News & Tips

Ann’s natter

Perhaps March was just a tad quiet but April has made up for any breathing spaces. Not all my natter concerns out and about but more of that later. First of all, two important leftovers from the last natter. 29th March was my son’s birthday and, not to be outdone, my grandson’s was on the 30th. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to join in these celebrations, knowing that the next generation is thriving and coping with all that life throws at them. I’m just getting used to the idea that Simon is really fully grown up now (at 53!) but my lovely little grandson is now 16 and just topping 6ft tall. I have been busy with my camera, still carrying on the tradition of having my photo taken with the family on their special days. Easter seemed to scurry by when I wasn’t looking except that on the rare days when it didn’t rain, I started on the challenge of restoring some order in the garden. Today is the 17th and we have been promised tropical weather shortly but will it, won’t it?

1st April was a total national disaster with all the shops shut for a whole day! The 31st March saw chaos at the shops and petrol stations with supermarket trolleys loaded with boxes of beer and all kinds of party food. For a minute I thought it was Christmas Eve again. It was only one day after all and cheese with baked beans on toast is always a good standby (and extremely nutritious too).

5th was Film Club where we watched A Royal Night Out which is based on a story that the then Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret sneaked out of the Palace to join the crowds who were celebrating VE Day. And what memories that brought back. I remember being so excited that the war was at an end until it was explained to me that the Japanese were yet to surrender and I continued to be the frightened little 8 year old although it was wonderful not to be waiting any more for the siren announcing yet another raid.

11th April saw me at Birmingham University where I began helping as a guinea pig again on a new project entitled: Investigating successful cognitive ageing: linking brain structure and function with attention, cognitive reserve and sleep. Yes, I know, sounds scary but such a challenge. I came away after 2 hours with an activity band, recording all my movements, which I have to wear all the time, only removing it for the shower, a 6 page questionnaire and a sleep diary. I go back on the 25th to hand back all the information back and there will be further challenges to be tackled on the day using a computer to record speed of reactions to puzzles.

12th And what an antidote this was compared to the mental demands of the 11th. I went to Symphony Hall in Birmingham with friends from U3A to a concert. I know classical music isn’t to everyone’s taste but the music worked its magic and even the heavy rain and icy winds didn’t seem so bad walking back to the bus after a lovely day spent in good company and music.
Can’t have too much good news so here’s some more. Our Julie is well on the way back to good health now and is 85% better and back to taking classes. Of course, that hasn’t just happened by itself. Can you imagine all the hard work and determination that’s gone into her recovery? She tells me that she has to be careful and sometimes has 80 year olds carrying the bags of equipment for her. I say that the 80 year olds just demonstrate how effective her classes are if they are able to do that. Also, Move It or Lose It classes should be up and running soon in North Devon and the South West of England as 20 instructors are being trained in that part of UK. Soon, there will be a Move It class available for everyone – such good news.
For May’s Awareness, I couldn’t resist choosing National Smile Month. I’ve noticed there’s always such a positive reaction when I smile, particularly at places like supermarket checkouts where I imagine the staff must often feel weary. It’s a good infection to have!

So here’s hoping that May brings us constant warmth and hopefully some sun so that I’ll be writing more about happy garden days. However, at the moment, thermals rule – OK?

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