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Upskilling in lockdown

The Ladies Probus Club of Colonel Light Gardens met at the Soldiers Memorial Gardens, Mitcham on a lovely sunny afternoon in mid-May. With restrictions lifted and the ability to meet in groups of up to 10, it gave members the opportunity for a coffee and chat and to once again see their Probus friends.

In the course of conversation it was amazing to hear about members’ new skills that COVID-19 restrictions generated.

One member, under her husband’s guidance, learned to use a power drill to install plantation shutters in the bathroom. Poised on the ladder and at difficult angles she applied her new skills and completed the job with aplomb.

Another member decided to write stories and read them via Skype to her grandchildren in Germany and was thrilled when her granddaughters, seven and eight, wanted to show their English skills by reading them back to her. Her seven-year-old grandson was impressed too: “Grandma, did you really write these stories?”

A third member turned her hand to writing poetry highlighting that while some things have been limited, other aspects of daily life were enhanced. When she read her poem, it struck a chord with the members present.

Other members have introduced new technology terms to their vocabulary, e.g., “Oh, I am FaceTiming,” or, “I am using Zoom” – now using technology they didn’t know existed before.

Keeping fit by walking around the neighbourhood has allowed the bonus of talking to neighbours they hadn’t met before, and has been an important new activity for many.

Their bonds, despite social distancing, have been strengthened and members all look forward to becoming stronger still.