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Sally Melling

Sally Melling

I am 83 years old, my husband died 2ye4m months ago after 60 years of very happy and adventurous life. Primary school teacher and head. We sailed: Spitzbergen, Brazil, French Polynesia, Chilean channe

Location Devon, England



  • I have just been at one of my sons' for Christmas and I am finding it difficult to be calm. My husband died over 2 years ago and I miss him very much and get sort of panic attacks. If I concentrate on my breathing it is better, but I am not happy with my state of mind.
    It is better doing this kind of activity but still uncomfortable.

  • I have a granddaughter with ADHD and want to learn more about it.

  • I have enjoyed other futurelearn courses but this one is exceptional in that the students are so responsive, full of experiences and ready to share their experiences, problems.. I have never found others to be so fertile in the responses and questions.
    I only started because of a granddaughter who was diagnosed with AHDH (she put herself forward because she...

  • It would make a big difference if all GPs were like this one who has just spoken.

  • I find it very difficult to relate some of these observations with my granddaughter who has been diagnosed with ADHD. It is possible that she has come through ADHD and no longer suffers from it?!

  • I knew very little about ADHD so much of this is new to me.

  • I find all this very interesting and all the time I think of my clever granddaughter at Southampton University studying biology. I think that she must have grown out of this disorder or be managing it very well.

  • One has to take into account the % with ADHD to begin with.

  • It is far more complex than I realised at first, but it also means that support and help should extend into adulthood.
    What an excellent and revealing course!! Thank you.

  • I am very sorry for your loss.

  • This is such an interesting area. The more we know, the more complex it becomes.

  • The situations are so diverse but. help must be given because these are all valuable members of our community.

  • Hyperactive

  • All of us are on a steep learning curve!

  • I am just overwhelmed by the traumas that parents and children suffer.
    How can we do better?

  • What a difficult time for everyone. We should all be doing better.

  • This is a fascinating and revealing course with so many contributions from other learners. It makes me think hard about my sons and my pupils ( I was a primary school teacher and head). We cause such problems by not being informed and by not understanding diversity.
    My eldest son was "lively" and quite "difficult".
    On a recent visit to me, he is now 60 and...

  • That is correct. Are we more aware of these problems and the need for understanding diversity in its many forms? It would be good if we were!!!

  • This is an amazing account of a voyage of a child and parent and makes me think of my experience as a parent of 3 sons and as a primary school teacher. I feel very strongly that we must be aware and encourage diversity in its many forms.

  • My granddaughter has the added pressure of a very intelligent sibling less than 2 years older than her.

  • Diversity in every aspect could be a key to many problems.@RosTate

  • I think that my granddaughter must be at the end of the spectrum of AHDH and her situation has been helped by high intelligence, learning the piano to grade 8 and learning French from a very intelligent mother with a degree in French. It was the granddaughter,herself, who felt that something was wrong and went for an assessment.

  • One of the worse consequences, I guess, may be that teachers and parents do not understand the problems that the children are experiencing and can mistake the behaviour for the result of bad parenting or misbehaviour of some kind.
    With one of my granddaughters it must be masked by her level of intelligence and her interest in everything around her.

  • I had not realised how widespread ADHD was. IS enough being done to help these people? Not all are like my granddaughter who has so many good aspects to her life.

  • I had not realised how serious ADHD could be and I feel for my granddaughter who has been diagnosed with this.

  • This is such a fascinating area of study which we need to extend to parents and educators.

  • I think that one tends to put a label on something that we do't quite understand. Our world is organised by put items into categories, part of understanding the complex world around. All of us must try to be open-minded, not easy. and don't jump to conclusion!!

  • I am more informed and look forward to seeing my granddaughter who has ADHD and discussing this with her.

  • I think that the gender issue is important. I am so pleased that my granddaughter went for a diagnosis and then was found to have HDHD.
    Was this a case of intelligence? I know that she found it hard have a brother, just 20 mnths older who seemed to achieve more than her.

  • Such a useful discussion.

  • It is a very complex condition!!

  • I am finding this a little confusing, especially as my first "posting" did not post. One of my granddaughters felt something was wrong and went for a test which was positive for ADHD. She is a very bright, communicative and lively person just about to enter year 3 for biology at Southhampton university.
    My husband who died in 2019 loved discussions with her....

  • I wrote quite a long piece about this and one of my granddaughters butI cannot find it anywhere?!!

  • Are we not all on a spectrum with these brain functions? I am 83 and one of my granddaughters felt the something was wrong so went for tests and found that she was suffering from ADHD. She has a brother who came in top of 1st for Chemistry at Southampton university and is now doing a PHD. Both parents very intelligent and caring. I am interested as this...

  • I have taken this survey at least twice and I am sure that I have given different answers each time!!!

  • Sally Melling made a comment

    I have a granddaughter who felt something was wrong and took herself off to be tested. It was found that she had ADHD. She is about to start her 3rd year at Southampton studying biology.

  • The best activity for me after the death of my lovely husband (60 years of marriage) and many adventures together eg long sea passages of 28 days across the Oceans, is playing and learning the piano. I learnt as a child so I can read music but concentrating and trying to improve with the help of an excellent and sensitive music teacher MOSTLY works wonders.

