Mothers – 9th March 2021

Everyone had their thoughts on today’s theme.

Janet couldn’t vote, but she would have picked “Something funny” – her mum playing drums – to everyone’s surprise, while on holiday.

  • L – played with her mum’s jewellery, rouge and lippy.
  • M – her Mother was a brilliant accordion player and she liked poetry.
  • A – his mum taught him to cook and bake cakes.
  • P – recalls a trip to Ramsgate on a train with the tent loaded on a pram.
  • J – her Mother made toffee apples and toffee onions for prizes on camping holiday sports.
  • P – showed a photo of her mother aged about 75 playing the piano.
  • M – her mum was a knitter. 
  • C – said her mum always stuck up for her (even when faced with a motorcycle gang).

Gyda was just a blur with her speedy flower basket craft. We expect great things from the group’s homework – no pressure.

Nikki, joined us again. She recalled a special dress, pink with yellow flowers. She went out to play, forgot how special the dress was, and it was cut while playing jungles in the garden with the boys.

Lynne produced another tricky quiz. Fortunately, we have some top quizzers.

Pearl’s jokes were up to their usual standard:

Lynne needed a lie down after Pearl’s jokes.

Janet was keen to ensure we fitted-in all our favourite sessions. We always overrun a bit – but we enjoy the packed programme.

The requested tune for this week was “Staying Alive”. We all had a boogie.

Gerry gave us “Mother’s love“:

Chi Ball with Gyda fired-up everyone. Then she calmed us down…

Gyda’s “Monkey“:

David had his homework ready…

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, have a jab, and a second jab (I’ve had mine).

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Pets – 2nd March 2021

Pets are popular – especially with our group – from cats to snakes via tortoises. Some unusual pet behaviour included an Alsatian that jumped over a 7 foot fence and a black cat that bit people that tried to stroke it.

Our volunteers had some very friendly looking pets, which you can see below.

We ran our usual sessions today: homework, a chat about pets, quiz, jokes, songs, dancing, craft, poem Chi ball, and a reflection reading.

Janet was a bit slow seeing some of Pearl’s joke, but eventually… saw the funny side.

Gyda had a tricky craft – making a paper tortoise (based on Lynne’s pet). She also suggested drawing, and colouring-in a tortoise.

Pearl’s showed us her friend and shared a top joke selection:

Dot and Jen were seen enjoying the jokes – they are a tough audience.

Lynne (the birthday girl) ran the quiz, came up with some interesting facts and showed us her 49 year-old tortoise.

The requested tune for this week was “Top of the World”, Pearl also gave us “How much is that doggie in the window” and “Champion the wonder horse”.

Gerry is not a pet person, but he had a pet poem:

Gyda’s Chi Ball exercise was short, but fun.

Gyda (aged about 4 and her friend) told us about Accepting ourselves:

I almost forgot to show one of our top homework crafts…

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, have a jab, get ready for emerging from lockdown!

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First Bikes – 23rd February 2021

Boris has a plan – so we might all meet in person in the not too distant future…

But, for today, we were on Zoom and talking bicycles.

Our group had a lot of memories of biking escapades. Our friend in the West Country had stories of being a postman (bottom bike) and the miles of riding with a heavy sack of post. His other bikes had also done many miles of happy travelling.

Another member had come a cropper when distracted by an attractive young lady – he was riding his bike to work for the first time – speeding down a steep hill – and crashed into a car that he hadn’t notice had stopped. Oops.

We were told you could get a bike for no deposit, in the past, even an expensive one. Unfortunately, this one also found its way to the repair shop on its first outing. Our member saw her friends, took her hands off the handlebars to wave, hit a bump and had an expensive crash.

David’s first bike(s):

David is still the keenest of keen cyclists.

Lynne was back as quiz master. Here are a couple of brain teasers: “What is the largest country in Africa by area?” and “Which president has Richard Nixon as his Vice President?”.

Gyda had a crafty bike to make.

