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The double double

Updated: Mar 5, 2021


Morning - Thom Rowlands (guitar)

Afternoon - Graham Hughes and Ben Hazleton (2 double basses)

Another two-session Friday at Bridgeside Lodge this week. In the morning Thom played solo jazz guitar for residents and staff.

On the second floor, staff needed to take a blood sample from resident C. She was very reluctant!

"You're not the doctor, I am the doctor of me!"

- Resident C, BSL

Fortunately, she was distracted by the music and staff were able to calmly take the sample they needed. We're constantly reminded that while concerns around the pandemic are front and center, there are still 60+ residents with differing health needs to be attended to. We're in awe of the hard work of BSL staff, how they're able to soothe and gently persuade distressed residents. A stressful and difficult job, done with a smile.

G.H showed me 3 copies of The Dandy she had, published in 1960. Thom told her they'll be collectors items! Despite having very little speech, G.H is wonderfully vocal, singing along in perfect pitch. At each musical cadence, she would sing the root note with a sonorous "Daaah". It's a real joy being able to duet with someone in this way andwe really hope the feeling is mutual.

G.H allowed Thom to take this selfie of the two of them. She has, in the past, been very reluctant to have her picture taken. We're hoping she'll start participating in our films and documenting of our sessions*


The afternoon saw a Spitz first. Two double basses, played by Ben Hazleton and Graham Hughes. Graham had created fantastic arrangements of classical, pop and jazz numbers and we were excited to see and hear the show!

The duo started on the ground floor playing some early Baroque songs. Resident EJ sat serenely (as always!) singing along under her breathe.

Graham and Ben then walked the corridors, where possible visiting residents in their rooms. As you can imagine, two double basses take up a lot of space! They spent some time with J. J is less able to respond than other residents but her aura always lets us know how she's feeling and we could see she enjoyed the music.

It was really special to hear these two incredible musicians dancing around the low frequencies, weaving in and out of each other's melodies, alternately playing the lead and the accompaniment. We'll certainly be repeating this line-up!

* permission to publish this photo was sought and granted by BSL management.

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