Grey Coat Hospital Reunion Lunch

Me with Dorothy, Jackie, Denise, Barbara and Patricia at our 'Old Girls' Reunion'.

Last Friday I flew to England so that I could attend a reunion lunch for the girls who were in the same year as me at school. I arrived on Friday afternoon and joined two school friends, Patricia and Yvonne, for dinner at The Viceroy, an Indian restaurant in Windsor. Although Patricia and I had met quite recently, neither of us had seen Yvonne for 54 years! We had a great time catching up and reminiscing about our school days.

Patricia collected me early on Saturday morning so that I could help her and Jackie (another ex school friend) set up the venue. Our lunch was to be held at Dorney Lake, Eton's world-class rowing centre set in 400 acres of parkland. The view was spectacular! The Lake View Room, where we were, looks straight up the lake towards the Chiltern Hills.

The last time we met together (in 2005), we were entertained by the lycra-clad young men rowing up and down the lake, but this time there wasn't one to be seen! However, we had other things to occupy our minds as we hugged and kissed school friends from long ago. The lunch was a great success and everyone vowed to meet again in 2011; when it will be 50 years since we left school! Well done, Patricia and Jackie! Thank you for organising such a memorable occasion! (By the way, any man you see in the photos is an accompanying husband - boys were definitely off limits in our day!!)

On the Saturday evening, after our event, Patricia took me to South Hill Park, a centre for the arts since 1973. It is housed in a magnificent mansion which was originally built for William Watts in 1760 for his retirement from service as a senior official of the Bengal Government. We had a drink and a snack in the bistro there (couldn't manage any more after such a magnificent lunch!). While we sat and chatted, there was a continuous display of video art on one of the walls of the bistro, most innovative! We didn't stay long as I had a very early flight booked for the next day. Unfortunately, on the way back to the car, Patricia stepped into a hole in the dark and tumbled to the ground - not fun at our age. So sorry, Patricia!

As we were - so many years ago! Can you spot me?

So, here I am in Istanbul, back from an exhausting, but fun, weekend. My next trip is to South Africa to see Jane on the 23rd April - only 5 weeks on Thursday!


The Power Plate - Vibration Technology

Me being photo bombed. I could see him in the mirror in front of me!

Underneath our apartment block is an 'Alternative Gym Centre'. Having got to the point of desperation with the flab that seems to be taking over my body, I finally decided to see what made the gym 'alternative' and whether they could help rid me of all my wobbly bits.

The staff at the gym are delightful and they showed me their machines. They use Power-plates, the very same type of machine that Madonna uses for her training (although that could be a downer as I really don't want to look like her!)

The Power-plate was originally developed by a Russian scientist in 1975 for the space programme, to help the astronauts get fit enough to spend much longer in zero gravity, and was further developed by the Dutch Olympic trainer Guus van der Meer. Apparently, the vibrations of the Power-plate transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second. This can enhance one's overall fitness in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, three times per week.

Only three times a week for fifteen minutes? That sounded like my kind of exercise, so I signed up immediately! However, if I thought I was just going to stand there and shake off the fat, I was soon to find out otherwise. There is a routine of exercises to be done on the machine as it vibrates. I was given a personal trainer, Burcu, who, although she looks sweet, is very strict and makes sure that I do the exercises properly. (See Burcu and me, left, with friends Gür and Neslihan behind us).

At first, I did each exercise twice for 30 seconds each, this has now been increased to 60 seconds. Unfortunately my training was interrupted as I had a most virulent form of flu for a week, but I am now on course and we will see what happens. I signed up for 20 sessions and, hopefully, my efforts will prove fruitful. Although I must confess that my favourite part of the lesson is at the end when I get to lie on the machine and have a massage!

This week David has been in Dubai recruiting teachers and next weekend I am off to Windsor, England for an 'Old Girls' Reunion'. It should be great fun - the last one was!

This is me with Kazım, who runs the Alternative Gym Centre, 
and personally oversees everyone's fitness programme. - including mine!

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I couldn't resist this one!