Friday, 31 March 2017

Five On Friday - more than five things to do

Hello!  Friday has come around again, and another week has flown by.  Today will be busy too as we are having a new fence in the garden.  I am very nervous about my plants!  I will let you know how it goes....  They are out there as I am writing and making quite a lot of noise, but I am too scared to go and look and see how it looks.  Will try and IG a few photos if I can.

Today I wanted to share with you the answers to some questions I asked you a few weeks ago.  I was looking for suggestions for new things for me to take up and gosh you had a lot of ideas.  I said that I would collate the list so that you could perhaps get some ideas for yourselves and this is the list.  So it is sort of a Five on Friday post, but more of an answer to a Five on Friday post.  I hope that Tricky and Carly, the hosts over at FAST, will count this as a post!

These are the questions that I asked.

1. Suggestions for exercise - what do you do?  I don't want to do aerobics classes - do they still exist in any case, I am not sure I could take lycra and legwarmers!

2.  Suggestions for volunteering - again, what do you do and why do you like it?  Inspire me!

3.  Suggestions for other group activities to look for to join and why.

4.  Suggestions for things that Hubby and I can do together at the weekend/evenings - just us as a couple.

5.  Suggestions for things that Hubby and I could do with other people - so that we can both meet some new people and try new things with other people.

6.  Suggestions for any other out of the house things that I could do.

These are the answers you gave.

Walking - this came up a lot.  You also added suggestions of listening to music, books and podcasts while walking.  Others suggested joining a walking group and I have joined such a group and am gradually settling in and enjoying it which is good.  Getting a fitbit or tracker to see where you have been and what you have done. History walks

Craft groups - knitting, sewing crochet, craft groups, painting classes - I am still working on this one!

Visiting places - gardens, castles, houses, lighthouses, museums, galleries, exhibitions, explore new towns/places, go to lectures,

Exercise/Gym - especially classes for older people if they are available with stretching and yoga/pilates type exercise, swimming, cycling, swimming pool based exercise, t'ai chi, dog walking, exercise DVD at home

Church - volunteering, classes etc, bible study,

Volunteering - thrift/charity shops, schools needing volunteers or governors, local library, RSPB, butterfly conservation, soup kitchen, Citizens Advice Bureau, care homes, hospitals, National Trust - of course!, older peoples befriending - Age UK etc, animal shelter, pet fostering, cuddle babies in special baby care in hospital, knit/craft for charity baby hats, blankets, chemo caps, clothes for foster children, charity blankets, mats/muffs for dementia sufferers to "fiddle" with, etc, reading to children in schools, Red Cross, homeless shelter, political party, clean local park, community gardening, museum, the zoo, city farm, community cafe

Working - in a garden centre

Choirs - Rock Choir especially in the UK, community choirs,

Fun activities - Theatre trips, going out to lunch, take a holiday and enjoy the planning beforehand, photography, cinema trips, puzzles, play cards, thrifting, canoeing, lunch/dinner clubs, birdwatching, listening to music, furniture restoration, kayaking, cook for friends/entertaining at home, dancing classes

Round the home - gardening, redecoration/catching up on DIY and other projects that need doing, having a good clear out

Groups - U3A, WI, Ramblers, Wildlife Trust, adult education - Open University run a lot of online free courses - gardening clubs, book groups, Probus club, cooking group, local history, amateur dramatics,

Other good ideas/places to look - buy a local paper to see what is happening, visit to see what is happening locally, a ladies group, meetup organisation, look after yourself by doing your nails and doing things you enjoy, take your time and see what you like and what you don't, just do a little every day even if it is only something small,

The final big thing to take on is that you should take your time and that nothing will be the same, there will be a new normal, but what is normal anyway.

WOW!!  What a huge list of ideas you all came up with.  So many great suggestions.  You certainly are a creative, active and busy group of people.

I am trying some of these things, looking for others too.  I find that living in a village that is not good at local activities is hard.  It is actually quite a large village, but doesn't have that much going on, and unfortunately the things that are going on are expensive (£10.00 a week for a pilates class.....) or on when I am doing other things (book group in another local village when my walking group meets).  I cannot find a book group in our village and many things seem to be populated solely by people a good two to three decades older than me.  Not that that is a problem, but I have spent so much time with people a lot older than me - father in law - and also at Basildon Park and I need some younger and more my own age company.  I am not moaning, just saying that it is harder than I thought it would be.  So perhaps the answer is to start something myself, I don't know yet.  Hubby and I have other plans for the future, so in some ways I want to do what I do for now and add in some things I enjoy and then many of these ideas will be better for me in the future when I a little older and we are in a different situation. 

