Life begins at 60?
Since I retired I have become a writer, flower arranger,judge for Yorkshire in Bloom assisted in and presented on a local radio station, volunteer on an allotment for adults with disabilities and help to run a social enterprise with profits going to mental health charities etc etc
I live in West Yorkshire and spend much of the summer at the Yorkshire coast.
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Highlights from 2017
Like in all of our lives, there have been ups and
downs throughout the year but I have selected some milestones, new experiences
and memorable events from my year.
I had the privilege of volunteering at the
shelter at a local synagogue.Asylum
seekers are not entitled to work, receive benefits or housing so WYDAN (West
Yorkshire Destitute Asylum Network) has introduced a project where faith based organisations
set up shelters for a week each during the winter months where they are provided
with a meal and able to sleep in a safe environment.WYDAN provides camp beds and transports their
belongings.The volunteers cook a hot
meal and we all sit at the table, chat and clear away together. The asylum
seekers seem to come mainly from the Middle East and Africa and often had good
careers and living standards before they were forced to flee.
As a second generation immigrant myself, I
wanted to participate and have offered to help out on New Year’s Eve at a
shelter at a local church.
joined the local NisaNashim, a Jewish Muslim Women's Network whose aim is to combat ignorance and
misconceptions in our communities, and in wider society by bringing together
women from the two communities in friendship and to empower women to challenge
rising levels of anti-Muslim hatred and anti-Semitism. There are now 30 groups in the UK and I reckon if anyone can bring it about, it’s the women.We make new friends, participate in a range of activities and, of course, partake
in traditional foods.
Yorkshire More, the social enterprise in
support of mental health charities of which I am a director, was featured on
local television channel Made in Leeds.We were filmed and interviewed making chutney.We didn’t look too glamorous in our hairnets
so no photo of me!
Writing on Air is an annual arts festival
put on by the local radio station on which I have an input every month.Three of the team wrote a radio play “The
Airport” and was proud to have it aired alongside talented poets, storytellers
My brother went to Buckingham Palace to receive
his OBE from Princess Anne for services to business start-ups and entrepreneurship and we celebrated a big birthday of one of my sisters and some of our female cousins.
I was blown
away with the performance by Chinese actors of From Shore to Shore, a play by
Mary Cooper in collaboration with MW Sun.It tells moving, real life stories of the British Chinese community who
came to live in Northern England at different periods of history. It was performed
at a Chinese restaurant during an authentic meal.
a 40s day at Bridlington Old Town. People came from far and wide and dressed as spivs, nurses, British and American soldiers and danced to the music of the era.
Lots of family time and celebrations: visitors from abroad, big birthday for my daughter,
our anniversary and my niece’s wedding
A reunion of cousins at Filey, the seaside
resort where we spent our summer holidays when we were young – only this time
A road trip to Scotland. So much to see in so little time.
Our social enterprise, Yorkshire More, is totally staffed by volunteers who make the products on Tuesday mornings. We were
able to donate over £1 000 to local mental health charities; the profits from
sales of our jams and chutneys at food fairs, sales and retail outlets in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
To thank the volunteers of Yorkshire More,
one of our retail outlets put on a Cheese and Chutney tasting evening.I hadn’t realised there were so many local
cheeses and scrumptious crackers.
An informal school reunion with some of my
classmates with a cake and Prosecco to celebrate
A family holiday in Tenerife gave us a
break from the low temperatures at home.
A Tinerfeño friend acted
as our personal guide and showed us his town and the village where he was born
and then took us up the volcanic Mount Teide with its 12,198
ft summit, and the Teide National Park.Very interesting but freezing cold.Luckily he had advised us to dress up warm. I even visited the Siam Water Park, a first for me, and enjoyed the wave pool and a ride called the Lazy River which was very pleasant until we reached the rapids,
During the year, I also met new and old friends, visited and judged many gardens, walked through beautiful countryside and visited interested places and there were births, deaths, engagements and marriages. Compiling this, I see I have a lot to be
thankful for and look forward to see what the new year brings ....... or should I be more proactive? A bit of both, I think.
Did you add to your memory bank or
experience Red Letter days?
Over the years I have had a bash at this without
much success.I’m not the hoarder
portrayed in those television programmes, more that I have a “just in case”
mentality. Recently, however, I’m having a really
good go at it and realise that you have to feel ready to succeed, no matter
what all the self help articles say. Since retiring I have reconfigured my
wardrobe, pruned my total number of clothes and thought carefully before
purchasing new pieces.Now I can see at
a glance what I have in the wardrobe, I wash and wear throughout the season and
no one has ever remarked on how often I have worn a certain item.Some of the clothes were not “quite right” on
me or perhaps the life style I aspired to and they had to go to the charity shop
and maybe they suit someone else better.I haven’t been able to cull my collection of scarves and handbags yet. At my age, I have accepted that there are
some skills I will never master and some pending projects which will never come
to fruition so that paraph…