Musical Tea – 13th October 2020

Today we returned to those particular tunes which have a special meaning for each of us. When we hear them they spark emotions, memories, and the urge to start singing. They are the Soundtrack to our Lives.

Music is neurologically special in the way that it stimulates many parts of the brain at once. Listening to your Playlist can have a very positive impact on you. Find out more about Playlist for Life on their website here. You may develop your own Playlist by following this simple guide.

And what better way to get into the groove, than by holding a Musical Tea?

Peter Butterworth, our Local Organiser for Playlist for Life, gave us an overview of Playlist for Life and invited us to create our own.

Peter recommended we look at the resources on the Playlist site here and specifically their 100 years of tunes. You can download individual decades for free. Putting together a Playlist is fun and playing it can help calm us in stressful times. Peter has offered to help with advice on putting a Playlist together. If you want to contact Peter, please let us know.

We had a series of polls which prompted a lot of discussion and memories of days gone bye. Old TV themes led onto old TV programmes (you can still see many of them on the ‘Talking Pictures TV‘ channel on Freeview). The people who come up with TV adverts would have been pleased that we remembered so many.

Janet’s tea & cake

Everyone was busy joining in, but some of us managed to spare time for some tea and cake, as befits a Musical Tea.

In a break from the normal quiz format, I introduced a musical picture quiz. We had some very high scores and I managed 17/17 (but then, I had set the questions).

Janet’s quiz gave us the first line of a classic song, we had to come up with the next line. We also attempted to identify the singer/group. A much more testing quiz than mine.

Pearl’s penguins went for a spin:

Gyda’s homework is very popular with some of the keener members of the group. David has his Christmas present assembly line running!

This week Gyda’s craft was making a musical shaker.

David’s homework

Pearl insisted we sing some up-beat songs, including YMCA. We were pleased to see lots of singing and dancing.

We had more singing later with Tony’s version of “3 little birds”.

Gyda introduced a: “Wonderful vessel”:

We look forward to the return of some more of our usual features next time – if we can fit them into the packed programme!

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2020 Positivity – 6th October 2020

This week we were being positive about 2020 – and we found much to chat about – from the joy of exercise, saying hello to people when out and about, playing on-line games with others, gardening, walking, to Zoom meetings.

Gyda shared information about Nordic Walking. Lynne was keen to find out more and Chrissie provided more background and encouragement. We have a fit group!

Gyda’s craft this week was creating a mandala. The simple steps led us towards more intricate designs and colour. Our homework will be interesting – come back next week for the technicolour mandalas…

David told us to: “Think positive, be positive, don’t give in to gloom”:

Everyone was feeling positive, but it was joke time and Pearl was not with us. Would Janet make the grade?

Lucky Janet had a choice of jokes. Here is a short one and a longer one:

Lynne’s quiz was especially difficult, with scores mainly under 5/10. To perk us up, we sang along to “Accentuate the positive” and “Happy talk”. There was plenty of dancing and singing.

Gerry advised us to: “Stay positive”

More singing followed with Tony’s version of “3 little birds”.

Gyda suggested we: “Learn to wait”:

With neighbours calling, appointments etc. some group members slipped away slightly early.

For the remaining Zoomers, we still had to end before part two of Lynne’s quiz due to another overrun. Gerry thought we should go for quiz part 2, but the rest of us needed a cup of tea…

Next week is our Playlist for Life Musical Tea. You may see last year’s Reflections event here and the PfL website is here.

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.

Myths and Superstitions – 29th September 2020

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.

We had our fingers crossed for a good session about superstitions. There was a steady stream of people joining us, with a total of “lucky 13”, plus our plucky volunteers. Touch wood no one was stressed by the tricky quiz from Janet covering myths and superstitions from around the world. There was some debate about whether a black cat was lucky or unlucky – we couldn’t agree, so we moved on.

