August is always somehow different. All the usual patterns of diary commitments are on hold because of holidays. I’ve enjoyed not having so many time-related entries in my diary although September is already making itself heard. Of course, the wonderful weather has helped and it’s been marvellous to practically live in the garden. It’s my favourite ‘room’ in the house. As usual, we’ve had the unpredictability to manage – we’ve been boiled and/or wet and/or cold but the British need challenging weather to talk about! I’m not an expert gardener but there has been a real shortage of produce this year – not sufficient supplies of apples, plums or cherries to pass on to a clever friend who makes all her own jams and preserves. I’ve been told that it may be something to do with the bees not pollinating at the usual time because of the change in the timing of the seasons. However, it was such a treat to pick the only fruit which favoured me this year – strawberries which grew in profusion – sweeter than any purchased. I do remember taking the children to ‘Pick your Own’ many years ago. It used to be a special outing – we couldn’t afford holidays at that time – and the taste of those fresh strawberries came back to me as I sat in the garden swing with a bowl of my home grown fruit.
Of course the Olympics featured large in August. Even for those who have little interest it was hard not to be moved when watching all those participants straining to be the best at their particular discipline. Just imagine working hard for four years, knowing that in some cases, your place in history might depend on just a few minutes or those taking part in events which took place over several days or hours. To manage that level of disappointment of not getting a medal just shows the resilience and bravery of anyone prepared to put themselves in such a position. That wave of patriotism will carry many people through the months to come; it’s hard to take in the level of success of so many athletes.
I know that not all of you have any interest in pets, but those of you who are animal owners will understand the panic which ensured when my lovely ginger cat – Jaffa – began behaving very unusually. Ok, I know – pet owners often go to the vet for their own peace of mind but I had no hesitation. I think that vets must have some kind of sixth sense. She immediately located the problem – an abscess on his side caused by a fight wound. We came back – Jaffa having had a series of injections and me – feeling much better too (although somewhat poorer!)
As for family matters, one daughter is now in her new house and there is so much to celebrate on that front and gifts to give. My other daughter is living with me at the moment so I have had the pleasure of her many friends visiting her and in particular one evening when one of her fellow band members rehearsed here with her for a gig; hearing two saxophones playing in perfect tune and harmony was a joy indeed. It’s lovely being able to revisit the days before my children flew the nest and re-enact the mothering role again and it’s a pleasure to have her company. And finally, one granddaughter who has secured her place at university – all her hard work rewarded so more happy news while another granddaughter achieved high grades at GCSE Levels; much celebrating on that front too.
On the charity front, I’ve managed two visits. I’m fortunate enough to live near to a very large garden centre and they held their annual car boot sale, the proceeds of which went to The Dementia Society and again, at the same venue, the local Flower Club held their annual weekend display. The theme this year was Sayings. Each display had its own collection tin and the public was invited to put a donation into that which they liked the best. At the end of the event, the display with the most money was declared the winner and was presented with a cup. All the proceeds were divided between The Air Ambulance and Guide Dogs for the Blind. My lovely neighbour’s display was called ‘Every Cloud has a Silver Lining’. It was truly artistic and I had no hesitation in putting my donation into her tin. The bonus was that she actually had the most donations and therefore was the winner. Well done June!!!
As for an Awareness Day for September, I have to acknowledge Julie’s help. We’ve been sorting diaries for me to try a FABS class. How’s this for a co-incidence? I’ve chosen 7 September which Julie points out is National Fitness Day organised by UK Active. I hope you agree that this is an excellent choice. I shall have to try and remember it while I’m going through my paces on the day. I’ll let you know at the end of September.