Anyway, it is all a work in progress and I am trying some things and it will come in time!  The walking group is really great and I am definitely enjoying that which is good.  We have also been doing/thinking about things around the home which have slipped in recent years so that is taking my time and occupying me too which is good.

So, that is where I am at with these things.  I hope that that really long list of ideas will be helpful to some of you and that you can perhaps get inspired to try and find some new things.

Hope you have a great weekend!



  1. Start your own book club. Make sure it doesn't clash with the one in the neighbouring village and I'm sure you'd get support. (Of course you need somewhere large enough for a group. I couldn't do it because my lounge only fits a two-seater sofa!)

  2. I'm with the History Anorak.... if the group you want doesn't exist, start it yourself. I started 2 reading groups and a craft group this way, and then passed control on to someone else (I'm a good starter, but lack stamina) And if you don't want people in your home, ask a local cafe or library if you can use their space!

  3. Agree with the above comments, if you want a local gathering then if it doesn't exist build it and they will come. Otherwise I'm sure there are lots of online book clubs that you could maybe be involved with.
    Hope you have a marvellous weekend Amy :)

  4. Some good ideas there & your large village sounds a little bit like our small town, with things going on, but not what I actually want, bad times or frightfully expensive when you are an OAP.(not you of course). I'm with Angel Gem, in that you could start something yourself or just get together with a few people you know in your own age group & come up with something you may all enjoy. Don't know, as except for the car club we belong to, I can't find anything for myself here. Keep us informed of what you do & take care.

  5. This is such a fantastic list of ideas, I am going to print it out and keep it Amy. While I am always quite busy, I would like to start some new activities, especially with HB. Tried to get him to a choir but got the 'not now, maybe later' response. I just know you will find some good activities for yourself, you are a good and creative thinker, and I'll be so interested to see what you do.

  6. Awesome ideas! Good luck with the fence - I'll look forward to IG pics.

  7. Fun to see the ideas you received from us. I agree with the above -- start your own group! Happy Friday!

  8. Glad you're enjoying the walking group. Wish I was closer than the other side of the pond as you sound like me - a bit of an introvert and don't find it so easy to join in. At least then they'd be two of us lol. Good luck with the fence project. I wouldn't go outside and check either lol.

    Have a lovely weekend

  9. Goodness what a long list! It will take you ages to get through that lot. Glad the walking group is going well and now the garden will be calling for attention too. Enjoy the weekend.

  10. Wow, so many suggestions. I love the idea of a walking club or group.

  11. You sure did get a lot of suggestions Amy! I'm glad at least the walking group is working better for you now. I like the idea of a reading group, and I would bet it's not too difficult to start one. If you decide on one area you would like to pursue but are unsure of how to begin, I'm sure your blogging friends would help guide you along. Enjoy your weekend.

  12. Loved seeing all the suggestions you were given! This is a new adventure for you! I am also facing a lot of choices in my new home. I may post on all the choices at a later time.

  13. You could start or join an online book club.

  14. Agree with the comments by History Anorak and Angel Gem, Start a group, a book or reading group is a good one. Many years ago a friend and I started a Family History Group, it met in our front rooms, then progessed to the Friends Meeting House and after that we introduced local history too and it grew and grew and ended up meeting in the local grammar school library, its still going strong after about 25 years. See what the WEA and U3A are doing in your area, a photo club would also be a good idea:)

  15. Lots of great ideas and thanks for sharing the comprehensive list. Hope the fencing has gone well and your plants have survived. Glad you are still enjoying the walking.

  16. Well you certainly got a lot of good ideas and suggestions. Thanks for sharing with us.

  17. This walking group is great.. Last year we,some moms from my son's class started a walking group.. but as winter came we stopped walking.. tough I already saturated walking, but the others are yet to join with me..

  18. Wow, that's quite a list of suggestions. Relax and have a look at your fence, breathe deeply (although I suppose you have done all this anyway, lol).


  19. What a great list! I'd definitely recommend belly dancing if there's any classes near you. It attracts women of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes and is such a laugh. Like anything you can spend a fortune but actually the only things you are likely to need are a coin belt (less than a fiver on eBay) and a sarong to use as a veil for wafting around! X

  20. Lots to inspire us all in your lists. My friend emailed the other day to suggest looking for God on the internet! There is a uk organisation for women called Growing Old Disgracefully which sounds fun. I'm now in contact with the leader of a local group and will try a meeting or two to see if it suits. They do a whole range of things some of which are quite out there! Worth taking a look to see if there is a group near you too.

  21. Well hello there Amy! It seems like it has been a bit long since my last visit. That was a very interesting and long list of things one could do. Great response!
    I hope you are enjoying your weekend,

  22. What a wonderful list! Just reading it makes me want to "all the things" Might be a few people out there just waiting for someone to start a book club. Can't wait to hear more about all the adventures on your horizon!

