U3A in London Update – 1 June 2020

This information was published on: June 01, 2020

Monday Morning Talks

Our Monday morning talks are resuming this week at 10.30 on Monday 1 June, after the Bank Holiday last week.  Please join in good time – say from 10.25.

We are delighted to welcome His Honour John Mitchell who will be talking about life in a Tudor Inn of Court entitled ‘Students and Swinge Bucklers’.By the reign of Elizabeth, the City of London had grown to be ‘a large excellent and mighty city of business’, a city not just of merchants but also adventurers like Walter Raleigh and playwrights and poets such as Shakespeare and John Donne. And in the centre of it all were the four Inns of Court, the homes not only of lawyers but also law students, joking, arguing and watching everything that was happening.

John Mitchell studied History and Law at Peterhouse College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar and practised until 1999 and then sat as a judge in County Courts and the Family Court for eighteen years before retiring as a circuit judge in 2017. He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple, its Reader Elect for 2021 and the Chair of its Historical Society.  For the last seven years he has been researching the history of the Charterhouse’s dissolution, trying to separate history from hagiography.

Next week, 8th June, Martin Weale will talk about ‘The Economic Effects of the Covid-19 Epidemic’.

Martin Weale graduated in Economics from Cambridge in 1977. After working for two years as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow at the National Statistics Office in Malawi he returned to Cambridge to take up a research post and subsequently a Fellowship at Clare College and University Lectureship. In 1995 he became Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a post he held until he joined the Monetary Policy Committee in 2010.
His research has focused on applied economics, with a particular interest in economic statistics. He is currently working on a democratic measure of economic growth, which takes account of income distribution and overall income growth.

A reminder – as always, our Monday Talks are for members of our U3A and we would ask you not to share this link with non-members. We have paid for an extended licence to take into account the possibility of a large “attendance” but even so, there is a limit to the number of participants.  If too many people attempt to sign in, some of you may be told that the site is full.

Morning coffee on Zoom

Coffee mornings on Zoom are proving what we already know, namely that people like to talk.  Our members are enjoying this new way of making contact with others and look forward to the next opportunity of letting their hair down.  A few, who were nervous of attending their first meeting, which can be likened to a blind date, now relish the chance to join their group and engage in friendly conversation.

If you would like to join this growing band, there are still places available on Wednesdays at 10.00 and Fridays at 10.30.  The Tuesday morning group has changed to become the Tuesday afternoon group, so that now we have our first Afternoon Tea session, which meets at 3.00, and that too has room for more to chat. Email Naomi on naomi_stuart@yahoo.com telling her which group you wish to join. You can belong to as many as are available, and don’t need to be restricted to only one. The maximum size of a gathering is 9, including the host.

Are there more tea drinkers amongst you?  If someone is prepared to host another afternoon group, others will want to partake.  New hosts and sessions are always welcome.  Why don’t you become a “happy talker”?

From Gilli

Her complete timetable of on-line classes is available from the Office.

See below for some new classes

Message from Gerta

For your weekly quiz, click here and for the answers, click here.

Message from Wally Howard:

Dear All,  I hope you had a good bank holiday.  I have decided to change the format of the talks and in future they will be around 30 minutes in length with two or more episodes per week. This link is for part two of the Murder in Atlanta talks https://vimeo.com/421861555 and as promised, the link to the third and concluding part, The Case of Leo Frank, is https://vimeo.com/manage/422820907/general

A new topic will follow next week.   Hope your week is going well.  Regards, Wally

From Amalia

I will be joining the Zoom community by repeating my “Quantum Theory for the Terrified” starting on 2nd June at 11.00 and continuing each Tuesday, so if you missed it or if you want to participate again, please join me.  Everyone welcome – no previous scentific know-how is needed or indeed advisable. More details in are in Gilli’s weekly timetable if you would like to overcome your terror of physics.

