So, there we are then. That’s July gone. I know; it hardly seems possible but it must have been July because I’ve seen a Christmas advert on TV and a Christmas gift card in Peacocks. Also, I’ve gone from having the heating on to resorting to a fan to keep cool. Having said that, I have to confess I’ve been picking up bargains for presents from the never-ending end of month, end of season, end of winter, nearly end of summer, end of line sales. Well, why not?
It’s become a tradition over the past years to have a formal family photo taken on my 5 and 10 birthdays. This year, being my 80th, it’s even more important. I like this idea. It’s all very well taking photos on ‘phones and iPads but there’s nothing like a photo on ‘paper’ with the date written on the back. I believe it’s a piece of jigsaw in the family history and tree. And looking back, oh my!! They say every picture tells a story, don’t they. As usual, the problem has been finding a date when all those included can be free on the same day. That was some challenge and although my birthday was in May, the final date is to be in September. We are now discussing suitable clothes, colours etc.etc. which is really fun and a good excuse to buy a new outfit.
On 2nd of the month, my daughter and her band, Force Ten, were playing an open air gig in a park in Burton on Trent. Their music is all the Joe Loss era so the family had to put up with me singing along with the vocalist. The day was hot and we were 12 in number. We had a bit of a picnic, took chairs and a rug, the ice-cream van was doing a roaring trade and the packed audience was treated to some real music. I enjoy getting the family together so the day was perfect for me.
And now for two personal Move It pieces of promotional news. I still meet regularly with a group of girls (yes, I know, but we will always be ‘girls’) with whom I worked some 30 years ago. The conversation usually comes round to MIOLI matters. Indeed, one of our number who now lives on Jersey keeps up with the news through this natter. Hi Natasha! At our next get together I will be taking all my DVDs and resistance bands for one girl to take home to see which would be most appropriate for her own use before she buys. I’m also lucky enough to live very near to a huge garden centre where I’m a regular. I’ve become friendly with one or two of the till ladies and I’m now known as ‘Mrs Move It’. Excellent stuff.
It looks as though it’s true that we shrink as we age. Not sure where that leaves me. I started out being 5ft 1inch so I’ve always had to shorten my clothes, even from the Petite range. There’s no way I’m going to measure my height now – I recently had to shorten new trousers by 3 inches! I’m thinking of taking the cut off material back to the shop for a refund. Perhaps not eh?
So it’s goodbye to Wimbledon for another year. I do so love that fortnight but with so many big players retiring injured, it somehow lost that special excitement although I still maintain the tradition where the TV goes on at start of play each day if I am at home and stays on til transmission ends and of course, it’s not possible to watch the men’s final without strawberries and cream.
I had a really extraordinary experience on the 12th. A friend had invited several of us to join her in a half day painting workshop. I agreed really to support her. So there I sat, in this hall along with 9 others, in front of a small table easel which supported a canvas, with a palette, some brushes and knives etc. I didn’t mention it at that time but my father was a lithographic artist – a very talented man. I had inherited absolutely no talent in that department and indeed, had been excused art at school in favour of extra English classes, at which I excelled. I still couldn’t believe what I had let myself in for. However, with a wonderful tutor, by the end of the morning, I had produced an oil painting. While it was drying which took 14 days, I kept having a sneaky look at it and I still find it hard to believe that my initials are tucked into the corner. I would certainly recommend this wonderful artist and be more than happy to go to another of her workshops.
The 23rd saw the annual strawberry tea which I have organised here for many years. That meant spending most of Friday supermarket shopping (the menu having been decided some weeks before). Saturday was cooking day and sorting all the crockery, cutlery etc. and it all came to fruition at 2pm on the Sunday. Tables in the conservatory and dining room were groaning as were the party goers following their attack on the main course and special desserts. The oil painting was on display and I had some difficulty in persuading the family that I really had produced this masterpiece.
It’s true, isn’t it? We really do live in a throw away world. After a very challenging day visiting a friend who is in serious health difficulties, I was glad to get home, shower and change into some ‘comfortable’ clothes. A cup of tea sounded like a good idea but it quickly became clear that a cuppa would have to wait. I’d had doubts about my ‘fridge for some time but during my absence that day, it had decided to stop working altogether. Of course, it was very hot at that time so the decision was immediate. Get changed into different clothes and down to my local retail park, into shop, choose ‘fridge, pay, sort delivery details (of course there was extra to pay to have it delivered the next day which was a Sunday), back home and this time get changed for bed. That was one night where getting to sleep was no problem at all!! On Sunday, the new fridge was delivered, unpacked and installed and the ‘old’ one taken away. It was only 5 years old; that’s what I mean. Am I misremembering but didn’t ‘machines’ used to last longer? Were they better quality or was there little demand to keep changing for the latest model? Now we’re constantly bombarded with adverts insisting that we should get up-to date with everything. I’m from an era where make do and mend was the order of the day. Oh well, nowt to be done about it and my new fridge is larger which came in handy with the strawberry tea preparations.
So, school’s out for summer. For me, that means an end to tap dancing classes until September along with my Thursday afternoons volunteering at a local school. I’ll certainly miss both but will I be kicking my heels; will I heck! My diary for August is beginning to overflow but more of that next time.
6th August is an important Awareness Day although, as usual, there are so many Days worthy of note. International Friendship Day was started, you won’t be surprised to know, by the greeting card industry which makes it a bit suspect but, leaving that aside, anything which promotes the idea of friendship has to be a good thing. Whether it’s the other side of the road or the other side of the world, friendship on any level is so important. If you’ve got family support, that’s wonderful, but especially for those who perhaps don’t have close family links, then to have friends is indeed such a blessing. I’ve got a bookmark which reads: ‘Friends are like stars. You can’t always see them but they’re always there’. So true.