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February highlights

25th February

Spring is on its way – we have a beautiful carpet of crocus forming at the bottom of the garden and the daffodils are out in bloom. I am looking forward to the sunshine appearing more regularly and hopefully the temperature will turn up a few degrees. I am sure this will lift our spirits and put a spring in our step moving forward. We have enjoyed the month of February with lots of interesting discussions organised by Ann Marie, here are the highlights:

Birthday Celebrations

An amazing lady celebrated her 107th birthday. Kitty received a birthday card with warm wishes from her Majesty the Queen. We celebrated in style with everyone at Swarthmore with afternoon tea and a special cake, singing and a few dances. We also saw another celebration for a wonderful gentleman who has reached the age of 99. Howard enjoyed a celebration cake and lots of delightful gifts from his family.


Ann Marie and Claire held discussions about ‘dignity’ and what this means to everyone. A Digni-tree was provided so we could place our expressions on a note and hang on a tree so everyone could view and understand how important this is to everyone.

One of our residents gave a talk around ‘Quaker Tapestry’ which everyone found very interesting. Below is short read of how it all began:

The idea began at the Friends Meeting House in Taunton in 1981 by a boy called Jonathan Stocks. At the age of 11 he felt that the children’s meeting room needed cheering up. Anne was a professional embroider, who had been studying the Bayeux Tapestry. She had a vision of a Quaker tapestry which would be a series of panels illustrating an event or idea from the history of Quaker’s. Each panel was researched, designed then embroidered. A panel was created by different meetings, Anne would oversee the designs to keep it unified.

The Tapestry was made by over 4,000 men, women, and children from 15 countries over a period of 15 years and 77 panels, hung chronologically.

The tapestry is worked in crewel embroidery yarns on a handwoven woollen background. In addition to using four historic and well-known stitches such as split, stem, chain stitch and the perking knot. Wynn-Wilson invented a new corded stitch which became known as the Quaker stitch; this stitch allowed for tight curves on the lettering.

Zoom Meetings

We held live zoom meetings with Anne Park, discussions around topics such as french knitting, garden flowers, favourite drinks – of course most popular was a Gin & Tonic!

Chinese New Year

We celebrated the day with a Chinese lunch. Thanks to our Chef Kuli who created a wonderful Chinese lunch which was enjoyed by everyone. We spent The afternoon was spent talking about the Year of the Ox and the celebrations held throughout this period. Each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac (this is represented by a circle of animals). The Zodiac is based on the Moon and has a 12-year cycle, the planet Jupiter also has the same cycle, this takes about 12 years to orbit the sun. However, there is also a cycle of five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Altogether this creates a 60-year cycle, so the year of the Ox has not happened for 60 years!

Looking forward to seeing what March brings – lighter mornings and evenings, warmer weather……………………..

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National Day of Reflection