Pearl had to pay her bike off in weekly instalments. Joke selection:

The requested tune for the week was “Que Sera Sera”, Pearl also gave us “Daisy Daisy” and “The push bike song”.

Gerry should keep his eyes on the road when cycling – My bike and me

Gyda’s Chi Ball exercises class was popular as ever.

Gyda (who had had a green tricycle when she was five) told us about Strength:

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, have a jab (and a second jab).

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Embarrassing moments – 16th February 2021

It’s Shrove Tuesday – anyone for pancakes? And… it is 50 years since we converted to decimal currency.

We are all of an age to recognise these notes and coins. No farthings – that would be too old for the group!

Our “Show and Tell” picture interlude is gaining momentum. This week we had 8 photos. These ranged from an enormous garage, that was in the (slow) process of being tidied – to a lovely bunch of flowers.

Our friends in the West Country sent this picture – apparently straw people are all around the local area – what a fun idea.

Sharon visited us for the last time today, she has a new job with the Greenwich re-enablement team. We must say “Thank you” to Sharon for her help and support – and joining in with the fun in the group. Gary from  the Carers Centre joined today and will be coming in future. Gary is a former punk rocker from the 1970s, so he should fit in well.

David had been busy re-purposing some of Gyda’s crafts to make a valentine’s card for his wife. He also showed us this 3D creation. A talented man.

Eventually we got to Embarrassing Moments. The group were full of these. For example:

  • M – tripped over, carrying 4 open bottles of wine down some steps in front of her bosses. She didn’t spill a drop or get hurt – she was too drunk to notice! 
  • J – when she was16, went to the pictures on a blind date to please her brother in law. Later she told the him what a drip the date was, at great length, the date was in the next room and heard it all. 
  • C – after a very bad and busy start to the day, arrived at work to have a difficult moment in front of her boss. He gave her the news – she had come to work without a skirt on!!

Janet substituted for Lynne as quiz master today. I found the February questions very easy (I had done the quiz last Saturday). The others got on very well too.

Gyda invited us to make pancakes – fortunately, no cooking was required.

Pearl’s Bees and more jokes:

The requested tune for the week was “Walk Tall”, Pearl also gave us “Waiting at the church” and “I only wanna be with you”.

Gerry – My embarrassment:

Gyda’s Chi Ball exercises class was full, as usual.

Gyda’s Happiness

The vaccination programme is progressing in the Royal Greenwich borough. The number of local vaccination centres continues to grow.

The Queen Elizabeth hospital is the borough’s first mass vaccination centre. On 1st March the plan is to use Charlton Athletic football ground as the second. For more information go to Healthwatch Greenwich.

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, have a jab

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Ailments & remedies of childhood – 9th February 2021

The chill was on – freezing cold, the snow everywhere. We were all warm in our Zoom windows.

Janet started the session with a reminder that, from this weekend, we will begin the Chinese The Year of the Ox.

Next was our picture “Show and Tell” interlude. We had photos of – Pearl’s knitted hat and an amaryllis – Peter and Janet’s 100 piece old fashioned shop puzzle – and J’s – snowy back garden, her beautiful orchids and Beware of Joe garden ornament. 

We started our discussion on the theme of the week by chatting about how we survived childhood illnesses.

Additional illnesses included: A’s rickets, he was in hospital for 5 years and didn’t speak till he was 6 or 7 – G had problems with her kidneys – C got head butted and knocked unconscious by a ram – D had his tonsils out.

We also had some additional remedies: R’s gran told him to put pepper on all his food and said he wouldn’t get a cold – P alcohol to quieten him down when he was a baby – M cod liver oil, boiled milk with onions & pepper – D orange juice from the clinic with a spoonful of cod liver oil in it – N an egg up with a squeeze of lemon and honey. 

