WELCOME TO THE AGE OF PRECARIOUS
As the season of cheerful love and goodwill approaches, we contemplate and consider the most appropriate Xmas presents to send.
While his impatient hovering finger is poised over his admirers’ gift of a gold-plated nuclear button, the rest of us tremble and pray that the president-elect was only bragging. If not, see you on the other side.
Here is a philosophical brain-twister to get your mind around. Imagine – just imagine – that the billionaire president-elect attempts to give Seniors a chunk of money, no strings attached.
This from a man whose every utterance is contrary to Seniors’ credo which we call This is what we stand for.
Do we take it and run (holding our nose)? Or not, which way would you vote?
THERE IS STILL TIME
Before the formal inauguration, we’re able to squeeze in our Annual General Meeting 2016 on Thursday the 1st December at 10:30am. Help make plans and decisions for the coming year while pretending it’s all been a bad dream.
A bracing cup of tea or coffee together with sandwiches and the usual meals will be available from 10 to 4 in the café.
Apart from the election of a new board of trustees for 2017, proposals will be made to increase membership fees to £24 a year (i.e. £2 a month) while making administration much easier by paying fees only at the beginning of April 2017
Full details have already been sent to you as well as Nomination papers if you want to become a Trustee. Keep laughing.
CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR
Some of us have been spending hours fiddling with clumsy fingers but also devising ingenious pleasures for you at our forthcoming Xmas Craft Fair on Saturday 26 November from 11 to 4.
This is yet another attempt to raise funds for Seniors for vital work in the interest of all members.
We need you to help set up the show on the previous, Friday 25th but, more importantly, to turn up on the 26th to enjoy and spend.
Seniors survives and prospers only through your efforts. Be there on the 26th.
YUM, YOU, HMM, HMM
There’s a great demand for the limited number of places at our Xmas blow out on 16th December.
Tickets at £15 from Tina.
We can also do with your contribution of cutlery which we’re seriously short of. It may be that some diners thought that knives and forks were on last year’s menu, but they’re not supposed to be edible.
As last year, our Quizmeister Michael Harrild will lubricate the event with his ideosyncratic take on questioning your esoteric knowledge. Be prepared for some inadvertent disclosing of stuff you always wanted to know.
There is a mooted concert, more a get-together on the day before our Xmas Dinner. I know no more about it than this bare report.
Much singing is inevitably involved in the apparently ad hoc event on 15 December.
Be prepared to be surprised.
YOUR NEWSLETTER TOO
We’ve printed members’ contributions on many occasions before – there’s one in this issue – but we haven’t had, say, letters, opinions, suggestions from you to the Editor.
So we invite you to take part. But please a) keep it short b) keep it polite c) don’t grumble without coming up with a solution d) praise and appreciation are also invited. In case of heavy demand, your piece could find itself in a queue.
Winter draw (er) s on. And so our properly working heating system gives us comfort we haven’t had for years.
But when groups exercise in the Sun Lounge or Stage Room they get hot and sweaty.
So by all means turn down the radiator thermostats if you must, but PLEASE TURN THEM BACK ON AGAIN WHEN YOU LEAVE.
And in the Café: please shut the doors – especially the outside door – FULLY, to prevent the hurricane that comes in if you don’t.
ANOTHER STORY CONTRIBUTED BY A MEMBER
Used to be quite beautiful as a girl. Now she’s eighty and ashamed of it, deluding herself and imagining others won’t notice either. Still has a good head of hair, grey of course, with a yellowish tinge here and there, an attempted dyeing gone wrong but no, a tight grip on her youthful splendour which she refuses to loosen.
Ruth is not downhearted. She toddles into the kitchen to put the kettle on for breakfast. Last night’s dishes are still on the side, and also a few in the living room. But at least she’d remembered to wipe off the leavings into the bin. Better empty it, she thinks. Getting a bit pongy.