From Morris Peckman

Hello there,

I am interested in hosting a poetry class using Zoom. I have written to Barry about this and he has sent me the names of several people who would be interested in taking part. If Barry is well enough, it would of course be splendid if he could join in, either reading poems or suggesting themes and poets. I would be very pleased if you could insert an item in the U3A newsletter letting people know that anybody who likes poetry, whether to read it or listen to it, is very welcome to join the class on Zoom.

We enjoy your quizzes Gerta and wish you a speedy recovery.  Kind regards,  Morris Peckman

About Barry Rae

You will all be delighted to hear that Barry has been making very good progress and has been moved out of hospital into a rehabilitation centre which he says is “lovely”.  There he will continue the intensive physiotherapy he has been having and he is determined to work very hard at it so that it won’t be long before he goes home again.

From Mary Rossiter: Medicine Today catch-up”

I am planning to run a parallel Medicine Today session starting next Friday 5th June at 2.00 for people who joined us a bit later on Wednesday afternoons or who wanted to come but were busy at that time.  I would do the two introductory talks, then most of the earlier ones in the series, depending on what people wanted – would you be interested?

Message from Elaine Allouf

The world around us has changed and social distancing and covering our faces could be the new norm.  This brings additional challenges for someone living with hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus.  If you meet someone living with hearing loss, ask them how best you can communicate with them. You can also use these tips:

  • Face the person you’re talking to and speak clearly – avoid shouting, speaking too fast or slowly.
  • If you’re in a noisy place, move to a quieter area if possible.
  • Write things down – use pen on paper, text on device screens, or whiteboards.
  • Use simple gestures such as pointing or waving to get someone’s attention.
  • If they ask you to, speak to a relative or friend.

For more help and advice, do contact  ‘Action on Hearing Loss

From  Pieta Ruck Keene

Hi all, here is the handout and recording of this week’s class. Zoom has got super efficient all of a sudden – hooray!

View the Recording

Best wishes, Pieta

Summer Programme

This term was due to finish on 16 July but fear not.  We have a Summer Programme all lined up for you.  If we are still in lockdown, we won’t be able to hold it in Room 2.21 as we usually did, but failing that, it will be available on Zoom – details will follow later.

Members without computers

We are aware that those who do not possess computers are missing out on all this technology, so you may remember that we started a “buddy” scheme early on in the lockdown to make contact with those members by telephone. We sincerely hope that we have connected with every member of our family but if you are aware of anyone who has not been contacted, please do let us know.

Next Year’s Handbook and Membership

Some of you are asking about when will we be back at Belsize Park and the honest answer is that we just don’t know.   All we can do is plan to be be back as soon as it is permitted, to carry on and even expand our on line activities and continue to support you in whatever way we can.  We are happy to receive suggestions from you as to how else we can be of service.

Usually, at this time of the year, envelopes containing the handbook for next year and forms for re-registering your membership would be dropping through your letterbox.  The current situation has made this impossible but you will be pleased to hear that Amalia has been working on the 2020-2021 handbook while we have been in lockdown and it is ready to go into operation as soon as we can get back to “normality”.  In the meantime, to whet your appetite, we will be attaching a copy of the handbook to next week’s update, together with a copy of the provisional timetable and you are all appointed as proofreaders!  (There is plenty of room for error, as I’m sure you realise).

The lockdown has had a bit of a silver lining – we have had time to rethink many of our procedures and in the next few weeks our U3A will have a new and more user-friendly website.  Marie-Ange King has worked hard with an outside consultant to design it and Herbie Goldberg has been involved on the technical side.  When the website is launched it will allow the majority of our members both to renew their membership and to pay on line.  New members will be able to join in a similar way.  If at any time changes have to be made to the handbook and the timetable, these will be shown on the website immediately, so that it is always up to date.

Whether we are in the Town Hall or are waiting for our return to it, the rent for our premises has to be paid.   We would appreciate, therefore, if you followed your own standard practice, which for most of you is to renew your membership at the earliest opportunity.

To make you smile – or possibly grimace?