(Friends in retirement taking relaxation exercise, and education)

May 2017


Ne’er cast a clout ‘til May be out and if the end of April is anything to go by how true that will be this year. This is what I call my garden’s blue period with blue bells taking over every vacant space and ceanothus blooming above them. Still the white and purple lilac and what I call my yellow pompom plant give a dash of different colour. It also means that it is time for our Annual meeting and the search for new committee members (we need two) and the annual accounts. It is also a good time for you to come up with ideas and comments about what you would like to do or if necessary what we shouldn’t do.


Meantime on Tuesday mornings ;-


2nd May       Mark tells us more about how the Gregorian and Julian calendars                          changed our lives.


9th May       While many of us are in Newquay, Mark gives the rest if us a quiz.


16th May     To be confirmed but we may be having an earthquake!!


23rd May     The Annual General Meeting – please do attend if you can.


30th May     Alan Copeland returns with a new big picture show


6th June      Bert returns with his daughter and the accordion.


There are over thirty of us on holiday from Monday 8th May and we will be meeting at the YMCA  for the coach to leave at 9.30 a.m. Please note that you need to be there before that time. Return will be on Sunday the 14th probably about 3.30 but that depends on the road conditions. The Hotel is the Cliffdene and its telephone number is 01637 873094. Please let Jenny or Gloria know what your mobile number is if you haven’t done so already.


Hot off the press – we are going on an outing to Longleat on Monday August 14th and it will only cost £30.00 including travel and entry. Gloria will be collecting bookings from the AGM. She and Jenny have also booked a Turkey and Tinsel week from Monday 6th November to Friday 10th in Eastbourne          Cost will be £280.00  (£50 deposit – again from the AGM.) It’s all happening at Firtree.

Also what do you think about Christmas lunch at the Calcot? Numbers are quite low in comparison to other events. Is the place no longer inviting? Should we move it to January and away from all the other Christmas activities? Do let us know.

There are over thirty of us going to the Hexagon on Saturday the 20th May  beginning at 2.00 p.m. The seats are not all together but there will be time to meet up in the interval. If you want to invade the local eating places en masse you will need to arrange that yourselves.


Because of the holiday do check whether your meeting will be taking place that week or not. I know that the gardening group are meeting a week later on the 22nd May at 2.00 p.m.. Twelve of the group went to Englefield last month and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the azaleas and rhododendrons and the temptation of the garden shop, not to mention the tea and cakes at Dunelm.


The songsters have begun again and are meeting at the YMCA on Wednesdays at 11.10 a.m. under the guidance of Stewart Lewins. The sessions cost £2.00 a week at present. If you want to know more or to join please contact  Alan Warner (9426087).


Also contact Alan if you are interested in the bowls which begin on Thursday May 18th, at 9.45 on Prospect Park Bowling Green. New members, experienced or not will be very welcome.


Looking ahead we plan to reintroduce our Founder’s day service on the 20th June and to follow it up with a bring and share lunch. The Rev. David Jenkins who thrilled us all at Christmas with his piano playing (and his message) has agreed to come again and at present we are waiting to see if the Mayor can also come.

The open day last August was so successful that we are proposing to hold one in early October, but as this takes a lot of organizing we will be asking what you think at the AGM. The Red Cross training day was so well appreciated that we will be running a second session once I know how many are interested. At present I have 7 names so it is nearly there.


One of the tricky things we have to try and respect is that even though we are not charged as such for being in the Chapel we feel morally bound to make a contribution to the church costs. One way we do this is to buy the paper for their printer which we then use. Recently we replaced a microwave oven, which we use but this time the need is in the nursery and the committee has proposed to make a grant to them of £400. This will be covered at the AGM in Monica’s report.

Sally has retired at last from the YMCA and her replacement is Tracey. A card was sent to Sally and we plan to invite her to a session soon where we can thank her for her very much appreciated friendship in all our years at the YMCA.


Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again. The secret of growing old is having lots of experience you can no longer use!


Firtree meets every week at the Mormon Chapel and at the YMCA (Parkside Road). For further details phone Mark Bowman (0118 9677130) or email Colin Ferguson –( )


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