A different kind of departure lounge

Since the first one opened its doors in September 2011, more than 9,000 death cafés have been held in 65 countries across EuropeNorth America and Australasia.

Now this global social enterprise, which offers people the chance to talk about life and death over tea and cake, is heading this way…

The Newark meetings will be known as the Departure Lounge  – a particularly appropriate choice given the fact that they’ll take place at Carriages Café on Platform 1 of Newark Castle Station – and are being held on the first Tuesday of every month, starting with the launch on Tuesday 3 September.

Facilitator Hilary Wellington, who has been passionate about supporting people through death, dying and bereavement all her life, will be joining the Girls Around Town next weekend to share a few more details of what’s in store.

“Although there’s an organiser to start conversations, there are no leaders nor do we have a set philosophy or agenda,” she explained. “Everyone’s views are accepted and respected and much can be learned by coming together in a safe place to share cultural beliefs or traditions around death.”

The monthly meetings run from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, there’s no need to book and entry is free although the organisers do ask that participants buy something to eat and drink from the tempting menu at Carriages.

Tune in or listen online from 10am next Sunday when Hilary will be chatting to June and Rosalyn about  the Departure Lounge’s aim to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives…

A comic twist on the battle of the sexes

It’s just over 18 months since Graham Keal first joined the Girls Around Town to share some of the highlights of his own take on those ‘men are from Mars, women are from Venus‘ moments…

A popular speaker at WI meetings, ladies’ luncheon clubs and other gatherings across the country, Graham had just launched his latest talk, 50 Shades of Graham, which he described at the time as a bit more risqué than his others but nothing to frighten the easily shocked.

“I’d already amassed a lot of material on how so much of the humour to be found on the web revolves around the battle of the sexes,” he told listeners back in November 2016. “Now I’ve just adapted that material, adding some musings and observations on what has made both the Fifty Shades books and the film so huge, despite all the critical brickbats flung at them.”

With EL James’s latest novel, The Mister, hitting book shops a few weeks ago – to a flurry of reviews describing it as ‘excruciating’ and ‘fifty shades of awful’ – and Graham’s next appearance coming up in Newark soon, he’s back on the show to report on how those musings have gone down with audiences so far.

And to give June a taste of what’s in store at Carriages Café later this month…

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon next Sunday when Graham joins June in the studio.

In the meantime, there’s still time to get tickets, priced £10 each including welcome drink, for the talk starting at 7pm for 7.30pm on Friday 24 May – pop into Carriages, call 01636 676129 or head over to Facebook here for more details and bookings.

A very funny look at the current battle of the sexes. Highly recommended – Sally Bowden, WI speaker finder

Climbing out of the pit of despair

How do you take ten years of struggling with the seemingly relentless despair of PTSD and Depressive Disorder and turn your experience into something positive?

For Australian veteran and successful businessman Trace Dann (in the guise of his alter ego, Captain Krankypants), the answer lies in sharing his story with others suffering the same conditions.

In what he describes as one of the most personal and self-confronting websites he’s ever built, Trace tells the tale of his journey from a life of inner turmoil, stress, unhappiness, anger and distrust to a new life of self-awareness, acceptance, trust and, hopefully, happiness.

He’ll be in the studio with June this weekend to explain how he’s taking that tale on the road in a series of presentations, including one at Newark‘s Carriages Café next week, in a bid to help fellow sufferers and their families.

“My aim is to help reduce the number of depression-related suicides,” he says. “Above all, I want to reassure others that they’re not alone in this and that, with the right professional support, they can find the way to climb out of the pit of despair and back onto solid ground.”

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 11am on Sunday to hear Trace talking about his own journey and his plans to return to the UK next spring, when he’ll be offering more audiences his unique take on this serious and extremely topical subject.