READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

July/August 2018                   Firtree Newsletter               Issue 474

I was torn between writing this newsletter or sitting in the sunshine with a cup of something and watching the grass grow but the newsletter won’t get done if I give way and I would only be sitting there thinking “I must do the newsletter”.

So here we are, summer is well and truly here and so we have a two-month copy. Although most of Firtree closes for August some events like the bowls carry on and the choristers may be meeting for some of the time. Before then however we have July and a Tuesday programme to keep you coming.

All on Tuesday at 11.00 (doors at the chapel open at 10.00 for an hour of meet and chat).

3rd July        Tony King returns with a programme entitled ‘Things we can do without’.

10th July      ‘Abbey on wheels’ comes to Firtree. As Reading Abbey’s restoration is complete their mobile display and talk comes complete with artefacts. This meeting will take place in the Hall.

17th July      Colin Oakes presents the ‘History of Food’.

24th July      Mark’s grand Summer Quiz

31st July      Founder’s Day Concert and lunch. Our guest today will be the Rev. David Jenkins at the piano. Lunch is a ‘bring and share’ meal. Liz Prior is co-ordinating this so please let her know what you might bring. Drinks    will be provided and please only finger food.

Our next meeting will be on the 4th September (3rd for the bridge players) and this will probably be a travelogue from me. (Colin  F).

Our main holiday for next year has now been fixed from 8th July 2019 for 5 nights in Morecambe and the Lake District. The cost will be higher because of the season (about £500.00 inc. trips, tips and insurance) Gloria has all the details and will happily put your name down for a £50.00 deposit. Nothing has yet been fixed for the winter but options are being considered. An outing to the donkey sanctuary is on the cards.

The outing to Compton Acres was well supported and much appreciated and certainly the fine weather helped. The outing was also the monthly meeting of the Garden Circle. Their next meeting is a plant swop at Jenny Supper’s home. Nothing in August and then on September 10th for a cream tea at Beale Park (cost will be £10.00 and if you wish to go please see Gloria with the money!).

The craft circle are still busy making poppies and they will meet again on the 4th July. In case you weren’t aware it is 100 years since the end of the first world war in November.

Just started at the Oddfellows Hall, Oxford Road is an over 50’s yoga group run by the Royal Voluntary Service. It is on Fridays at 11.00 and is aimed at complete beginners. If you might be interested and flexible contact Elina Zandersone on 07767 020007.

There was an interesting presentation at the recent Older Peoples Partnership on the Reading Vision 2050. I had a feeling that not many people there had such a long-term expectation especially when the questions included whether the potholes would be fixed by then! The presentation was certainly looking forward to a brave new world (Hello! Haven’t I heard that before). Good luck to them, my grandchildren may have grand children by then and yes, I wish them a better world than now. Just hope they have sorted Brexit out by then.

The question has been raised about what happens in an emergency so we are preparing a health and safety report. In the meantime make sure you are aware of where all the fire-escapes are. If in doubt Mark will arrange a tour of the building. Having the right telephone numbers to ring and in fact making sure we do have a telephone available are important issues to be sorted and made public.

Needless to say there as many problems with hot weather as there are in the winter, it’s not just sun burn that can get you but the heat, so drink more (not alcohol). The medical advice is to stay in the shade, wear light, loose clothing and a hat and a light scarf – your neck is one of the danger points. Keep an eye out for others as well especially older people and children. If you have to be out in the sun use a sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA15 protection.

“Happy 103rd birthday Mr Z. What’s the secret of your long life?”

“I gave up smoking two years ago.”

The Rolling Stones are on tour again. They were going to suggest that under 50’s should not be admitted without a parent.

Always have old memories and young hopes.

Enjoy the Summer break.

If you want to know more about Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( or Mark Bowman (0118 967 7130)

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