  23. Amy! It is so good to connect with you again. I have just traveled back through your posts to the beginning of February to catch up with how you are shaping this season of your life. I am cheering on your efforts as you sort through your priorities and dare to dream of possibilities. In response to some of your past posts, I delighted in seeing your Primroses, Daffodils, Snow Drops and that I am enjoying on this side of the pond, too. I tend to shy away from short stories because they are...short, however, I was interested to note that you enjoyed Maeve Binchy's short stories, because while I have been traveling recently I have been reading Binchy's "A Week in Winter" which my oldest sister gave me. I am enjoying how it seems to me that she has made each chapter a short story about one of her characters. I admire her writing so much. For Lent I am reading Alicia Britt Chole's book, "40 Days of Decrease" and appreciating it. So lovely of you to crochet the sweet hats for Teresa's project! I hope to participate in Barbara's art posts, too, one day. Much to my surprise I have started a couple of groups in the last few years, a morning group of knitters and crocheters at church making blankets for NICU babies, because I did not want to drive to the night group. On Sunday nights we have a small group of folks, family members, friends and neighbors and guests meeting in my living room for a Bible study/life group. So if you can't find the group you want for a book club or other of your interests, maybe you can start a group as others have suggested. Sending you many hugs, Amy. xx

  24. You have been given some wonderful suggestions and I hope some of them work out for you. X

  25. Wow, so many great suggestions above! I think walking is just the best exercise and I've felt a lot more in touch with nature and the changing seasons since becoming a dog owner, as it forces you to get out and about every day. Good luck with whatever you decide to focus your attention on. xx

  26. What a wonderful list, Amy. Husband and I have a joining-aversion, we are just happy in each other's company, and that of our family. But if you don't have family I can understand how you need other outlets for companionship and entertainment. We walk about three times a week, not all that far, but better than not at all, and I have my writing, and my husband has taught himself Inventor (computer design drawing) and that really stretches his little grey cells. We read, listen to music, watch some TV (fewer and fewer progs as unless it's something really good we prefer peace and quiet), keep the garden under control, and enjoy going out for lunch, coffee, etc. Added to this, keeping our home looking as nice as possible, and for me, keeping up with my emails, my writing work, etc. There's not much time for anything else!
    I wonder what you will choose to do?
    Margaret P

  27. PS Just a thought, Amy ... have you thought of joining your nearest National Womens' Register group? I was a member of NWR for many years and really enjoyed it. There you will meet like-minded women of all ages - they meet in each others' homes and each group is autonomous.
    Margaret P

  28. Wow! You did get a lot of good ideas. Just don't get too busy. I have a tendency to join too much, get burnt out, and quit it all!


  29. Sorry I'm late to this dear Amy - but I do find it fascinating. Lots of great answers!
    Have you thought about starting your own book club? Or your own crocheting/crafting circle? One of my favorite times ever was when a Gal that used to sell scrapbooking supplies ran a fun scrapbook and dinner out once a week. She always had a fun new idea for a "page" to share with us and we would work on things and chat and eat. It was at a place that had a separate space for all of us each week. But you could do something similar with a different craft or knit even in your own home. ;)

    And maybe for you and your Hubby you could take a dancing class? I could never get my Hubby to do it, but I've always thought that would be so fun! Or maybe something else fun together (wine tasting classes, photography classes, couples reading club etc).

    Keep up posted on what fun things you discover to do! xoxo

  30. I'm glad to see that you had a great range of different suggestions. For myself, I'm not a great 'joiner of groups' - now that I can be, I prefer to be able to be spontaneous, after a lifetime of not being able to be.
    So for me, walking, cycling and gardening are the exercise.
    Volunteering at the City Farm is great, because most of the people I meet there (including the other trustees) are years (decades!) younger than me, so we're at different stages of life and I enjoy that.
    And for socialising, well I'm lucky to have a good circle of close friends and relatives who I've never had enough time to see regularly, so I'm glad to be able to step that up.
    My advice for you would be, as ever, listen to what your heart tells you -you'll know if you feel excited at the possibility of an idea. Though sometimes it's worth following through on something that feels scary and see how it turns out....
    All good wishes, as ever, Deborah

  31. Wow, you certainly got a lot of suggestions! I moved to our tiny village in 2012 from the city and I do miss being part of cultural events and organizations. I belonged to an international choir for 10 years, participated in a writer's group and taught drama for three. Here, I am part of a Philanthropic Society that meets once a month, take daily walks around the countryside and enjoy my house and garden, whereas we lived in an apartment in the city.

    Hope you find some interesting pastimes, soon.


  32. That's a great list Amy. Have you thought about adult ed classes? X


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