David gave us “Myths and legends”:

Our knowledgable group pointed out that many myths originated with the Egyptians. Oddly, many people are not aware that Egypt is a country in Africa. We had a couple of superstitions from other countries. From Turkey, Gyda informed us a husband will know if his wife is unfaithful, as he will grow horns. Danny told us. in Estonia, it is unlucky to whistle in the house.

Pearl was back with some banging jokes. :

Pearl gave us three suitable songs: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. “Tie a yellow ribbon”, by Tony Orlando. And “Dorothy the dinosaur” especially for Dot. I think Dot was pleased.

Gerry (a man with 3 lucky horseshoes) told us about “Superstitions”

We sang-a-long to “Amarillo” and “3 little birds”.

Janet (check out the £2 hairstyle) stepped-in with Gyda’s text: “Each second is a jewel”:

And finally…

David had been busy with his homework. Here is the extended family efforts to build theatres.

Adrian produced his lucky charm. He was not sure how much luck it had brought him!

Culture – 22nd September 2020

As Boris announced yet more measures to tackle the pandemic, we had a jolly time with friends on Zoom.

We chatted about events we had been to and those we would like to go to and see in the future.

There was a mix of preferences and experiences. Danny had been to many shows, but mainly to be with his girlfriend rather than to see the performance. Others had enjoyed musicals and plays such as The Mousetrap. Roxana had not been to anything of note.

Gyda continues to help us develop our construction crafts. As the architectural student, Danny might have some observations.

David showed us the florist stall he had finished as his homework. Mary was keen to follow Gyda’s guidance to produce a theatre this week.

No Pearl today, so Janet told some jokes instead. Here is a smelly one:

Lynne gave us another very testing quiz. Fortunately, there were lots of clues to each question, so I managed to get a few right.

Gerry took us to “Live theatre”

This week Gyda introduced us to a relaxation technique.

A muscle relaxing exercise:

We all felt better for a little stretching.

Dot and Jen seemed to be having a good afternoon.

We had a couple of surprise guests to finish off the session.

Markets – 15th September 2020

A hot afternoon and a good turn-out for the group. There were a lot of memories of favourite markets, some now long gone. Pettycoat Lane was popular, as was Greenwich market. We had one vote for Coventry market (from Danny, who was joining us from Coventry!).

We also talked about Christmas markets. Cologne was recommended by those that had visited it. Odd to be talking about Christmas just as the hot weather had returned

Janice made a welcome return to Reflections. It was her first time with out online group and she said how much she enjoyed it. She told us about the Carers Centre reopening and all the work that had been done to make it as safe as they could. David had visited and recommended others do the same.

Detail of the Carers Centre here.

Janet had come up with this memory of a market nursery rhyme: “To market, to market to buy a fat pig – Home again, home again, jiggety-jig – To market, to market, to buy a fat hog – Home again, home again, jiggety-jog – To market, to market, to buy a plum cake – Home again, home again, market is late – To market, to market, to buy a plum bun – Home again, home again, market is done – To market, to market, a gallop a trot – To buy some meat to put in the pot – Three pence a quarter, a groat a side – If it hadn’t been killed it must have died.” How many of us have a groat in our purse/wallet?

Gyda guided us through the making of a market stall from card or paper. There was a lot of enthusiastic folding and cutting. Our keen builders took away their creations to finish later.

Pearl’s two jokes for the price of one:

Pearl is taking a break next week, but she gave us her own name tune this week “Pearl’s a Singer“, by Ellie Brooks.

David read us another epic poem he had written – this one about markets:

As the afternoon warmed-up, several people moved into their gardens. Danny led the way.

We were relaxed as usual. People popped-in and popped-out through the session.

Gerry took us to “The local market”

Janet reminded us that we usually have an annual visit from the Pearly Kings and Queens. As we are on Zoom, we had to make-do with Janet’s quiz about cockney rhyming slang.

Lynne’s quiz was another good test. I got question one right, then I went a bit downhill.

Gyda spoke to us about: “Letting go of urgency”:

Next time the theme is concerts/theatre/events we have enjoyed.

