READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

Easter Special 2020               Firtree Newsletter                  Issue 493

This special edition of the Newsletter comes to keep you up to date with how we need to respond to the Corona virus. It is also an opportunity to keep us in contact with each other and so I will be preparing a copy every two/three weeks until we are back to normal. Sadly that is going to be further away than we hoped and it is unlikely that we will be back before the end of May at the earliest.

That means we have had to postpone the holiday in May as It was going to be still within the period when we need to isolate. The word is postpone, but we don’t yet know when that will be. It may even be to May next year, but we will see what can be done.

We will also be running past the Annual meeting time but fear not, I can get the reports done and circulated as much as possible and the committee will make such changes as are necessary and check with you when we get back. The important thing is that we don’t do anything that will put any of you at risk.

I have heard that there are queues for prescription medicine and some delay in getting supplies so please put your prescriptions in well in time, give it at least a week so don’t risk running out.

Monica has not paid in any membership cheques yet, not until we are able to go back. She also has to self-isolate so standing in a longline at the bank is not on her exercise list.

It is so good to see the wealth of people willing to help where they can, especially with the health service. They are truly at the frontline and I feel for them as the pressure is relentless. I was happy to go out of my front door recently and applaud them. Our job is to keep out of the way, keep washing those hands and keep the right distance away from others if you are outside. Do exercise if you can, even if it is going up and down the stairs more often. Mind you the Green Goddess is on TV and so is Mr Motivator – back at 67 to get you flexing your muscles. Maybe not!

I am trying to break my day up in bite sized chunks and not just spend all the time in front of the Television or on my computer. I am fortunate in having a garden so at least an hour there gives me fresh air and a sense that I have done something.

For those of you who like old films there is a wealth of them on Freeview– channels  32, 40, 50 and 81 just as a start. If you can’t find them you may need to re-tune your television. I have just looked at my bookcase! That’s another challenge!

Beware – if you have an unknown email or phone call do not answer it. The scammers are trying to get your money. Please don’t give it to them.

If you think you are going mad you are not. It is natural to start talking to yourself or the cat. It may be the only sensible conversation you have all day Every blessing.

I get copy of the well-being newsletter and this is coming out weekly. They have addressed three rumours this week –
a. All hand sanitisers can protect you from the virus – This is false. Only those containing 60% alcohol or more will kill the virus. Soap and water remain the best defences.
b – Gargling and mouth wash can protect you from coronavirus – False
c.- Drinking water every 15 minutes and moistening your throat protects you – this may be normally reasonable advice but it does nothing to prevent the coronavirus – False.

I know that many of you are missing going to church or social groups such as Firtree, and though there is a lot of contact coming through computers it is little use if you don’t have one. Even this comes out by email as well as print so we ask those of you who can receive to share it with your friends as much as you can.

We are going to expand this newsletter to include a puzzle as well as the usual chuckle and to encourage letters (short) with your own pearls of wisdom or questions. I just want to say that even if some of what we print is thoughtful we do not promote any particular religious or political point of view.

As it is Easter this is a thought for that season from me, the last verse is pertinent today.

God has given us creation, deep blue oceans, rivers, seas, green of grass And yellow corn fields, ours to do with as we please.
God has given us, in nature, golden sun and rich brown earth.                        Ours the task to make a harvest that will show creation’s worth.
God has given us each other, red the blood that we all share,
Red the wine we drink together when we show God that we care.
God has given us our neighbours; each as different as can be,                  From the richness of each culture God composed a harmony.
God has given us a promise, rainbow colours in the sky.
When the storm is at its fiercest, we believe God hears our cry.
God has given us a Saviour, Christ is risen from the dead,                          Life he brings to all his people, light eternal, broken bread.                             Colin Ferguson

Please do take care of yourself and ring either Mark (0118 9677 130) or myself (0118 9482 557) or any of the committee and keep in touch.

If you have anything that you would like to share send it to me (Colin) and I will include it.

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