U3A in London Update – 23 November 2020

This information was published on: November 23, 2020

The Monday Morning Talks

This week, Glynn Christian tells us about his great (4 times) grandfather’s life and part in the famous 1789 Mutiny aboard Bounty. Glynn has written the only biography of Fletcher Christian and he also wrote a novel about his Tahitian consort ‘Mrs Christian Bounty Mutineer’ telling of the bloodshed of Pitcairn’s revolutionary women – the first in the world with the vote in 1838.

Next week, Chris Goodall discusses a zero carbon future. Chris, businessman and author, specialises in the energy transition. His new book ‘What we need to do now’ offers an outline plan for the UK to get to net zero. 

There are two further talks before the end of term;
December 7: Bernard Lockett ‘The Heritage of Gilbert and Sullivan’
December 14: Stephen Horne ‘Christmas – You now have 7 Options…’

More Lectures from Ralph Blumenau

Many will have enjoyed Ralph Blumenau’s talk on Voltaire at the end of October – and we are delighted to announce that he has offered a second guest lecture on William Morris. This will take place on November 26 at 5.30 pm.

But that’s not all! He then takes up regular sessions on Wednesdays at 5pm – starting on
December 2 with Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill
December 9: The Amazons
December 16: Rembrandt

Then, for next term, he proposes to give a nine week course on the subject: “Look Here Upon This Picture And On This” (comparing how the same subject has been treated by different painters – a series he gave about ten years ago). More details later.

Welcome news for those with no computer iPad or Smartphone

If you know someone who is not on line, please tell them that they can listen to any of our Zoom classes on an ordinary phone. This is what they should do:
Joining a meeting by phone only
Dial the number: 0203 901 7895 (or 0203 481 5237 or 0203 481 5240 or 0131 460 1196 or 0203 051 2874).
You will be asked to enter the meeting ID – the 11 digit ID which is provided to you by the host – followed by #.
If the meeting has not already started, press # to wait.
(You can skip this next stage by pressing # again because it only applies if you have joined by computer or Smartphone – You will then be asked to enter your unique participant ID).
You will be asked to enter the meeting passcode, followed by #. This passcode is also provided by the host.
Other things participants can do:
These commands can be entered using your phone’s dial pad while in a Zoom meeting:
*6 – Toggle mute/unmute
*9 – Raise hand

A reminder from Gilli about using Zoom

  1. Coordinators: Please ensure that you close the meeting for everybody when your session is over (one of the benefits of ‘claiming host’).  If for any reason you haven’t been able to “Claim Host” (either because you’ve forgotten how or lost the password) please make sure that you stay till the last person has gone off the platform. Unfortunately, some of our members do not realise that they need to ‘leave’ the meeting and have been hanging around in limbo for hours. This potentially blocks the next class.
  2. All members: There is no need at all to join a Zoom meeting more than, say, 5 minutes before it us due to start.  Anyone who does this may unintentionally block the speaker from getting in to his/her own meeting!  And, when the session is ended, if the host hasn’t already closed the meeting, make sure you press the red “Leave” button and then the “Leave Meeting” button (see above).  By joining early or hanging around, you not only ruin access for others, but you inadvertently extend the recording time which is irritating for all.

Recordings of the Monday Morning Talks are available for a week or two afterwards.  If you would like to have the link to a recording of any outside contributor – please email the Office. Recordings of other talks may also be available. Please check with the coordinator to request a link.

From Naomi

At our Zoom committee meeting we decided that having a Christmas break of four weeks would be too long for our members to be without any U3A input to lighten their days. Therefore we decided to reduce the break to two weeks by extending the end of the Autumn term from 11 to 18 December and by beginning the following Spring term on 4 instead of 11 January.  In the intervening two weeks when our regular presentations stop, we thought we would have a “Winter Programme” similar to the one we have in the Summer of, say, a couple of presentations a day – some serious, some more light hearted.

Of course it is entirely up to coordinators to decide what they would like to do with this extra time – stick with the original dates, carry on regardless, or do something “different”.  We’ll keep you informed.

And don’t forget, the only way for you to renew your membership at present is to email the Office and ask for your pre-printed form to be emailed to you. (If you have printer problems, ask for it to be posted to you). Although it has been heartwarming that so many of our loyal members have renewed in this way, there are still quite a few that have not yet done so.  Normally, at this time of the year, we send out a reminder letter to them warning that we will assume that they no longer wish to be members of our U3A and if we do not hear to the contrary we will be removing them from the database.  Of course, as conditions this year are quite exceptional, we will delay this for as long as we possibly can.

A reminder about our Digital U3A

Please remember that our digital timetable is for our own members, so please don’t share it with friends and relations although it may be tempting to do so.

To the followers of Wally Howard

Please find below the links to Wally’s talks for next week.  As you will see, there is a new topic in the miscarriages of justice series – The Trial of John Scopes.