Autumn – 8th September 2020

The evenings are getting darker earlier. There is a bit of a chill. I found a long-sleeve shirt, just for this afternoon. Roxana told us she has put her heating on (but she says she is still wearing shorts!).

The group said they enjoyed the crisp mornings and cosy fires in the autumn. They were also looking forward to getting out and about more as lock-down eases.

The polls had everyone thinking.

Janet led a discussion about how and when we might return to face-to-face group meetings. While some people were willing to consider coming together, there were concerns about how safe it would be. We will keep reviewing the options and proceed with caution.

Gyda had a fun craft – making a leaf out of paper and decorating it. We were invited to do some homework and bring back our leaf collections next week. Gyda also asked if members had any ideas for future crafts… watch this space.

Pearl showed us her knitting and came up with a property joke:

Pearl also gave us three songs including “Jenifer Juniper”, by Donovan – dedicated to Jen. Three of the volunteers had seen Donovan performing in 2016. His singing voice may have suffered a bit, but his stories from the 1960s were fascinating.

David read us another of his poems this one about Autumn:

David, as ever, had just the paintings to reflect the theme of the day.

David’s walls are covered in his excellent work.

Gerry’s internet had gone wibbly last week and we missed his transport poem. So, this week we had a double bubble: “Transport”

and a “Picture of Autumn”:

Janet had a quiz about Autumn. The questions had been set by Australians. There was some discussion about the accuracy of some of the official answers. The main point of disagreement was about what Americans call football – Lyne and Pearl became quite animated!

Gyda led us in a hand exercises:

and an Autumn reflection:

It looks like we will be practicing our hand exercises over the coming weeks.

Next time, as suggested, we will be looking at ‘Markets’.

Transport – 1st September 2020

Gondola, cruise ship, balloon, Concorde? Our poll told us that 58% of members would like a trip on the Orient Express. Sounds like we could have a group outing (when we win the lottery).

Gerry explained that a crash in a balloon expedition, prior to the invention of mobile phones, led to a long wait for rescue! Fortunately, when it happened, no one was injured – and they got some nice photos.

Gyda returned with a paper balloon craft. Danny had just returned to England in time to produce the best balloon.

Pearl had a great tune for our person-of-the-day – Danny. We sang along to “Daniel” by Elton John. Danny was relieved it wasn’t the usual – “Danny Boy”.

Pearl presented a musical joke:

Pearl led the singing of “

Pearl also led the singing of “The big ship sails on the alley-alley-o”.

David read his epic poem on “Transport”:

Janet had another tricky quiz. We did better guessing the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ than the ‘Seven Virtues’. Adrian managed to answer the most obscure question “Who starred in the 1961 movie ‘Come September’ – for the answer, see below…

Gyda also spoke about transport:

Sharon told us about the Carers Centre cafe reopening on 7th September. She recommended anyone interested in popping down (and people were keen to go) should phone-up just before opening to get the final details of what was on offer and how social distancing will be managed.

Another good session and lots of jolly Zoomers. The answer to “Who starred in the 1961 movie ‘Come September’ was, of course, Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobri

Clothes and fashion – 25th August 2020

Style returned to the Friendship Group.

We asked which was the most stylish decade for fashion. The 1950s beat the 60s and 70s.

50s style, 60s pop, 70s mistakes

Everyone went off for chats in smaller groups. The conversations included revelations of who had worn mini-skirts and other fashion statements (like tank-tops and canary yellow flared trousers).

Gyda was not with us this week. She would have been very pleased that David had done his homework and produced these pirate friendly parrots.

Pearl’s tune for a member of the group was “Come on Aileen (Eileen)” (by Dexy’s Midnight Runners). It was good to have Aileen back with us and she would have been pleased with the song, but her audio wasn’t working. We did our best by singing and dancing along.

Pearl joked about drinks and a lift:

Pearl never disappoints! She had us singing along to “Dedicated follower of fashion” and “Blue suede shoes”.

Gerry gave us “Things people wear – from A to Z”:

Janet had a quiz about hats.

