This week we have a Testimonial for this infusion. “The aromatic qualities really highlight nature’s unseen purities & a potency that it sprays across the land, a perfumery of odours for us all; insects, plants & humans. The taste was real poetry & calming. Thank you for taking me back to nature’s garden. Fortunately, you gravitate to (Medicinal wild herbs) with your inner compass and a heightened sense of taste & smell. For me it was like being in a time capsule! transporting me back to carefree times walking in a forest, I wasn’t expecting that!“
Theresa shares a cup of Chinese and English teas to strengthen the immune system, minus caffeine, with Chinese lecturer Hui (Grace). Comforting, scented and Hydrating; Local Infusions and international teas, are soothing to our mind, body and soul during the covid19 restriction period. We’re enjoying the simple pleasures in life.
Over the past few weeks, whilst spending time outside in nature, in the parks or garden as often as possible, staying in is the new going out and we’re all presented with new opportunities to do at home and finding ways to replace the social life we’d once enjoyed. Below is a list of recommendations, a few of my favourite things that I’ve started doing at other times of the day. I find it helpful to join up to on online platforms like Zoom for group discussions as well as meetings.
I’d like to share with you a few of my favourite things to do these days…
TimeOut is now self styled TimeIn (!) My sister and I scheduled a show evening in, last Friday night (she’s in Lancaster) to watch the 25th celebration performance of Phantom of the Opera. Afterwards, we shared our delight over the phone; I enjoyed all the characters, especially the French theatre managers who are my favourites, with a perfectly timed script. The boat scene was calm from a dramatic perspective, in addition to all the spectacular costume changes; this special pre recorded stage production at the Royal Albert Hall really brings the story to life. the entire former cast sings with Sarah Brightman our first time hearing her singing live; a fabulous show https://www.timeout.com/news/andrew-lloyd-webbers-biggest-musicals-are-streaming-free-on-youtube-for-a-limited-time-041520
Nu Movements on various days, 5 Rhythms is held by Christian de Sousa on Thursday: Back to the beat! These sessions previously held in churches around London are firm favourites for all the awareness they bring. I’m ashamed to say that it took 7 yrs before I finally wound up the courage to attend, then upon seeing swathes of free style dancers, they invited me to become a resident Raw Chocolatier and serve delicacies after the dance nights; it is a unique experience. Now, a 5 Rhythms dance class, takes place in my lounge, along with 80+ others via Zoom! It’s uplifting and positive to begin a movement practice (healing) prior to the clapping for the NHS. http://www.dancingtao.net/home/index.php
Other dances: Sophie Bolton Monday via Facebook
deepening our outdoor nature connection despite being closed, from indoors, Kew Gardens https://www.kew.org/
Last year I took part in a small task force to contribute to the making of an interactive map, which details green spaces to visit, health food shops, clinics, sports and wildlife places and much more. The Lewisham wellbeing map is an online resource to assist residents and visitors alike to make use of public services and open spaces. In this unusual time when we need to remain as safe as possible, the map shows areas to improve our mental and physical wellbeing. These include Places of beauty and medical importance.
It’s quite straightforward to use and navigate.
What do you think? How useful is it to find new places during this social ‘creating space’ time.
This week it was wonderful opportunity to join the Festival of creative Ageing Creative Walk In Ladywell area, in collaboration with GCDA. Our artists goodie bag contained an A4 sketchbook journal, a graphite stick, sketch pencil, 2 polystyrene printing tiles.
Looking around the area, taking in the local sites and heard about the history. The tour began at St Mary’s Church yard which has stood on the site since Saxon times! This ancient site was central to Lewisham life including trade along the main rd of Rushey Green which contained pubs for the travellers along the way in the age of horse drawn carriages. since then and held community together. Next, past the old fire station (now a training group and hairdressers) which used to house the firefighters in flats above and still has the cobbled courtyard for their horses which pulled the carts, plus a tall tower where the hoses are believed to have been hung, out to dry after use.
Next, around to see the coroners court! Now Overgrown and full of foliage, plus rusty gates. Looking up, we see an Elder (Sambucus nigra), in full fruit with proudly reaching towards the sunlight with rich burgundy berry clusters. This forms my inspiration for a later design. Next door is the old dilapidated Play Tower, a former nursery, which will be turned into a cinema in due course. Previously it was the first public swimming baths, as The red brick wall outside still testifies; apparently children used to grind their entrance pennies into the wall, whilst queuing outside the entrance and the pits are still visible!
Further up the road, towards ladywell on the opposite side of the railway bridge, the words SHELTER FOR 700 are painted in bold capital letters, inferring to an air raid shelter, from WWII built beneath the bridge.
Turning into Ladywell park (the ‘rec’ recreation ground as it was known when we went there in training at school).
history of this local area, a place where each of us had previously visited (in my case daily, as I went to school up the road 1986-1991) gave us each a sense of time and place, much more grounded, feeling centred and part of the ongoing history.
Following the pathway Back to St Mary’s and an exploration of The wellbeing garden. Here we mediated amongst the raised vegetable beds and chose a spot to focus on an artistic piece. Finding an old cherry tree with raised roots, I sat down and made an imprint in granite across the back of the bark. I found a leathery old leaf for a pattern to design later. I looked around the garden; it’s so pretty and peaceful.
Our next stop was at the war memorial where The invictus / Pegasus horse adorns the tall gate posts leading towards the statue. There are wreaths and special stones inlaid into the pathway dedicated to all the young lives which were lost during the wars. My father took me there as a child, more of an escape from home, on Saturdays and we used to play rolling down the raised mound flower bed.
Further on, we walked into Lewisham park, which is bordered by large private houses; previously this park was more of their land. In the centre, a large hollowed our area belied a former lake, now long gone. The ancient London Plane trees had shed their bark so I collected some to add to the collage and piece together as a landscape puzzle. A yew tree held a mass of succulent berries which we enjoyed (whilst delicately removing the poisonous black seeds). Walk over, we drew our ideas at st Mauritius house and artist Ellie demonstrated a print making demo; instantly it brought back my Memories of making roller paint prints as a girl. Those were the days! Back then, during the 1980s, our art drawer contained ink rollers (sadly, long since discarded as they were no longer regularly used.) perhaps a visit to hobby craft is now in order!
Leading the way in positive support for metal health awareness is the Third Thursday Time experience coordinated by a local team of wonderfully skilled and empathetic volunteer staff. The social group takes place monthly (on the third Thursday) at Hartley Hall, part of the Holy Cross church and school and is Funded in part by the Catholic Church to provide a fun place for locals to attend and socialise on a monthly basis.
Activities include local gardening opportunities, health and nutrition support, games, nearly-new clothes and gifts section, art & design, sewing & crafts, dancing, Zumba, yoga, positive mood cafe with wholefood snacks and treats, massage, meditation, singing and information of other local events. It provides a much needed break from the normal social scene and offers a chance to wind down, relax and meet new faces in a fun environment yet offers a peaceful place for reflection. I enjoy the socialising element, with an opportunity to take part in inter-generational activities and to share skills. Members of all ages from all walks of life and especially caring for pensioners and those with special mental or physical needs. It’s a nice space to enjoy.
Offers a positive approach to wellbeing. Minus alcohol, vaping/smoking, excessive sugary snacks – it aims to improve our connection and to create a dialogue to promote inclusion and thus prevent loneliness.
The group is Organised by Lesley Allen, Dementia Champion of the local Diamond Club (seniors multi generational events) and is open to anyone. 5.30-8.30p.m. Hartley Hall, Culverley road, Catford London SE6 2LD.
Also taking part in the Festival of Creative Ageing for seniors.