31/10/2017

Ann’s Natter

By Move It or Lose It

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Now I know it’s almost Christmas. Just had to make hair appointments up to the end of the year while there are some left and it’s only the 6th of the month!

Wonder if any of you have had a leaflet from Western Power Distribution. As far as I can understand, they are the wholesalers of electricity which is sold on to the various companies. The leaflet is full of information, but I was particularly interested in their PSR – Priority Service Register. They list five eligibilities so I telephoned them to see if I qualify. I was very impressed to find out that my supplier had already registered me. This means that if there is a power cut or any other problem with supply, I can call them on the dedicated number to receive priority help. I think it might be worth a call to see if you can be on the PSR – it’s only a phone call.

On the 9th, it was the monthly Creative Writing group meeting. We’ve been asked to write a piece on the subject of Loneliness. This is proving to be more of a challenge than I thought. I started by writing a few notes during a bus journey into Birmingham and it seems that there’s no end to the subject. There are so many reasons for being lonely and I believe that life in this country (and perhaps the world) has changed so much. It’s not so long ago that people were born and lived all their lives in the same place, among the same communities with families nearby. How lifestyles have changed. I remember as a child being really excited at the thought of going out for an afternoon ride in my mother’s friend’s car. Certainly holidays abroad (and even in this country) were for the privileged. Now, we have family and friends scattered far and wide. So I remind myself that there’s a difference between living alone and being lonely. Fortunately, there are now many support groups like RVS and Age UK to help when it’s needed. Good health is such a bonus. It means I have the power to keep busy and I’m always grateful. I hope you’re all nodding in agreement and manage to Move It whenever you feel able.

On the 10th and 18th, I had two very interesting afternoons at the School of Psychology in Birmingham University where, as a Birmingham Thousand Elder, I helped with a research study programme on, wait for it, Language Production in Older Adults: Effects of Complexity and Competition. Yes, all scary stuff, isn’t it? It involved sitting in a soundproof booth, front of a screen, commentating on moving objects into a microphone. Each picture was on the screen for 5 seconds before the next one arrived. This was a 40 minute challenge. Then there were English language questions, testing lung power and hand grip strength. I was tired by the time we finished but I enjoyed the challenge and there was the added bonus of being in the care of the lovely research graduate. This young lady was studying for her Doctorate and this was part of her course. It was a bit like the fact that policemen all seem so young to me. She looked barely old enough to have already studied at University, let alone be a post-graduate.

I’ve chosen something a little different for November Awareness. Of course, I acknowledge that this is an especially important month for Remembrance and I know so many of us have reason to keep 11th and 12th in our minds but I would like to offer 27th November to 5th December which is National Tree Week. Not only do I live in a country area in woodland but I’m also lucky to live quite near to the National Forest which has the National Memorial Arboretum sited within it. This is a wonderful green lung which is critical for a variety of reasons. It’s well worth a visit at any time but the trees are an important health giver. Apart from looking beautiful, they clean the air and give us fruit. I’m so glad I’ve got trees in my garden – only three – but I like to think they’re happy and pleased to be part of my life and yes, I do talk to them!!

I’ve had a bit of an MOT this month too. An annual eye test confirmed the astonishing improvement in my vision following cataracts removal. I also had a visit to the dentist and more good news. No new fillings required – just an old one that needs replacing. Not bad considering that my teeth have been chewing away for so many years now!!

November looms large now and with it five birthdays. This is always a challenge when Christmas keeps popping its head up while I’m trying to focus on birthday gifts and cards. I expect you face the same kind of challenge. Birthdays always seem to come like buses – never in ones but several following in quick succession. Suitable cards are always a challenge too. Just so many choices; would a slightly naughty one be appropriate for this person? Is it the right colour? Is it too familiar – perhaps it’s not familiar enough? Perhaps the real question is am I being too fussy? Surely not!!
I love a nice surprise, don’t you? My son announced that he’d got two tickets for the ATP World Tour Tennis finals on 19 November 2017 at the O2 Arena in London and I’m to be his guest. He’ll sort all the travel and hotel arrangements which is an extra treat as I’m usually in charge of outing plans. What’s more, we’ll be in a corporate entertaining suite so I’m using this event as an excuse to buy a new outfit. After all, I can’t let my son down, can I?
So here we are. We’ve made it through to the end of October so well done to us. Unpredictable weather and all the other things out of our control haven’t stopped us with the final events being the clocks going back one hour (still don’t see the logic of that!) and Halloween. Come on November – we’re ready for you.

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