READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

February 2020                Firtree Newsletter                       Issue 490

The sun is getting higher in the sky and soon the birds will be chirping and we will be saying how fast the year is going. I think it feels like that, because each year is a smaller fraction of our age. When we were ten, it was a whole 10% of our life; now it is only 1.25% (for me) and just think how much experience we have packed into the rest. If you have things you would like to do, get on with it now before your energy wears out altogether!

We were all glad to get home after the Turkey and Tinsel in Torquay for although the Hotel was fine and the food good the weather was wet every day so we saw far more coffee shops than anywhere else. Also the Norovirus struck almost half of us and made for a miserable experience for them. We do not plan to have a winter break next year but are looking at more outings spread through the year. These will begin with a trip to Salisbury on the 6th April. Gloria is collecting £16.00 for this and, of course, also collecting moneys for the summer break in Cliftonville.

Gloria also has details of the outings in Kent including a day out in Canterbury. If anyone wants a guided tour of the Cathedral that will have to be booked beforehand as will a trip round the Canterbury Tales house.

Meanwhile you can join in all our wonderful activities including the Tuesday talks. This month is packed with interest.

5th Feb                Nick Brazil – literary and artistic footprints of the Thames                                              Valley.

12th Feb              Nigel Glover-Wright – Japan – Winter wonderland

19th Feb              Norman Horsham with more of his wonderful pictures set                                     to music.

25th Feb              Holly Mills from the CAB talking with us about how we                                              can get the best out of our energy!

3rd March            Marjy Carden returns with more of her humorous poems.

This is a good time to join Firtree as our membership fee, which is due in March (or earlier for Liz’s sanity) is still £35.00 and those who join now will be able to pay that and so have an extra two months value.

An early warning re the AGM in May: by our new constitution I have to stand down from the chair. It should have been last year but… no buts this year. More worrying is that Monica who has done a brilliant job with our finances will have to stand down next year. Ideally we would like someone to work alongside Monica for the next year so that the changeover can be ‘painless’. If you could be interested let us know. One volunteer is worth a great deal. Olive, after more years on the committee and as our welfare contact than anyone can recall, has stood down before she has to write to herself. She joins the list of those who have done so much for the club. She will be missed in the committee as will her wry comments and wealth of knowledge – though I am sure she will continue with that in her votes of thanks.

The Reading Older Peoples Partnership meets on Friday the 14th February at the Civic Centre from 2.00 p.m. It is an open meeting to discuss with Council members and officers what might improve the quality of life for us in Reading. The recent decision to do away with the public indoor bowling facility at Rivermead will be one topic for discussion as it effectively removes the one sporting activity which can be enjoyed by those over seventy, both men and women, unless they can swim.

A story from my Wrinklie’s book – for years a little old lady had two monkeys as pets. One day one of them died of natural causes. Overcome with grief the other monkey died two days later. Not knowing what to do with the remains she finally decides to take them to a taxidermist and have them stuffed. The taxidermist asked if she would like them to be mounted. “No” she replied, “holding hands will be fine”.

If you want to know more about  Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( or Liz Prior on 0118 942 2958

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