News & Tips

Ann’s Natter

And here we are again.  This is definitely going to go on a bit but it’s been just such a special month for me.  Hope you’ve had some nice times too.    Family birthdays have been a big feature with my twin daughters’ on the 10th, mine on the 16th and my granddaughter’s on the 20th, but more about mine later.

Memories were revived when the challenge at my creative writing group was to produce something connected with WW2.  I have resurrected a piece I wrote some years ago.  It’s in the nature of a talk that I’ve given to school children over the years about my experiences as a war child living in London.  The timing was perfect because I gave that talk to children aged about 10 at the school where I volunteer on the 18th of this month.  I always like the question and answer sessions at the end.  They all seem astonished at the way we lived our lives during those nightmare years.

More wonderful news from Julie.  Invited to give a presentation to Birmingham GP’s concerning the benefits of exercise through her FABS (flexibility, aerobic, balance and strength) programme for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) sufferers, her programme has their approval and support.  It seems the medics are on Julie’s side; and why wouldn’t they be.  As we all know, she’s absolutely right.  Again, congratulations to Julie and the team!!

While on the health theme, I’ve chosen 7th to 15th June for Awareness which is British Heart Week.  I know that there’s a saying ‘Love your heart and it will love you’.  This organ’s just so clever and beautifully engineered.  I know I rarely ever give it a thought except I suppose those of us who exercise are doing the best we can to support it.

And congratulations are also in order to Trish, my Move It mate.  She and I became friends at the start of the Move it organisation when we were both chosen to be in one of the very early DVDs and we’ve had some amazing experiences together over the years.  Her latest adventure was in May when she took part in Gung-Ho, which was a challenge to complete the largest inflatable obstacle course in Europe; everything from jumping into water filled holes and then having to find a way to scramble out and it ended with climbing a huge slide, whizzing down at great speed into a pool of foam.  Her reward for this madness was a Gung Ho tee shirt and headband.  I’ve seen some of the photos on line. It certainly wasn’t for the faint-hearted. Trish, you’re amazing and a wonderful example of Moving It for sure!!

So, back to my birthday.  Even taking into account it was a big one, the celebrations started on 13th, with afternoon tea (and cake of course) with a friend.  The family had asked me to keep the 14th clear.  As it was a surprise, I didn’t want to ask too many questions but I was told to wear ‘something’ nice, so that was a signal for me to buy two new outfits, one for warm and one for cold weather – any excuse.  Mind you, at one stage I was told it didn’t matter what I wore as boiler suits would be supplied for sky diving.  I took that as a joke!! I was collected just by my 3 children and taken to an extremely smart hotel and restaurant in the country outside Lichfield where we were greeted in the courtyard and ushered into a small dining room where we had afternoon tea which turned out to be a sumptuous meal artistically served; there was even a separate menu for the selection of teas which were served in glass teapots with strainers – something I hadn’t seen for years.  Time to go home and they sent us off with a bag of scones which we hadn’t managed to eat because of the large desserts served, although I couldn’t even finish that! Home again and when I opened the front door I knew something else was going on because the hall was decorated with balloons, ribbons and bunting and the lounge door was shut.  On opening it, cheers went up and there was the rest of the family who had been busy decorating the lounge, again with balloons and bunting.  The table groaned with snacks, nibbles and drinks and my granddaughter, Izzy, who at 17 is a supreme cake maker, had created the most amazing and delicious birthday cake.  All the other cars had been parked round the corner so that they wouldn’t give the game away. To say the day was overwhelming would be an understatement.  By the time everyone had gone, it was lovely to just reflect on a happy day.

On the 15th, another friend and I decided to have egg and chips at a local pub where my birthday took second place to a “Welcome to your new body parts” celebration.  Well, Jane had a brand new knee and I had two new eyes, so why not!  Any excuse would have done but it certainly was cause for celebration.  She had been in great pain and had difficulty in walking but this time; we were able to hurry to the pub at speed.  I know that the NHS is struggling but we’re grateful and pleased to be examples of the wonderful work done by the surgeons and support staff.

I had decided that, with my new “eyes”, as I only need reading glasses, I would throw all my makeup away, take some professional advice and I made sure I was properly made up for the 14th.  I also had a toner applied by my hairdresser. It’s now a trendy steel grey instead of white.  I didn’t tell anyone and after they got over the shock, it met the approval of the family.  Think I’ll keep it this colour now.  After all, new year – new me!  The celebrations (and cake of course) continued until the 24th. Phew! And it wouldn’t be complete without a poem so here goes:


I’ve ticked some boxes, fought the fight

And hung on in with all my might

I’ve written words and sung the song

So many places I belong

Each new day’s still inviting me

To cram it full as it can be

At numbers tho’ is where I fall

There’s just one which I can recall

Eighty, 80, that’s the one

So my new year has now begun

None of my bits are falling off

Not even when I laugh or cough!

My time is busy, filled with fun

But ‘feet up’s’ good when day is done

It’s “yes” to this and “yes” to that

Even if it’s just a chat

With internet and text and ‘phone

No need to ever feel alone

Passing knowledge to the young

With them I love to be among

Continue knitting and volunteer

Been doing it for year on year

For family I iron and cook

That’s so important in my book.


And one day when I’m old and grey

I’ll look at things a different way

But my anthem will stay just the same

Move it or Lose it is its name.


Thanks to Julie xxxx

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