Hospital stays seem to have changed a lot, as has child safety: D was playing with his elder brother, near the Sidcup bypass, when his brother fell on broken glass and had to go to hospital. D, age 4 or 5, was left behind. He managed to find his way home and was minded by a neighbour. The police were out searching for him for a long time before he was found with the neighbour. 

Nikki couldn’t find any red clothes, but her red tea was in tune with the Valentine’s colour theme.

Lynne took us through a Valentine’s quiz. Try these questions… In which city did Romeo and Juliet meet? and Why do some people tie cans onto the back of wedding cars?

Gyda’s had the crafters making hearts from strips of paper. Several members had completed their Bunch of flowers homework from last week.

Pearl’s Doctor, Doctor jokes:

The requested tune for the week was “One day at a time” We then sang and danced to: “A spoon full of sugar” and “When you’re in love with a beautiful woman”.

Gerry had a poem about child psychology:

Gyda’s Chi Ball exercises had us up, down and around.

Gyda finished with Buried dreams

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, don’t book a holiday.

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First wages – 2nd February 2021

Janet asked the group who had had the vaccine for covid. The majority either had, or were booked-in. Such good news.

We discussed first jobs back in October 2020. This time we discussed first wages. Most members could recall their wages (see below) – Janet and I had no recollection : (



We all seem to have started out in tough times, with low wages. I was very impressed with L (Lynne – our master of quizzes) – who managed to go out on 4 nights every week.

We had another shed story this week, or rather a history of a shed over 40 years !

In the last couple of months our group friends, who have moved to the West Country, have been tinkering with their easily manageable front garden. Here is the work in progress.

Our contribution to “Show and tell” was our recent conversion to being dissectologists. Janet talked through the 7 Surprising Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles for All Ages – you can read more here.

Lyne had a 1980’s pop tune quiz:

Lynne has been very good recently in giving us quizzes that even I have a chance of getting some of the answers right. For example “Which was the only British pop group to with the Eurovision Song Contest in the 80s?”.

Gyda’s craft was making a bouquet of flowers.

Two goodies from Pearl:

Time for singing and dancing to: “Money, money, money” and “(Money) Can’t buy me love”.

Gyda’s Chi Ball exercises are always very popular.

Gyda ended the session by suggesting Peace:

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives.

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Achievements during the pandemic – 26th January 2021

As we expected, our members have been busy during the pandemic and even during the special restriction of the various lockdowns. Everyone had got to grips with Zoom. One couple had arranged international weekly quizzes. Pearl had been baking for neighbours – and knitting in every spare moment (including during our Zoom meetings)

Fresh air and exercise are popular. One member volunteers to organise Zoom fitness sessions. Janet encouraged people to do resistance training to retain and/or improve muscle strength and bone density.

We didn’t have a category for putting up sheds, but two of our members had done just that – and provided photographic evidence as part of our Tell and Show session. One of the shed men also found time to make Sloe Gin. Other activity in the last week included a Burns Night Supper, complete with haggis and all the trimmings. Janet asked “What’s in a haggis” – probably not a good question.

Gerry (one of our shed enthusiasts) on Lockdown:

We were on the verge of singing Happy Birthday, but saved it until the end. Singing on Zoom is tricky, especially with slight time delays. I had wondered what “cacophony” meant – now I know.

David read his tribute to Carole.

Lynne had a Catch-phrase quiz. Here are a couple of testers – who said “Hello my darling” and who said “Mr Grimsdale, Mr Grimsdale“. We all did well, one person (our haggis enthusiast) got 15/15!

The Pearl’s jokes:

Time for singing and dancing to: “I’m on top of the world” and “Reach for the sky”.

Gyda’s craft was making a Snowflake.

David had been busy again.

Gyda’s Chi Ball exercises are very popular.

Gyda suggested Staying in the present moment:

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, have a vaccination (I have).

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Tunes from films & musicals – 19th January 2021

We are a group of music lovers with eclectic tastes. Fortunately, we are happy to hear each other’s views on music – even if someone admits to not liking The Wizard of Oz!