Get this porridge ready, too. He’ll be down soon, been in the lav half-an-hour; in the bathroom nearly an hour. Poor thing, he can’t help it but, for God’s sake! What’s he find to do there all this time? Nearly time for dinner by the time we’ve had breakfast. Tesco’s van will be here any minute now.
A slow and heavy tread on the stairs. Creak. He’s on his way down. After breakfast I’ve got to make sure he’s had all his pills. Oh, I’d better get mine too, while I’m about it. Get them now before he reaches the bottom. Eventually.
Sit down there, love, in your armchair, she tells him, I’ll bring your breakfast over to you. Just mind your stick, move it so I don’t trip over. Want me to switch on the telly? You can watch football if I bring over your strong glasses. There you are.
Tell the truth, this place is in a bit of a mess. The kids oh! With their lovely babies, God bless them, I could eat them up, beautiful they are, every one. Where was I? Yes, I’ll ask the home help (if she turns up, the lazy cow) to give the place a bit of a hoover. Then later, when she is gone – he’ll be asleep, I expect, in his chair with the telly still on – I might sneak upstairs to do a bit of painting.
When I was a girl, she remembers with a smile, I went to Art School. Didn’t finish the course, didn’t get any qualifications, but my tutor once said I had talent. He was lovely, and really good looking; I think he fancied me too.
My brother-in-law, he’s clever and really good at painting too. And writing, and music. And he’s just as good at taking the mickey out of me, but I let him, I don’t really mind because it’s quite funny.
Ruth looks proudly at her pictures around the walls. Well, some of them aren’t too bad, she concedes, and the one I did from the photo of my brother-in-law playing the violin is ok – except for the curly bit on the end, I couldn’t quite get that.
When they come for us on Thursday, we’ll go to the Centre and I’ll have a go again at the Art Class.
Might turn out something decent. He’ll sit and go to sleep, of course. Musn’t grumble.
Another reminder about U3A Art Class DI Deudney’s series of illustrated talks on the History of Western Art.
They’re on 22 November, 6 December, 13 December and a date in January next year. All are at 11am.
A small but brave attempt to resist the Philistines in the White House. To the barricades!
BASIC DIGITAL SKILLS
I take, without permission, an extract from the Autumn 2016 edition of the Lewisham Pensioner’s Gazette.
“In collaboration with the ‘Go On Lewisham’ initiative, we are working together to spread the message about the benefits of Basic Digital Skills across Lewisham. Our sessions take place on Friday afternoons between 13:00 and 15:00 (1pm and 3pm) and we offer anyone over 50 to attends, regardless of whether they have access to a computer (tablet or mobile phone) or not, the opportunity to focus on any aspect of IT they may need help with. We are also happy to offer a demonstration or first experience to anyone who has not been brave enough to make contact with a computer so far. The venture is in its infancy at the moment which means that we can offer a very personalised experience but it is growing so we invite volunteers to show what they know to others as well as learn what they can. To find out more about using Seniors’ as a function venue, any activity we offer or if we can help you with a particular digital challenge, please drop in any week-day between 09:30 and 16:00 (09:30am and 4pm) –our address is SENIORS, 260 Stanstead Road, London SE23 1DD; or telephone us on 0208 291 1164.
THIS IS WHAT WE STAND FOR
Our mission is to work for the benefit of older people who live in Lewisham and surrounding areas, and especially, to provide facilities, resources and activities in interests of social welfare.
Our vision is to support and encourage creativity, learning and social projects for our members. To embark on new opportunities and to widen horizons for older people.
Our core values: We welcome and respect people who have religious beliefs and those who have none. We embrace all shades of opinion which are tolerant of others.
We abhor and reject any expression of racism, xenophobia, ageism, sexism, prejudice against disability and other forms of discrimination.
We respect diverse and differing lifestyles. Everybody who follows these precepts is welcome.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
||11-1PM ART THROUGH HISTORY
||2PM TRUSTEES MEETING
||11-4PM XMAS FAIR
PLEASE KEEP THE DATE AND TIME OF THE AGM IN YOUR DIARY
THURSDAY 1st DECEMBER 10:30AM