.. I shall wear purple

The BBC reported yesterday about a Care Home, Woodland House in St Austell, Cornwall that has a wonderful sounding ‘Make a Wish’ initiative. Residents of the home are asked about dreams and goals for the future and in a worthy endeavour the home seeks to carry them out.


A 90-year-old woman saw her dreams come true when she was served fish and chips by a man dressed only in a thong and a see-through apron.

image jemstone at Flickr

At that point, it is hard to suppress a giggle. Especially when she is quoted afterwards as saying

“I thoroughly enjoyed my fish and chips served by the half naked man.”

She clearly hasn’t seen the people who work in my local chippy but honestly that thought is now producing seriously disturbing thoughts in my head!

The article though, seems to leave more questions than it answers.

The Telegraph delves a bit deeper, so to speak, with a few more details about the circumstances.

Apparently, the first worker asked to don a thong refused and someone else was asked and agreed – no forcing of thong-wearing going on here (!).

But the Operations manager of Cornwall Care, who run the home made a statement about the incident

“Cornwall Care runs a Make a Wish initiative and while requests are typically for a day trip out or even a pasty and a pint, one of our residents recently asked if she could have a fish and chips supper served by a man wearing a thong.

“To make this lady’s slightly unusual wish come true it’s possible our staff overstepped the mark and, while the wish was carried out in a light hearted way, we are sorry if anyone was offended.

“The lady herself, her family and the member of staff who acted as her waiter believe that while it may have been a bit risque the wish was carried out with the utmost respect for all those involved and taken in the good humoured way it was intended by residents and staff present at the time.

“We’ll continue to encourage staff to be innovative in the way we run our care homes but we will be speaking with all our managers to ensure they know where to draw the line in future.”

image bugeaters at Flickr

I have to say, that I can see the problems with the request that an employer would have – obviously there are implications about the appropriateness of the request in a work environment – but, and this is the thing with residential care – it is also a home environment. With all the criticism of residential care, you can’t say that it wasn’t done in at least the right spirit!

And good on the woman – it brought back to me the Jenny Joseph poem


Go read and enjoy!

17 thoughts on “.. I shall wear purple

  1. What a great story! Hat’s off to the home for giving her what she wanted. It probably was a lifelong dream. I remember saying when I was younger if I ever won the lottery I was going to retire to a beach somewhere and lounge all day on the beach being fanned with large palm fronds by handsome young men. That dream has diminished somewhat but I do still remember most of it and who knows by the time I get her age it might have diminished to being served fish and chips by a man in a thong and I hope I am in a home that will give it to me even if all I am impressed with at that point is the meal πŸ™‚ oh, and I’m already wearing purple…

  2. I liked it and I have to say, regardless of the comments from the corporate woman it would make me feel much more favourable about placing someone in one of Cornwall Care’s homes!
    and that idea of being fanned by palms is going to keep me going for a little while now, Prin..:)

  3. That was hilarious. I’m glad to hear the lady got her wish. I’m with Prin, I hope somebody will make my wish come true if I’m ever in that kind of living situation.

  4. Yeah, I saw this in the paper today (Telegraph, natch), and had to read it aloud for the benefit of my family. I just wonder: why fish and chips? Is wearing nowt but a thong just as traditionally English?

    Interesting thought processes she’s got going there… πŸ˜‰

    Suzy x

  5. I am inclined to agree, LA!
    And Suzy.. why fish and chips? Well, I just have to look at the picture above – and I’m pretty close to thinking they’d be my ideal meal.. as for thongs being traditionally English.. well, not as far as I’ve picked up! I might be missing something πŸ™‚

  6. Great News, a Care Home that care’s – “GIVE THE STAFF A PAYRISE” they have shown incentive. The inmates are not dead from the neck down just because thay are in there latter years. Those that complain can only be very sad people, or have never had a life. In this life we need to laugh and have fun, even our older generation when they are able like to live a bit risque.
    I have personal experiece of loved ones in care homes, and give every credit to all the staff involved at this one.

  7. Wow – great story. I am torn. On the one hand I can see how that could present some issues. On the other hand, big thumbs up to human beings with enough heart and courage to be silly and fulfill a wish. Oh if the world just wouldn’t take itself so seriously….
    Boy oh boy I should really take my own advice…..


  8. I have to agree, Maxine, it seems to indicate that at least they care.
    But I also know what you mean, illusivejoy – there is an element where you can see the difficulty but still, the intention was positive and good luck to her πŸ™‚ I mean, it isn’t like you stop being an adult when you reach 70.. or 80.. or 90.. why should you necessarily not have the same desires and dreams as you did when you were younger πŸ˜‰

  9. Yep, WL! and thanks for dropping by. The fish and chips picture doesn’t do justice to your food photography! (and I didn’t take the photo anyway.. !)

  10. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a story about workers taking a risk in the name of bringing joy and increasing “quality of life,” dare I say that, and throwing a certain amount of stodgy caution to the wind. It was a bold move, and though it would probably make me nervous if I were a supervisor, I’m impressed at the lengths they went to for this woman.

  11. Yes, although as my sister pointed out to me today when I spoke to her about it – it would be a different situation if it was an older man asking for a young woman in a thong.. .. I hadn’t thought of it that way!

  12. I think your sister has a good point – My husband has said he often wonders at what age he will become a dirty old man! I told him he already had got there!

  13. It’s a great story but I’m wondering if people would look at if differently had it been a male service user and female member of staff?

  14. That’s funny, Silva and yes, I think people would look at it completely differently if the genders were swapped!

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