u3a logo

Return to Home Page

Spire University of the Third Age



ISSUE No. 72      www.salisburyu3a.org.uk    DECEMBER 2010



Have Christmas in mind


It has been decided that it is up to the individual groups concerned to acknowledge any death of its members, however, this information can always be published in the newsletter, if that is the wish of the members. However, deceased members who have been committee members and known to the majority of Spire U3A will be acknowledged at the public meetings.

Please be advised that as from 2012 the subscription rate will have to be increase. Your committee is sorry about this, but has no choice, the amount is still being deliberated.

If you have a mobile phone you are advised to enter a couple of emergency numbers under the title ‘ICE’ ( In Case of Emergency) This is so paramedics and other such service providers, are able to call your next of kin.

Parking at Tesco’s is now limited to three hours, be warned that if you stay longer, you could incur fine of £70.00. Parking in the ‘Park & Ride costs £2.50 per day

Tea Dancing. This group is planning to meet on the 2nd Friday of the month, if there is sufficient take up.

Family History meets on the same Monday as our public meetings


The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam, which has been confirmed by Royal Mail.

If a card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611 911 ( a premium rate number)

DO NOT call this number, as this is a scam originating from Belize

If you call, the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655


HERE IS A YOUNG MAN who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter’s shop until he was thirty and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book, He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He did none of those things we normally associated with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

WHILE HE WAS STILL A YOUNG MAN the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth, and that was his coat. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed tomb through the pity of a friend.

NINETEEN CENTURIES HAVE COME AND GONE, and today he is the central figure of the human race, and the leader of the column of progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as has that



NO ONE knows what music is. It is performed, listened to, composed, and talked about; but its essential reality is as little understood as that of its first cousin, electricity.

We know music detaches the understanding, enabling thoughts to turn inward upon themselves and clarify. We know that it releases the human spirit into some solitude of meditation where the creative process can freely act. We know that it can soothe pain relieve anxiety, comfort distress, exhilarate health, confirm courage, inspire clear and bold thinking, ennoble the will, refine taste, uplift the heart, stimulate intellect, and do many another interesting and beautiful thing

And yet, when all is said and done, no one know what music is. Perhaps the explanation is that music is the stuff of creation itself.

World Wildlife Fund (UK) This letter written to the President of the United States in 1855 by Chief Seathl (Seattle) of the Suwanish tribe of the State of Washington, regarding the proposed purchase of the tribe’s land

The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him, since we know that he has little need of our friendship in return. But we will consider your offer, for we know if we do no do so, the white man may come with guns and take our land. What Chief Seathl says, the Great Chief in Washington can count on as truly as our white brothers can count on the return of the seasons, My words ar like the stars – they do not set.

How can you but or sell the sky – the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? We will decide in our time. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shinning pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not is brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers’ graves behind and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children. He does not care, His fathers’ graves and his children’s birthright are forgotten. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the redman. But, perhaps it is because the redman is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings. But, perhaps I am a savage and do not understand – the clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of the pond, and the smell of the wind itself cleansed by a mid-day rain, or scented with a pine. The air is precious to the redman. For all things share the same breath – the beasts, the trees, the man. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breaths. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the smell.

If I decide to accept, I will make one condition, The white man must treat the beasts of the land as his brother. I am a savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.


There is nothing the matter with me,

I’m as healthy as I can be,

I have arthritis in both my knees,

And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze,

My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Arch supports I have for my feet,

Or I wouldn’t be able to be on the street,

Sleep is denied me, night after night,

But every morning I find I’m alright,

My memory is failing, my head’s in a spin,

Burt I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

The moral is this, as my tale I unfold –

That for you and I who are growing old,

It’s better to say “I’m fine” with a grin,

Than to let folks know the shape we are in,

How do I know that my youth is all spent?

Well, my “get up and go” has “got up and went”

But I really don’t mind, when I think with a grin,

Of all the grand places my “get up” has been,

Old age is golden, I have heard it said,

But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed,

With my “ears” in the drawer, my “teeth” in a cup,

My “eyes” on the table until I wake up,

Ere sleep overtakes me, I say to myself,

Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?

When I was young, my slippers were red,

I would kick my heels right over my head,

And still I could dance the whole night through,

Now I am old my slippers are black,

I walk to the store, and puff my way back,

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,

And pick up the paper and read the “Obits”,

If my name is still missing, I know I’m not dead,

So I have a good breakfast and – go back to bed


Life is an opportunity Benefit from it.

