As usual, the conversation at the Havin’ a Laugh Coffee Morning was full of variety. Most of the conversation centred on things we do in our spare time, from kayaking to painting, to travelling and, of course, seeing as it was a morning with only women, online shopping.
There were, of course, nuggets of advice throughout. The first small but poignant piece of advice was ‘take every day as it comes’. In the times we live in, lots of people are struggling so this is an even more important phrase to live by. Such a simple phrase but it could make a big impact on a lot of people.
Boy George was on the first Late Late Show of the season on Friday night. He now lives in the present as much as he can, partly due to his Buddhist beliefs. Even in his interview, he wouldn’t delve into his past and didn’t answer any questions about the future. I think there is a lot to be said for living in the present and taking every day as it comes. As usual, it’s easier said than done but, if you are struggling, maybe it’s something to try out.
Kayaking as a pastime was also discussed. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough, and I wasn’t the only one to fear the kayak, but a few women discussed how easy it is to explore islands, which are inaccessible normally, on a kayak. It sounded great. The thought of getting into a kayak and going exploring is liberating, especially when we’ve been stuck inside for so long. There seem to be a good few kayaking tours in and around Sligo so it might be something to have a go at if you’re feeling brave.
One lady spoke about her love of painting and how it makes her feel calm and relaxed. She’s even finding ways of giving back through her painting and is raising money for various charities. It’s great to be able to share a talent you have with others, even better when others benefit from your profits. I think it’s a lovely, kind idea.
Another lady told us about a trip she’s going to take next year. Any foreign holidays now have to be tailored around COVID, which is hard. This lovely lady did say, however, that she has taken virtual tours online of the different places she plans to visit. What a fantastic idea! I know loads of people have been doing virtual tours since COVID hit but I have yet to try it myself. Technology, and what we can do nowadays from the comfort of our own homes, is absolutely incredible. Why not try a virtual tour of a place you’d love to see?
In our all-female coffee morning, online shopping was bound to come up. Various sites were mentioned, and discount codes and postage were discussed. We also talked about how dangerous online shopping is. Not because of predators but because of our ever-dwindling funds. It’s so easy to click and buy and it’s so hard to stop once you start. Returns often cost an arm and a leg, too. One lady had a practical solution for this, saying you can sell your unwanted items on Facebook Marketplace. What a brilliant idea!
Of course, we also talked about animals, extensively. What’s not to love about animals? One lady said goodbye to her beloved dog recently. She only realised when her furry friend was gone how much it really meant to her. If you live alone with a dog, they really are your best buddy. They’re in on everything and it’s easy to chat away to them.
I went for a walk with my sister and my dog recently and she asked me if I always talk to him that much when it’s just us out for a walk. I was too embarrassed to say that I talk to him even more than that at times. It’s so easy to chat away to a dog. While they can’t talk back, they do know when you’re upset and they’ll try their best to comfort you. They’re fantastic companions. I’ve never had to say goodbye to a dog, and I can’t imagine how painful it will be when the time comes.
One of our regulars said that she can’t have her own dog as she wouldn’t be home enough to look after one. This is a common problem for a lot of dog lovers. She had a fantastic solution, though: volunteering her time to take two guide dogs out once a week for a bit of free time. I’d never heard of this before but it sounds marvelous. It’s a chance for these hard-working dogs to get a break from their duties and just be dogs. One of them got to go to the beach for the first time recently and had an amazing time. What a glorious adventure that would be for a hard-working pooch.
Another lady had an even better way of getting to spend time with other people’s pets, and see the world at the same time. If you sign up for Pet Sitters International, you could look after a dog, or a cat, anywhere in the world. You pay for your flights and enter into a contract with the pet owners, but you get to stay in their home for free and look after their pet. What a fabulous way to see the world. If you have a pet of your own, there is also the option to swap places with your international friends so your animal gets the same care. Win, win.
Horses were also mentioned briefly at the end of the meeting, as well as our opinions on bald cats. One attendee reminded us that all animals have different characters, which may be a small part of why we love them so much.
Another morning well spent!
Please join us on our next Coffee Morning…
The monthly coffee mornings are going to stay online for the next few months, with the next live catch-up happening on Monday, October 4th, at 11 a.m.
Anyone is welcome to pop in to say hello and listen or contribute to the conversation, which is always easy-going and cordial. Registration in advance is necessary to receive an email zoom link on the morning.