Bramley Baths & Bramley Lawn Men’s Group…


Bramley Folk talking about nought, everything and all that’s in between.

It’s a sunny day with glorious blue skies and a fresh breeze and we popped in to Bramley Baths for a quick chat before heading down to Bramley Lawn, a new social centre for older adults run by BEA ( Bramley elderly Action). The group we were visiting – a men’s group ( ideally suited for the over 60’s) meet every Saturday. Today people are busily preparing for the ‘pay as you feel’ dinner tonight and I also spotted a barbeque that is soon to be set up in the centre’s dementia friendly garden Bramley lawn are building. Here’s a selection of things the people of Bramley had to say about these questions ( the thoughts of various people that contributed as remembered by Zoe Parker)…

What makes you feel good? Coming here to this group. Talking with friends, meeting new people, getting out of the house,having a laugh, going on trips when I can. Blue skies. Making things. Good friends. Having time to do the things I want to do.

What inspires you? People doing amazing things like raising lots of money for charity by trekking in the Himalayas or running a marathon or something. I couldn’t do that. Amazing cities. Being in my camper van.

Do you really listen? Yes. I can’t hear that well, so that’s an issue with listening, but still I’m a pretty good listener. I don’t always choose o listen…if it’s a talk and I’m not interested in it.

In one ear out the other!

Have we lost the art of conversation? Maybe. I hate Face Book – it’s a lot of rubbish. Why do I want to know about what someone had for dinner? People spend a lot of time on computers, tablets, phones. Is it good? It probably means people talk less. Then again it’s a way to keep in contact with people on the other side of the world and actually I know someone who used skype as part of their funeral so that the daughter of the man who had died could be there. It was weird with this woman walking around pointing her computer at everyone but you know it’s a good if it brings people together.

What is freedom? It’s an interesting one. I recognise that I live a fairly free life. I have the freedom to speak my mind, walk the streets, particularly compared to some countries but I don’t feel free. I feel trapped and burdened by responsibilities.

Maybe the freedom comes when you are older…your kids are grown, you have more time, and less ties and more choice to do what you want.

How do we genuinely make things better for everybody? I could write a PHD on that. Depends what you mean by ‘everybody’ and ‘genuine’. Many times when this word is used by politicians I have found it to be disingenuous – to get our votes – they ‘genuinely’ promise but they don’t deliver.

The other week I met a girl who was pushing her bike because the brakes weren’t working. I had a look at it and fiddled with something…it was only a two minute job. The brakes were just disconnected. I didn’t expect anything back from her. People are always suspicious now of people offering help. But that’s genuinely making things better – we help each other, we do a good deed each day. We smile and offer kindness to the people around us. If every person in the world does that, then it changes the world for the better doesn’t it? We take responsibility and stop blaming other people – its ridiculous you cant clear your own path from snow, councils won’t sharpen your shears, people living in fear of being sued….we need to be doing things that make sense and compassionate. How does it help if I fall over on the ice because nobody could clear the path or for fear of falling I stay in my home for days.

How does it feel to be right? (Smiles.) Feels great. He’s the quiz master, so he’s always right

When do you laugh at yourself? Yes – all the time. Got to laugh at your self. If you don’t laugh, then you might cry. I laugh when I look in the mirror.

How much are you worth? We are all priceless. Nought – you come into the world with nought and you leave the same way?

Who is the enemy? Everyone you don’t like. Is that true? One person said David Cameron. Another, all the political parties because they all do wrong by people who don’t have much. They make promises and don’t keep them. It’s disgusting. So what do we do about that?

What is Love? I’ve been married for 57 years. Love is caring for another person – putting their needs ahead of your own. Or is that devotion maybe. Love is putting up with each other and sticking together. Love is arguing things out – a marriage without arguments means someone is under the thumb. That’s no good. Love gosh…I had a perfect wife…I lived a wild life and she put up with it. I had freedom and fun. I did everything.

Why are you here? That sounds quite esoteric. Like what is my purpose on this earth? Literally, the answer… I’m here so I can get out of the house, to meet people and do things.

Are you entitled? That’s a funny question. No. I’d say no. It’s a bit like the question about freedom. I know I am free and I know I am entitiled to lots of things but I don’t feel like I am.

Question added Should we bring back capital punishment? I found this quite challenging being a pacifist. This came from a discussion about responsibility and schools and how discipline used to be a lot stronger and perhaps the reson why teachers were respected more ‘in those days’…the 9 tailed cat was mentioned as a good thing for keeping children in line ( a whip used in corporal punishment). Many were in agreement about death penalty for people like say the Yorkshire Ripper where there is no doubt – as it would be cheaper to kill than pay for them to be in prison. A few felt it wasn’t worth it because of the wrongly accused people. It’s not like you can take death back can you?! Me, I just don’t believe in killing people….though perhaps if I lived in different circumstances that view would change, who can say. What do you think?