U3A in London Update – 25 October 2021

This information was published on: October 25, 2021

Monday Morning Talk and the Full Timetable

The list of Monday morning talks can be seen on our website. At present, they are taking place with the speaker at home on Zoom. Members can tune in from their own homes as they have been doing for the last 18 months or come to Room 2.21 to participate in our video conferencing facilities. If this room should become full it will be possible to use Rooms 1.29 and 1.22. (N.B. A few Zoom classes can be accessed by members in the Town Hall in the same way, where indicated in the timetable).

From Naomi

It is so heartwarming to see our members returning to Belsize Park and we are also delighted to welcome an influx of new members.  However, there are many familiar faces missing in our classrooms and in the Atrium Café.  Those who have not returned seem to fall into three categories: those who are physically unable to travel – Zoom is the answer for most of them.  Others still think the risk of travelling and being with others is too high to come back.  Again, Zoom is the answer for most of those, at least for the time being. 

However, there is a third group: members who have got used to being at home and for whom it is an effort to go out.  Risk plays some part in this, but many of us recognise this syndrome – the effort to dress presentably, think about your appearance, allow time for travel, worry about the weather and preparing something to eat.

Does it matter to our U3A that some fall into this category?  Yes it does, particularly to the coordinators who do make the effort to come in and some of them are feeling frustrated.  Classes for which Zoom is not appropriate such as Mah-jong, may even disappear because they are not being supported.

The cafeteria has also felt the pinch, although things have improved since we restarted. Jo and her staff are appreciated by so many for the quality of her food and her reasonable prices – yet at the beginning she sometimes threw food away.  She has also decided to close at 3.00 p.m. because there are not enough customers to enjoy her cakes and a cup of tea and she can’t afford to employ staff when she can’t cover the cost. 

I don’t want to paint a picture of doom and gloom.  We are surviving and, in some areas, thriving – but it would be so much better if more members came into the Town Hall.  Those that already do so know that their physical and mental well-being has benefitted by resuming a more normal way of life. I believe that those of you who make the effort will be so glad you did – like almost everything in life, taking that first step is the key to success.  Please take that step this week.

Best wishes, Naomi

From Amalia

The short summary timetable shows the classes which are taking place in the Town Hall.  There is also a checklist of the Zoom classes.  You can pick up copies in the Office and they are on the website.

The newest version of the Handbook incorporates the latest changes.

  1. A new Exercise class. David Glassman is offering a new class, Alexander Technique, on Friday at 10.30 in Room 2.21, starting on 29 October (see below).
  2. Greek: Modern Conversation on Wednesday at 12.50 is still only on Zoom while Rita Wolfisz is away. She returns to Room 1.28 in the Town Hall on 3 November.
  3. Natural History: from Aristotle to Attenborough. Robin Weiss is moving his talks from the Summer term to this term.  They will be at 11.40 on Tuesdays starting on 2 November.  The talks are available on Zoom and from Room 2.21 if you are in the Town Hall.
  4. Social Anthropology Caroline White’s class is temporarily suspended from Tuesday 2 November until 11 January.
  5. Cercle Français has moved from 10.30 in Room 1.33 to 11.40 in Room 1.30. Still on Tuesdays with Michael Goodman.
  6. Presenting Poetry.  This Zoom class on Tuesdays has moved from 14.00 to 15.00.

Ruth Scott

I am sad to let you know that Ruth has died.  Most of you will remember that she and her husband Derek together organised the Monday Talks and the Easter Conference for many years and were devoted to our U3A.  When Derek died, we could not imagine how we would manage without him – but then a miracle happened and Gilli stepped in to take over.  Miracles do happen at our U3A!

From Wally Howard

Next week I will be showing three films:
Monday, 25th October at 2.00pm. Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Wednesday, 27th October at 2.00pm.  Nomadland 
Thursday 28th October at 2.00pm.  Bright Star

All films will be shown in Room 1.22 and I look forward to seeing you there.  In the meantime, have a great weekend.

From David Glassman

A new class, Alexander Technique, starts on Friday at 10.30 in Room 2.21 on 29 October.  David says, “The Alexander Technique is a gentle, progressive way of linking the mind and body to improve co-ordination and ease of movement in everyday activities. For over 100 years, musicians, actors, sportsmen and others have benefitted from the technique – including George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, John Cleese and many others.  We will cover the history, theory and practice of the technique; this course will explain and demonstrate how it can improve physical and mental health. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing.”

David would love to demonstrate the Alexander technique using an actual skeleton.  I said to him, “You never know, one of our members may have an odd skeleton or two at home that they aren’t using at the moment.”  Any retired doctors who can help?

From Muriel Hirsch (encore!)

Un immense merci à Bruno, Gillian et Soraya qui se sont investi(e)s dans ce Premier Petit Point de Culture Partagé et grâce à qui vous allez découvrir deux nouvelles recettes et une œuvre musicale qui risque de vous étonner, alors encore merci à lui et à elles de nous offrir ce petit cadeau. Cette fois-ci, promis vous pourrez le lire.

Ne soyez pas timide, venez nous rejoindre, cela vous donnera l’occasion de pratiquer votre expression orale et écrite en français et d’apporter un peu de bonheur (je l’espère) à d’autres. 

Ideas for possible new German classes

We have only one German class and it is popular but overcrowded. Also, the ability of the members is so varied that it can present a problem for James, the coordinator.  He would be happy if someone would be willing to start a class for beginners (and there are probably enough members who would enjoy an advanced class too).

Any volunteers?  The office would be willing to pay for a suitable textbook.

From Steve: Masterpieced from his Wednesday Art class

From Tina, Ann and Meiling

From Shirley Lake

OOPS! Our esteemed Editor has muddied the water. It is only STAMPS that I collect. FRANKED or UNFRANKED.  You know: those small, coloured pieces of paper you stick on your envelope or parcel to authenticate Postage Paid.  (Mea Culpa, Amalia 😢)

Any age or nationality is useful, the surrounding perforations should be undamaged and protected by a border of at least 1cm. If in doubt, leave them for me to deal with.    

Another big “Thank You” to all those members who have already contributed some valuable material this term. The money goes to help an Orphanage and Educational  projects in ETHIOPIA, where a little goes a long way.

Shirley Lake – the real “me”.

To make you smile


From Maurice Silverman

An elderly couple was sitting together, watching a rather risqué Saturday night TV programme.  During one of the commercial breaks, the husband asked his wife, “Whatever happened to our sexual relations?”
After a thoughtful silence, the wife, during the next commercial break, replied, “You know, I don’t really know.  I don’t even think we got a Christmas card from them last year.


Best Wishes from the Team