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Margaret Gow: As I have said before, there is never a dull moment here!


Great news! The gardener’s been and made a huge difference to the flower beds I can see from the windows of my flat. The contract is up soon and I have my fingers crossed that he will get the job.

What’s more, I’ve taken the money to the hotel and - wonderful - it came to the right amount in the end. The bad news was that my printer had a hissy fit and wouldn’t print, which made me have to type everything all over again - flat number, full name, three courses, cost - for 29 people on the old laptop which smiled sweetly (so to speak) and worked perfectly. The good news is: my son came to visit at long last and upgraded HP so my printer works on both again.

What else? Well, many of us hadn’t encountered my virus so (although I quarantined myself for two days, so it isn’t my fault!) a foray was made to the chemist by my good friend here, who brought back a sizeable bottle which said on the label not to take it if I was an alcoholic.

It went down a treat, and I recommended it to the other sufferers: now, if I meet along the corridors somebody with a wide grin, I know what they’ve been imbibing... Oh - and I’ve collected all the boxes so my ‘dining room’ resembles a store room again. Chiz!

Again, no peace and quiet, with one resident putting together a DIY bookcase, tripping over it as it lay on the floor and having to go to Kettering Hospital for stitches in his arm. And an elderly lady narrowly escaping being mugged in an alleyway last week.

On the good side, both of these people are doing fine, and the chap is offering to squire me in dancing!

Because I’ve found not one, but TWO places where I could take up the enthusiasm I rediscovered on my cruise last February (February? How many light-years ago is that?) I went to the first one last Wednesday, where you wouldn’t believe that a 100-year-old lady was tripping away, doing a foxtrot! The clientele is mostly a bit younger than that, but were doing dances I’d never heard of such as the Argentine Stroll and the Lonely Hearts Rhumba (!); but also waltzes, quicksteps and foxtrots.

As a visitor I was only there to watch, but was persuaded to do a Katherine Waltz - another Sequence variety unknown to me - and was told about Venue No. 2, the school just around the corner from here which hosts a similar event on Mondays.

I’m looking forward to the exercise as well as the joy of ballroom dancing (the young don’t know what they’re missing) and will keep you informed, as ever.

Now, it only remains for me to find my dancing shoes and hope that my waistline isn’t too big for the appropriate gear.


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