you're concerned about dementia, contact the National Dementia Helpline for information, support and guidance, on 0300 222 1122 

People affected by dementia can also join the Talking Point discussion forums at

For any enquiries about Dementia Friends go to orcontact the Alzheimer's Society Care Line on 0845 306 0898 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





TO:       Any reader who is alone with their thoughts today.

FROM:  My late mother-in-law


Peace I leave with you,

My peace I give unto you:

not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled

neither let it be afraid.

John 14 v 27





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