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Ann’s monthly natter

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Well, I can’t stay in denial any longer – I’ve started writing my Christmas cards. Along with many people I have cut down on the number I send – absolutely ridiculous to give a card to a colleague who sits in the same office. Added to that, a second class stamp now costs 54p. I remember not so long ago, students always took up temporary work with the Post Office in December because of the increase in posted mail, but that was in a different world. And lists; don’t even mention lists to me. Cards to be written, presents to be purchased (once I’ve discovered what would be appropriate for a multitude of family and friends). Added to that, five birthdays in November, three in December and yet another list of items to be purchased for meals and entertaining. And yet, it’s a wonderful time of the year so please don’t think the above is in the nature of complaining. It’s just an observation and I expect that many of you will relate to my thoughts. I consider myself fortunate in that I’m fit and well, able to manage my own life so yes, I enjoy what is an even more frenetic time.

November has also seen another Guy Fawkes Night. Can’t say I’m moved by this annual celebration but what I find a total mystery is the need to have fireworks that explode with a bomb-like sound. I expect my experiences as a war child may have something to do with my reaction – added to which, it’s a terrifying time for animals. I expect there will be a repeat on New Year’s Eve. Oh my, I do sound like a miserable moaner but I’m pleading advancing years on that one!!

More importantly, 8th and 11th November saw days of Remembrance – especially poignant this year with so much happening in the world. It’s good to see so many young people involved in various national and local ceremonies, recognising and remembering important dates in our history and keeping our traditions going.

As a Strictly Come Dancing devotee, I’ve realised that Dr Who follows afterwards. Is it my imagination or can I remember when my children were small, Dr Who was a programme designed for children. Because of the late showing, does that mean it’s not a children’s programme any more or do children go to bed later now. The bit that I caught seemed to be more like a sci-fi horror.

Just to prove that I really am trying to keep up with progress, I now have a new mobile ‘phone. Another challenge but then I succumbed to an Ipad – yes, me! Wrestling with its wonders and mysteries, along with the new mobile, has certainly kept me well occupied but I feel I’m now suitably electronically grown up.

One of my month’s treats was to be at one of my daughter’s gigs. She plays saxophone in a wonderful band very much influenced by the Joe Loss era. She has achieved so much in spite of health challenges and I’m especially proud of her for that reason. It was hard to keep my feet still during the evening – some of the music is used in my weekly tap dancing. However, it was an opportunity to sing along – even though I wasn’t invited so to do!

This month has seen a variety of weather changes. The poor garden plants aren’t quite sure what to make of the highs and then lows in temperature. The most spectacular weather-related event for me was to be a witness at my daughter’s house when a gale blew the chimney off her roof. Fortunately, no-one was walking or driving nearby but we spent a challenging hour clearing the road of all the rubble. As usual, we ended the evening laughing when recalling the pantomime which had occurred earlier. And why not?

It must be the end of the gardening season – I am in the process of dismantling and cleaning my good friend, the lawn mower. It’s the least I can do in return for its faithful service this year. On the subject of earthy matters, I have chosen the Festival of Winter Walks 19th December to 3 January 2016 for my Awareness dates. Set up by the Ramblers Association, the intention is to highlight the benefits of walking and encourage more people to take up this easy and calming exercise. Look on line to see what’s been arranged, everything from ‘tipsy toddles’ to ‘cake walks’. Sounds good to me.

Off to do a planned shop now but unfortunately I understand its Black Friday. Oh well, the extra benefit I suppose is that I’ll be parking the car a long way from my local retail park and taking an extended and brisk walk to get to my destinations. I will excuse myself from a work-out at home later today if I manage to extract myself from the madness.

It’s hard to believe that my next natter will be after the Christmas celebrations. I hope the season is good to you and yours and that it’s a happy time. Must go now – need to check whether I still like a mince pie with my coffee.


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