The Joy Club member, Lindsey Betteridge, provides the inside scoop on her favourite August and September events. Discover the expert talk that led to future day trip plans with the grandchildren, the source of crucial hints and tips for surviving the cost of living crisis and what it’s like to meet fellow members in person!
It’s been a hot and busy summer with daughters, grandchildren and the grand puppy coming to stay and here we are now, in September. I’m starting to feel just a bit of a chill in the air and now that the children are all back at school, I’m back on it with The Joy Club.
By the way, can I please give a shout-out to fellow member, Sandra Falconer, for her article ‘You couldn’t have the kids for the summer holidays could you?’ which gave me some great ideas about how to keep the children occupied. Thanks Sandra!
When I wasn’t entertaining the grandchildren, I managed to attend some super classes and expert talks during August and early September. One of my personal highlights was The Joy Club members’ in-person meet-up. There were several locations arranged throughout the country and one of them was nice and easy for me to get to, a lovely pub restaurant, five minutes walk from St Pancras, which is just a 30-minute train journey from my local station.
I finally got to meet the delightful Joy Club Community Team members, Ellie and Chloe, in person as well as three lovely members including Mary and Theresa – whom I had previously got to know fairly well on Zoom calls. It wasn’t long before we were all chatting away like we’d known each other for ages! It was a great way to spend the afternoon and I hope we can do it again at some point in the future. The only downside was Ellie telling us she would soon be leaving The Joy Club to go travelling; good for her of course, what a great opportunity! But very sad to see you leave the wonderful Community Team, Ellie.
In early August, daughter no. 2 threw my grand puppy an impromptu 7th birthday party (yes, really…) which unfortunately meant I had to cancel my Face Yoga class as both events fell on the same day. At the party we had lots of musical movement party games where, thanks to my 3 or 4 weekly Joy Club exercise classes, I was not only happy to take part but – more importantly – I was able to keep up with the children!
I made up for missing my Face Yoga class by pulling up one of Kris’ videos the following day and enjoyed the peaceful, relaxing yet rejuvenating experience her classes bring. I love how Kris asks us members what specific areas of the face and neck we would like her to focus on in future classes. If you haven’t attended one of these and feel in need of some facial detoxifying then I’d suggest you give it a try; you’ll definitely benefit from it.
As some of you know, the Zumba classes have now come to an end. I really enjoyed my weekly class with Philomena and I shall miss her, so to fill the ‘get up off the sofa and move around a bit’ gap I joined my first Aerobics with Lesley class on Monday and, while not quite the same, it definitely got me moving and was most enjoyable.
I’ve loved all the recent animal-related expert speakers, including ‘Stories of how exotic animals influenced politics’ by Marina Belozerskaya. This was a really interesting presentation. I love anything to do with history and learned a lot from this talk, including the fact that Josephine Bonaparte had her own exotic animal collection, which I’d never heard before.
Staying on the animal theme, I joined the two events on the ‘History of Zoo Design’ and ‘Eco Tourism/Conservation’ with Chris Eley from Paradise Wildlife Park. These brilliant educational talks were a great way to learn about how reputable zoos worldwide collaborate to help endangered animals and all the good works carried out by this relatively small zoo. Chris’ passion for the care of the animals shone through in everything he talked about.
At the time of the second call I had two of my granddaughters staying with me and – knowing the presenter used to be a teacher – I cheekily asked if he or any of the Joy Club members on the Zoom would mind if they sat in on the call. And they loved it! They excitedly started following Paradise on Instagram as Chris enthused about the zoo and they had some sensible questions ready for him, together with some awful animal-inspired jokes, at the end! Paradise Wildlife Park is only a 40-minute drive from me, so my friend and I will be visiting very soon and I’ve now got all five grandchildren asking me when I’ll be taking them…
The animal theme even continued in August’s Origami class. I’ve possibly said this before, but this is a great way to spend a relaxing hour just focussing on making something joyful from a square of paper and feeling very proud of what you manage to produce!
Finally, in late August, we had a really useful talk by Nick Daws called ‘How to budget in the cost of living crisis’. With the impending financial crisis which will no doubt affect most of us this winter, Nick’s hints and tips around budgeting in these challenging times were very welcome, reinforcing some areas that I was already aware of but giving me loads of fresh ideas that would never have crossed my mind otherwise. He also posted links to all the areas discussed for our own future reference. This talk was also a good follow-up to Sandra Falconer’s three articles entitled ‘Counting the pennies’ which are also a really helpful and useful guide to making the most of things like free visits and tips for saving money on weekly shopping.
I’m looking forward to the month ahead, I’ve downloaded the Events Calendar and it’s up on the fridge to remind me of all the inspiring live sessions that are coming up and making it nice and easy for me to choose which ones I fancy booking. The Joy Club is simply going from strength to strength!
Want to see what’s coming up next month, see our full Events calendar here.