The inaugural culture club

………… (written with a dodgy memory)

march13On Tuesday, 5th of March, 4 of your fellow brain injury survivors assembled at the Park Hotel in Teddington for the first meeting of a ‘culture club’. The surroundings were ideal; a roomy venue with no significant background noise. To boot the Park Hotel is easily accessible and serves great coffee. We met under the ever-watchful eye of our friendly ‘talkie’, Sam Simpson. Sam started the ball rolling with that well-worn SLT phrase, “what do you want to get out of this?”. There were mutterings about a need for a greater understanding of cubism, but the general consensus was that ABI survivors would enjoy the opportunity to get out of the house and to indulge in social interaction.

We eventually concurred that we were looking for an opening to indulge in a “bit of banter” with kindred folk. Indeed the subsequent couple of hours would appear to have suggested that this is an ideal goal for future meetings. For those hours we “bantered” and it’s safe to report that when Sam called “time” on the meeting everyone felt the hours had flown by. As we were meeting under a “culture club” banner we discussed all forms of entertainment. The conversation was not exactly highbrow and arts critics everywhere do not need to worry that their jobs are about to be taken, but it was more than stimulating; and the goal of “banter” easily attained.

The discussion was most entertaining when we were talking about cinema and interaction was most pronounced when we talked about the films we’d seen and art exhibitions we’d visited. Other forms of entertainment, such as the theatre and comedy clubs were also talked about, but in these cases it was usually a case of an interested party championing that particular milieu. As is always the case it was fun hearing about other people’s experiences. We touched briefly on the idea of group outings, but felt it would be difficult to identify events that would satisfy everyone. We concluded people should pursue their own taste and then use the “culture club” to educate others.

As will always happen when brain injury survivors congregate, personal problems came to the fore; but we discussed these, and agreed that the time allocated to such issues should be negotiated on a sessional basis.

And yes, we felt we should be able to come up with a better name than “culture club”, but we couldn’t. Suggestions on a postcard, please to…………. Or come along to the next meeting on 7th May 2013 and help choose.

Sam Hampson