Thursday, 21 August 2008

Leading a Green Gym

Showers were expected, what a surprise! With my little bit of card containing my crib notes wedged into my fleece pocket I set out to co-lead our newly-formed Green Gym, not expecting many volunteers to turn up. Another surprise! There were loads of them - a bit daunting, but I began the warm-up exercises, introducing some new ones learnt from the two-day course I'd attended. All followed my lead which gave me the confidence to move onto Health and Safety and use of the Tools, finishing with strict instructions for them not to chop off their fingers and toes, nor anyone else's... not on my watch!

All went well as we edged towards tea break; no wasp stings, no broken bones, no severed bits of anatomy and everyone laughing and working hard at their chosen tasks. Only one little blip... someone's terminology to describe someone else's health issues was a bit near the mark and the matter had to be addressed - swiftly and in such a way as to leave the person under no illusion that I meant business... to enforce the point I called for back-up from the Project Leader who reiterated what I'd said. Not sure if the person has 'got it'. We shall see.

Three hours passed quickly and it was time for the cool down exercises. Why is there always one person who defiantly manages to sweep the already swept path, just to delay the exercises? I've come to the conclusion that this person is just seeking attention and likes to be called over to join the others. Whatever! What I hadn't expected was the laughter that accompanied my newly introduced exercises. Either everyone was in an exceptionally good mood, or that the Moon was in a special trine that highlighted sexual innuendo. It was not my intention that the back and shoulder stretch, with bended knees should in any way resemble (as one normally sedate and short lady suggested), we were hugging a very tall, good looking man, to which everyone laughed... picture short lady with bended knees, arms in a large circle in front of her... I think you know the connotation implied. It went downhill from there and whatever I said, someone put a different meaning into it. I wasn't sure what I was to do about this, so I chose to ignore it and moved swiftly on through the exercises, deciding to leave out the Pelvic Tilts!!! I ended with a big thank you to them all for their support.

Many said they liked the new exercises and could they have a few more new ones next time?

Later, I reflected on how my first co-leading session went. Much laughter, much work achieved and a worrying insight into the workings of the minds of some of my fellow Green Gymmers! Is it me? Am I a bad influence?

Monday, 18 August 2008

A good day in Oxford

Friday started out as a trip to Oxford Castle with the two boys - (the last day of their week-long stay). As we waited for the next guided tour to begin, I noticed a man dressed in medieval clothes hovering near the books and plastic swords and shields. He turned out to be our Tour Guide... a job I'd applied for a couple of months ago, but didn't get a reply. We climbed a hundred and so spiral stone steps up to two levels, then onto the tower to view Oxford. Then we descended again to the crypt and were told stories of ghosts and funny goings-on! The boys were enthralled and purposely stood in the 'haunted corner', hoping for a 'happening'. I fancied a 'happening' myself and went over to join them in the corner... nothing! Not even a whisper in my ear!

Outside the Castle, among the cafes was a 'Krispy Kreme' Doughnut shop... it brought back happy memories of our trip to California and buying twenty-four Krispy Kreme assorted doughnuts for our lunch while on our way from Los Angeles to Palm Springs. My lovely man was always ready to do the unusual and give me treats and surprises... how I miss him and his wonderful attitude to life. The boys and I ate a dozen doughnuts during the rest of the afternoon while on a walking quest around Oxford. We ended up at the Oxford Botanical Gardens, which I absolutely loved! Amazingly, so did the boys.

It was a good day.