  • I have not felt very confident driving anywhere, but perhaps I shall find the confidence to go to the local farm shop. I know that I shall feel happy if I manage to do this.

  • I have not been very involved in this course for the last few days. I went to a cremation, the first since John died, and that evening I felt shattered, incredibly tired. But I have found that some deep breathing has calmed me down when I thought that I was about to have a panic attack. I have also started a project of writing up our adventures for the family....

  • For some reason, I am finding it difficult to get involved in the very interesting discussions.

  • It is good to have a routine and for mindfulness to be part of that.

  • Thanks, Mike.

  • I think that I am going to start with a small step, just practising the two meditations described. Then see how I go on from there.
    I have a lot to tame or bring to order with the death of my husband and back/leg pain. If I take on too much I shall not get anywhere and be disheartened.
    I believe in the system but must convince my body as wall as my mind!!

  • I need to work at this because my mind is wandering all over the place.

  • I have worked on this course before but my needs have altered. I am 83 and have always enjoyed learning but I am stretched at the moment. My husband, John, died in 2019. We had been married for 6o years and had a very adventurous life together, sailing and walking/climbing. I moved house and then 4 days later I had an operation on my spine. Now I am here in a...

  • It is so important that these special areas are maintained. My husband and I sailed in the Caribbean and were amazed how the state of the coral reefs deteriorated over the space of a few years. The amount of tourism in that time had increased a great deal too.

  • I feel that it is excellent when nature itself is used to achieve the desired result ie trees planted to stop flooding, particular plants used to stop pests etc.

  • I sometimes think that it is a problem when most people don't appreciate nature and what we are doing to our planet. It is often minority of people who do.

  • I am coming into this course late as I have been looking at Climate change and then I had a period when I felt unable to do anything extra except my piano practice. I realise that I am unlikely at this stage to receive comments on my contribution.

  • An excellent video. Probably because I understood it!!. I live near a river and when we have had heavy rain, I can see that soil is being washed down with the water.

  • There are some complex matters here. Is one of the greatest factors for improvement, Education.

  • Around me, in Devon, some people are beginning to grow a few vegetables which I think is wonderful. Unfortunately I am not able to join in as my garden is nearly vertical and due to a back problem and age (82) I am unable to do gardening.

  • A good video. I would want to see the continuation of these farms. Here in Devon, Ben's farm (a family concern) plus volunteers are continuing to support "oldies" like me and I hope that this will go on when we are back to "normal"life.

  • Surely, in the time restrictions, that is all that it can do.

  • A friend of mine said that the greatest gift that he had given his children was to ignore sell/eat by certain date. If food was more expensive or scarce in UK we would probably be less wasteful .

  • I have just been listening to a programme on the radio about Romania and the corruption there with logging. This is yet another element in the discussion. Perhaps, however, I am introducing something that is not entirely relevant in this context.

  • In these difficult times, the local farmers here are offering us help to keep going and I feel a strong commitment to use their services. There is a farm shop nearby where I can place an order (I usually go here) and it will be collected by a co-ordinator (I am 82 so not able to go to the shops) and another small business which delivers veggie boxes. I am...

  • There are other situations which do not fit into these patterns. My husband died of pancreatic cancer last year. He became diabetic because a duct in his pancreas was blocked with cancer. At that time he was not overweight but apparently fit and strong. Whether this cancer developed because of some of the food or drink that he had, that I shall never know.

  • A very complex subject.

  • Sally Melling made a comment

    I think that sweet foods (cakes biscuits ) and Fatty foods (chips) can be addictive but after a time does this then become a behaviour and a habit.

  • I think that I know that all that Helen has said is correct and normally I have a good diet. There are occasions, however, when I need a "treat" a piece of chocolate and a milk drink. If I try to analyse this feeling, I think that it is a need for something sweet and this is more likely to occur when I have had a good amount of exercise.

  • It is 21.10. I had some supper 2 hours ago. I don't feel hungry but I could eat something sweet, eg chocolate brownie!!! and I would like a milk drink. I have a back problem which affects my walking BUT I am doing really well and today I walked all round the woods nearby 8,104 steps 4.4km And I am 82years old.
    I am very tired but I think that is due to my...

  • There is a saying ---that the only thing that is certain, is that there will be change. When I see these videos, one of my main reactions is that it is complicated.

  • The only problem just now, as I can't go shopping (82yrs) is that it seems more difficult to have access to vegetables+ I have nowhere to grow may own.

  • I don't buy low-fat yoghourt because it contains a lot of sugar.

  • Clare, that reads like a good diet!!

  • A very useful video.

  • This is very fascinating but also a lot of facts for my brain.

  • As I am 82, I shall not be shopping in the same way as usual, I am afraid for quite a while!!!

  • @NettyWeijenberg Hello Netty, I was horrified by the thought of eating one of these insects, but thinking about- I eat seafood, eg prawns and pull off their casing so not much difference, really.

  • Rebecca, you are right. when we were living in Namibia there was a lot of meat and not many plants. One of the volunteers with us came from UK as a vegetarian but ended up eating meat.

