News & Tips

Ann’s Natter

So, I’ve come through November relatively unscathed. Hope you have too.  Of course, we’re all moving up a gear.  There’s no escaping the fact that the festive season is now breathing down our necks.  Well, that’s how I feel about it.  Some elements are just too much though.  I’m drowning in the ridiculous advertising bombardment by all the major companies.  If they didn’t spend such lavish sums on the laughable advertising styles employed, that money could be used to lower prices.  Now those would be the shops for me!

Being a bit of a technobabe now, I panicked when my iPad which is my constant companion became ill and had to go away for a week to be repaired.  I realised how much I had relied on it but thank goodness I’ve recently had a new mobile phone which is far too clever but proved a really good substitute for my missing electronic friend.  I’m absolutely fascinated with the clever developments of the modern world.  That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes yearn for the ‘good old days’ when we had post office savings accounts and my wages of £3 were paid to me every week in cash in a brown envelope.  After all, whoever had a bank account?

November has also given us gardeners the opportunity for some outdoor exercise with the need for daily leaf clearing.  My neighbour and I have become quite competitive about this and it’s fun to see who can get out first in the morning.  We’re good friends and it’s good to chat this time of the year when we’re usually intent on scurrying to get indoors before lower night temperatures arrive.

I confess – I’m a listmaker. I’ve always made lists; it’s a family joke now.  I suppose it comes of being an organised kind of person. With 3 birthdays in December as well as the gifts and food required for the festive season, when I was asked at my Creative Writing group to write a piece with a Christmas theme, I expect you can guess what happened.



I’m listing the lists

Is there something I’ve missed?

Will I need three of four?

Or p’raps I’ll need more

Well, there’s three for the day

Can’t have any delay

With starters, main courses and puddings and pies

To have too few lists would be really unwise.

Now on to the cards

Last year’s list is a start

On stamps with how much cash will I have to part?

I’ll whittle it down.  Oo, there’s three off the list

The list from two years ago shows they’ve twice missed.

With the menu list finished and finally approved

I now need a list to buy all the food

It used to be simple – just a big family roast

But it’s now so competitive

(not that I’m one to boast)

So I’ll add to the list wild rice, walnuts and glaze

What used to take hours is now taking days

With deliveries from Asda and Sainsbury’s too

What’s packed in the freezer I haven’t a clue

Only one job left now

A cooking times list

It’s the longest of all

To make sure that I haven’t missed

anything out from pate to sprout

Without this list I don’t know what I’m about

I’m cooking for ten

But I know there’ll be plenty

Oh dear – looks like sufficient for twenty

The guests have arrived

The table is laid

And thanks to the lists, the meal is all made

The smile’s on my face at the timer’s last ‘ping’

But I’m all listed out



I rest my case.

The 15th was definitely a Move It or Lose It special.  Julie invited me to take part in her class at Mere Green as part of the promotion day.  It was at this venue I first met Julie some ten years ago.  Hardly seems possible.  As you might expect, Julie made it a fun day.  We were filmed during the class and I managed to retain my record of 30 sit to stands in 30 seconds.  Radio WM was in attendance and the result of all this excitement was that we were on Radio WM the next day.  Julie was interviewed on live radio the same morning.  A whole item was devoted to Move It, when exercisers at the Falcon Lodge class were filmed and interviewed by the BBC.  Having waited and waited for that to be shown on TV, we had given up and then, on the 21st, there it was, together with a reporter, the class in full swing and Professor Janet Lord of University of Birmingham who researches the effects of ageing, reinforcing the fact that exercise is vitally important and that exercising for 12 weeks can halt deterioration of muscles. Julie stressed the importance of sit to stand and showed us research which suggests this one exercise can make for a healthier, longer life.  It’s such a simple and easy thing to do as we Movers all know. I just hope listeners to Radio WM and viewers to Midlands Today will have taken her message on board.  I’m all for turning back the clock!!!!

On the 16th, Julie underwent an operation on her shoulder.  I know exactly how she damaged it because I did the same when I moved house, except it was my elbow which bore the brunt.  She moved house not too long ago and I can see it all now; lifting furniture, putting up new light fittings, cutting down tree branches, installing new curtains.  Typical of her, before the op. to get a reclining exercise bike to ensure she could keep in trim afterwards.  I know she will miss taking her classes but not as much as her classes will miss her although she has got some wonderful teachers to take her place.

19 November was such an exciting day.  Through my son’s firm, he had tickets to see the ATP tennis finals at the 02 arena in London. And I eagerly accepted his invitation to go.  I’m a tennis fan but it would have been my pleasure to be there in any event.  Where to start? Arriving at Birmingham International to catch our train, we were confronted by thousands of Star Wars followers for their convention.  They were all in costume and make up.  Can’t really find words to describe the scene!!!!  An hour later found us in the whirl that is London.  I’m a real Cockney born in Limehouse but it wasn’t the London that I had known.  Even the Underground was unrecognisable.  I hadn’t been to the 02 before.  It seats 20,000 but what a treat.  We were in the Corporate Entertainment suite and it was so interesting, meeting some other interesting guests.  And who should walk in but Marin Cilic.  Those of you who follow tennis will know who I mean (you can see him in the photo!). What a charming young man. I did have my photo taken with him to much laughter.  Well, he is 6ft. 8 and I can just about manage 5ft! It was well after midnight when I got home but it was a wonderful day.

I’ve chosen 5th December which is Volunteers’ Awareness Day.  I’ve always felt that we would be in serious difficulties without all the volunteering which is carried out in UK.  Everything from the sick, young, old, animals, flora and fauna; all doing work and raising money.  I’ve done some research and current figures show that there are 15.2 million people volunteering at least once a month in the UK which is astonishing and wonderful. So thank you to them all.

Well, my Move It friends. It only remains for me to wish you Season’s Greetings and special wishes to Julie for a speedy return to a well-deserved recovery.


  • Loved your “List of Lists”. I can identify with that as I too am a great list maker. It’s so satisfying to cross things off when completed!

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