Zoom is wonderful for those who can’t get out and about – such as people classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable” (like me) and “struck down with covid” (one of our Davids). David is improving a lot – but over-did it a bit today, so went for a lay down after saying hello.

Good news from many of our members who have had the vaccine. Some had minor side effects, but people are feeling much more positive.

Back to business. We asked about favourite film and show tunes:

Among “Others” were songs from Mama Mia, The Rose and GuThe King and I.

Gerry returned with a poetry reading:

People popped in and out as the meeting went on. Gerry had to go and check on his banana bread.

Lynne had made up a quiz from scratch. It certainly had me scratching my head.

For example… which films are these songs from?

  • Shall we dance?
  • Got to pick a pocket or two?

The people’s choice of Pearl’s jokes:

Time for singing and dancing as usual – then…

Gyda’s craft was a “Thank you” rainbow for the NHS.

The group’s choice of in-session snacks are always a puzzle.

Gyda exercised us with more Chi Ball and Giving compliments:

I showed pictures what the brain looks like before and after activity. It highlighted the mental health benefits of going outside (gardening, walking etc). So… the homework for this week is: to take pictures of when you are out and about to show where you are and what you are doing – email to me and we will have some examples next week.

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, have a vaccination.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Refresh and revitalise – 12th January 2021

Our members have been busy and have plans for the coming year.

The garden is the most popular area for a refresh – not least because gardening is calming and gets us out in the fresh air.

Cleaning and decorating were on several lists of things to do. We shall see how that progresses.

We welcomed Nikki, who is the new person at BLF Mind.

Nikki said she was keen on starting new hobbies, but the equipment often ended up stored under the stairs – this would now change… probably.

It looks like most of us will be excising more!

Gyda’s crafts

Gyda thought we would like a bobble hat. The keen crafters started immediately. Some of the team (me) will have to plan before starting.

David gave us his spin on Reflect & Revitalise.

Gerry said he would have a poem for us next week. This week he is planning to install a new shed.

Quizmaster Lynne had a quiz with a wide variety of questions

For example…

  • Who fell down the hill first – Jack or Jill?
  • What sort of a creature is a Mud Skipper?
  • Who wrote “Animal Farm”?.

Pearl’s best joke:

Pearl got us singing and dancing to “If I had a hammer” and “Right Said Fred”.

As we claimed we wanted to do more exercise – Gyda had us doing Chi Ball again.

David’s paintings

David has been using off-cuts from Gyda’s craft sessions to produce collages – then using them as a basis for paintings. A example is above on the right. We look forward to an art show from David when we eventually return to Shrewsbury House.

Gyda invited us to have more gratitude:

Next time – favourite songs from movies. My vote is for the king of rock and roll singing “The Young Ones” in the film of the same name.

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives, Refresh & revitalise.

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New Year’s resolutions – 5th January 2021

We welcomed everyone back for a New Year and a new start.

It looks like people are beginning the year on a positive note. We also discussed some interesting actions from previous years. These included:

  • Cycling from London to Brighton
  • Raising £1,500 for the Anthony Nolan charity
  • Agreeing to appear in GMTV only wearing black underwear

Gyda had us making a snowman. A craft which was very popular with out crafty group.

Gyda’s crafts

Gyda also suggested we could make a chart/snake to measure our mood on each day of the month.

Our top quizmaster – Lynne – gave us another tricky quiz. Perhaps it could have been a bit tougher – one person got 11/11 right.

Here is a sample of the questions…

  • In January 1877, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of which country?
  • Which company was incorporated in January 1977 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak?
  • In January 1959, this TV series premiered staring Clint Eastwood.

A New Year’s joke from Pearl:

Pearl got us to sing and dance with Cliff Richard and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Everyone was a little worn out after Pearl’s sessions. Gyda managed to calm us down with some thoughts about the New Year.

Gyda speaks to us all:

We were very pleased to hear that several member have vaccination appointments lined-up for the near future.

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.