Righty ho, off we go, into July we flow! It’s a month that puts a song in your heart, isn’t it? Clearly it does mine, anyway; not a good one, not a classic, not a long or particularly original song, but a song nonetheless. Actually, that’s not true – it’s not really a song at all, more of a ditty you’d probably say, but then ‘puts a ditty into your heart’ isn’t really a recognisable phrase, so I plumped for rather generously terming it a song so I could start this meandering introduction, which makes sense right? So anyway, here we are again, lining up to tell you what you and yours can get up to across the month of July. What else to say but get thoroughly and comprehensively involved, you know you want to!
What’s your motto? Do you even have one? What it is about you that you think a motto should specify? I guess your motto should capture the very best of you, simply and effectively.
For example the motto for the Wokingham Art Societies Annual Summer Exhibition is ‘Buy and take home an original work of art’. Which is precisely what the exhibition allows you to do, so it makes a great deal of sense that this is their motto. So what exactly are we talking about here? Well it’s simple, from 25th July – 8th August at the Parish Rooms, St Paul’s Church, you will find paintings, ceramics, jewellery and cards created by approximately 100 local artists to peruse (in the style of a gallery or exhibition) and, should the whim take you, buy for yourself (in the style of a shop). It’s an original enough concept today so imagine how forward thinking it must have seemed 60 years ago when the first one took place, that’s right at well as being an opportunity to look at and buy art it’s also the 60th anniversary of the exhibition, great knock. The shopabition (geddit?) is open daily from 10am – 5.30pm with late-night opening on Thursday which takes the closing time back to 8pm. Admission is free, you can grab a cup of tea and there’s even a little art corner to keep the little ones happy. For more details go to www.wokinghamartsociety.org.uk or phone 0118 973 1556.
£2 isn’t a huge wedge of cash is it? It doesn’t buy you much, probably not even a bus ticket of any significance. But it would appear that it’s enough to get you into a presentation highlighting the good work that the CAB of Wokingham do, which could be invaluable information for a multitude of reasons. So where exactly is this meeting you’re probably now wondering, well hold your horses for a moment and keep on reading and you will be rewarded with the information you desire. The meeting takes place at the California Ratepayers Hall on July 6th, see I told you it was coming. It all starts at 8pm and previously mentioned if you are not a member of the California Gardeners’ Club then you’ll need to part with a shiny £2 coin, or 10 20p pieces, or 20 10p pieces…okay, you probably get the point.
As parents we can be made to feel that we should have all of the answers to hand and that we have the wherewithal to deal with everything that life throws at us. But sometimes that’s simply not the case – sometimes things can get on top and then you might just need some help. But where to turn to? It used to be that we all lived near family and thus they could pop over to lend a hand, but that’s simply not the case these days. This is where Wokingham District Home-Start can fill the breach.
Now here’s a brilliant pitch: ‘Join us for some good old fashioned family fun!’ Simple, effective, evocative and somehow replete with associated images; children laughing, the sunshine, little ones with colourfully painted faces chasing bubbles, a bouncy castle packed with giggling kids all buzzing from the sugar they have ingested, maypole dancing and a musical soundtrack to compliment. Sounds fun right, indeed sounds like good old family fun, which is exactly where we came in. So where is this good old-fashioned family fun and courtesy of whom? Well the answer is one in the same, the Coombes CE Primary School in Arborfield. When it is, requires me to mention a date, which isn’t the Coombe CE Primary School in Arborfield, as that isn’t a date, no the date is 4th July and the time will be 11am – 2pm.
So while the Americans are celebrating their ill-advised independence you can (you know what’s coming right?) get involved with some good old-fashioned family fun. Sounds fun.
I think one thing we all hope for in July is some sun, some sunny Saturdays would be nice, if only because there’s a whole plethora of activity and entertainment under the banner of ‘Sunny Saturdays’ and it’d be nice for the organisers if they were shown to be correct on the odd occasion. Coming up this month we’ve got Wokingham Choral Society on 11th July from 11am – 1pm then later the same day at 2pm you’ll be treated to Spriggan Mist. The next Saturday in July is a week later and then you’ll be able to catch Strictly Cuban (Salsa fun) from 11am and Bruce Neil from 2pm. Free, sunny, Saturdays…all you need to do is get to the town centre and enjoy them!
Thinking of getting along to one of the meetings of the Reading and District Fuchsia but not entirely sure how much you actually love said plants? Well worry no longer, as this month you can catch a fuchsia show which will allow you to ascertain exactly how much you love fuchsia before making the ultimate leap towards club membership. The show takes places on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July at the Henry Street Nursery from 1pm – 5pm on the Saturday and 10am- 3pm on the Sunday.
