U3A in London Update – 11 May 2020

This information was published on: May 11, 2020

We have spoken to many of you during this strange period of isolation and have discovered how resilient you are and that you are coping amazingly well under difficult circumstances.  Sadly, we’ve also learnt about how ill-health, not coronavirus but the more usual but nevertheless serious range of ailments, has befallen some of you.  Also, how valiantly you’ve been dealing with these illnesses without the loving support of family and friends.  At U3A we are all your friends and wish you speedy recoveries.  If you want or need our help, even if it’s only to act as a safety valve when you want to let off steam, please contact us and we’ll do our best to be there for you.

We’re sure that many of you, as we did, watched the poignant television programmes commemorating VE day last Friday.  Quite a few of us are old enough to remember it really well and the programmes brought back so many memories!

Coffee mornings

There are two more coffee mornings on Zoom for you to join.  Next Friday 15 May, our first gathering will take place and now we can offer you two more opportunities to chat and widen your circle of friends.  These will be on Wednesdays at 10.00 and Thursdays at 11.00, starting on 20 and 21 May respectively.

If you would like to chat with others, please let Naomi know.  Also tell her whether you want to join the Wednesday or Thursday session.  She will pass on your email address to the host, who will then provide you with the link.  Let’s have more “Happy Talk”.

On another subject, many of you have been clearing up and have lots of books surplus to your requirements.  Langdon Community, which will usually collect the books, is closed because of coronavirus but we’ll send you details when they re-open.

From Marjorie Power

Thank you for your call and telling me that the “Coffee mornings” will be starting this week on Friday, May 15. I think this is an excellent idea and look forward to them and to getting to know my host and the other participants

From Gilli:  Monday Morning Talks for this term are starting again!

The programme will start on May 18.  CLICK on this LINK at 10.25 each Monday to come to the lecture of your choice.

To tempt you, the full list is given below.

MAY 18 ‘How does the Parole Board do its work?’  Caroline Corby is the Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales and will discuss the difficult job of deciding when prisoners are ready for release

MAY 25 Bank Holiday

JUNE 1: Life in a Tudor Inn of Court: 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

JUNE 8: Economic Effects of COVID-19 Epidemic Martin Weale discusses the economic impact of the epidemic. He explores the responses by the Government and the Bank of England and reviews some of the possible longer-term effects of the crisis.

JUNE 15: Catalan Separatism The Catalan independence movement has been one of many serious disturbances to the EU in the past decade, along with the financial crisis and Brexit. In this talk, Michael Schraer traces the troubled history of relations between Catalonia and Castilian-dominated Spain, the fragility of the post-Franco political settlement and where the continuing stand-off might lead.

JUNE 22: Salvage and Towage on the Thames Captain Brian Biggs tells of his experience from Boy to Captain on Tugboats on the River Thames and at Sea. To explain the changes of London’s Great River.from 1953 to present day

JUNE 29: Vasily Grossman Vasily Grossman, is widely regarded as one of the major Russian writers. David Farbey traces his life from popular war reporter to marginalised figure. Grossman ended the war as something of a celebrity. But the post war period saw a collapse in his fortunes. His later writing was regarded as hostile to Soviet orthodoxy and he died in his mid-sixties with his work suppressed and banned from publication.

JULY 6: Evil Wind to Modern Chi Find out how the world’s oldest system of medicine progressed with the rise and fall of various Chinese dynasties. Tess Lugos discusses its continued development today, as practitioners around the world adapt this ancient medicine to modern ailments.

JULY 13: Living to 100. Who and what?  What is it like to live for a century and which of us will survive to find out? John Withington discusses why there are 90 times as many centenarians as there were 100 years ago. Why women outnumber men by about 5 to 1.  What determines who will make it to 100 and who will fall by the wayside.            And can we go on expanding human lifespan or have we reached our limit?

Also from Gilli – Her weekly timetable of her on-line classes

Message from Gerta

It’s back to general knowledge this week. Herewith quiz 6 – click here   I do wonder how many members actually “have a go”?   Hypothetical question!   Anyway I’ll carry on for the time being. And here are the answers – don’t cheat!

Message from Wally Howard

This week’s link to my “Miscarriages of Justice” talks is https://vimeo.com/415876435

Also, as it may be a little while until we meet again in Room 1.22, I have made a short video with some film recommendations which I wanted to share with you.  I hope you will enjoy them.  https://vimeo.com/415093904

Best wishes, Wally

News of Barry Rae

You will be sad to hear that Barry has had a stroke and is in hospital.  He is recovering slowly but will not be able to go home just yet. He sends his love to us all and says he is determined to come back to U3A as soon as life returns to normal.

From Nicole McBride

(a student of the Collage class led online by Maxine Jason).

Dear Amalia,
Maxine suggested that I ask you whether you might be interested in this item for the U3A bulletin. This collage is called “Re-stitching our Lives” and is made of photos, magazine pages, tracing paper and fabric, patterns and instructions used in making masks for a medical centre.
A good way to re-impose sanity on life during lockdown!

From Ursula Clements

Dear Naomi, I do hope that you and yours are well and coping with self-isolation. I can say the same about my family and myself. Somehow time seems to fly and so far I am not bored.  I miss seeing my family though. Let’s see what Sunday brings.

