A review of 2013

DECEMBER Christmas Celebration

A very enjoyable evening.   Stephen Robbins entertained us with a wide variety of music and song and had us joining in with the songs and dancing as well.  Disco type dancing was fine and so was the hokey cokey but the cancan had many of us hyper ventilating!   Delicious nibbles were provided by the committee and mulled wine added to the festive spirit.  The evening ended with some festive carol singing.

NOVEMBER Annual Meeting and Quiz

Our first Annual Meeting was successful. The President and Committee were voted in for another year and Amanda Webster-Robbins and Debbie Thomas joined the ‘team’. After all the official business, the refreshments were very welcome. Sue O’Riordan organised a quiz with a difference which had us thinking hard, guessing the correct county for places like Johnny’s Bottom and using our tasting skills to detect the mystery alcohols in different chocolates. Cards and other items from KatCanDo, a charity that supports local cancer appeals, were on sale.

OCTOBER Cava, Canapés and Cake

We are one year old this month so we celebrated our birthday in style with cava, a lovely cake and a feast of delicious canapés made by our members. It was a wonderful evening which we shared with some special guests. We were delighted to welcome Jo Voogt, Jane Randell and Sheila Tickner from the Surrey Federation and Andrew Knowles, Kay Rothwell and David Reed from St Mary’s. George Yates. a magician, entertained and mystified us with his magic and mentalism

SEPTEMBER Craft Evening

Our craft evening gave us an opportunity to learn some new skills. We had the choice of cross stitch, crochet, spinning, water colour painting, flower arranging, present wrapping and card making. Sadly there wasn’t time to try everything so we had to restrict ourselves to two crafts. It was great fun and we will certainly do this again next year so that we can try some of the things we missed.

JULY – Wine Tasting

This was an informative and interesting evening and we learnt a lot about wines. We swirled, sniffed and slurped like experts! Sampling a variety of wines and seeing how different foods affect their taste was a revelation to many of us. James and Chris from Majestic were great fun and kept us well entertained with their lively presentation.

JUNE Dropping the Habit

No horrible habits but an interesting and unusual talk by Marion Dante who is a retired nun. She told us how she began her training at the age of 14, became a nun and eventually left the convent after 33 years. She had to adapt to a very different, changed world outside. Her account was moving and told with a lot of humour.

MAY – Stunning Hanging Baskets and Containers

Jenny Barker and her son Geoff, from Lindum Nurseries in Eversley, gave an informative talk and demonstration on how to plant hanging baskets and containers. Theirs were a work of art and they made it look so easy but it inspired many of us to follow their tips and plant our own. Do you know why plant pots are designed in the way they are? You leave the wider top part free of compost and this ensures that the plant has just the right amount of water.

APRIL At the Drop of a Hat

Sarah Jane Croke, who designs hats and fascinators for weddings, Ascot and other special occasions, gave us an interesting talk. We learnt about her early career as a make up artist in the theatre and for photo shoots for celebs like Liz Hurley….and then we got to the hats. The examples she brought were beautiful and feminine and it was fascinating to learn how they were made. She also judged our Easter Bonnet competition – an amazing array of talent was on show.

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MARCH Hearing Dogs for the Deaf

John, Stephen and Anna talked to us about the work of Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and the difference they make in helping the profoundly deaf lead independent lives. We found out how the dogs are trained and how new owners learn to interact with their dogs. Quaser the dog drew all eyes but he was well trained and refused to be distracted while he was on duty. Once off duty he was a normal, friendly dog who rather liked the smell of the sausages!

FEBRUARY – Colour Me Beautiful

Kerrie Ellis made us take a critical look at our wardrobes after her talk and interactive demonstration. She used some of our members to demonstrate the effect of colour and it was literally an ‘eye opener’ to see the difference the right colour made to individual faces.

JANUARY – Life Skills

Emma Jackson, a Life Coach, began the New Year with a useful talk giving us tips for organising our time efficiently.