Newsletter No 91
Some of Using Your Camera Group 2013 Pat Heath
From the Editors Desk
As I look out of the window, it is uplifting to see all the colour emerging in the garden. I love to see all the spring bulbs, especially the crocus and daffodils.
Salisbury too seems to be awash with crocus on various roundabouts and green spaces. I thought most of my bulbs may have rotted with the rather wet weather that we have been having, but not a bit of it. I have one trough full of primulas which, although waterlogged have most of the flowers growing through. They surely must be one of the best value plants around. The only thing is, what to do with the excess water….
I do hope none of you have suffered flooding. I cannot imagine anything worse. Even my front path is awash with mud, to say nothing of the fencing panels needing replacement.
We are now gearing up for the AGM in April. If you feel you could be of use in helping in any way either on the committee or otherwise, please let us know.
There are lists available each month for helping with coffee, putting out chairs and the unenviable door job- it gets really cold there as people don’t think to shut the door, also if there are groups that you would like to have or join, now is the time to make enquiries. I have no doubt that the forthcoming year will be as interesting as ever.
Zelah Bysouth. E-Mail on email@example.com. 01722 330307
U3A GOLF DAY- Tuesday 12 August 2014
Entry Fee: £39 per head(Includes Golf + Meal + Prizes)
Tidworth Garrison Golf Club
Contact: Diana Salisbury (01980) 610581 or Sid Adcock (01722) 413664]
From about the age of six I was encouraged by my grandparents, with whom I lived during WW2, to collect stamps, an interest that has stayed with me ever since. My wife always says how lucky I am to have found something that I find so absorbing. Time flashes by when I work on them in my study. There are a number of side benefits that occur from this hobby and include membership of several specialist study circle groups greatly widening my circle of friends and acquaintances. It has also taken me into places such as the Post Office and the National Archives together with a variety of Museums including Liverpool, Manchester and London. Plus it has generated an interest in computers not only as a word processor but scanning, photo-editing and desk top publishing with the inevitable use and searching of the internet.
It strikes me that there is real surge in the interest of Family History and indeed there are Groups within Spire devoting considerable energy and time into helping members improve their knowledge of this fascinating subject. Many of the skills developed could be equally as well applied to philately and this is very apparent when studying family letters. Generically grouped as Postal History it studies stamps on letters or cards working on solving how they got from A to B and at what cost. Some people think that a 1d Black is of significant value. True in some very specific cases but generally worth tens of pounds rather than the common misconception of hundreds or even thousands. Not surprising when one is aware of the millions printed.
Another thing occurs to me that many members of Spire could well be of the generation that had the benefit of growing up in an age when home entertainment excluded TV as well as video games and usually included hobbies such as stamp collecting. Many of you might have stamp albums nestling rather uncomfortably in the loft or some other out of the way storage area. If you do nothing else after reading this article please at least bring them into a warm and dry place, open up the pages and let some air inbetween them. Store standing up and open say ever three months.
I guess the main purpose of this article is to try to rekindle any latent interest in stamp collecting. Additionally it is to cordially invite you to visit a very active Salisbury philatelic club meeting but a short distance from our u3a site on every second and fourth Wednesday from 7.15 to 9.30 pm at the Harnham Scout Hut, Lower Street. Details of our activities are available on www.salisburyphilately.org.uk If you would like to discuss any of the above then please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01722 412600. In the interim, please continue to enjoy your hobbies whatever they might be.
by Patrick Campbell
Would you like to play a part in Salisbury Museum’s new archaeology gallery – helping visitors, schools and families engage with the museum?
We are looking for volunteers to be a part of our new archaeology gallery and are recruiting volunteers for four different roles. We would love to hear from you now if you think this would interest you:
Inclusive Storybag volunteer; Learning volunteer; Engagement volunteer or Communication volunteer.
Also needed are
Front of House Assistant; Cecil Beaton Exhibition Steward and Salisbury Museum Volunteer Gardener.
If you are interested in helping in this way, there is further information on the Noticeboard or email or phone
E-Mail on email@example.com; 01722 332151.
