Have you booked your holiday yet? Firtree is going to Newquay in May and Gloria is already taking names and deposits. One of the things we try to do as we get older is to look ahead to doing something new/different. We are all very good at looking backwards  and yes, there are many things worth remembering but now is for living and looking ahead. I heard a story of a seventy year old who started doing tap dance lessons, yes she did ache afterwards but she felt good. That is what we try to offer you at Firtree, time to share, time to enjoy, time to play, time to be with friends and look forward.

The Tuesday programme for February is as follows

Feb 7th Ann Smith takes us round the shops of yesterday in Reading

Feb 14th Mark Bowman presents a Valentine quiz.

Feb 21st The Fire Service review – what do you think?

Feb 28th James Mather takes us treasure hunting with the Watlington Hoard.

March 7th The Stars at Night with Gerry Bond from the Reading Astronomical Society

Believe it or not but Shrove Tuesday is on the 28th February and Christmas only ten months away from then!! If your New Year resolution has been forgotten then you can catch up in Lent! Mind you I have always seen Lent as a time to do something, especially to do something that will improve your life. In church circles this may be doing a course of study but it can also be time to exercise or go walking now that Spring is warming things up. Mind you I met Janet at an Easter Youth Conference in April and one of our first actions was to build a snow man. I knew then that anyone who was as mad as me must be right.

It is also a good time to join Firtree as anyone who joins now will pay only £30.00 for the whole year through to the end of April 2018. The recent EGM agreed to lower our subscription rate last week. Mark will happily receive any payments for renewal as soon as you like. It may be a good time to do light exercise with movement to music, or to start playing table tennis again or bowls.

We started playing bowls about two years ago and not only is it good exercise but good fun and company. At present we are still playing at Rivermead on a Monday or a Friday. (mostly on Friday). Let Alan Warner know if you would like to join in. The outdoor season starts in April at Prospect Park.

Our new publicity leaflets are now available and if you know of a place where they can be displayed please do ask Mark for whatever you need. I shall be taking some of them to the meeting of the Reading Older People’s working group on Friday 10th February. (2.00 in the new Civic Centre). Everyone is welcome. Some of the issues being considered this time are ‘Love food, Hate waste’, and Diabetes. Asian TV will also be there looking for activities which the Asian community might join in. It would be good if we had people from all the ethnic communities but it is off-putting when you go somewhere and find you are the odd one out. They are welcome as anyone is.

Our new Website will be up and running by March.(www.firtree-reading.com ) Some members have queried why we need this as not everyone has a computer but  those who are retiring now have worked with them and will be looking on the internet for groups such as ours. We need to be looking to the future. I am sure any youngster will help you learn. RVA can offer individual sessions if you want to do so,more information on the RVA sessions can be found HERE.

The garden circle is meeting at Christine’s house on the 13th February. Apart from enjoying the beautiful orchids they are having a business meeting to sort out their programme for the year. They will always be meeting on the second Monday in the month and new members will be welcome.

The whist group will be meeting at the YMCA on the first and third Wednesdays while permission is sought for them to use the Chapel. The Craft group meets on the second Wednesday afternoon as usual and have no specific programme at present. It tends to be a much more relaxed group where knit and natter is the rule while their new programme is sorted. Bea has settled well into her new home and her daughter has been very helpful in making sure she does (yes, the dogs are fine as well!)

We have had a number of our members in hospital recently most of whom are now home.  Visitors are welcome but ring first. Please do let Olive or anyone on the committee know if any of our members is unwell so that we can be in contact. Thank you.

Statistically speaking by the time you reach seventy there are five women to every one man.

Guess who has the headache now!

A wealthy old woman is talking to her friend. She tells her, “My husband is so old and infirm now I have to watch him day and night” Her friend replies, “But I thought you had hired a young nurse to look after him!” “I have, that’s why I have to keep an eye on him.”

Happy Valentine’s Day.