As I sit here writing this, the UK is going through the worst cold snap of the winter so far, with temperatures struggling to get above freezing and many places being hard hit with heavy snow. In such extreme conditions it can be very difficult for elderly people to get by; it’s no real surprise that the death rate amongst older people spikes when really cold weather hits.
If you have an elderly neighbour or friend, especially one that lives alone, I would urge you to be more vigilant. Just pop round to make sure that they are all right, that they have everything that they need and that they are keeping warm and well fed. It’s surprising what just five minutes of person to person contact can do to someone’s wellbeing.
I don’t know if you, like me, enjoyed watching on TV, the recently finished Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. how strange to watch so many winter events when there was no real snow; most of the snow in Pyeongchang was, in fact, artificial.
You may be surprised to know that, actually, fake snow was used in many of the previous games as well – and apparently it’s better for the competitors because fake snow is consistent in its makeup, whereas, as we all know, Mother Nature is nothing if not unpredictable!
But the other great thing about the Winter Olympics is that you end up watching sports that you would never otherwise watch. For example, how often do you watch someone throw themselves down a track made entirely of ice, on nothing but a tea tray? and how many Saturday afternoons would you while away watching a load of adults with brooms brushing the ice to try to get stones into a circle? Well, I for one certainly enjoyed the luge and the curling and all the other sports that we witnessed. Now where did I leave that broom?
There But Not There
Look out for ghostly figures of WW1 Tommies that have started to appear all over the UK as part of a new fundraising campaign led by former chief of the General Staff, The Lord Dannatt. The Tommies appear as 2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and they will be touring the country until armistice Day. Members of the public are able to buy their own 10-inch versions to remember their own relatives and all monies raised will go to support armed forces and mental health charities.
It might not feel like it right now after the weather of the last week, but spring is now just around the corner. We can already see the benefit of the lighter nights as the days start to lengthen, and don’t forget its the 25th March when British Summer Time officially starts.
Spring is always a time for renewal, as the new season of growth starts to appear. It’s amazing how quickly the trees and hedgerows start to green up, how you suddenly start to notice the bird song again and how all the beautiful spring bulbs start to flower. Spring is also a chance for you to start anew, especially as the weather starts to get warmer. Why not get out and do those things you’ve always wanted to do – start a new hobby or join a class and learn a new skill or subject.
Or just get out more and explore all that this beautiful county has to offer. By making an effort, you will start to feel better in yourself, you will encounter more people, have more interesting conversations and before long you will wonder where the time has gone! This is especially important if you live alone, as it will help to combat the issues of isolation and loneliness. There is nothing better than communicating with another person; try and do more of it and I guarantee you will feel all the better for making the effort and doing so.