Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A Dunkirk 'oldies' day

The Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum organised an activities and information day for
older residents today at the Dunkirk and Old Lenton Community Centre. I went along for the day with my New Lenton 'Living History Display' and a couple of chocolate banana cakes.
There was a range of things to do, including the chance to have some reflexology from Christine. The feet in the pic belong to a friend who did not want her face to be seen.
Then it was onto a session with Elaine (left) from Nottingham City Museums Education Team, who came with a box of mystery objects. Dave (right) is having a feel. We all guessed what it was. Can you? The answer can be found at the bottom of this blog entry (but not yet).
After sitting around for thirty minutes, it was time for a workout and to get the hips swinging.

All the exercise made me hungry, so I wandered off to watch Rexx showing her audience how to prepare a quick lunch with a tin of chick peas, an onion, some couscous and a pitta bread, plus some cabbage and an orange. Luckily, the sight of all this food was followed by lunch, which was a choice between a vegetable lasagne or a ploughman's…
…but little did I realise that we would have to sing for our lunch, led by Richard, my next door neighbour, who was helped by Rexx. In fact the session turned out to be three songs from Richard separated by three cookery demonstrations by Rexx. They were very good and made a great team. Then we did finally get our lunch.
After lunch, there was the chance to do some painting, which is what I caught two of our neighbourhood community safety team at.
There was even some singing sessions — which I was 'bullied' into joining, but only after I saw this group having such a good time…
…and no wonder, with Hannah leading the singing and getting a group of novices to learn how to use their tongues, throats and tummies, she was a true marvel. By end of my half-hour session, I was taking part in singing 'I'm a Believer' by Neil Diamond, but made famous by The Monkees (see, it really was an oldies day!). There were eight of us, singing in pairs, two lines behind each other. If only my Susan could have seen me — she would never have believed it then. It was an amazing experience.  I should add that I am hooked on a current US TV series called 'Glee'. Perhaps Lenton needs one for us oldies?
The person who bullied me into singing was Ruth. Yes, this lovely looking lady. She didn't persuade me the first time, so she came back a couple of more times before I finally gave in. In truth, I took pity on her. It was 2.30pm and the day was coming to an end and she was worried that the day had not been the success she had hoped for. In fact, it was just a case of first time nerves — Ruth told me that she had never organised an event like this before. If you read this Ruth, you did a fantastic job and have every right to look as happy as you do in this pic I took of you during your second singing session.
Because I had my own display to look after and people to talk to, I didn't get around to take pics of the belly dancing, the indoor cyclists or the Nordic pole walkers in the car park and these are only the other activities I remember from earlier today. So I will end by revealing the mystery object which Dave was feeling — it was a ceramic bed warmer. The fact that we all knew what it was tells you that we were all children from the days before electric blankets or central heating.

Well, that's my account of what was an enjoyable day, when there was too much to do or to take in, with good food and lots of folk to talk with. If I had sound to go with this blog, it would reveal the endless chatter of happy souls. Thanks to Ruth and all her helpers for making it happen!

Alistair Darling spurned the chance of a pre-election giveaway budget when he put his personal stamp on a package designed to cement recovery from Britain's deepest postwar recession while placating a jittery City.

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