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Ann’s Monthly Natter


Surely not 1st May already! Perhaps being busy does make time fly. I’d like to hang on longer to those days where the sun shines and it’s warm enough to manage without thermal gloves. We have had some of those in April and although I don’t let the weather stop me from gardening or anything else, isn’t it magic to wait for the bus in the sun rather than huddling in the bus shelter? Of course, the other bonus is the clock change. Not sure whether this is a good idea or not. It was introduced in the war to help farmers. One other theory is that it was realised that daylight hours were being wasted in the mornings because people were still in bed (that was in 1916). Being entirely selfish, although I can see its merits – particularly for driving in the lighter evenings – I have to call on my son-in-law, Steve, bless him, who comes round and changes things like boiler controls, oven timer and my digital watch.

The other main event in April was Easter. All the shops were shut on Sunday 20th which seemed to create panic on the 19th. I don’t think anyone actually died from hunger because of the one day closure but queues at the supermarket tills were huge the day before. O course, we also had the Easter Egg Fest. I understand that some shops ran short of supplies. As usual, the eggs were 90% air and packaging. I heard on the radio that they are now slightly thinner as well which made me smile. You might be getting less for your money – I wish eating them had the same effect!!

Oh yes, and talking about people, my family read the column and have pointed out that my other daughter, Sarah, has not been mentioned so far. Well, fortunately, I was going to mention her anyway. She teaches at a local comprehensive school. As an accomplished saxophone player, she recently formed part of the band which provided the music for the school production of ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’. I just loved every minute of it for a variety of reasons but of course it’s wonderful to see her producing such a lovely sound. I knew all the numbers that were performed and of course, as usual, I embarrassed my family who were with me – my step-grand daughters Hayley and Jo – as I sang away to my heart’s content. I remember when I used to go shopping with both my daughters and sang along with all the piped music in the supermarkets and shopping centres. Just can’t remember how many times they tried to pretend they weren’t with me!!

Oh dear, just worried now about who else I haven’t mentioned. With twelve in the family (and animals of course) I am bound to be taken to task by one of them.

29th April was International Dance Day. I know not everyone shares my love of dance in all its forms but there can’t be many people who haven’t danced at one time or another. Think about washing up and singing along to the radio and swaying from side to side – there you are – you’re dancing. Holding a baby, trying to get it to sleep while standing rocking – and probably humming some tune or other. That’s something I’ve been doing lately with my four month old step great grand-daughter. I like to think I’m introducing her to dance and music. Our exercise classes are all about health through music and movement and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy an hour.

As usual, our weather has been all highs and lows. ‘Smog’ was at the forefront of the news during last month. I expect it was a mix of fog and smoke-like damaging components but I am old enough to remember when the word ‘smog’ was coined. Then, when it occurred, all public transport stopped and London became a quiet eerie place. You really couldn’t see a hand in front of your face. My father suffered from bronchial asthma and wore a mask even in the house to try and help with his breathing. It lasted for days at a time. Thankfully, those days are gone now and the recent occurrence was a much less serious event, although I know how it affected people who already have breathing problems.

Ending the month on a high note, did you watch the London Marathon on 13 April? I didn’t see it live due to ‘technical difficulties’ but I did catch up with it later. It’s one of my favourite events; everyone who finished, from the elite professionals to the runner who brought up the rear, was a winner. It’s such an example of endeavour and determination. Hope I can find something to equal it in May.

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