Messages in Bottles

Stories of Waiting

Hear Michael and Kelechi talk about the work they did with the staff and service users at Hospiscare:


One member of the Wednesday group reminisced about watching starling murmurations at a different point in their life, and we began to talk about how the murmuration – with all the individual birds travelling on their own journeys, in their own absolutely unique way, yet together forming one shared movement in space and time, in which all of them were held – worked as a metaphor for the time we were sharing together, waiting together and telling stories of our incredibly different lives but together in this shared space and time.

So, we decided to set some of these stories of waiting to images of murmurations from Michael’s home town of Brighton.

Tracks of Our Years

The participants each brought in a song that evokes a particular moment in time to share with the group.  They talked about why it was important to them and what that time in their life meant.  We heard stories of the everyday and the once-in-the-lifetime.  Some were sad.  Some were funny.  All were remarkable.  Some times had passed.  Some endured.  All were brought alive again in the room together.

We hope you enjoy listening to these as much as we enjoyed telling them.

“It was the time my brother was born … I wasn’t allowed into my mother’s room …through all my trials and tribulations, he’s totally with me now.”


“Suddenly, it came on, and I thought – ooh – it was just lovely and inspired me, I suppose.”


“It was my wife’s favourite song … she’s been gone for four years now”




“It just brought us closer together really, and it made us feel, as the song says, happy together.”


“We met at a dance on night and we kept dancing at each other”

“I used to play this when I needed a rest with my multiple sclerosis … it brings back really nice memories”



“When I saw my wife walking down the stairs singing Hello Dolly, I was so proud and so pleased to see her”

“Whenever I hear it, it still catches me.  She died 13 years ago, but you don’t forget these things in a hurry, do you?”


Delilah was quite a changing point in my life. In fact, it sent me in a completely different direction.”


“I was really in a process of change and finding myself, and I heard this song …”


“I’m not bothered about pleasing anyone, but myself.”


“My grandmother was amazing and she used to play the old pump organ for the Sunday school.”


“If you do dancing properly, you can’t go wrong.  It’s very suggestive.  It’s bodily contact.”

“The reason I’ve got rapport with this song is the fact that that’s how we were when we were younger.  I can remember my father wearing clogs.”


“It was an absolute thrill.  A great big band.  A singer.  It was perfect.  I’m sad those days aren’t here anymore.”



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