Today is Roald Dahl day; 100 years ago Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff. Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot.
Many films have been made from his books such as ‘The BFG’, ‘James and the Giant Peach’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
More than 200 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide and translated into 59 languages.
Roald Dahl influenced a lot of children and adults around the world with his writing, his fantastic poems and books.
“Some of my favourite books are Roald Dahl, to this day my favourite book by Dahl is ‘Dirty Beasts’ -a collection of very clever poems for children. Truly Inspiring! I LOVE Roald Dahl and have read nearly every book he wrote. My childhood and imagination wouldn’t have been the same without him. He inspired me to start writing poetry at a young age.” Says Emily-Jane Stapley, the founder of the DC.
Here is one of Roald Dahl’s poems:
In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn’t read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
He simply couldn’t puzzle out
What LIFE was really all about.
What was the reason for his birth?
Why was he placed upon this earth?
His giant brain went round and round.
Alas, no answer could be found.
Till suddenly one wondrous night.
All in a flash he saw the light.
He jumped up like a ballet dancer
And yelled, ‘By gum, I’ve got the answer! ‘
‘They want my bacon slice by slice
‘To sell at a tremendous price!
‘They want my tender juicy chops
‘To put in all the butcher’s shops!
‘They want my pork to make a roast
‘And that’s the part’ll cost the most!
‘They want my sausages in strings!
‘They even want my chitterlings!
‘The butcher’s shop! The carving knife!
‘That is the reason for my life! ‘
Such thoughts as these are not designed
To give a pig great piece of mind.
Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grisly bit
So let’s not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
‘I had a fairly powerful hunch
‘That he might have me for his lunch.
‘And so, because I feared the worst,
‘I thought I’d better eat him first.’
Keeping our brain active and challenging it by reading and writing is an essential and important part of life, studies show that it can lower the risk of dementia.
In fact, to be read to is actually quite therapeutic. Reading for people with dementia can help them feel better and understand better as people living with dementia may struggle with reading and interpreting text alone. Many people attend book readings, even those without dementia and find this to be very soothing.
A case study from the Alzheimer’s Society website:
Pat cares for Henry, also aged 79, at their Norwich home. She decided to try reading aloud to him in an effort to engage and stimulate him and she has found it to be enlightening and enjoyable for both of them.
Pat says, “I have a degree in English literature but my recent expertise has been in children’s literature. I thought he’d enjoy many of the books and so was something worth doing, and I know reading is healthy for the mind.”
You will soon be able to enjoy your cup of tea while being read to because at the Dementia Cafe we plan to have readings by readers, once the cafe is built.
Happy Birthday Roald Dahl!