This month we have pleasure in welcoming Mr Geoff Dreyer, Mr Martin Shalders and Mr Mike Richards to Spire U3A
BALI AND AUSTRALIA
My family was invited to spend some time in Bali with my sister and family to celebrate her 70th birthday
I was met by Tessa and Ian and we drove north to Ubud. Our driver was called Wayan, which was in no way unusual as the eldest child of every Balinese family is called Wayan!
Ubud is a very busy small town, with high pavements and roads teeming with motor scooters. Anyone of 14 or over can ride one. There seem to be no specific rules, but few accidents because penalties are so severe. We stayed at what in England would have been a ‘bed and breakfast’: all necessities and no frills, but it was lovely. It was run by two extended families, and consisted mainly of small chalets. We had breakfast, usually of an omelet with tomato enclosed and a plate of delicious fruit, on our verandahs, and I took mine to join Tessa and Ian.
In the centre of the chalets was a courtyard in which were three shrines – there are always an unequal number - the Balinese are mainly Hindu. There were also beautiful trees with parasitic ferns growing from them. Every morning someone would come with a tray laden with leaves on which were little offerings of flowerheads and rice. One was laid as a blessing on each verandah.
On the first day the families were having a special service to which we were invited. They had decorated the shrines, wrapping the pillars in yellow cloth, and adorning them with flowers and fruit. We all had to wear sarongs. The women wore colourful tops, sashes and sarongs and pretty sandals, their hair immaculately arranged. The priest, in a long white robe, was sitting cross legged on a raised platform ringing a little bell, and the women joined him in singing in plainsong. Then they moved to the centre of the courtyard and knelt on their slip-ons for a special blessing of holy water and rice was pressed on to their foreheads. We were then invited to receive blessings too. The rice was to remind you that you thought of God with your heart and your mind.
After this, we were invited to lunch. I thought we were going into a family dining room, but no, it was a small kitchen, with a slow cooker full of rice, three pots with meat casseroles and a delicious looking vegetable, which I found to my cost, nearly removed the top of my mouth. We looked for somewhere to sit and ate with our fingers.
After lunch, wearing the mandatory sarong, we visited a huge temple which had been unearthed and was still in the process of being restored, having been totally buried by an earthquake. All temples in Bali are open air, as the climate is so warm. This one was on several downward levels, the bottom one encompassed by banks of foliage and a stream running through it. On the top level was an elephant cave, ‘elephant’ meaning ‘huge’ (elephants are not indigenous to Bali), and huge it was, with short passages and a shrine.
We also visited the buzzing, busy, colourful market, selling food, clothes, gifts and everything you could possibly want. Our favourite stall sold sarongs. Unfortunately it was next to a fish stall, and the smell was unbelievable. If interest was shown in any item, a stallholder would pop up like a mushroom, and the skill of bartering was definitely an advantage.
During the week we went to several evening performances. They were just magical and always performed in the forecourt of a temple. If there were musical instruments, they were usually a variety of xylophones, long drums and recorders making a lovely harmonious sound. The simple story lines followed fairly similar themes, but the dancing and hand and eye movements were so minutely detailed, staccato and meaningful and the costumes, masks and headdresses were vibrant and exotic.
We moved to a slightly upmarket hotel for the birthday lunch party. It was such fun. The hotel had a wonderful panorama overlooking tropical vegetation. Tessa, looking resplendent, had organized a sumptuous feast of roast suckling pig, and all sorts of exotic vegetables and fruits.
During this week there was an International Puppet Conference, which Tessa was glad to attend. She went by taxi, spoke in Indonesian and the driver, whose name was Wayan, said that his baby son was having a Birthing Ceremony. So we were all invited. It turned out that this Wayan was the nephew of our normal driver, Wayan.
In the Hindu religion a baby is a gift of God and must not touch the ground until he is three months old and has undergone the ceremony. It was a very moving occasion with all the extended family and friends. We were made hugely welcome and after the service, we were again invited to lunch, which was delicious suckling pig and rice.