Life is Beauty Admire it.

Life is bliss Taste it.

Life is a dream Realise it.

Life is a challenge Meet it.

Life is duty Complete it.

Life is a game Play it.

Life is costly Care for it.

Life is wealth Keep it.

Life is love Enjoy it.

Life is a mystery Know it.

Life is a promise Fulfil it.

Life is sorrow Overcome it.

Life is a song Sing it

Life is a struggle Accept it.

Life is a tragedy Confront it

Life is an adventure Dare it.

Life is luck Make it.

Life is too precious Do not destroy it

Life is Life Fight for it.


For several years now I’ve been blaming it on middle age, on poor blood, lack of vitamins, air pollution, E-numbers, obesity, dieting, under-arm deodorant, yellow wax building up and a hundred and one other things that make you wonder if life is really worth living.

Now I find it’s none of them.........I’m just tired because I’m overworked!

The population of this country is 55 million of which 25 million are retired.........

That leaves 30 million to do all the work. There are 19 million at school. That leaves 11 million to do the work. ..........but there are 2 million unemployed (and the 4 million employed by the Government)

That leaves only 5 million to do the work. 1 million are in the armed forces, which leaves 4 million, but 3 million of those are employed by local authorities. This still leaves 1 million to do the work. There are 620,000 people in hospital and 379,998 in prison.

Now that only leaves TWO PEOPLE to do all the work.

And, you’re sitting on your backside reading this!




Case 1. Female wearing a seatbelt. Struck roadside barrier, braced herself on the steering wheel with her thumb over the airbag module cover. It went off and along with other injuries, her thumb was torn off, and only held on by a strip of flesh.

Case 2 Shorter driver turning left at 5 mph with right arm across the steering wheel, when airbag deployed after collision with another vehicle, Sever fractures to right arm, dislocation of elbow and fracture of shoulder. Minor damage to car.

Case 3 Shorter driver grazed Armco. Airbag deployed. On way to hospital suffered cardiac arrest due to severe swelling of brain tissue due to internal bleeding, Pronounced brain dead at hospital. Three other occupants of car had no injuries and another one had a small cut. Car suffered minor damage to front bumper.

Literacy Dunce of the Week



Eye have a spelling chequer,

It came with my pea sea,

It plainly masques four my revue

Miss takes eye can know sea.

Eye strike the quays and type a

Word and weight four it two say

Weather eye ma rite oar wrong, it

Shows me strait aweigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid, it

nose bee four two long

And eye can put the error rite –

It’s rare lea ever wrong.

Eye’ve run this poem threw it,

Eye am shore you’re pleas two no,

It’s letter perfect in its weigh,

My chequer tolled me sew.

(I too can vouch for the truth in this, though my computer preferred to correct 1st line to ‘eye has’. Second verse preferred ‘or’ to ‘oar’ . Last verse preferred I’ve, or ‘we’ve’ to ‘eye’ve , and finally it did draw my attention to ‘tolled’ suggesting ‘told was correct English)

Many thanks are due to Mark Wilson for providing the photo of the Cathedral’s old weather vain for our September newsletter’s ‘What is it?’ You can see this in the north choir aisle of the Cathedral today.

Please welcome Mr Geoffrey and Mrs Jean Nunn who have joined us as new members.

They live in the SP2 area of Salisbury


The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old.

I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself being old.

Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting questions and I would ponder it and let her know.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life. The person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes and the sagging. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, who looks like my mother!

But I don’t agonise over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less grey hair or a flatter belly.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become more kind to myself and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend.

I don’t chide myself for eating that extra biscuit or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly ornament, that I didn’t really need, but looks so avante garde on my patio, I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m. and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s & 70s and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love.......I will.

I will walk the beach in a swimsuit stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They too will grow old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And eventually, I remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken.

How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet dies?

But broken hearts are what gives us strength and understanding and compassion.

A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn grey, and to have my youthful laughs forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.

I don’t question myself anymore.

I’ve earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old.

It has set me free.

I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worry about what will be.

And I shall east dessert every single day if I feel like it!

Articles for the next Newsletter please, to be received by me, Joanna Woodd

They can be sent to 94 Harnham Road, SP2 8JW, or email


Return to Home Page