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Ann’s Natter

Well, if August was a bit ‘slow’, my September started at the speed of sound; went off like a rocket in fact. Let’s start with the really good news. You can now buy your Christmas cards and decorations. You can also get that new settee delivered in time for Christmas. Phew – what a relief. It hardly seems possible that the next public holiday is 25th December. Yes folks, the big build up to December has begun. It’s been confirmed by the change in the amount of daylight we get. It’s just 7.30pm as I start putting my thoughts down; this time a few weeks ago, I was just mowing the back lawn.
Anyway, as I was saying, it was a cracking start to the month; 1st September was the annual Age Well Conference which is held so that the Birmingham Thousand Elders (in other words, the volunteer guinea pigs helping with research) can be updated on all the latest news and take advantage of all the advice. The morning was given over to a series of lectures from various experts on problems such as tinnitus and depression. No, it isn’t at all a miserable occasion. Such amazing work and progress into treatments make it fascinating and comforting too. A very nice lunch was followed by a series of workshops. Of course, my first call was at Julie’s taster FABS (excellent as usual) which I followed with a visit to a dietician’s talk and then I tried my hand at circle dancing which was very challenging but great fun. The downside of this occasion was that I felt the need to write another poetic gem so apologies for that.
Eat your porridge
Don’t eat cake
‘Cos that would be a bad mistake
Flex your fingers
Up on your toes
Keep up as fast as the music goes
To lift my mood
I’ll get some sun
And be well cooked when day is done
Try circle dancing
Whizzing round
With feet that barely touch the ground
For bunions just what would she tell
“Don’t walk in shoes that hurt like hell!!”
I’ve made a list – I won’t give in
To stop would really be a sin
If FAB is what I want to be
It’s easier than ABC


That’s better out than in! Early in the month, my daughter’s band was in concert with the Burton Youth Jazz Orchestra. Of course, I went but with some misgivings I have to confess. My daughter’s band is a Big Sound dance band very much in the style of Joe Loss and I think many of us will have sat through youth or school orchestra concerts. However, this was truly a revelation. These young people were under the spell of their inspirational conductor who leapt about the stage while also playing the trumpet. I didn’t want the evening to end. They had never played together or seen the music before but the collaborative sound they made was wonderful. There were 11 Force Ten musicians and 20 Jazz Orchestra players. I’m hoping that there’s going to be a repeat performance soon.

As I mentioned last month, the 7th September was National Fitness Day. I joined Julie and her Falcon Lodge class and in response to her request, duly turned up wearing an Ab Fab outfit. It was a wonderful hour – such a happy class full of laughter and fun. Of course there’s a serious objective but Julie got on that stage and socked it to us. She’s so full of energy and drive. All exercises were performed to music and yes, there were some class members who sang along too; and why not. It was a pleasure to meet Michelle who is now a qualified FABS instructor, running her own classes. Julie’s son, Joe, is now part of the team and is working on a programme which it’s hoped will appeal to men. There are three male FABS instructors and hopefully the gentlemen will take the ladies’ example and learn to move it if they don’t want to lose it.

I’ve really been getting into the swing of things with the U3A this month. I managed to get to the monthly lunch club which is held in a local pub. I had to smile as I walked through the doors. Not so long ago, a woman on her own going into a public house would have been almost shocking. A lovely lunch with lovely people talking and laughing about everything under the sun. I came out smiling which is precisely part of the object of the exercise. Then later in the month I went to the Creative Writing Group so another pleasurable experience and we were sent away with quite a challenge; to produce the plot for the perfect murder story. Not sure whether the idea I’ve got in mind would be perfect and I’ll have to keep my imagination in check if I can.

Of course, the new school term is well underway now and I’m glad to be back to my Thursday afternoons at the local school. New term, new children and new teacher – all a challenge for me. There are 28 in this class. I have no idea how on earth I’m going to remember all their names but it’s a pleasure to be a small part of their lives.

Well, September started at a pace and continued thus. On 28th, I was at the Sports, Exercise and Rehab. Department of Birmingham University with my Thousand Elders Hat on. It was a gruelling two and a half hours with a series of challenges on screen – some to test memory and some to test reaction times. I like to think I’m being of some use in the amazing research which is going on. This was Research on Cognition and Inflammation. Apparently, the blood can also become inflamed due to changes in behaviour. Perhaps that’s where the saying “My blood was boiling” came from. Wonder what they discovered. I’ll never know because I’m identified solely by a number. Something different now booked for October in connection with the Elders so I’ll tell you all about that next time.

Awareness Days are always a challenge; so many good causes (and some fairly silly ones too). I’ve given myself permission to choose two. First of all, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There can’t be many of us who haven’t been touched in some way by this scourge – it’s an ongoing challenge but I couldn’t resist the invitation to recognise 7th October which is World Smile Day. I hope you can all find something in your lives to acknowledge this day and feel better for it.

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