31/05/2016

Ann’s Monthly Natter

By Move It or Lose It

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Hallo; how are you today?  I’m really fired up and ready to go.  Think it must be something to do with the warmer weather and longer daylight hours.  Still not dispensed with the thermals altogether but it’s a good feeling getting dressed in the morning with a much smaller pile of clothes with which to adorn myself.

So, do you believe in fate?  I’m a firm believer.  So many odd and inexplicable things have happened in my life.  Surely, there’s a plan for me somewhere – not that I want to know the future; I’m just too busy enjoying the challenges of each new day.  My latest example of coincidences came at the beginning of the month.  I’ve been a Birmingham Thousand Elder for some years; in effect that means that I’m a guinea pig, volunteering for all kinds of research projects involving the elderly and the way our minds and bodies change over the years.  I’ve done everything from working with researchers in the Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences Department to the Psychology School at Birmingham University.  On the plus side for me is all the free M.o.T’s I’ve had, the knowledge that all this research will probably be of benefit to my children and grandchildren and the privilege of working with so many lovely young post graduates and scientists.  As I mentioned last time, my experience this month was a Study on the sensory role of muscle for the control of balance.  My left leg was covered with electrodes which were linked to a computer while I did a series of standing movements.  This was a 2 hour programme but the time flew by as I was able to talk to the researcher during breaks.  She looked about 15 but she is a Doctor of Biotechnical Sciences and also a qualified vet.  How can one person be so clever, young and attractive?

But I digress.  As I was saying about fate, I was on the bus to Birmingham to take part in this project.  As I got off, a voice behind me said, “Excuse me”.  I turned round and there was this lovely lady – about my height and build.  We got into conversation and it emerged that she had sat behind me on the bus and wanted to talk about my hair cut and colour (grey and very short).  She was emerging from a course of chemotherapy and decided that she would like to adopt a hair style like mine as part of her new image.  We talked and it was as if we had known each other for a long time. I said she should strike out as part of her new life and after some time, I excused myself as I didn’t want to be late for my appointment.  We exchanged email addresses but I knew before I’d walked not many yards that this was the beginning of a friendship.  We seemed to have so much in common (even down to having fine, grey hair!!).  Later that month, we met for coffee and again, spent a long time in conversation about so many things.  Jane has a razor sharp sense of humour and we both had the same thought – my daughter would love her and Jane thought the same about her daughter.  We live within striking distance and so we can share something of our lives whenever it fits in with busy retirement.  So why did I sit on the bus just in front of her seat?  Why didn’t I get the next bus?  Why did we both get off at the same stop?  Fate?  – Well of course it was.

Other exciting news from me? Well, it might not make you jump up and down but I’ve lived here for just over four years and I have a long ‘to do’ list to improve and change the house.  One item on my hit list has been the street light just on the verge of my drive.  Unfortunately, it obstructs clear entry to my drive and I have decided that 2016 is the year to see about getting it moved.  The borough council here is excellent and, having made a telephone call and sent the appropriate email, I came home one day to find that the engineer had been to survey and there is now a yellow painted arrow on the road showing where they intend to move it.  I really thought I’d have a fight on my hands.  Mind you, it’s not yet a done deal but I have every confidence that I’ll be able to tick that box before the winter comes.

May features large in my calendar with five birthdays to celebrate, my twin daughters Sarah and Rachael on the 10th – and they were both ill on the day, mine on the 16th (yes, managed another one!!), my granddaughter Harriet (how can she possibly be 18!!) and my step-granddaughter Jo on the 28th.  Think I’ve set a world record for the most cake eaten in one month but it seemed rude to refuse.  I also managed to extend the celebrations for my birthday with my son Simon inviting me to lunch in Lichfield on the 23rd.

It’s been a good month for other house updating with a new patio and my study now completely refurbished.  Anything in the way of something fresh for the home never fails to excite and please me.  I suppose some people feel the same way about holidays but, having been without a real home for many years, I have nearly everything I ever wanted right here.

On the 20th Julie invited me to join her at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to demonstrate Move It in the atrium.  It’s an enormous area and it was an open day where tables had been set up with information concerning all sorts of illnesses and conditions.  We, on the other hand, were demonstrating how movement to music and the joy it brings can help to restore and maintain a healthier life.  What fun!!  We were a small but happy band with Julie and Yvonne instructing us; Beth, Trish and Danielle were the other students.  We even managed to get the Deputy Director of the QE to do some seated exercises with pom-poms.  With his formal suit, he looked suitably embarrassed but I’d like to think that his participation was an acknowledgement of Julie’s important message.  Professor Janet Lord and Dr Carolyn Greig who both work closely with Julie also came to show their support.

Awareness day for June

I’ve chosen two items for this.  One is the 21st, the date on which summer officially begins.   It’s a time when there’s a more relaxed feel in the air; people seem more inclined to smile more.  Secondly, June is ‘Fiction is Fun Month’.   Yes, I know about the tv and the cinema etc. but there’s nothing like settling down, even for ten minutes with a good story, especially when there are chores to be done. Seems a bit ‘naughty’ particularly if you add in a cuppa and a handful of bourbons.  Reading in those circumstances is a very good way of relaxing – enjoy!!

And finally, I’ve left the best news’til the end:  I just bought my first two Christmas presents.  I know – so exciting isn’t it?  Must get out more.

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