Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Epilogue

Some of the TRs staged a breakout last night. I believe going to the pub. Some wore a cheeky (dehydrated) grin at breakfast.

It seems that they were joined by two of the staff that at no time broke character. Well done them.

I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to join them but I didn’t want to break the spell.

Nondenominational mindfulness was ghastly and feeling like an exhibit in this context particularly didn’t work for me. Mr Head Office told me off again—how did that make me feel so disappointed?

The big news is that TR X broke cover and came out as a plant. An actor-spy undercover.

The real plan for this afternoon is not really a sunny afternoon tea party but for we, the TRs, to use the opportunity to say something about care.

There was a momentary sense of betrayal but then it came to me that that is what it is like to be cared for in a home. People aren’t what they seem. Care staff are all in their own way actors. How many people are really happy to mop up your spilt drinks, serve you food and wipe your bum? They are being paid to look happy about it.

So what’s the alternative—your family get to mop up your spilt drinks, serve you food and wipe your bum. And they don’t even get paid to look happy about it.

That doesn’t seem very fair either does it?

Epilogue: 48 hours away from The Home and The Home

It is difficult to know what was expected of us in the end and I feel we went out with a whimper rather than a bang, but on the inside, oh boy!

Joint decompression and two pints in the pub after we left The Home and the Zebedees bouncing around in my head were less penetrating.

Writing my review was quite cathartic, though even now I am still processing, just not as intensely. Editing my would-be journal has also been helpful.

Early on, I say "this weekend is about understanding something about care homes, and learning something about myself will happen whether I want it to or not."

As to myself, that is easy. I was surprised to learn I have "a thing" about approval from authority figures (who knew? I thought I was a bit of a rebel!).

Care Homes is hard. The best I can do at this moment is say that going forward they shouldn’t be called care or home. Both seem inappropriate now.

The care home model we are moving towards is much more concerned with commerce than it is about care. You can pay people to care for you, but you can't pay people to care about you.

And home, well home is a place where you have a sense of dominion and that seems incompatible with community living.

I am trying to think of an alternative name to care home—hotel with added urine?

My sincere thanks go to the TRs who made the weekend extraordinary and so special and to the amazing cast (who worked so hard with added urine): Daisy Ahwieh, Umar Butt, Colette Dalal Tchantcho, Gillian Daniels, Christopher Green, Kurban Haji, Catherine Herman, Rosaline Muirhead, Edd Muruako, Ochuko Onobraliche, Lucy Jane Parkinson, Richard Rycroft, Ron Saville, Gwen Sewell, Annie Siddons and Jason York.

The Home: Durational Stay was presented by Deptford-based arts centre, Arts Council NPO and charity The Albany and Entelechy Arts artists working with marginalised and excluded communities.