Our own driver, Wayan, took us to his home and gave us tea and homemade biscuits, which he called cakes. His home was made up of a series of small houses where different members of his family lived, all of whom he supported. Whilst we were there his teenage children arrived on their motor scooters! Nearby was his studio, where he had on display amazing pictures he had painted with detailed religious symbolism. He gave Tessa one of his favourite pictures as a birthday present.
It really was a wonderful few days, and we came away feeling what a hospitable and peaceful people the Balinese are.
A few days in Adelaide, Australia with my other late sisters families topped off a wonderful holiday
Spire U3A News from the Groups, March 2014
New for 2014
Firstly some positive news from Group Leaders offering either to repeat courses which they have previously held or to start up anew in 2014/15.
Peter Read wishes to start a new group "Using your Camera", to run from 18th April, meeting every 3 weeks until August 2014. This will be followed by a "Beginners Digital Imaging" course.
Stella Tobi is willing to re-run her highly enjoyable "History of Music" course, from September 2014, provided there is sufficient interest.
Ian Hobday is offering assistance on a "one-to-one" basis on the subject of Computers and Computing. He has experience in this subject and explains :- "Are you new to using a computer or tablet and feel intimidated!? Would you use it more if given some personal help? I can come to your home to work with you or you are welcome to come to mine if preferred." Ian finds a session with 2 or 3 individuals works better than giving a "lecture" to a larger group.
Groups with Vacancies
Malcolm Simmons ("Playing Simple Music") is looking for a piano/keyboard player to join the group. He could also squeeze in a few more players.
Alison Dawson ("Chamber Music Group") would be delighted to hear from any musician wishing to join her group.
The "Recorder Group" which I run could also squeeze in a few more recorder players or beginners wishing to take up the instrument.
Christine Hill would welcome more card players to join her "Canasta" group.
Beryl Paton would be delighted to hear from members wishing to join her "Poetry Reading" group.
Groups Ceasing (unless a replacement Group Leader can be found)
Yvonne Watts advises that she now wishes to "retire" from organising the "Theatre Group" (Salisbury Playhouse visits). Perhaps one of the 18 group members could be persuaded to take over from Yvonne? A big "thank-you" to Yvonne from us all.
Groups with a "Waiting List"
I understand from Sue Cooke that "Ladies who Lunch" has a waiting list of about 18 members wishing to join in their activities. She is willing to give guidance to anyone wishing to set up a further group.
Do please contact the Group Leaders for further details and to ascertain the latest situation. Contact details are on the Spire U3A web-site or the notice board and members will be sent an up-dated list after the AGM in April.
Group Subjects not yet "on offer"
If you look around other U3As, both here in Salisbury and further afield, it soon becomes apparent that there are many many subjects, easily studied in the home environment, but at present not "on offer" to Spire U3A members simply because no-one is willing to act as group leader. I sincerely hope that, for the benefit of both current and new members, it will not be too long before volunteers come forward to fill the gap.
Stuart Robson - Spire U3A Group Co-ordinator
Sue Cook who arranges ‘Ladies who like to lunch’ has heard that some men would like to do lunches, but no-one wants to do the arrangements. She is willing to arrange the first two, then if there is a good response, they can take it in turns each month.
Sue is willing to supply a list of good places to lunch, that the ladies have visited.
If you are interested, please ring Sue Cook on 417052
We now have a Research Noticeboard which will be used for both U3A and
external research. Any U3A member or members wanting help with projects can submit a notice, which will be posted for a month and then removed, unless you require an extension. Details should be submitted by going to ‘Learn the U3A way’ in the members’ area and click on the Research noticeboard link.
In addition we are setting up a General Noticeboard which can be accessed via the Members area Homepage. This can be used for anybody wanting to ask other U3As for advice or help in a particular issue. Please click on ‘Contact us’ to submit your notice’
We already have a notice from The Museum of Designs in Plastic (MoDiP) for our research noticeboard and one from Rob Powell (firstname.lastname@example.org /01803 813405) of Teign U3A wanting to hear from U3A’s which have introduced payment of Membership Subscriptions by Standing Order. [Already removed! editor]