finding Raymond

When I began recruiting sitters in early 2013 for the Forum drawing sessions, I met Raymond at the Phoenix Centre for a Norwich Older Peoples Forum event. Raymond captured my interest…He was really struggling and frustrated by his hearing aids, and by the chronic arthritis in his hands( ‘look at that, it’s ridiculous!’ he said showing me how he could barely hold a pencil and write). He had on him photographs from his past; him in uniform taken in 1944 when he was in the Suffolk Home Guard, his dogs, the bus he drove in Luton in the 50’s amongst others. I asked him if he would like to sit for me. I heard nothing from him for a while and then received a post card from Raymond saying he felt he was ‘too old’ to be drawn (he is just over 80). I felt sorry to hear this and went no further.

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Jan 1944, Suffolk Home Guard, Wakenheath

In June this year, I had an exhibition of landscapes at Mandells Gallery, Norwich and received an email from the Gallery saying that Raymond had come to find me and would like to come and be a sitter for I’m Not Dead Yet.
Raymond has been for two sittings. I have arranged a third,..I dont feel the drawing I have done of him so far is Raymond..I want to try more..he seemed really pleased to come a again,he really appreciates the real coffee! He also suffers from loneliness as so many his age do, and therefore is glad of the company, and someone to talk to in a quiet environment one to one, which is ideal for someone with hearing problems.

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One thought on “finding Raymond

  1. Loss of hearing is a real isolator. One is taken to be a bit stupid and it’s very boring to be mimed at when one’s ‘Mutt & Geoff”. Blindness is respected but deafness is somehow a butt for jokes. Like many older people with hearing loss, I was in denial for ages – ‘People gabble nowadays’. ‘Why can’t peoples’ diction be better” etc. – not to mention the mis-hearing….which was sometimes funny. I finally sought help when a frustrated friend told me that I was plan SELFISH and RUDE not to get help. I’ve not looked back since I got hearing aids. My advice about deafness is DONT DELAY – there’s wonderful technology at hand – get it.

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