U3A in London Update – 7 February 2022

This information was published on: February 07, 2022

From Gilli

Monday Morning Talks:

Last week at the critical moment our speaker Mickey Yudkin lost her internet connection. Fortunately, the day was saved by the indomitable (sic) Amalia who gave an impromptu talk on chemistry. Please email me if you would like a copy of the recording.

At 10.30 on this coming Monday, Neil Titley gives readings from his successful solo show as Oscar Wilde in ‘‘Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes’. He will talk about the man himself and additionally about his own books and writings

Programme change for February

On 28 of February Pippa Pawlik will replace Steve Richards.  She will introduce us to Musique Cordiale – a music festival in Provence.

Both Mickey Yudkin and Steve Richards have been rescheduled to the summer term of Monday talks.

Are You confused?

We’ll try to help by clarifying things :

There are three timetables at present.  The full timetable shows all the classes that are currently running – some are in the Town Hall and some are on Zoom. (It may be necessary to ask the coordinator for the Zoom link for some classes).

These items can all be found on our website www.u3alondon.org.uk

From Naomi

Last Monday there was a good feeling in the Town Hall when members rushed in eagerly to attend classes once again in person. And during the week members have shown their enthusiasm at being back, warmly greeting each other. We all hope that we never again have to close for coronavirus or any other misfortune.

Our new Common Room was put together fantastically quickly by Joanna, Amalia, Diana King and Sue Kwok.  Members have easily found their way to it and are settling in.  It is in its embryonic form and suggestions are welcomed on how to develop it to make it more comfortable and user friendly.

I was asked several times where the honesty box was.  The answer is nowhere.  All the beverages and biscuits are paid for out of our funds to which every member contributes (or provided by Joanna).  Therefore, there is no charge to those who choose to use what is provided.  All we ask is that you tidy up and throw away any rubbish before you leave.

I look forward to seeing even more of you in the Town Hall.
Best wishes, Naomi

The Cafeteria

We were so sad to find when we arrived back last Monday that the Atrium Café was closed.  We know how much we will miss it. 

We have been told that another caterer may be providing food from this Monday.  WacArts will be responsible if there are any problems.

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 you need to be nominated by someone. You cannot nominate yourself. The Nomination Form needs to be signed by both the proposer and you in accepting the nomination. 

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

Last Week’s Hiccups

Our first week back resulted in a few errors that we have corrected.  Please let us know if you find any others.

Arabic: Post Beginners on Tuesday at 11.40 in Room 1.26 was missing from the Town Hall timetable and has now been included.

Tai Chi on Thursday in Room 2.21.  The original version of the full timetable showed the class as starting at 11.40.  It should have been 12.50. This has now been corrected.

There is some good news.  Jennifer Mills was able to present her Art Appréciation B class (Tuesday at 11.40) by Zoom with no problems and she will be delighted to see you back this coming week.

From Wally Howard

After this term’s false start, I hope that we are now back on track!

Monday 7th February’s film is Sound of Metal, a 2019 film directed and co-written by Darius Marder, which has its roots in an unfinished project by Derek Cianfrance.  The bones of the abandoned project were taken up by Marder, whose grandmother was deaf and he co-wrote the Sound of Metal script with his musician brother Abraham.  Sound of Metal received a five star rating from Mark Kermode in his 2021 review and he also named it as one of his films of the week.  In his review he says that “Riz Ahmed  excels as a drummer facing deafness and that he gives a career-best performance in an astonishing drama that’s rooted in reality and fully captioned for all”.  Kermode goes on to say, “with astonishing verisimilitude, Marder, conjures a world in which every detail rings true.  From the wall-of-noise ambience of Ruben’s [Riz Ahmed] rock performances (shot live in front of real crowds) to heated group debates conducted in American sign language (ASL), Sound of Metal finds universal appeal in the specifics of detail, rooted in Ahmed’s thrillingly committed performance.  “The deaf community taught me what it means to listen,” Ahmed has said, describing the physicality of signing – of using the whole body as an expressive tool. There’s something sublime about watching a performer of Ahmed’s calibre step up to the next level, as if his craft has been amplified by learning this new language.” 

