Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Healing Romania

When a country calls to you you have to keep going back!  I have been living and working in Romania for 12 years and I cannot stay away.  Partly it is the people (why do they get such a bad press - I don't recognise the headlines in the tabloids), partly it is the amazing landscape.

However I am always impressed how Romania is puling itself out of the morass of the communist times.  The scandal of the orphanages has meant that a lot of repair work has to be done: social workers have more training in attachment work, large institutions have closed down and smaller group homes have been created; the wider world is much more aware and continues to send teams of professionals to do training, develop projects and generally raise awareness of rights and needs of children and adults with disabilities, people in long-stay psychiatric hospitals, and older people, especially those with dementia.

There is still a lot more to be done, and Romanians are very willing to learn!  You can always join me for a volunteers week (or more) together with training.

Rather than condemn Romanians, for the few who run scams (as they do in every counry), think about helping to heal the landscape, and its people who suffered horrendously for so many years.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

What sort of cat?

I do not understand my attraction to cats.  I don't mean that I am attracted to them, not in the least.  But cats are attracted to me.  They seek me out and rub against my legs, and if I am seated will leap or climb or sidle onto my lap and purr, noisily.

They make a perfect circle on my knees and would just stay there, if I had the stamina, for hours on end.  My daughter has four cats, all related, and they live next door.  They are loved and cherished and cuddled and taken up to bed.  So why do they choose to seek me out when I do not even welcome them?

My mother believed I had an aversion to cats because she found one curled up on my face when I was asleep in my cot.  I was less than a year old.  However I am not convinced.  Apparently I was not distressed and did not call out.  Cats have climbed in and on my bed occasionally and half asleep I have welcomed the warmth and the soothing purring, even if I have not sought it out.

In the olden days of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, it was possible to get tickets for amazing productions, by sleeping out all night in the queue, (that will be the subject of another blog as it is a long story!); and the years that I was pregnant there, the theatre cat would come and sleep on my bump!  It was quite extraordinary that she would seek me out even amongst an untidy crowd of people, and find her way on to me.  It felt very comfortable as the cat purred and the baby moved, and everyone was quite relaxed.

Strange creatures, cats