Inspirational Lemonade Maker: Jane Cordell

Inspirational Lemonade Maker: Jane Cordell

You don’t need to know Jane well to feel like you know Jane well. She has an instant likeability factor that few of us have and this is all the more remarkable as Jane is profoundly deaf. I don’t mean this to sound patronising in any way, I simply believe that creating rapport like she does can’t be made any easier by having a significant communication barrier.


I met Jane when we were both providing personal development support as part of a career development programme for disabled people. We were both pretty tied up on the day, but I wanted to keep in touch with Jane even after meeting with her only briefly.


Recently I heard Jane interviewed on Radio 4’s No Triumph No Tragedy and I asked Jane to share her experiences with visitors to my site.


On the programme Jane read a poem which she carries with her in her handbag as it gives her great strength. The poem is Ted Williams Villanelle by Mary Cope:


Watch the ball and do your thing.

This is the moment. Here’s your chance.

Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.


It’s time to shine. You’re in the ring.

Step forward, adopt a winning stance,

Watch the ball and do your thing,


And while the ball is taking wing,

Run without a backward glance.

Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.


Don’t let envious bastards bring

You down. Ignore the sneers, the can’ts.

Watch the ball and do your thing.


Sing out, if you want to sing.

Jump up, when you long to dance.

Don’t let anybody mess with your swing.


Enjoy your talents. Have your fling.

The seasons change. The years advance.

Watch the ball and do your thing,

And don’t let anybody mess with your swing.



Jane read this poem to herself on her way to her employment tribunal with the Foreign Office. She says it cheers her up, makes her smile and puts things into perspective. 


Read Jane’s full Inspirational Lemonade Maker profile here.



Five Questions For Fun



 What track would you take on your anythings possible desert island?


None because I could not hear it. But if I could magically do so, it would be impossible for me to choose one track as my life has been marked by music. It would have to be a complication of the Beatles, Keith Jarrett, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Saint-Saens and a Spanish flamenco lament- whatever that would sound like! I still ‘hear’ music in my head from memory and still love it.



What would you wish someone would invent?


I tend to try to live in the moment rather than wishing for new things. But I marvel at the technology we have and how much it helps so it would be great if someone could invent something which would enable me to hear my desert island compilation! 



What three words best describe you?


Optimistic, empathetic and tenacious



Where in the world would you like to be now?


Where I am now (as I write – in Seville on holiday with my father), but generally that is the answer. I love my home, family, job, friends, hobbies (swimming and orchestra) so tend to enjoy whichever place I am with them.



What is the one thing you have done that you will never do again?


Get married. I never thought I would, but I have and it is wonderful. But there is only one person who provides the other piece to my jigsaw – and I was lucky enough to marry him!

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