Wednesday 9th February’s film The New Land picks up where its predecessor The Emigrants ended. “If The Emigrants was about characters fulfilling their dreams of leaving their old lives behind for something potentially better, The New Land is about their slow, sometimes rocky metamorphosis into Americans.” (James Kendrick).  Lawrence Van Gelder in his New York Times review says “what Jan Troell has achieved seems no less than a masterly exercise in film-making, a rare union of carefully nuanced performances … and a long but selective narrative as alert to the sins that taint national history as it is sensitive to the small dramas that ultimately seal the course and qualities of lives….although for anyone who has seen The Emigrants, this film will be enhanced by a pleasure akin to a reunion with old friends, The New Land is complete in itself.  And it is a lovely and moving film”

Thursday 10th February’s film The Dybbuk 1937, is a Yiddish film classic based on the celebrated play of the same name by S. Ansky, written during the turbulent years of 1912-1917. The idea for the play came to Ansky as he led a Jewish folklore expedition through small towns of Eastern Europe, which was cut short by the outbreak of World War I. (NCJF).  NCJF said of this film: “In this mystical tale of star crossed lovers and supernatural possession, two friends tempt fate by betrothing their unborn children.  Boundaries separating the natural from the supernatural dissolve as ill-fated pledges, unfulfilled passions and untimely deaths ensnare two families in a tragic labyrinth of spiritual possession.  The film’s exquisite musical and dance interludes evoke the cultural richness of both shtetl communities and Polish Jewry on the eve of World War II”.  Kenneth Turan (LA Times and National Public Radio film critic said of this film “The Dybbuk is haunting and atmospheric, a chilling supernatural romance that functions as a privileged glimpse into the past, to a time when rabbis regularly performed prodigious miracles, when spirits of the dead wandered the Earth, and when tampering with the supernatural inevitably led to the most dire results.” 

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

Regards,  Wally

From Amalia

The Common Room in 1.29 is growing in popularity.  You may bring your own food, make your own hot drinks and enjoy a chat with friends.  You may also help yourselves to biscuits and drinks from Joanna’s cool cabinet which she has donated.

Remember, this is your Common Room.  It is up to you to keep it tidy and to clear up after yourselves.  We have provided rubbish bags and a bowl for left-over liquids. 

A Rota?

We are delighted to say that a few members have volunteered to make sure the common room is tidy at the end of each day and to keep it stocked.  Would any other members like to join them to create a rota?

Please let me know and tell me which day would suit you.

Some members are donating games such as Scrabble.  Any other suggestions, offers of help etc. are very welcome indeed.

Progress with Hybrid classes

Zooming In; This means that a coordinator Zooming from home can be joined by members in a designated room in the Town Hall.  Herbie successfully enabled Christopher Dean’s Tuesday class to be joined by members in Roo00m 1.33.  He hopes to make it available in Room 2.21 on this Tuesday, 8 February

Zooming Out:  This means enabling in-person classes in the Town Hall to be available by Zoom viewers at home. One or two classes were already using their own systems and Herbie helped Stephen McGhee to conduct his Wednesday music session last week from Room 1.33 (as well as successfully managing his own sessions).

He also helped Mary Rossiter with her presentation last Thursday and – fingers crossed – all should be well this Thursday.  Amalia also hopes she will able to Zoom out from Room 1.33 on Tuesday.  

More soon!

Calling iPad Users

Would any iPad owners feel like getting together to form a mutual help group? The Thursday afternoon class run by John O’Sullivan has been full for some time and has a long waiting list.

I’m not asking for another coordinator to start a new class, although that would be ideal. However, some of you may be happy to share a few tips that you have worked out for yourselves.

Let Amalia know if you are interested and she will find a slot for such a group.

From Geoffrey Stuart

As current members of the Photography class are aware, the session on 8 February will be the very last zoom meeting. The next meeting on 15 February will be outside and devoted to taking photographs.  On 22 February and fortnightly thereafter, we will be meeting in Room 2.26 to show those photos taken the week before.

From Stephen Barry

London Miscellany
On Thursday 10 February at 11.40 the class will be in Room 1.33 and the subject will be “A Tale of Two Chinatowns”.

From Stanley Volk

Please note we are back live in room 2.21 on Wednesdays at 15.10 with Singing for Pleasure.  A warm welcome for all!

Come and join the fun.

To make you smile, maybe!

DULUX introduce a new colour called ‘Sue Gray’ that covers up everything.


According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.  

Female reindeer retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl. We should have known…..ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all  around the world in one night and not get lost.


Best Wishes from the Team