Well, it’s been a funny old month for me in some ways. As with most people, there’s a month in the year when it seems to be everyone’s birthday and my May is no exception. I think cards are important and I needed 8. Just as well I’m retired and could spend the time going from shop to shop. It reminded me of the time when ice cream choices were either a cornet or a wafer. Now there’s a whole menu to consider. It’s the same with cards – from our cat to your cat, my teacher, driving test, every relation in the world, humorous (or rude if you like!). Anyway, cards all written and posted, gifts all wrapped and presented. With birthdays comes celebratory food and cake and I can say that I didn’t let the side down on that score. My twin girls celebrated on the 10th, mine was on the 16th and my granddaughter was 21 on the 20th. I had some lovely gifts but, as you must know by now, animals are an important part of my life. You can imagine my excitement when I opened an envelope from my girls to find that I’ll be walking with alpacas in July. These lovely creatures are smaller versions of llamas. And so my birthday goes on and on.
On the 8th, my U3A monthly meeting speaker was an expert on the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots. I confess I wondered whether to give it a miss – history can be so dry and boring but I’m so glad I decided to go. Like all good speakers, this man was a wonderful performer and knew his subject. It was as though he was talking about a living relative. I shan’t be pre-judging any future talks!
The 17th saw the wonderful piece on BBC Breakfast which showed Julie as we’re used to seeing her. So full of energy and enthusiasm, discussing the menopause and her Menohealth project which has taken off like a rocket. As usual she emphasized the simplicity of the exercises for strengthening bones, helping heart, weight health and improving a positive outlook. The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce describes her as an entrepreneur. Just to be sure I looked up the definition of ‘entrepreneur’ – someone who, by initiative and drive, achieves success. That’s our Julie alright!
For Awareness in June, I’ve chosen the 11th which is Make Life Beautiful Day. This just appeals to me; it’s got nothing to do with good looks but it suggests helping someone to achieve a personal goal, do something nice for someone or donate time where it’s needed. I suppose a bonus of this is that making someone smile is beautiful too.
The challenge at my Creative Writing group this month is to enlarge on a piece previously written. I chose to write about the next instalment of my career journey. Once I started, it all came back so clearly. I remember all the embarrassing moments. It’s hard to believe how green I was, even at 21! At that time I had reached the dizzy heights of secretary to a senior partner of Tate & Lyle’s sugar brokers. Among other things one of the brokers, Mr Cook, was responsible for the import of pure rum molasses from the West Indies. I could never understand why he had such a red face and seemed a bit unsteady on his feet. All was revealed when one of the other secretaries took me to one side to explain that Mr Cook believed in sampling the product which he did most afternoons in large quantities!! I was astonished but this was potent stuff. We were each given a bottle at Christmas to take home for cooking. When my mother uncorked the bottle at home and smelt it, that was the only time I ever heard her swear. It was as thick as glue but what a glorious Christmas Cake we had that year!
Here’s hoping that June has got some nice summery surprises for us.