I am actually writing about Friday’s “coffee mornings” -I would like to join this coming Friday. I also thought you might like to know that when going on my ‘once daily allowed exercise’, I passed the Town Hall yesterday, and saw that the main doors were wide open and three people were sitting on the steps.  Being interested (you may call it nosy) I asked what was on and was told that they were making scrub gowns for the NHS. This is very commendable and I wished them well, saying that I was quite sure that they would be much better than the ones received from Turkey, which had just been in the news that morning. I was very tempted to join them in their efforts but resisted due to my self-isolation.

Best wishes, stay safe,  Ursula

From Shafeeq

The links of Zoom Classes to date are:
5- Solar City, https://youtu.be/LDx4GMKrA24
4- SpaceX https://youtu.be/NKXzsehgcHw
3- Tesla  https://youtu.be/baeMdm4T16s
2- Starlink  https://youtu.be/uCv5aTxxi7w
1- General Overview https://youtu.be/t-lKDgHVecw

From Eric Mentzer

Subject: IOGP Safety Alert #314.  Alcohol-based hand sanitiser warning:

This report concerns someone who used alcohol-based hand gel sanitiser, according to the current recommendations for COVID-19 personal hygiene requirements.  Before the liquid sanitiser had fully dried, the individual touched a metal surface where a build-up of static created a spark and the sanitiser ignited.  The person managed to extinguish the flames but was left with severe burns.

Hand sanitiser gels contain concentrations of alcohol. Once the hand sanitiser is applied, individuals must make sure the gel has suitable time to evaporate/dry and avoid touching metal or going near a naked flame. If you are unsure about using the alcohol-based sanitisers, remember washing hands with hot soapy water has the same effect as the hand gel.

From Vivien Raisman

Dear Amalia, Thank you for the newsletters which are great. I want to warn members about TV Licence renewal scams.  I received some insisting that I pay.  Knowing that it should be paid for by the BBC till August 1, I sent it to Which and they pointed it came from a Hotmail address, actually mine.  I have since received several demands and the last one was a refund offer. 

From Christine Bye

1945 was, as we know, the end of WW2.   As I will be 75 on 1st September, I thought it would be good to have a recording of Vera Lynn “We’ll Meet Again” at our celebratory party, I imagine there might be quite a few members born that year. In those days the classes were so large at primary school (50 or more) that we shared a desk, this was good fun and the majority of us knew our times tables by the age of 7.  1945 was a very special year in our history.

Thank you for Gerta’s quizzes, particular the Underground one which has kept me thinking as I am away from my usual maps, staying with my daughter in Monmouth since returning from Malta in March.

I also have a memory of VE day but I was only 5 at the time.  I climbed into bed with Mam (Yorkshire) and she sang “We’ve won the war, we’ve won the war”.  I can still hear her now. I have worked and studied with people who worked at Bletchley as some members have.

All the best to everyone, Vivien.

From Stephen Barry

Life has got into something of a regular routine now we are in the ‘new normal’. Up around 8.00 am, a leisurely breakfast, answering and sending emails to family, friends or members of U3A’s Wednesday morning Politics & Current Affairs group. Then it’s off for my daily walk, usually to Hampstead Heath and back.

After lunch, it’s time to work on the series of London history talks I plan to give at U3A starting in January. I am a volunteer at the London Transport Museum and we have also set up Zoom meetings: it’s a great resource. I have prepared a talk on the history of Leytonstone, which turned out to be more interesting than I first thought.

Evenings are spent reading the paper, doing the crossword and often staying up late watching marvelous old British films from the 1940s and 50s available on Freeview.

I miss coming to classes and seeing all the friends I have made over the years – not forgetting Joanna’s cakes!   Let’s hope it’s not too long until we can return to Belsize Park, and many thanks to all those whose marvelous efforts are keeping the U3A community together during these strange times.

Stay safe.  Stephen Barry

These will make you smile:

Trying to re- set your password??

WINDOWS: Please enter your new password.
USER: cabbage
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.
USER: boiled cabbage
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character
USER: 1 boiled cabbage
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.
USER: 50bloodyboiledcabbages
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.
USER: 50BLOODYboiledcabbages
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.
USER: 50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourbumIfYouDon’tGiveMeAccessNow!
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.
USER: ReallyPissedOff50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourbumIfYouDontGiveMeAccessNow
WINDOWS: Sorry, that password is already in use!

From Ken Baldry

Sad endings

It is with great sadness that I have to mention the loss of a few local businesses as a result of COVID-19. A local bra manufacturer has gone bust, a submarine company has gone under, a manufacturer of food blenders has gone into liquidation, a dog kennel has had to call in the retrievers and a company supplying paper for origami enthusiasts has folded.

Interflora is pruning its business and Dynorod has gone down the drain.  The saddest one though is the ice cream company van man found dead covered in nuts and raspberry sauce.  He couldn’t take it anymore and topped himself.

A Message from the Queen

a selection from FAKE NEWS.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.   “We hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, and Utah, which she does not fancy). Our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed”.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter ‘U’ will be re-instated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up ‘vocabulary’). The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of ‘-ize.’

2.  You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.  Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler, although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

3.  All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

……..And so on!  There’s lots more in the original!