Hello sheddies! We have had another great week at the shed. Did you join us for any of the fun?
On Tuesday we had a really great start to our 'Talking Money' group with Martine. It started with a discussion on the markets in the wake of what has been happening, and moved through discussions of balanced funds, super, pensions, wills. Rather than a formal presentation, Martine did a great job giving her insights and answering the questions that came up. We got some great tips from other members about what we need to think about. It was interesting talking to women at different lifestages and getting advice from other members who had already been through it. All in all, very thought provoking and we are looking forward to our next meetup in a month or so.
Tuesday evening saw the first meetup of our new singing group. I have to say I was shocked to turn up, running late as usual (!) and find so many women waiting to come in - usually the rain keeps our members away, but not this time! (PS sorry for being late!!) (PPS sorry for all the exclamation marks !!!!!). After a cuppa and introducing ourselves, Erica took us though some vocal exercises and then we belted out some tunes including Rockin Robin, Chiquitita and Lean on Me. It turns out that a lot of us don't know Chiquitita except for the chorus, and it's v e r y s l o w in parts which made for some very interesting muscial arrangements ;-). I can't tell you if we were any good but at least Erica didn't run away crying! Another member, Ali has volunteered to help coordinate the group with Erica - thank you ladies, can't wait to see you next time! The vocal group runs fortnightly on a Tuesday evening.
During the week we met with Julie our Arts & DIY coordinator and Natalie, one of our fabric dye group coordinators - we have shibori dyeing and nesting boxes coming up - watch this space...Natalie also let me know that she has sourced some donated sewing machines, which we look forward to using in the yoga bolster workshop.
On Saturday it was an early start with the first week of our 4 week taster in Nishino breathing with Abbey - Abbey was taught this breathing, chi & energy practice in Japan and has been using it daily for 30 years. You can try any Saturday for the next 3 weeks - let us know what you think! Abbey also has an access bars taster workshop coming up soon.
Finally on Saturday it was a perfect day for playing with mixed media guided by the wonderful Monika. We used stencils, acrylics, collage, paint pens, and of course 'smooshing' (if you want to know what that is, you should come next time!). One of the best things about Monika's workshops is how it allows you to try lots of different tools and techniques, and she is there to guide you if you get stuck. You can see the pictures at the top of this post. If you missed out we will be running another session with Monika in April or May.
One theme that came out this week was that people hold onto what they were told they couldn't do as kids. Both the singing group and the mixed media group had people who enjoyed those activities but had been told they weren't good enough as a child. And so they spent most of their adult life not participating because of those comments. Of course no one gets better at something without trying it, so it's great to see those women giving themselves another chance at something they enjoyed.
Of course, all of our usual activities also ran last week, and will be running again this week. Including Pilates with Narelle (Monday), meditation with Simone (Monday), walking with Robyn (Monday) and gentle yoga with Simone on Thursday. Thank you ladies for your weekly commitment to the shed!
Coming up this week in addition to our regular activities, we are looking forward to our first drawing for beginners workshop on Tuesday. If you signed up to show your interest you should have received an email about what to bring. Please let us know if you haven't heard from us.
On Thursday, we have another member talk from Sara, a qualified nutritionist who is going to be demystifying the various popular diets at the moment - keto, intermittent fasting, and wholefood plant based. We will also be asking her about the best ways to boost immunity as we as a community face some serious challenges to our immune system.
Friday evening is our lovely monthly goddess gathering with Simone as we share a chai, some nurturing yoga, meditation, intention setting for the month ahead and drawing a few goddess cards from the deck.
No doubt you are also aware of the rapidly changing requirements of event organisers in the face of Covid 19. Here are the current strategies we are employing in the day to day management of the shed:
1. New procedures to wipe down all commonly touched surfaces at the shed before any activity. (thank you Monita for sourcing some disinfectant wipes that are now safely locked away!!)
2. Removing the option to use shared studio equipment such as straps, bolsters and mats.
3. Asking people to stay away if they have been overseas in the last two weeks.
4. Asking people that are coughing or sneezing, or have a temperature to stay away.
5. Asking people to wash their hands with soap and water when they arrive at the community centre and before they leave.
6. Informing members of our policy and allowing them to decide whether to stay home.
We will amend our activities if guidance changes, but feel it's important in this time of community stress that we do not shut down activities until we are told to - we are providing opportunities for local women to look after their health and wellbeing, and we don't want to take that away unless it is necessary.
We are also in a position that we do not have to choose between insolvency or putting our members at risk - if we have to cancel any activities for an extended period of time we should be able to weather the storm. We are very grateful to Coolum Men's Shed for their support and flexibility in the hire of the community centre.
Finally, we have also considered the possibility of offering member to member support (e.g. dropping meals around to people, or doing shopping runs) but we do not have capacity at the moment. Please get in touch if you have would like to help coordinate this.
That's all folks - hope to see you soon x