March already and neither a lamb nor a lion and that means we have to start planning for our AGM in May. Fortunately all the committee are willing to continue but we do need at least one more member. It would be good if someone from movement  to music could come and make sure you have a voice. Although working on two sites has been possible it is too easy to forget each other. Now we have our own web site it would be good if someone could take on the management of it on otherwise it becomes just another job on the shoulders of those who already do a lot. We also need someone to arrange at least one outing a year. The AGM  is not until the 23rd May so there is time to gird up your energy.

My apologies to those of you who corrected me last edition. Yes Whist is on the second and fourth Wednesday and not as I said. I would blame my age but as we all have the same problem that doesn’t wash here.

Last Tuesday it was good to see a crowd of over fifty turn out to hear James Mather talking about  his discovery of the £1,350,000.00 Watlington Hoard, the Viking treasure that is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Talking of Tuesday here is the March programme:-

7th March The stars at night with Gerry Bond from the Reading Astronomical Society.

14th March Austin Crabb from the Englefield Garden Centre talks about their work with disadvantaged youngsters.

21st March Steve Hendry introduces us to the FIRTREE web site. This is a chance for you to contribute to how we advertise ourselves to the world (starting with Reading)

28th March Nigel Wright takes us to Africa on safari among the animals and birds.

4th April The RSPCA  but they have yet to confirm.

18th April is Easter week so there is no meeting.

Don’t forget that our holiday to Newquay leaves on the 8th May and Gloria is collecting the monies now. There are a few vacancies (especially couples) but you need to let Gloria know soon. It is £500 in total but that includes four outings across Cornwall during the week.

Jenny is having to support this from her chaise longue as she is still unable to walk far after breaking her knee again. It seems a bad time for fallers with Mark off his bike again, don’t make him laugh because his ribs don’t appreciate being tickled! Monica has a broken arm and Michael Tallowin has a fractured leg which is why we have not seen him for a while. Brian is slowly on the mend after hip replacement and can now walk on the flat slowly.

Sadly our Vice president Eric Hammond died last weekend and there is a card being signed to send to Catherine. Details of the funeral are not yet available.

It is good to hear of past members even though so many of them are no longer physically able to join in anymore. Mickie sends her love to everyone and is obviously as active as ever in her new home. Bea is well settled and also sends her love to us. Mary Parsons remembers us and still misses playing table tennis as does Bea. Mary sees Pat and David often as they are in the same retirement flats. Betty Quinn is now in residential care and sadly is very confused now. Gill Warner is still in touch with the Whitchello’s but both are now quite frail. It is good that so many of you keep the contacts going as well as Olive sending the cards.  One of the reasons I belong is that there is such a sense of friendship, welcome and concern for each other.

It now seems likely that the singing group can get going again on Wednesday mornings from 10.45 at the YMCA. Stewart Lewins has agreed to run the choir. We will need to make a small charge to cover his fees and the rent but if it gets going I know it will be very popular. Watch this space.

Talking of singing, the Sainsbury singers are putting on a production of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Hexagon and we are planning to book a party for the afternoon (2.00 p.m.) of the 20th May. There are sheets going round for those who are interested in going. If you don’t see one give me a ring (9482557 or email colindf@btinternet.com) so I can add your name. I need to know fairly soon as block bookings go quickly. Cost will be £12.00 or if there are enough of us even less. We will also need to pay on the booking.

Mark is now collecting membership fees which we have reduced this time to £30.00. We still need to pay at the YMCA  and for many of the speakers on Tuesday morning as well as making contribution to our costs at the Chapel. There is now a box at the back of the chapel for voluntary contributions to the speaker costs even though we are fortunate in having some who do not charge. When the speaker is representing a charity all the contributions in the box will go to the Charity.

Bowls will soon be moving back outside. Being inside at Rivermead has been great fun (in spite of the frustration!). We will be meeting again on Thursday mornings at Prospect Park Bowling Club from 10.00 a.m. Janet and I were absolute beginners two years ago and go because of the company and the fun. Serious players might find us too light hearted. All are welcome as long as you have flat shoes. Give Alan Warner a ring if you are interested (9426087). Bowls can be provided.

I exercise every morning without fail. Up, down, up, down! And then the other eyelid.

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world except take exercise, get up early or be respectable (Oscar Wilde)