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Ann’s monthly natter

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Mixed feelings about February. On the one hand, it’s a winter month. I think I’ve already said how badly I feel the cold. On the other, I’m sorry to see it go; it means another period of time has flown by far too quickly to have been able to savour properly all the experiences I’ve had. Some of them were less than happy but they have been balanced by good times with family and friends. I’ve also been buying things for my home. I’ve only been in this house for about three and a half years but it’s wonderful to have a home now rather than just living in a house. My birthday’s in May so I’m a Taurean. I understand this is an Earth sign. Not sure whether I believe star signs but I quite like to think it’s true – after all, it would account for my love of the outdoors and gardening so every day brings me closer to being in my favourite outdoor environment. Anyway, whether or not, the end of February does mean that we must be quite a lot closer to days when it’s possible for me to put just one coat on rather than adding sweaters and cardigans to the pile to be worn before I leave the house. Again, we have been very lucky where I live – most of the severe weather seems to have skirted this area so I am grateful for that.

There have been some interesting developments concerning exercise coming at it from an entirely different angle. I don’t know if any of you saw the BBC Breakfast programme during the month that presented an item concern The Year of Creative Arts. I thought it was going to be all about trying your hand at writing or painting etc. as a hobby and indeed, Johnny Vegas was interviewed. He talked about his love of pottery and there was film of him at the potter’s wheel. Who would have thought it! Anyway, the point is that this includes all art forms including movement – everything from yoga to ballroom dancing. It was pointed out how much physical activities can help so many including those with mental health issues; movement is a wonderful outlet for stresses of all kinds and this is more good news for folk like us who have already taken up a form of movement as a hobby and/or an aid to continued good health. Must say I missed my tap dancing during the half term holiday. I relied more than ever on my DVDs.

I took part in an interesting research project week, wearing an activity belt (really a tiny computer containing a recording chip), supported by a tablet which contacted me at different times of the day asking a series of questions which I answered on line, completed a daily activity diary and a long questionnaire. This was in the interests of research into Physical Activity and Wellbeing. My kitchen looked like a spaceship at night when I charged the batteries of my mobile phone, my tablet and the research tablet too!!

I see that more of Julie’s classes are coming on line. There is such a need and she is just the right person to fulfil it! However, I can’t let this natter go by without mentioning the address of one of the new classes – Potbelly Hill Road in Hampshire. Lots of name and road places in this country have come about because of a link to the place. It’s certainly a wonderful place to hold a class but the mind boggles thinking about the reason for such a name. Perhaps someone can enlighten us on the history of the area. I live near a village called Piccadilly. I often think it would nice to tell folk that you lived in Piccadilly; you would just have to omit the word ‘London’ afterwards!!!!

I always especially look forward to March. We must surely be getting nearer to warmer weather. Indeed, 20th March is the first day of spring (officially, that is) and even if we don’t see much in the way of sunshine the daffodils, with their sunny disposition, will be in full bloom. Also, the 15th March is Mother’s Day. This must be one of the oldest Special Days in the calendar. The origins go back centuries and began as Mothering Sunday with servants being given the day off to visit mother and family. There was also the religious connection of acknowledging Mother Church. Much of this has changed and we can do nothing about the commercialisation of this special day but even with its mixture of happiness and sadness, I expect many of us will have a moment to reflect on the 15th.

I visited some ex-neighbours in February. We have been friends now for over forty-five years and although we have both changed addresses, the contact remains as strong as ever. We always talk about the ‘old times’ as you do. It’s odd isn’t it? I have absolutely no problems in recalling long past places and events in the finest detail. However, I often can’t remember what day it is today until I refer to my calendar and diary!! Sorry folks – I can feel another poem coming on.

THE GLUE OF TIME

Some days when I get out of bed

There’s just a jumble in my head

Oftimes insomnia takes the blame

It doesn’t always seem the same

With date and time an open book

Til at the calendar I look

Then to my diary I refer

To see what is today astir

All annotated in detail

Without all that my day would fail

YET

I remember – I can see

Events long past with clarity

The Glue of Time has stuck them fast

into my memory; now so vast

Becoming clearer – more and more

Even remembering what I wore

That being so, can you tell me

Where have I put that damned car key????!!!!

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