Posted by: Corri van de Stege | June 7, 2007

A book launch

This was not an ordinary book launch, as it was a book about reminiscences and how to encourage people with short term memory loss, in particular Alzheimer’s disease, to communicate, drawing on their longer term memories.  The book was written by a friend and she felt quite distraught because the distributors had sent just one (!) copy instead of the required 200 – by courier. ..   The 50 or so people who were there could not actually pick up their copy (or have it signed by the author), but were asked to provide their address instead, so that it could be sent on later.  There’s probably a message in all of this somewhere.    Never mind all that, the launch was quite jolly with a  couple dressed in the appropriate fashion enthousiastically dancing to 40s music, and the writer’s husband similarly enthousiastically providing some decent wine from his French collection to anyone who cared for some.

 Nevertheless, this dancing and the content of the book and its purpose brought back memories of my own mother, who suffered from Alzheimer and whose strongest memories were of the war years.  When the disease advanced she was hugely worried about what was happening to her and her family, my father had a secret cellar where fugitives and in particular Jews were hidden from the enemy.  She also used to remember very vividly the great storm that broke the dikes in the province of Zealand in the Southwest of Holland in 1953.  Even I now remember these things quite clearly,  not as if I had direct experience, but only because they obviously were so ingrained in her memory, while by that time she’d completely forgotten  her own children.  A very peculiar experience that is difficult to deal with.

Well, this launch is obviously all the excitement I’m going to have this week, and hopefully the weekend will bring more space and time for further inspiration, although even better: holidays are approaching and soon I shall spend two weeks or so hidden in a cottage in France with just my laptop (for writing, hopefully) and a pile of books, as well as access to a swimming pool and lots of French wine and food. 


  1. Man has gone to the Moon, has contrived to have engines up in the outer space to watch one another but has not been able to penetrate in anybody’s brain to see what’s working badly. Any advices to improve the living conditions of people suffering that cursed condition is always welcome.

    Hope you’ll enjoy the French panoramas, silence and… that wonderful wine. Something good will come out of it, no doubt.

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