Well, this is my first u3a update as your new secretary – and it feels like a good time to be making contact. Autumn always feels like the start of the new year, far more than January, to me, and this year it is really starting to feel as though we are coming out the other side of the long strangeness – not there yet, but definitely on the way!
Our membership numbers are rising, and it is good to see so many groups restarting with new impetus after the break, and people returning with confidence to the monthly Drop-ins. For those who haven’t yet come back, we can reassure you that there are guidelines in place about sanitising and mask-wearing, and we offer a safe and friendly environment for socialising.
Several members have had bright ideas about activities for new groups, and we invite your interest in any or all of the following. The summaries are the words of the proposer, slightly abridged in one or two cases:
The proposer says she is “willing to organise the group, but does not have the skills to teach as she is a beginner herself. So the idea is to form a Patchwork and Machine Sewing group, to meet fortnightly for mutual support and sewing together. Also, we would try to engage some tutors for odd sessions from time to time to teach new skills.”
“This would be for people that like to both compile and solve cryptic crosswords. The idea is for members to compile crosswords on (say) a 4 monthly basis for inclusion in a newsletter for others to solve. We can compare ideas, test one another's clues and come up with off-the-wall crossword variants and challenges. Can also have clue setting competitions and compare favourite clues/crossword variants.”
- Longevity (how to live longer)
“This is for people who don’t want to die and want to live long, healthy and rewarding lives! The goal is to share long-term health & lifestyle tips, plus information and mutual support to maximise the chances of living healthily to a hundred. This partly reflects my own situation, as I’ve got to 63 with good health and no real issues, despite doing many things wrong As an actuary, I know the odds of living to 100 are stacked against us, but there is a lot we can do to improve the odds. The Longevity Club could offer: • Top tips and great ideas • Sharing best practice • Mutual support/buddy system so we can help one another stick to our goals • Shared reading, experiences and insights.. I’m sure U3A members have a great deal of information and insight, so why not share the wisdom of the crowd? • Useful data and studies – e.g. studies of what makes a centenarian or super-centenarian and a review of the theoretical probabilities of living to 100 by current age/sex and risk factors that affect these probabilities • The psychology of ageing and mental health tips to stay young at heart • …and more This will be an interactive group, so I’d be grateful for your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.”
“I am fascinated by story, I love the old ones, especially Grimm and I taught a course at in the Theology dept at Leeds University for a couple of years, ages ago . . . on archetypes and myths.
I re-write these before telling to make them more relevant to today, and also write and perform my own stories. I’d love to get a U3A group together to tell and discuss stories, as well as technique, structure and the ’nuts and bolts’ of telling stories. There are some really good workbooks with exercises available if members would like to do this too - my favourite by far is Ashley Ramsden and Sue Hollingsworth’s ’The Storyteller’s Way’. I’ve done a lot of this myself in groups (mostly at Emerson College) and it’s always relaxed and fun, and supportive, never critical. Also, I should point out, that it’s ok for members just to ‘dip their toe in the water’ and come and watch, or read something aloud.”
If these fire your interest and imagination, please contact our Vice-Chair, John Senior, in the first instance, and he will be able to give you the appropriate contact details to take your discussions further. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
The long-awaited new edition of the Handbook is currently being printed, and we hope to have it available at the next Drop-in with updated details on all our activities.
At today’s Drop-in, several people were asking about u3a Diaries for 2022. We made the decision not to make a bulk order this year, as take-up was low last year. However, I’ve made enquiries and can order them for you at £3.00 each. If you’d like one, please would you let me know in the next few days and I’ll order them. Please get back to me before next Tuesday, the 14th of October. I realise that this is short notice, but the site says they are going fast and I don’t want those who have taken the trouble to ask to be disappointed! I can bring them to the next Drop-in and you can pay on delivery.
That’s all for now! Stay safe and enjoy the autumn.
Rosemary Waugh - Secretary