The Seat

Backstrand, Tramore, Co. Waterford

A couple of years ago, this little wooden seat was installed on the Backstrand in Tramore. It’s something I pass regularly on my walks around our lovely beach and it always sets me off thinking about the conversations that have taken place on it as well as potential conversations.

I day dream about it being a social bridge where I could meet people and chat to them about their lives. These people could be famous, like Billie Jean King; local heroes like Waterford hurler, Austin Gleeson; bloggers I feel I know but would love to meet in person, like Sue Vincent ….

I hope that one day I will make this project come to fruition and that the little seat continues to inspire.

The Comment that Stunned Me

Stunning Tramore
Stunning Tramore

I treasure every single comment that I receive here on Social Bridge. Comments and commenting are a key part of blogging ~ arguably as important as the posts, though the posts are required to generate the comments.

As you probably know, if you’re a regular, I sometimes get doubts about the concept of social bridges. I thought that the idea was going to set the world alight when I first dreamt it up towards the end of 2010 and I mean bring about the most incredible changes and connections at all levels from global violence to personal stuff.

I’ve gained hugely at a personal level from the connections and friendships that I’ve built through the blog and I am eternally grateful for that. But, there’s always the burning urge to be able to make an impact at a broader level.

I have been thinking about this a good deal of late and, even wondered about changing the name of the blog, but then a comment arrived from Phil at Aging Indiana. Phil is a guy I’ve never met in person but I feel I know him well because of our shared interest in ageing.

Here’s the comment he wrote on my post:  Dear Dad … Giving a Thank You Letter as a Christmas Present to an Elderly Parent. (It was interesting that this was the post he chose on which to leave his note!)

Jean. I had a dream the other night and you were a primary school teacher showing a picture of two children arguing to another small child. You asked the child “What do they need”? The child answered “A bridge. Not a real one. A social bridge.”

This was like an early Christmas present to me as it made me think that maybe, just maybe, the notion of social bridges is penetrating people’s consciousness at all sorts of different levels.

I’d love to think so, anyway

Please tell me about any comments you’ve received that have gone to the very heart of what you feel you’re about. 




Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

(Langston Hughes)

This poem speaks more directly to me than any other about the importance of identifying, pursuing and never letting go of dreams.

My dream for many, many years now has been to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society, especially those who have serious health issues or are nearing the end of life.

This is a dream I have been able to fulfill to a considerable extent at different periods and in different ways over the years. But there is still a lot more to do and the dream lives on just as strongly as ever.

How do you feel about YOUR dreams and would you be happy to share what it is you really want to achieve in this life?


101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 9

Dreams and Nightmares seem to be part and parcel of the process of losing elderly parents. Obviously everyone is going to have their own versions of these, depending on their unique circumstances but I guess most people can be very unnerved by the vividness of the dreams and the disorientation that can be associated with them.

Recurring nightmares can be hellish, especially when they re-play a part of the journey that one has manged to ‘forget’ or  somehow deal with in waking hours.

The only way that I have found of  stopping recurring nightmares is to bring them out into the open and tell a supportive person about them.  Bottling them up seems to be a recipe for disaster whereas confiding can well serve as the key to dealing with them successfully.

Dreams, Dreaming and Dreamers …

This is for all who dream, including myself! Lots of questions and questioning and a strong reminder that life is finite.


What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore –
And then run?
Does it stick like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over –
Like a syrupy sweet?
May it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

(Langston Hughes 1902-1967)