Yes, it’s really the end of the month (again). I always think that September has a special significance – endings; holidays, harvests, summer and beginnings; new education terms, new projects (and more of that later), new clothes and all that comes with a new season. And talking of new seasons, yes, I have seen all the Christmas must-haves in the shops and I have to confess that I’ve just accepted my first invitation to a Christmas lunch.
My youngest granddaughter has been accepted by Sheffield University. She’s going early to get settled in before the term begins. Her older sister is at Aberystwyth and begins her third year. It brings back memories for me when my twin girls left for university, Rachael to Liverpool and Sarah to Middlesex. It’s a mix of happiness and sadness for parents when the nest is empty. I know my son and his wife will go through similar emotions but it’s a new beginning for them too.
I’m wrestling with the writing of a short story for the Creative Writing Group. It’s a sequel to a story I’ve already presented and they wanted to know what happened next. The first story took a year to write and it looks as though this one is going to need at least that time to get it completed. I could write it as a speech but it’s just a different matter to get it down on the paper and make it attractive. However, I’m glad to hear the news that more people are going back to reading books rather than on screen versions although I know how useful an ipad can be, especially on holiday. Amazing how many books can be loaded into that slim electronic wizard.
And on that subject, my film club presented the new version of ‘Dad’s Army’. It was the familiar story but with a new set of wonderful actors. Such a funny farce but with some new twists. Along with music, I think laughter is one of the best tonics possible and we left at the end still smiling. Again it’s a film I recommend if you get the chance.
And now to that new project I mentioned. I was very honoured when Julie invited me to be the ‘model’ at a day’s filming to demonstrate a series of exercises suitable for hospital patients, usually elderly, who need to regain mobility and muscle strength before they can be discharged. The day took place at an NHS building in a unit which contained a mock up of an operating theatre and an adjoining area resembling a hospital ward. It felt really authentic and was carried out by two professional photographers. The morning session was showing the exercises sitting in a hospital chair and after a very nice lunch break the afternoon session showed me on a hospital bed. I did reflect while operating the bed controls that I never thought the day would come when I would be filmed and photographed while wearing pyjamas and slippers. It was entirely appropriate as the NHS campaign is called ‘End PJ Paralysis’. Julie and Move It were the obvious choice for this demonstration and I was pleased to be able to support her in that.
The following Monday saw me at the annual Agewell Conference. Those invited are the Birmingham Thousand Elders who are involved in research at the QE Hospital and Birmingham University into ageing and its consequences. The morning was given over to lectures by professors all experts in their fields, such as dentistry, sleeping, viral infection and rheumatoid arthritis. Some astonishing research is being carried out but the one phrase that I remember was during Professor Janet Lord’s opening welcome: “Old Age should be enjoyed – not endured”. So much work is going on to achieve this aim, I came away feeling really positive. The afternoon was devoted to several workshops where various activities were being demonstrated. Of course, I headed for the Move It or Lose It class. It was so enjoyable to get back to moving to music. We were led by Caroline, aided by Marie, who are both instructors. Thanks ladies for making sure we all enjoyed the experience. You might find some new recruits for your classes, you made it so inviting.
On the 11th the autumn term began at my weekly tap dancing class. Our tutor, Vi, took pity on us and we spent the hour revising the new routine we had been working on in July rather than being expected to get to it as soon as the music started. That too comes under the heading of new beginnings as well as mental challenge of thinking on your feet; there’s no time to stand and try and remember the routine – Vi takes no prisoners!!
On the 12th, our guest speaker(s) at the monthly U3A meeting were Polly Mixtures, a wonderful ukulele group. Their speaker did give us some background but the majority of the hour was spent with the group playing various songs – mostly the 60’s – while we had been invited to join in if we knew any of the music. And didn’t we join in!! The rafters surely rang.
Choosing an Awareness Day is always a bit of a challenge. So many good causes and I expect you have your own special favourites anyway. I’ve chosen 7 October which is World Smile Day. Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge but I believe that it’s such an easy gift to give and the benefits are satisfying, especially if you get a smile in return.
Well, we’re hanging on to the lovely sun and warm weather. Each day like this is another bonus and I hope you’re able to make the most of it.
Always enjoy your natters Ann