We started April with a move to our new venue at St. Anne’s in Salusbury Road an excellent talk by one of our members on Quakerism – ‘What Quakers believe and how they put it into practice’, which prompted much discussion. Tuesday tennis and Friday walks continued as well as a strenuous longer walk across the Chilterns where there were some excellent carpets of bluebells. Our book club had a long discussion about our book of the month ‘Notes from an Exhibition’.
We’ve had a busy month. We got off to a great start with a talk on the history and personalities of the Pinnacle Club, a women’s climbing club who celebrated 100 years in 2021. We’ve had several walks, most very ably led by Rebecca around the local parks and one spectacular outing to Kew Gardens to see the Spring flowers, much enjoyed by all. Another longer walk through Ruislip woods was enjoyed by all and we made the most of a fine Spring day. Some of us went off to the V&A to see the much praised Faberge exhibition, which we agreed was fabulous. Tennis has got going again, having been rudely interrupted by rain on several occasions, so coffee in the park on Tuesdays is back on. Deb hosted café club through the winter and was enjoyed by all who attended. Craft and book clubs are continuing via zoom. Dining Club proved very popular and we went to Dhaba49 in Maida Vale.
The days are truly lengthening and brightening now. We had a lovely outing to Waddesdon Manor to see the snowdrops in early February. Many of us went to see the Broiderers exhibition at the end of month, where our very own Patricia was exhibiting. Rebecca has been doing sterling work leading us around local parks on Friday mornings. Some of us felt like stretching our legs a teeny bit more and took ourselves off to Saunderton where we stomped through the mud before reaching the Lions of Bledlow pub. We had one of the best days in February and the views over the Chilterns were fabulous. Deb is continuing with café club on Mondays and we had a good discussion about Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour at Book Club although not many of us liked it. Making Lavender Hearts was a very popular evening enjoyed by all.
December got off to a healthy start with 11 of us walking along the Thames from Richmond to Syon Park for lunch and retail therapy. This was followed by a fantastic Christmas party which of course included Secret Santa presents and crackers, enjoyed by all. There was another longer walk from Wargrave to Henley with some lovely views of the Thames and the deer park at Rememham. Café Club continues to be popular on Monday afternoons and tennis on Tuesday mornings. And finally there was a morale boosting walk around Gladstone Park on Christmas Eve, which set us up nicely for the rigours of Christmas Day!
The month started off well with a short walk from Greenford to Boston Manor with spectacular views from Horsenden Hill and then a very pleasant stroll through Harrow School’s playing fields. We had our Annual Meeting at the Mason’s Arms followed by a quiz as is traditional. We were all still very happy to be meeting in person. Later in the month we had a longer walk along the Chiltern Way, where we all enjoyed the last of the autumn colours on the trees. There was a good discussion at Book club about our book of the month, Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. We all enjoyed our Dining club outing to Morso on the Chamerlayne Road, where the desserts proved delicious. Café Club, Craft Club and tennis continue to draw their regulars as we head into the winter.
We were all very happy to have our first meeting at the Mason’s Arms in October and very lucky to have a great speaker, Peter Hain, who took lots of questions about South Africa both in the apartheid era and now. We plan to be in the Mason’s Arms over the winter months except of course in December, when we traditionally party at someone’s house. Chat and a cuppa has got off to a great start on Mondays with good attendance and is likely to be more popular as the evenings get darker.
Craft and book clubs continue to be via zoom and tennis will resume next month when we’re all back from our travels.
The month got off to a great start with the return of Dining Club. Seven of us went to The Waterway for our first restaurant meal in far too long and we all enjoyed it, so more are planned. Our zoom Café Club started up again on Monday afternoons.
On 8th September we were joined on Zoom by Simon John, who provided us with an excellent insight into the phenomenon of Modern Slavery. Simon provided some horrifying statistics relating to the life expectancy of women who have been trafficked and forced into prostitution. Internationally, he explored the link between cheap merchandise purchased here in the UK and the exploitation of workers involved in the production elsewhere. Simon said that if we were to suspect coercion, in relation to a person working in a nail bar or car wash, we should not address the issue directly, but inform authorities such as https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/report .
We had a couple of very enjoyable walks this month too (the weather has been so much better than August), one along the Thames to Teddington complete with a pub lunch and another to Kew Gardens. Written by Angela
We all enjoyed Ilona’s Iconic Dance Moves sessions where some of us remembered how to do the Locomotion, although I’m not sure our feet were moving in time with our arms. It was a month for walks, with Frances leading us on a very nice walk from Amersham via lunch at a pub in Little Missenden and a visit to the church there before a longer afternoon walk over a hill and back to a temporary cafe for refreshments before we all headed home. Later in the month the sun came out for our walk through Victoria Park and along the Regent’s Canal to oh-so-cool Haggerston where we had a very enjoyable lunch followed by a final stroll to catch the train at Camden Road. Tennis has continued through August with new recruits enabling us to keep going. This month’s book missed the mark, with most readers giving it the thumbs down or at best neutral. Hey, ho onto the next book.
We had a lovely picnic in Queen’s Park to celebrate mid-Summer. It was good to meet and chat in person as well as a chance to meet our new members. There was a lively discussion at Culture Club following the second play ‘The Time of Your Life’ by the Gecko Theatre company. Summer walks have continued with a very enjoyable stroll along the Thames from Richmond to Mortlake including a pub lunch at Kew. Tennis continues with more members joining in Coffee afterwards always helps!
Tennis continued with a fifth member joining us so we can keep playing when one of us is not available. Coffee afterwards is being enhanced by specially baked treats to help us replace the calories we have lost playing. For our monthly meeting we had a tour of Piccadilly and St James called “Putting on the Ritz”, given by Tina, a blue badge guide. We heard about various characters from the worlds of high society and finance as well as quacks and dandies who lived in the area over the last couple of centuries. Everyone enjoyed the tour and some of us went on for a drink before heading home. We had two adventures outside of London in June, one to the Chilterns where a great time was had by all and another to the seaside at Margate where we walked around the coast to Broadstairs where we all enjoyed scrumptious ice-creams. Craft and book clubs continued, with members joining in for a chat even if they hadn’t a project on the go or read the book, which is how it should be.