  • Sally Melling made a comment

    For me, the flexitarian is the most balanced of the options offered and could be easier to achieve on a world basis.

  • Thinking about eating insects-- John and I did VSO in Namibia. Right at the beginning of our time we went on a short tour and that included a visit to a market where there was this large basket of cooked insects, presumably for human consumption. I might have a different reaction to that offer of food today than I did then.

  • It is all such a complicated subject. My first thought would be to reduce meat consumption, mostly because it is not healthy to eat a lot of meat.
    I think that what one is looking for is a balance of diet, farming and environmental protection. Not an easy thing to achieve and certainly not quickly.

  • This seems to me a more balanced approach than one sometimes reads in articles.

  • I remember very clearly being anchored in Northern Spain and one night watching a boat unloading huge quantities of tuna in nets on to a quay.
    We were dismayed and disgusted . I believe, however, that some tuna can be fished in a more sustainable way. Am I right?

  • I suppose that my comment is how Science,Research and Data collecting has made it possible to track the origin of salmon. What it does show, however, is how we are overfishing some parts of the world. It makes me think how destructive and greedy we can be. It feels a bit lonely out here in the front!!!

  • There are a number of places in the world where we sailed, I immediately recall the Chilean Channels in the north, where we had difficulty find somewhere to anchor because there were so many fish farms. We also found that in Ireland.

  • Thank you. I am not sure that I can do anything fast these days!!!

  • What a wealth of information is available. I think that I need to consolidate some of this before I move on.

  • I agree with Netty about mindfulness. I try to use that in all my life, although I find it hard sometimes.

  • One of the problems of some of the healthier diets is that they can involve more preparation. On other hand you can make a large portion and freeze some of it. Presumably freezing food does destroy some of the good things?

  • Since my husband died in May 2019 I have found it difficult to enjoy my food. Recently, however, I have begun to go back to cooking. Tonight, for example, I made a celery soup which I enjoyed. I find, however, that sometimes I feel very low and that is when I am tempted to eat food that is not very good for me, like chocolate brownies. I agree with Netty that...

  • I live in Devon, where a traditional meal is fish and chips. Living near the sea we have a reasonable chance of getting fresh fish. Now, however, meals seem to come from many different places, Indian, Italian, American etc

  • These days we have access to so many different food cultures and yet, I suspect, that so many of the foods that one can buy have been modified to suit the consumer whoever, he or she is. Thus it may be difficult to get authentic food, unless you cook it in your own kitchen.

  • There is so much information there that I will read the transcript and make some notes, then I can proceed.

  • I was a teacher, now I am an oldie (82) living in Devon, who use to love cooking and spent many years sailing with my husband. Often to remote places, Spitzbergen, Brazil, Greenland, Pacific islands and to Chile, then down the Chilean Channels and back to Devon cooking bread, meals, preparing everything in a small galley, sometimes at anchor and sometimes on...

  • How will everything connected with food develop? There is a problem. with overfishing and over-intensive farming, pests, especially. like the locusts that I saw which devastate crops and thus family incomes. On a very personal basis, now, unfortunately. living on my own, how to re-ignite my interest in food and start cooking healthy food again rather than...

  • Sally Melling made a comment

    What a team, covering so many aspects of this course.

  • An excellent introduction plus good photography. I am looking forward to this course and hoping that it will push me even more in. the right direction.

  • For over a week, the weather in Devon has been very windy and on occasions wet (that is not so unusual). I wonder whether that means the climate here is changing.

  • This is the second time that I have studied this particular subject with its emphasis on Science. I found the one on solutions easier to understand. I am 82 in a week and have always loved learning. My subjects are normally on the arts side, especially literature. I taught in Primary schools having trained after I had given birth to 3 sons. I ended up as a...

  • Warming Extremes Displaced

  • Thank you very much for a very good course. The interaction between learners was good but more contribution from educators would be beneficial, especially if we stray from what is correct.

  • Even though walking is painful with my spinal problems, I shall continue to walk every day and perhaps a little further as time goes on. I have also become aware that I must not sit too long but get out of my chair/bed and get moving a bit sooner!!! Thank you.

  • I just try to keep to what I have always done, ie eat healthily, but less, as I am not able to be so active.

  • I hear all this good advice but it can be frustrating when you have never been overweight, always eaten healthily and exercised all your life to find that you are suffering from referred pain from spinal problems. I think ,however, that it can be part of the process of ageing for some of us. I am 82 this month.

  • There are factors in the lives of the elderly which can influence diet and usually detrimentally, I am afraid. Since my husband died in May 2019, I have felt less interested in food and cooking. It 's not much fun eating on one's own.
    I have realised, however, It is important to keep going and food and its preparation can be part of coming to terms with a...

  • I think that UK guidelines are clear. I think that it is important to know the guidelines but to use one's own knowledge and personal circumstances to work out what one is going to buy, cook and eat.
    I know when I am straying a bit (the occasional treat) but it is important to enjoy food and not be too strict unless there is a particular problem that one...

  • Since my back/leg problem, I have had my calcium intake in my diet checked by the doctor and I have been prescribed Vt D tablets.