Although Gyda wasn’t with us she sent a reading called “Live your own life”, which was read by Janet:

Roxana told us the weather, where she was, in Romania was 35 degrees. We told her it was cooler and very windy here. She said she was not sure what to do with all the summer dresses she had bought for her return here. Life can be tough.

Next time we are looking at transport.

Pirates – 18th August 2020

We welcomed salty sea dogs, swashbucklers, land lubbers and our usual members to today’s epic adventure.

Janet and I got a little carried away with the theme.

But we were not alone.

Gyda had completely embraced her pirate-ness and Danny and Pearl were not far behind.

Dot seemed a little concerned about the Poll results – and I was not happy (I thought I was an Errol Flynn look-a-like.

The group split into different rooms for their own chats. In his room, our resident artist produced another masterpiece.

Geny was back for some more yoga.

We all enjoyed the stretching and relaxing. I had to remove my toucan for some of the postures.

For this who didn’t want to do yoga, Janet had an easy quiz (easy for those who knew the answers). Here are some example questions (answers further down the page):

  1. Did pirates have parrots on board their ships?
  2. Did all pirate ships have black flags with skulls?
  3. What is a crow’s nest and where on a ship

We all came back together for a quick craft with Gyda.

Gyda guided us in making a paper parrot.

Homework is necessary to finish them. We hope to see some finished articles next week.

I’m sure these crafts are getting more technical.

In addition to this homework, Gyda invited us to look at the chart below and, by next week, write our name in the secret code.

Pearl’s tune for a member of the group was “Martha my dear” (by Paul McCartney). Martha was pleased…

Pearl’s bed, Fins and tinned meat jokes raised the roof:

Pearl also gave us a reading about a pirate:

Gerry told us about “A pirate’s prayer of thanks”:

Here are the answers to Janet’s quiz questions:

  1. No, there were no parrots on pirate ships.
  2. Black flags with skulls were mainly found on Spanish pirate ships.
  3. A crow’s nest was a small platform for the lookout at the top of a mast.

Gyda gave us “Being honest with ourselves”:

The group members popped in and out during the session. Drinks and comfort breaks are expected. Even so, it wasn’t clear why Sharon was hiding behind her sofa – she managed to leap up for this snap.

We should have left the high seas behind us by next week.

Toys and Games – 18th August 2020

It was just too hot! The BBC said it was 32 degrees in Greenwich, but it was hotter in our Zoom room. Roxana told us it was hotter where she was (somewhere in Romania). Danny was cooler in Estonia. But, we agreed – it was certainly Hot!!!

All the group had fond memories of toys and games in their youth.

Lynne showed us a book she had found when she recently moved home. It meant a lot to her, with many childhood memories. Other group members had fond memories of yo-yos, dolls and unfortunate experiences with pots of white paint.

Lynne had come prepared today. As well as her book, she had a quiz and brought her support team – her grand daughters Brooke and Laila.

Gyda came up with a do-dah that we all remembered from our youth, but she couldn’t remember it’s name.

Brooke told us this was called a ‘chatterbox’. I looked up how-to-make-one on Wikipedia and found out it is also called a ‘fortune teller’, ‘salt cellar’, whirlybird’, or ‘paku-paku’.

Roxana explained a game she played when she was a child. It seemed rather complicated involving building piles of stones, knocking them down, generally running around and hitting your opponents with a ball.

Pearl’s fresh veg:

Pearl proudly showed us her grandson, Edward. She also sang “Michael row the boat ashore”, dedicated to Michael.

Gerry introduced us to “The games in my room”:

We are very pleased that Gerry has a poem for all occasions.

Lynne had a rather difficult quiz for us. Her support team ensured the quiz ran smoothy. We all struggled. The best marks in the first half was only 3+ out of 10. Brooke read the questions in the second half – they were intended to be easier, but I thought them difficult (I find all quiz questions difficult).

As we reached the end of the session Janet led us in “Tony Chestnut” followed by “Three Little Birds”

Gyda told us about “Friends”:

Watch out for pirates next week.