5 July 2018
Muriel’s Memories – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes
Muriel became a client of Interchange Australia ten years ago after suffering a travelling stroke. While her balance and eyesight aren’t the best and she wears a hearing aid, she is committed to continue living independently in her Bowral home. In her own words, “The nursing homes aren’t ready for me and I’m not ready for them!”
Muriel enjoys connecting with people and going on weekly outings and shopping trips with Interchange Australia Support Workers. “I find someone taking me to town is the highlight of my week,” she says.
Muriel was born in December, 1925 in the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in England which is 40 miles south-east of central London. Her family migrated to Australia and she attended the Sutton Forest School where she learned to write, a pastime she has a long lasting passion for.
“I learned to write on a slate,” Muriel explains. “I have written about many of my life experiences and have been writing a regular column for my garden club called ‘Muriel’s Musings’ for many, many years. I now write on a computer and am often asked by people in the community to write for them.”
Muriel’s other much loved pastimes include listening to classical music, her favourites being Beethoven and Ivan Rebroff. “Classical music is the art gallery of the mind,” Muriel says. “You see the same thing when you hear the same piece of music.” Muriel has fond memories of going to the local theatre and to dances, Jazz Waltz being her favourite style.
Muriel has a profound recollection of the history of the Southern Highlands. She was instrumental in researching local servicemen who had died during the war enabling them to be acknowledged and remembered on the local war memorial.
Muriel remembers the days when the community would rally around injured and ill residents who were admitted to hospital. People used to visit them with homemade food and make sure house duties were carried out during their recovery. “The community would visit and look after each other,” Muriel recalls. “There was a greater sense of community spirit back then, however, Interchange Australia’s staff keep that community spirit alive.”
Muriel has no plans to stop writing or discontinuing her outings and shopping trips. “Interchange always matches up carers so well with clients. Rose and Cherie are like family. The outings I go on with Interchange Australia enable me to connect with people.”