READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

Corona special                  Firtree Newsletter                       Issue 494

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. In the meantime, we have been ringing around to keep aware of each other. If you haven’t had a call and would like to talk to one of us then do ring.

I know that one or two of you are really struggling with poor health. I am not aware though of anyone who has succumbed to the corona. What I would like us to do is to take a moment to think about Firtree and all its members at 11.00 on Tuesday or Wednesday, which ever day you normally attend our activities. Whether you say a prayer or just wish everyone well is up to you, but it is a simple form of solidarity for while you are thinking of others they will be thinking of you.

Life does go on as well and Monica is working on our annual financial report and I will include a summary of this in a future letter. Monica still has not paid in the membership fees yet as we have no idea of whether we will be able to meet before the Summer break. We may need to have a virtual committee meeting!

Mark is busy and rarely a day goes by without us being in contact, so I know that he is busy working on all sorts of presentations for the next few years!! In this issue you will find some puzzles from him just to keep you amused. How about some of you writing something for this Newsletter – not too long but perhaps an amusing anecdote from your life. Remember that this has a wider audience than just Firtree members.

My garden changes colour as spring changes into summer, from the white blossom of snowdrops and fruit trees to the yellow of daffodils and Forsythia and now the bluebells and cornflower cover the ground while the lilac turns the green of the trees into a mass of purple. Sitting in the garden is not something I usually get to enjoy much but with the good weather and plenty of time we are rediscovering new things every day as well as being serenaded by the birds. Shame about the weeds but you cannot enjoy beauty in the garden without a sore back.

Sadly, there are always people looking for easy money and in the midst of all the good will and friendliness there are those seeking to make a profit out of you. Never reply to an email when you don’t know where it comes from. Never give any of your personal details over the telephone even if you think you know who it is.
Genuine callers will confirm by mail if it is important. I have friends who have lost far too much money by being scammed. Cold callers at the door are also not to be encouraged. One of my friends spent a fortune on his roof after he was told there was a loose slate. If that work needs to be done contact a local builder.

Reading Council produces a Wellbeing Newsletter and if you would like to receive a copy go to Reading Services Guide and type in

covid 19 – local services and events updates and newsletter

Keep safe, keep sane – it’s OK talking to yourself as long as you don’t get an answer.


Mark’s Puzzle Page No.1

No.1   The word that goes after CASTOR and before SKIN is OIL
Find the word that links each of the following pairs in the same way.

(a) PEA            ______        CASE
(b) PARTY        ______        TRICK
(c) DEAD          ______        CAKE
(d) SOAP          ______        OFFICE

No.2   “8 P in a G” stands for “8 Pints in a Gallon”.
What do the following stand for?

7 W of the W
6 P on the S of D
5 T on a F
4 H of the A
3 C in the F
2 BT in S
1 M and his D

Due to formatting problems and my limited knowledge, I am unable put the other questions on this page.

If you would like the whole set of puzzles, please write to me at

and I shall send you the puzzle sheet as an attachment.

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