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Ann’s Monthly Natter: January





LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014Ann-with-band

1 Jan 2014

First things first so ‘hullo to’ WHO IS READING THIS COLUMN. My name is Ann and I hope you will put up with my monthly ramblings on life and all the things I have in common with you.

So that was 2013 was it? Well, I must have been looking the other way – it fled past me. I don’t know about you but the phrase ‘you’re doing too much’ just drives me mad. Of course, I get tired. At seventy-six I think I’m allowed. Of course, there’s a really satisfaction in being tired when it’s because of some exertion. Very often, when a poor night’s sleep leaves me feeling a bit shredded, any form of exercise will leave me energised. Even having a shower can brighten the day. So my diary contains all sorts of odd notes to myself. I like to have a plan – can’t manage without my diary. If I’m not going out, I’ll make sure I take some exercise in the house. I like to start my mornings with some kind of structured workout – no, I don’t mean salsa or zumba. I mean a mixture of exercises or yoga stretches or pilates. I have a variety of DVD’s and I am never unkind to my body – no point in making it into torture. As you well know, the DVDs put together by Julie are the perfect start to the day. Of course, some people will prefer to go to her classes but the DVDs are a wonderful standby and friend in your lounge. It’s an excuse to have friends round and then treat yourselves to coffee (and cake of course) afterwards.

Last month was a mixture, wasn’t it? So many folk struggling with their lives; the hurricane and other weather horrors. Makes my problems (and I have many) seem insignificant. It’s just a question of keeping things in perspective. There must be many people who would swop places with me. Nelson Mandela’s death was a significant event. He must have been made of strong stuff. His 27 years’ hard labour took a toll on his health with his eye sight being affected by working on white chalk retrieval and he had problems with his feet too. It just does prove the point that an easy life doesn’t necessarily mean a long life. Of course, his main focus was never on himself but on the plight of others. Think probably there’s a lesson in there.

December 3rd was International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It’s a reminder that even walking round the block can be a major achievement. Organised by the UN with several countries holding special events, the UK focussed on disabled students, sports coaching and housing – all important issues for so many people.

20th December was the end of term for me at the school where I volunteer on a Thursday afternoon. I am with a class of sixteen aged four and I suppose you could say I am an unpaid teaching assistant. Of course, at that age, it’s more like helping with the glueing and reading stories but I love it. Not sure how the teacher manages for five whole days a week – hats off to her, I say. She is so grateful for any help and I spent the last afternoon up a ladder, taking down the winter displays down from the walls and ceiling, ready for the return in January. It’s not easy singing carols while wielding a staple remover and hanging on for dear life, I can tell you!

BUT the month ended on a high for me. We welcomed Charley into the world on the 19th. She just couldn’t wait any longer– four weeks early and weighing in at 4 lb. 10oz. But mother and daughter doing well. This is my first step-great-grand child. Just to avoid any confusion, it’s a girl’s name. With an ever-growing family it will mean getting an extension to the dining room table in the fullness of time. I don’t drink any alcohol so I couldn’t wet the baby’s head in the traditional way but I cracked open a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and toasted her good health. Yes, it’s a bit sad I know – must get out more!!

Well, I expect all the advertising will now be focussed on joining gyms, weight reducing clubs, etc. etc. It’s always the same after Christmas, isn’t it? I know I’ve eaten more than my share of cake and chocolates but I have no doubt that by the time you hear from me again, we will all have resumed our real lives, enjoying the most we can squeeze out of every day and moving it so that we don’t lose it!

And what about the ‘news’ on the 18th December? University researchers have discovered that an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. I could have told them that and saved all the cost of the research. They could have done something really useful – like doing errands for the housebound or disabled!!

Which reminds me to tell you about my odd eating habits next time.

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