News & Tips

Ann’s natter

Another month, another season and a change in tempo.  I’m not sure whether we ever got the ‘lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer’ but there’s no denying that it’s autumn. Certainly the 22nd is the official start of autumn. Where I live, the only decrease in pace is in the country roads where the rule is to make way for tractors bringing in the harvest. I also took advantage of a bit of a dry spell and pruned my plum tree.  My cat watched solemnly as I climbed the ladder armed with loppers and a rake with which to pull some of the topmost branches within my reach.  It was just one of those times when being taller would really have helped. I also took a saw to the apple tree and took out a couple of branches.  Mind you, I did pay for that the next day when my shoulder protested but it’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of being outside.

And so we move up a gear.  Chased by work and or school and or family commitments and or hobbies, most of us fit into at least one of those categories.  I’m glad to be back to the school on Thursday afternoons where I help with literacy and everything else, from finding lost p.e. kit to the occasional glare which seems to work wonders when there is too much noise in the classroom.  The new tap dancing term has begun. Oh dear.  Was the routine really that complicated when we began to learn it way back in July!

Great excitement on the 2nd when I had booked a family studio photo to celebrate my 80th way back in May.  This was the first date when everybody was available for the occasion.  It was hilarious and pandemonium. We returned to the studio on the 16th to view the whole photoshoot.  There were so many really lovely pictures that I was glad to have the family’s views about choices.  Decisions made, money paid (ouch!!) and then off to the pub to complete a happy day.

Then of course, there’s the ongoing battle with the new mobile phone.  It seems that the phone was unwilling to share its secret powers but then I was determined to win the fight.  I think I really have won (well – more or less) but it has brought on the return of my word illness. Yes, sorry everyone but a poem fell onto the page!!



Hallo, hallo do you receive?

It’s trouble that you won’t believe

My data’s used, I’ve got no more

But what is data – I’m not sure

Oh bright red ‘phone box down the street

With you again I’d like to meet

I’ve still got colour

My tooth is blue

But what that means I haven’t a clue

And wi-fi’s wireless that I know

Remembering every radio show

When as a child in days of yore

That’s all we had during the war

And memory?

That plastic box so easily can me outfox

Android, Google, got it all

So now I’ll wait for a ‘phone call

Ring, ring, just where’s my mobile gone?



12th September.  Julie had invited my Move It Mate Trish and I to the MIOLI Annual Conference and what a treat that turned out to be.  Its main aim was to inform Instructors and care-givers. Attendees had come from all parts of the country and I met some really lovely and interesting people.  Between 10.00am and 4.00pm we heard from a series of experts who talked on such matters as the power of music (which I absolutely know to be true and so important in everyone’s lives), nutrition and organisations such as the Royal Voluntary Service combating loneliness and other social issues and many others too.  So much food for thought.  It was a day well spent with so many people all sharing the same beliefs.  Of course, the organisation of the event was perfect with Julie leading her team ensuring the day went like clockwork.

13th September. It’s true, isn’t it?  Don’t judge people by their appearances.  This was the date for my monthly U3A meeting when all members are invited to hear notices, announcements and then there is always a guest speaker.  According to the programme, Margret Jackman was going to tell us about her life working in the theatre, TV and films. While she was being introduced, I could only see this wizened thin lady. no make-up, I think perhaps missing many teeth, in a shabby black top and jeans.  However, introduced she was and then, when she stood and began speaking, she immediately captured us with her strong voice and matching gestures.  Striding up and down in front of the fascinated audience, she regailed us with some astonishing moments in her long career, being cast in all sorts of roles with her recent triumph being in Game of Thrones which I understand is flavour of the month at the moment. She stayed behind to talk to those of us who wanted to know more of this wonderful woman.

It’s become quite clear that September is the month for organising group Christmas celebrations.  After all, it’s in keeping with the cards, diaries, gift wrap and calendars which have now flooded the shops. So I’ve joined in with lunches on 8th and 13th December. Very often, it suits many people to celebrate the season in January when there’s a bit of a dip socially and it’s usually a bit of a dull month.  I think that’s a really good idea.

I had no problem in choosing an awareness theme for October.  It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month where we are reminded about all the aspects of this issue; not only fund raising but remembering to keep a look-out for possible problems.  There are so many fund raising projects, like #Wearitpink, the celebrity contributions and sponsored marathons to name but a few.  Surely, the day can’t be too far away when the battle is won. I know Julie has a special interest in this charity and has worked so hard with fund-raising.  Locally, she has raised over £930,000 and is now looking to reach £1M so congratulations to her and her team.  They’re all amazing.

23rd September Another chance to meet a group of friends who used to be work colleagues many years ago.  This one was a bit special because Natasha, who now lives in Jersey (lucky thing), was over for a party.  We don’t see her very often so it was even more special than usual.  However often we get together there’s never any shortage of news.  Our lives have developed in differing ways but the bond of friendship stays the same.

I hope you’ve had a good month and are ready for whatever October brings.




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