U3A in London Update – 21 February 2022

This information was published on: February 21, 2022
Please note: This Update may not be sent out to members in the usual way.

Monday Morning Talks

We look forward to hearing from Joan Michelson, a poet and senior lecturer in English, about the man described as the foremost living Korean poet, Ko Un.

From Amalia

There will be an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee at 17.30 on Monday, 21 February to elect a Chairman after Naomi’s resignation. You may attend as an observer if you wish.

From Anthony

The Cafeteria  We intend to hold an open meeting on Zoom which every member is urged to attend on Thursday 24th February at 5.30 pm

The purpose of the meeting is to clarify and explain the decisions taken by the majority of the Executive Committee in relation to the Cafeteria.

From Naomi

Deciding when to make changes is often soul searching.  When I retired from a wonderfully happy career it took many weeks before I concluded that it was the right time for me to move on.  That led me to U3A where I have spent the first 14 years of my retirement in such an unexpectedly happy and fulfilling way.

I’ve now reached another milestone in my life, where after months of self-examination, I’ve realised that it is time to make necessary changes.  It is hard to let go but now is the right time to do so.

U3A has filled my life and given me the opportunity to set new goals and challenges.  For me, my greatest tangible achievement was to lead the negotiations for a new lease back in 2017-18.  We gained a new 20-year lease, which came into effect in 2020, thereby securing U3A’s home until 2040.

Just as important, probably more so, are those wonderful intangibles that come with being associated with this inspiring organisation.  My philosophy has always been to give of my best, and by doing so I wanted U3A to shine even brighter.  I’ve had many talented people around me to help make our U3A feel as warm and welcoming as possible.  To me, and so many others, it has become a second home and we are an extended family.

The pandemic caused so many problems, but we found ways to overcome most of them and were able to offer a lifeline in such a traumatic period for all of us.  Sadly, we lost some members, yet we became even closer and more determined to look positively to the future.

It is the leadership in that future I’m passing on to others.  It is the right time for a fresh start.  U3A was flourishing when I joined, it has continued to do so under my leadership, and I expect it to do so without me.  Please help it to do so.

I would like to thank those of you who already have sent me such kind and generous letters of support.  I intend to answer them all. 

Best wishes, Naomi

From Hazelanne Lewis (our Company Secretary)

Our AGM will be held on 4 April 2022. One of the duties of the AGM is to elect an Executive Committee. Members of the committee do more that attend meetings. They take on roles to facilitate the smooth running of U3A in London. If you would like to stand for election to the committee

The completed, signed nomination form needs to be received in the office no later than 12 noon on 3 March 2022.

Zooming In

You can, if you wish, “Zoom in” to a coordinator giving a Zoom class from home on your smartphone, iPad or laptop wherever you are, However, if you want to join in from a screen in one of our rooms in the Town Hall this can easily be set up.  It’s not difficult – you only need to switch on, click on the Zoom icon and know the meeting ID and the passcode which you can find in the full Timetable. All we need is a “Zoom Buddy” in each class to set it up.

Zooming Out

(enabling in-person classes in the Town Hall to be available to Zoom viewers at home}. So far, rooms 1.33 and 2.21 are set up to enable this. Managing it does need some training.

From Wally Howard

This week’s programme is a tribute to one of the greatest living actors: Meryl Streep. 

Monday 21st February’s film is Kramer vs Kramer which swept the Oscars following its release in 1979, winning best picture and prizes for both Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as well as several awards. It is the story of a failing marriage, the ensuing divorce together with its aftermath.  As in many such scenarios, there is a child caught in the middle but as Roger Ebert said in his review  at the time of the film’s release “this isn’t a movie about the plight of the kid but about the plight of the parents”.  “It begins with a marriage filled with lots of unhappiness, ego and selfishness, and ends with two single people who have both learned important things about the way they want to behave”. 

