July and August 2022

We had another fabulous picnic in Queen’s Park with lots of food and drink to share.  Our Summer continued in August with an outing to Eastbourne to enjoy traditional British seaside treats including a fish and chip lunch.    Craft Club resumed in person in July and August with the lovely summer evenings in Caroline’s garden.   Dining Club came south to St. John’s Wood and we had a very sociable meal at Crocker’s Folly.  Our monthly meeting at St. Anne’s was a talk by a nurse who had been on the front line during the pandemic and it was great to hear how the staff and community responded to support one another.  Next month we’ll be at Queen’s Park Day, so we’re all planning our baking, come and see us if you’re passing by!

June 2022

We’ve had a great month in June, a fascinating guided walk around Kilburn taking in sights and buildings some of us had never noticed before.  Who knew that Kilburn once had the largest cinema in the country?  We all loved the mural of June Rose Barber.   We rounded off the walk by celebrating our oldest member’s 80thbirthday at a pizza restaurant.   Doubles tennis and more importantly coffee afterwards with our non-playing friends continues to be popular.  We had a really good discussion of Helen Lewis’s  ‘Difficult Women A History of Feminism in 11 Fights’. Everybody enjoyed reading the book and the discussion ranged across many of the topics highlighted in the text, with members focusing on issues which had particularly resonated for them and sharing some personal experiences to illustrate the points that Lewis was making. 

May 2022

Where did May go?  It seems no time at all since the Bank Holiday weekend and we’re definitely into the long evenings now.  We had a super-interesting talk from one of our former members about her work as an architect on renovating the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House.   The local park walks have continued on Fridays and are very popular.  We had a good  turnout at the Spasso restaurant and  enjoyed real Italian cooking very much.   Our FLAT walk through the Colney nature reserve and along the Grand Union canal was much appreciated, probably helped along by the ice-cream stop towards the end.

April 2022

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’.

March 2022

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.

January & February 2022

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 2021

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!

November 2021

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.

October 2021

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.

September 2021

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