We had 17 members today with their carers and families. It was also lovely to see Sheila a volunteer from Rotary Club Golders Green and Nandini from Rotary Club Edgware & Stanmore. As a result of a recent survey Lisa decided to start opening the sessions for members to join from 2pm giving members more time to have a chat. This was very welcoming.

It was lovely to hear during the chat that Sotiris and Rona were very proud of their son Jamie Demetriou – “James Demetriou is an English-Cypriot comedian, actor, and screenwriter known for his roles in Fleabag and Stath Lets Flats which he also writes. In the recent BAFTA awards he won three awards: Best Male Actor in a comedy, Best Writer of a Comedy and the programme itself won the award for Best Scripted Comedy.”

We further found out from Rona and Sotiris that their daughter – Natasia Demetriou also is an Actor and she appears in a television series called “What we do in the Shadows”

Ian was then ready to start his performance and today he decided to introduce his various music as a menu. For starters he sang some Engelbert Humperdinck songs, for the main he sang some Cliff Richard songs, for the Dessert he sang some Elvis Pressley and then he decided to sing one more for the cheese and biscuits which was another Engelbert Humperdinck song. Members really enjoyed the music and sang along.

Eon was then ready to take over with the chair fitness exercises. His Latin /Salsa music got everyone motivated into doing a great enjoyable workout. Thank you Ian and Eon.

Lisa then continued with reading a couple of jokes and then did a picture quiz asking members to name some celebrities who passed away. Some of the faces were challenging but members found the quiz interesting. The session the ended with Lisa calling out the Bingo numbers and today we had 2 winners – Jo and Grazia and Helen and Chrystalla. Well done to the winners.

We had 20 members today with their carers. As usual members chat before the session starts which is great and always a good opportunity to welcome and introduce new members. Lisa welcomed everyone and James Le Bec was ready to start the music entertainment.

I’m pleased to report that James’s sound system was perfect today. He had technical issues for several weeks but now he has mastered it and members really enjoyed the music. The music quiz was also great today as Lisa suggested to James that perhaps everyone should be muted whilst he plays the 10 snippets of music quiz questions. This made sure that everyone heard the music quiz questions. When everyone was then un-muted everyone had their answers to shout out which worked perfectly.

Richard our Yoga instructor was then ready to take over and as always the Yoga sessions with Richard are fantastic. Richard then continued to provide an interesting quick general knowledge quiz and the questions today were about Spain. The winners of the quiz were Gina and Chris – Well done Gina and Chris and Richard presented a make believe prize of a plate of Paella.

Lisa then read a couple of short story jokes and then called out the Bingo numbers. The Bingo winners today was Maria De Vito. Well done Maria.

A dull rainy day today but it didn’t matter as we still had 18 members and their carers tuned into the session. It was Lisa’s birthday today and although she said nothing, Joan one of the members announced it and then everyone sang Happy Birthday. Lisa was very touched.

Our music entertainer Ian was ready and before he started he brought his dog Theo on stage to say hello to everyone. It was lovely to see Theo especially after his recent operation. Ian’s music as usual was fantastic with a variety of songs that everyone could sing along to. Kevin and Mabel were dressed to impress with their Elvis glasses and Kevin had a look alike royal crown. Thank you Ian for your wonderful music.

It was then time for Eon our chair exercise instructor who today was made co-host by our service engineer and this meant that his sound was even more perfect. Eon had some really great background music today too. It sounded very Caribbean/Salsa which motivated everyone even more. Thank you Eon. Lisa then spoke to members informing them about a Telemarketing scam about Test and Trace and read out a sample conversation about how it is done.

Lisa advised everyone never to give out their addresses or bank card numbers to anyone. The NHS Test and Trace is free and they would never be charge for it.

Lisa then did a short quiz about vegetables and fruit and the winner today was Joan with 10 out of 14. Well done Joan. Lisa then read out a few funny jokes which everyone enjoyed listening to and laughed and lastly called out today’s Bingo numbers and the winner today was Sotiris and Rona. We also had a joint winner of Margaret and Rachel, well done to all.

