News & Tips


Well, we all complain about the British summers but really, that was all just too much. It seemed really odd, sitting in the garden with a cuppa, but in the shade rather than chasing the sun. Just too hot to do any serious exercising and isn’t it a good job we’ve got Move It’s seated exercise plan.  I waited until the evening and sat by an open window and yes, I still Moved It.

I’m starting this month on the 18thAugust.  Off to a birthday party this afternoon. This morning has seen me at the local tip.  Playing the old and feeble card, my son took a car full of wood which had accumulated as alterations to my house have taken place.  I went along as mate and the job was soon done.  Anyway, my car is too small to have taken the large fence panels etc. and I did clean the car out when we got back.  Think it’s the first time the car’s been cleaned for quite a while but they do have a large dog who has to have his toys, towel and blanket etc. every day in the car. By the way, the party was wonderful. Kate, my friend, was celebrating in style with an open house party.  She’s an amazing cook and every dish had been prepared by her. Needless to say, I felt obliged to try as many of the desserts as I could and I somehow seemed to have lost my appetite as I hauled myself back to my car later that day.

Anyway, back to leftovers.  In late July, I went to a show where Jay Rainer was the star.  He’s the son of Claire Rayner, the agony aunt.  A very talented jazz pianist, in between playing, he told us some interesting stories about his mother.  The letters went to their home address and it all seemed to have been very casual.  We spent half the evening applauding his brilliant playing and the other half in fits of laughter, especially at the ‘naughty’ bits.

And then my neighbour managed to get locked out of her house. The dogs were inside barking away. A top window in the lounge was open slightly.  I went to get my ladders to see if she could open the top window more and I volunteered to climb in – there’s less of me then Michelle. By the time I’d got the ladders, I was presented with a view of Michelle’s backside and legs hanging out of the window and she managed, by climbing onto the dustbin, to haul herself inside.  It wasn’t funny really, but we did have such a laugh.  There had been a misunderstanding between her and her husband as to who was meant to have the keys.  I think he paid dearly for what was, obviously, his mistake.  What made it even more amusing is that they are both in the police and are constantly warning about downstairs windows being left open.

Again in late July, I went to my daughter’s school musical presentation.  Some of the students were performing as part of their GCSE exams so tensions were running high.  My daughter plays saxophone and supports the school band.  Of course, it was all very modern so much of it wasn’t to my taste but, having said that, I could see that everyone’s heart was in this presentation.  It was a good evening.

On the 2nd, my Film Club showed ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’, with Meryl Streep taking the lead.  The fact that it was based on fact made it even more funny and poignant.  I enjoyed it so much that I watched it again on TV within a few days!  I recommend it, a film with something for everyone and the acting was superb.

On the 8th, the guest Speaker at the monthly U3A meeting was a co-ordinator from the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikers.  These groups exist all over the country.

They are all voluntary motor bike riders who work on a rota shift basis with a co-ordinator base. The organizations operate 24 hours every day and their role is to transfer emergency blood supplies, instruments, samples for testing and medications from one hospital to another. Yet another volunteer group who go about their business, unknown for most of the time, yet doing work without which we would be in difficulties.

I’ve picked 9 lb. of mirabelle plums from my tree which is quite astonishing as they are cherry-size but very sweet and juicy.  A friend gave me the tree when I bought the house some 6 years ago so it’s done very well.  They have gone to make jam which is sold for a local charity so that’s even better. There’s something very satisfying about growing and harvesting produce grown at home. I’ve got just a few eating apples left on my tree now and then it’s pruning and preparing the garden for the next two seasons.

I was at Birmingham University on the 21st, volunteering on a project called ‘Investigating Age Related Differences in Attention’.  This is in no way a race but I’m a bit competitive and love the challenge. After sitting in front of a computer for 2 hours while letters were flashed on the screen which had to be reacted to at speed, I had to admit it was a relief when the end of the experiment was announced. I usually treat myself to lunch while I’m out, so everyone’s a winner.

So many people are raising awareness of so many good causes in UK, it’s sometimes hard to make a choice but 30 September is the annual Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning. This fundraiser began in 1990 and it’s grown hugely since then.  For example, in 2014, 154,000 people registered their coffee morning and a record £20 million was raised.  I’ll be enjoying my coffee and cake with friends.  Perhaps this year will break more records!

So, we’ve made it to the end of August.  Let’s hope that the sun shines on us in September.


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