Well, Easter is here already although in fact it is quite late this year, but it is so good to see the burst of colour that has arrived as the trees bud and then begin to bloom. That seems to be a good point to make another apology, this time to the Garden Circle whose information slipped under the radar last month. They are meeting on the second Monday in the month and this month they are going to the Englefield garden centre. This was planned before the interesting talk we had last month about the work they do with the disabled.

So, what are we doing on Tuesday mornings this month?

4th April Another look at Easter with Colin Ferguson.

11th April Welcome to the Choir.

18th Is Easter week and we are having a break.

25th April The art of wood carving with Roger Edwards.

2nd May Mark Bowman on discovering your roots.

The Firtree AGM will be on the 23rd May and all reports should be with Colin before the 16th May. A short comment on each activity would be welcome. You could double this up as I also need a comment from each activity to put onto the web site.

Bob Hopkins has been collecting your milk bottle tops for some time now but he would like to ask that they are actually milk bottle tops and that they are clean without any card or foil stuck to them. One way of checking is that they have 2 printed inside the small recycling triangle and perhaps ‘hope’ beside it. Please help by doing this as otherwise Bob has to before passing them on to the recycling point.

Hopefully our new chorister group is going to happen as there is a meeting this week with a musician who is willing to help set one up. Watch this space.

Also this week the first aid group will have met. These are single day training sessions and if there are enough of you who would like another session to be set up then please let me know. It is now possible to get individual help for you to develop your computer skills as Reading Voluntary Action is offering such help.

Even more excitement to come as we have a good number going to the Hexagon, to see the Sainsbury Singers in the ‘Wizard of Oz’. Christine is busy collecting the money for the performance on Saturday 20th May at 2.00 p.m. The tickets cost £10.00 each. There cannot be refunds once bought so if something stops you, see if someone else in the club might like to go (club in this case means Firtree).

Since our talk on Tuesday 21st April about our new web site (2 days ago) I have had three enquiries about our meetings. As we build the site up let me know if there is something you would like to contribute. I will want something from each activity to put on the board.(reading-firtree and it will come under the RVA logo).

On Friday the 7th April the Reading older peoples partnership (also called the older peoples working party) meets at the Civic Centre from 2.00 p.m. This is a free session for us to meet with those who are trying to provide for us especially the Council. It is open for you to ask for someone to tell us what is happening in Reading. (Bins are on the agenda this time)

Meantime all our usual meetings are in full swing all of them happy to greet new members, the Garden Circle, having gone to Warfield Garden Centre last month go to Englefield on the 10th April. Now is the time to start getting all those late Spring and early Summer plants as well as a relaxing cuppa and cake. The craft circle and whist are meeting on alternate weeks (craft on the 3rd Wed) at the YMCA and Tuesday at the Chapel is busy as always.

Thank you to everyone who is going on the holiday for paying so promptly. It makes a great difference to the work load. The hotel is called the Cliffdene and it stands on the cliff top looking across the sea with beautiful walks along the cliff top and the sands. It is close to shops, bus and rail. We will leave as usual from the YMCA in the morning. The actual time and the itinerary for the week will come mid-April. Gloria is already thinking about a Turkey and Tinsel week again. We would like to have at least one outing this year but do need a volunteer to organise it.

Mark is grateful to those who have paid the annual subs. These are due by the 1st April so if you haven’t seen him yet he will be glad to see you. Remember the subs have gone down this year to only £30.00. (about 75p a week)

We have now finished the winter indoor bowls and will soon be at Prospect Park again for the outdoor season after Easter on Thursday mornings (9.45). All level of players are welcome. If you have never been before you really ought to give it a go, training is given and it doesn‘t take long. You may not win but you will have a good laugh if nothing else. If you want to know more contact Alan Warner (9426087)

Recently the question of marriage allowance was raised, which of course only applies to those of us in a partnership, but if either of you have an income of less than £11,000 a year and your partner earns less than £43.000, you may be able to transfer £1,100 of your allowance to your partner and save him or her about £220 a year. I have a copy of the rules if you want to find out more.

May you all have a peaceful and refreshing Easter.