Our own Dr Angela forwarded this to me this morning asking whether we wanted to highlight this on the website.

Angela had a phone call this morning from someone purporting to be from NHS Track and Trace team.

‘Good morning, I'm calling from the NHS track and trace service. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test.'

'OK. Can you tell me who that person was?'

'I'm not able to tell you that. That is confidential information.'

'Right. Um... so ....'

'But you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours. So can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?'

'OK, (gives address)'

'Thank you - and I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalize this and send the kit to you.'

'Sorry - a payment card? I thought this was all free?'

'No - I'm afraid not. There is a one-off fee of £50 for the kit and test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you're ready.'

'No - that's not right. This is part of the NHS so there's no charge.'

'I'm afraid there is. Can you give me the card number please - this is very important, and there are penalties for not complying.'

At this point Angela puts the phone down. This is how scammers work. And vulnerable people will fall for it.” 😡😡 Don't fall for it...! Don't give anyone your bank card numbers.

Today’s session was very Magical. We have 32 members and their carers all tuned in to meet Alan Hudson – who is a regular performer at The Magic Circle in Hollywood and also a member of the world famous The Magic Circle.

Members as usual joined in from 2.30pm so that they could have a bit of a chat together and also Lisa can provide members with any updates. Lisa introduced new members today Michael and Christina and other members made them feel very welcome.

The Magic Show started promptly and Alan made a grand entrance. I could see everyone’s faces glued to the screen. Alan started with a short introduction of himself and showed us his room where he was performing. He also told us about an envelope which he had at the back of his room which he would open at the end. Intriguing? Alan had everyone mesmerized with all of his tricks and best of all he interacted personally with a few of the members asking them to take action. Amazing what can be done virtually!

Alan made us think at times that he had made a mistake or didn’t know the answer especially when he asked one of the members to provide a 4 digit number (for example his card Pin number!) Alan was supposed to reveal the 4 digit number on a piece of paper but instead he wrote ‘Your Pin number’ Everyone laughed. Another amazing trick was the Rubik Cube. Alan had 2 Rubik Cubes. He showed us both Rubik Cubes which were completely different colours on all sides. He put one Rubik Cube away and with the one he had left he asked different members to play by getting them to say which layers and corners of the Cube they wanted to turn and which way until they were happy to stop. Once everyone was happy to stop – Alan brought back the Rubik Cube which had put to one side and to everyone’s amazement both Rubik Cubes were identical in colours on each side. Wow!!

There were quite a few card tricks and I could see that everyone was so excited. At the end Alan opened the envelope and in the envelope was a piece of paper with all the answers to all the tricks he performed. How amazing is that especially as he would not have known what choices the members would make during the performance. The 4 digit number was also revealed on this piece of paper.

It was a fantastic performance Alan and members really enjoyed all your magically tricks. You made a lot of faces smile especially during these very difficult times. We look forward to seeing you again.

The session then continued with our music entertainer James le Bec who as usual got everyone singing with a bit of Elvis and other familiar songs and then a music quiz which always gets members competitive to try and shout out the answer first. Richard our chair Yoga instructor then followed with some magical movements today getting everyone to work out from top to toe but also with fun. Richard continued with a magical quiz asking for example the name of a comedian and magician who used to say ‘Just like that’. There were 10 different questions and the winners for the quiz today were Pamela and John. Well done Pamela. Lisa then called out the Bingo numbers and the new winners today were Nino and Rosita. Well done to you both.

What an amazing Magical afternoon.

It was lovely to see our Rotary members today Helen, Nandini, Ritu, our volunteers Annette, Melvyn, Melissa, our student Louis, our Trustees Dr Angela and Mark who was also the Session Manager taking care of any technical issues. Hope everyone enjoyed today and look forward to seeing you all on Monday.