Watch “The trial of John Scopes Part 1” on Vimeo:

Watch “Reflections Part 14” on Vimeo:

Watch “Reflections Part 15” on Vimeo:

And… Watch this space

On 3rd December Malcolm Stern and Stanley Volk (M & S) are getting their groups together to present “U3A Zoom Theatre”. Program will include, “The Handbag” scene from The Importance of being Ernest, some of Charlie Chaplin and Joyce Grenfell’s work. Put it in your diary!

From Nat Diamond

My colleague Irene Fine suggested I contact you to say that Irene and I can offer Bridge advice to U3A members. I have arranged online supervision for advanced players, and am happy for our email addresses to be made available to anyone of any level, who is seeking consultation re bridge issues.
Looking forward to things getting back to normal and appreciate the interim provision.

From Jo Rapkin (Our Cafeteria Queen)

Dear Amalia,
I hope you are well and healthy.
I’m sorry for not writing to you sooner as promised in our previous conversation. 10 days ago I slipped and fell in the garden, badly hurting my back in the process. I can barely sit or walk at the moment, so driving and working in the kitchen is out of the question. With this in view, it is very difficult to plan anything for the future as far as organising any takeaway/delivery services, as I don’t know how long I need to recover from this.
I hope to be back at the end of November or beginning of December, however.
Having said all this, perhaps I could ask you for a little note in your next newsletter to say that anyone who would like to discuss possible pre-Christmas food or cake orders with me, I would be happy to take their calls. I will consider each order on individual basis and take into account its size (quantity) and a pickup/delivery arrangements. Do you think this could work?
In the meantime, please pass on my warmest wishes and regards to everyone at U3A; I miss them all very much and looking forward to hearing from them.
Many thanks and all the best to you and yours
Love, Joanna

To Make you smile

It has been pointed out to me that the Irish jokes in the early editions of last week’s Update were racist in nature which was certainly not intended – and I sincerely apologise. I removed them from later editions.
Here are some ageist jokes; I hope they make you smile – not squirm!

1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t bath your pet cat.
2) When your Mum is angry with your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a biscuit.
5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
8 The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandma’s lap.

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food -we need all the preservatives we can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.
4) You’re getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

Remain calm …Wash your hands! If you’re reading this the world has NOT ended….

From Ealing U3A

Ealing U3A is inviting members of London Region U3As to join with us on Zoom on Thursday, 26 November at 10.30 a.m. to listen to Olivia Marks-Woldman, OBE, talk about the work of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The Trust believes that we must continue to learn from the past in order to create a safer present and a better future. That includes keeping the truth alive and challenging the kind of racism, hatred, and intolerance that energised Nazis to commit mass murder. When racism, discrimination, hatred, and intolerance remain unchallenged, they become normalised, and can generate an environment in which genocide can take place. Olivia Marks-Woldman is the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

We believe that this is an important talk, and hope that as many of our U3A friends will be able to join us as possible. We can accommodate up to 350 London Region members.

Yours sincerely,
Sylvia Stirling, Secretary to Ealing U3A

From London Region of U3As

On Monday 7 December 2020 beginning at 11 am, via zoom, we will have the opportunity to hear Patricia Gentry speaking on: The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew Part II

In this second part on Kew Gardens you will discover more on the gardens’ treasures with a closer look at fascinating plants in the Palm House, learn a few things about roses and a cottage garden created by a queen.
Find out how Kew Gardens’ science department helped detectives resolve crime and what the differences are between rhododendrons and azaleas. Come and enjoy this second talk full of fascinating stories.

Patricia Gentry’s Profile:
She has a MA in Japanese and Japanese history and has been working as Blue Badge Guide in the UK for more than 20 years now. She is living in Kew and works as a guide and lecturer ( in 5 languages including Japanese ). She also runs a company organising educational tours to Britain. Her interests are broad and she offers a range of in depth tours on historic subjects in London and around Britain. Her personal favourite is the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and she guides there regularly.  

The Royal Botanic Gardens is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, but an internationally renowned garden which contains the largest living plant collection in the world.

You will be able to ask all your questions at the end. This virtual tour will be given via zoom with high quality photos and films and will give you lots of tips for your next real life visit to Kew Gardens.  The lecture will be approx. 50 min-1 hour + 15 min time for Questions and Answers. With thanks to Peter Lewinson of Palmers Green & Southgate U3A

Catherine Ware
on behalf of the LRU3A Executive Committee

From Vivek Nanda Communications Coordinator

Regional PR and Media Advisers – U3A England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
Do you want to help raise the profile of U3As in your part of the world, and support the national campaign to celebrate and promote awareness of the U3A movement? We are looking for volunteers with knowledge and experience of working in a PR, media or marketing capacity to join their Regional Team and be linked to the national Communications Team. Volunteers will be part of a UK wide team with other PR Advisers. The role is home based but could include travel around the region or country, as necessary. Most meetings will be conducted online but occasional team meetings in London (when permitted) will be required, but no more than twice a year. Expenses will be paid under the Expense Policy of the Trust.  U3A Radio Podcast 17 November 2020

Welcome to our latest U3A Radio Podcast for November.
This month we have interviews on creative writing, opera and much more. Click on the this YouTube link: U3A Radio