News & Tips

Ann’s Natter

January seemed to go on forever so February, in contrast, should be whizzing by. I’ve started typing this on the 12th February and so far, the month does seem to have dragged itself along without much enthusiasm. Perhaps the fact that I’ve had a ‘flu-type infection hasn’t helped. I don’t think I know many people who’ve escaped this year. It’s just been a question of giving in when necessary. I have to admit that the self-pampering has a lot going for it so Dr. Ann’s prescription for a cure has been early nights, electric blanket on, book, tv, radio, mobile and ipad together with a hot Ribena. I recommend it, especially when it’s blowing a gale, raining or snowing.

Only one left-over from January. This surely has to be the last time for months that I use the word ‘Christmas’ but on the 30th January, I went to my tap dancing class post-Christmas lunch. It was such a lovely relaxed occasion, I’m going to see how many such occasions can be arranged for this year. Away from the panic and worry of the festive season, I don’t think any of us looked at our watches.

Having eaten a hearty lunch at the end of January, the 1st February saw me at the annual lunch of the Tamworth U3A. As there are some 400 members, this meal is arranged at an hotel in Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, as this particular venue can accommodate large numbers. A friend and her husband kindly offered to give me a lift and what a treat that was. They are both from the local area and gave me a running commentary as we drove through the countryside which was looking wonderful in glorious sunshine. The icing on the cake came when we drove down a small lane which revealed a breathtaking building. This is Sir John Moore’s school. At the moment it’s a primary school, built in 1697, but what makes this special is that it was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. So there was this magnificent gem, tucked away in the middle of the countryside, taking time in its stride and surviving over the centuries. I was also shown a pub which is situated over three county borders – Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. Conveniently, it had three bars, each situated in one of the three counties. Before licensing laws were changed, they managed quite nicely; when time was up in one bar, patrons moved to another and this was repeated, so each of the bars got a fair crack of the whip. Now there’s a tale that will be passed down over time.

I’ve added to my ‘techno-babe’ (my children’s name for me; well, one of their names anyway!!) status. I‘ve bought a cordless vacuum cleaner. It did take me five trips to the shop before I made my decision – too many makes and models – but now that spring is in the air, there’s that cobweb that I can now reach with ease; and don’t forget that vacuuming is exercise so well worth enjoying. This magic machine can do everything and it does mean that I don’t have to carry my lovely but heavy old vac up and down the stairs.

Now that I’m beginning to get back to ‘normal’, I’ve found the 10 tips on the Move It or Lose It blog so useful. I think that most of us probably already know some of the information but it’s easy to forget that there are some really simple ways of renewing the body and soul at a time of the year when energy and drive may be low. Hope the photo of my Move It Mate, Trish and I, makes you smile. That’s the effect Julie and the whole organisation has on folk.

And while on the subject of Julie, such good news. Most importantly, following some more treatment, her shoulder is responding and she is talking about a phased return to classes in April and what a welcome back that will be. I know how good her stand-in teachers have been but they threw away the Julie mould. She sure is a one off!!! She and her team have been busy further promoting and spreading the Move It word. The Put Pep in your Step DVD and the Stay Fit for Life books are now available in four Birmingham libraries. Those borrowing and then returning these can then get a voucher for a taster class free of charge. Even a small change of lifestyle can mean the difference between illness and good health and the classes are fun and social events, leaving aside the physical benefits. I hope there’s a good response to this wonderful offer.

I don’t usually choose anything health-related for Awareness but on the 14th, at the monthly U3A meeting, the guest speaker was from CLIC Sargent Children’s Cancer Charity and she gave us a heart-warming insight into the work they do. In that regard, I’ve chosen the whole month of March which is The Great Daffodil Appeal for Marie Curie Cancer Care annual flagship appeal. This umbrella organisation provides support for all those affected by cancer. Sadly, few of us have remained untouched one way or another by this disease.

Well, I’ve managed to get to the end of February a bit battered but unbeaten. We’ve certainly had a good helping of cold weather but lots of sun too. I can’t understand the reasoning behind the media which constantly tells us that it’s going to be cold or a bit colder or a little warmer. It’s the winter! Let’s just have the forecast and leave it. And so many warnings about the beast from the east – please!!!!!! That’s my moan for the month. I can see my snowdrops looking wonderful and the daffs are well on their way to making their presence known, so up and over what’s left of the winter.

It’s also the time for renewal. I see more ‘For Sale’ house signs and houses having loft conversions, new drives, windows etc. I have plans for my garage but they’ll have to wait for summer. I’ve consoled myself with a new handbag as well as the new vac. for now and that will have to do. I hope you’re looking forward to March and beyond.


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