Wednesday 23rd February’s film, Silkwood is based on the life of Karen Silkwood, a young laboratory worker and union activist who in 1974 died in an automobile crash that some believe may have been murder. Writing in The New York Times in 1983, Vincent Canby said of this film  “Mike Nichols has directed a precisely visualized, highly emotional melodrama that’s going to raise a lot of hackles”.  It offers “another stunning performance by Meryl Streep. Her portrait of the initially self-assured and free-living, then radicalised and, finally, terrified Karen Silkwood is unlike anything she has done to date, except in it intelligence.  It’s a brassy, profane, gum-chewing tour de force, as funny as it is moving”.  I think you will all agree that Meryl Street continues to provide stunning performances. 

Our final film next week on Thursday 24th February is A Cry in the Dark is based on the dingo baby case in which Meryl Streep portrays Lindy Chamberlain, the Australian mother accused of murdering her baby on a camping tripRoger Ebert described Meryl Streep’s performance as being “risky and masterful”.  Why not come and judge for yourselves!   

I hope that you will join me in Room 1.22 at 2.00pm next week to see some or all of these films.

Common Room Rota

Please let Amalia know if you are willing to be on a rota to look after the Common Room and tell me which day would suit you. The room should be left clean and tidy at the end of each day and restocked if necessary.

From David Castle

Covid has killed our Chess Club – which was doing well.  I started it again in January with only 3 attendees – so stopped.  We are now attempting to re-start.  If successful we will meet weekly. If not – possibly fortnightly.  So…the Chess Club is re-starting on Friday 25th February.

We start again at 10-30am in Room 1.33.  Chess is good for helping concentration and memory and we play Chess in a friendly, supportive atmosphere.

There is plenty of space, as you can see!
Players of all abilities are very welcome. 

From Michael Baum

Dear Amalia,

I informed my group last week that the lecture was my last. I’ve enjoyed teaching undergrads, postgrads and U3A for over 50 years.  It’s been a real pleasure working with you and I remain in awe of your ability to keep going! 

With great respect and affection, Mike

From Michael Goodman

I shall be away in France from 9 February until 6 March. Therefore there will be no Cercle Français on Tuesdays at 11.40 during that time (i.e. on 15 and 22 February and 1 March).  I have let my regulars know.

From Amrita Narain

I am now on holiday for four weeks.  Cook Indiahh will be resuming next term.

From Pauline Malpas

The coffee chat group has agreed to meet on Tuesdays at 4:30pm alternate weeks commencing 15th February and Fridays at 3:30pm alternate weeks commencing 25th February. 

From Susan Cohen

I’m giving a Zoom talk  for the national U3A on 8 March for International Women’s Day and would be grateful if this information could be circulated to our members  – booking is through Eventbrite. The subject is, ‘Eleanor Rathbone 1872-1946: The woman behind the portrait’.

From Stanley Volk

Please note we are back live in room 22.1 on Wednesdays 3.10pm. Warm welcome for all. Come and join the fun! Stanley

From London Region of U3As

This is a request from UCL’s Dept of Speech, Hearing & Phonetic Sciences. 
They would like to know how well commercial hearing aids perform in situations that you may often experience. Many hard-of-hearing people complain about their hearing aids in noisy or reverberant places, for example in a restaurant, a car or kitchen. However, manufacturers rarely try out their products in such daily environments, typically using artificial sounds in laboratory settings. Hence, it is difficult to know which hearing aid works best in different real life situation
All the details are in this information sheet, so if you would like to be involved, contact Dr.Gaston Hilkhuysen (you will find his email and phone number in the link). The initial part of this project can be carried out from home, using equipment supplied by the university.

To make you smile, maybe!

From an old Update – worth repeating!

  1. The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.  He acquired his size from too much pi.
  2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
  4. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  5. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  6. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  7. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hall. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
  8. A backward poet writes inverse.
  9. If you jumped off a bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.
  10. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’   


Best Wishes from the Team