Looking for buy in? Then use questions! Here’s an example; do you enjoy a cappella harmony? Do you love that spine-tingling feeling when chords lock and ring? Have you considered singing with a Barbershop choir? Would you like to try it out? Are you free on Tuesday 7th July between 7pm – 9:45pm? See what they’ve done, all that you need to do is answer on or two of those questions with a yes and you’ve gone and bought in, clever stuff. So are any of the answers yes for you? If so you’ll want to get along to the FREE ‘Why not try Barbershop?’ that Thames Valley Chorus are running at Waingels College. The details you need are all embedded in the questions above, which is pretty clever stuff if you think about it. To register go to www.tvchorus.co.uk or call Peter on 01491 641 021.
Sitting in the pub garden last night some chaps and chapesses pulled up in their cool classic cars. The reaction was remarkable and instantaneous. Suddenly people were craning their necks to get a better view as well as nodding appreciatively to the hum of the engines under the hoods. And that was just a few cars, imagine what would have happened had there been hundreds, the pub would have been quite the kerfuffle. So if you are going to get hundreds together best not do it in a pub, it’d be too distracting and probably not big enough; a park would suffice however, Prospect Park perhaps, that’s big and it’s not a pub. Okay so it is agreed, Prospect Park it is. As for date well July seems to be what we’re talking about and a Sunday would be good as the roads are a little quieter, the first Sunday is 5th, sounds useful, let’s do that and let’s chuck in all the other usual attractions you’d expect including food, stalls and a fun fair (I’m not too sure where this ramble is going, but it’s certainly living up to its name). Right so there we go, get to Prospect Park on 5th July, and make sure you’ve got your £2 donation (which goes to the Child Lung Foundation) to see loads of cool cars…it’s not a pub.
It seems to have been a little while since we mentioned the good folk of Readifolk so best we get them a spot this month to show that we haven’t forgotten about them. So what do you need to know for this month; well firstly you’ll probably be looking for information about where and when they convene, that’d be a good start I reckon. Well that’s simple; they get together at the Conference Room as RISC on Sundays from 8pm – 10:30pm. Next you’ll probably be wondering what their programme looks like for this month; well it’s a good one, starting with Louise Jordan ( www.louisejordan.co.uk ) on 5th July and then a week later they’re hosting John Conolly www.myspace.com/johnconolly and then their final act of the month is presented on 19th by Anthony John Clark ( www.anthonyjohnclark.com ). And so we move onto the final week of the month, 26th July, when you’ll find a Singer’s Night which follows a predicable format each time, people sing, play, read poems and tell jokes or just sit and listen to it all; wonderful stuff. For more information visit www.readifolk.org.uk or call Una on 0118 9483145.
Okay, let’s stop beating around the bush shall we?
Not taking any exercise is bad for you and it is a statement which can be all too easily levelled at far too great a percentage of humans. Come on, how hard can it be to get up and outside, put one foot in front of another and have a little stroll? You don’t even have to do it alone, this month you can join the Reading Outdoor Group for their evening walk on Wednesday 22nd July in Goring. Sounds lovely; walk along the river with some likeminded creatures, the evening sun beating down on your face, animals swimming by, insects pollinating around you all in the knowledge that you’re not going to cost the NHS billions in future healthcare costs, what’s to lose? If you’re interested in this or any of their other events www.readingoutdoorgroup.org.uk or call 0118 961 6506.
This sounds fun; a show with live music and animation film. It sounds fun mainly because it will be, but how can I be so confident? Well let’s look at some of the evidence; it’s a show put together by the Witt Morgan Musicventures – that’s a fun word; it explores the hopes and fears of two children – children are much more fun than adults; said children visit strange lands and people on a journey of discovery with their favourite toys – that’d be immense fun; and somewhere in the story they meet a washed up cowboy – which doesn’t sound all that fun but I bet it is. And that is not all!
There are jokes (always fun), surprises (usually fun), cliff -hangers and exotic lands. As an extra incentive there’s an important message to take away, 100 professional local singers, musicians aplenty and loads of well-known tunes. So we’re agreed, fun, and we all like fun. So get along to Beyond the Dolls House on Friday 17th July at Wesley Church on Queens Road in Reading. The show features stunning artwork in a silhouette animation film, and all of the other fun I have mentioned. Advance tickets are £14/£11 concessions. Call 0333 666 3366, or on the door they are £18/£15. See www.beyondthedollshouse.com . The fun starts at 7.30pm.
I like the cut of these people’s jibs, so much so that I’m going to use their words, an unusual step for me (nothing like making life difficult for yourself is there!). Here you go ‘Religion’s gift to humanity is community, science’s gift is knowledge, mix that with cracking songs and a loads of cakes and you have…The SUNDAY ASSEMBLY. July’s sermon is “From Faith to Faithless”, a fascinating story of identity changes and the difficulties that brings. With our in house band we’ll be singing your choice of the last eight months’ favourite songs. So please join us for some, not too early, Sunday morning fun on 26th July at the Rising Arts Centre, Silver Street, Reading. Doors open 10.45. It’s all free, and there’s a new kids’ corner. For more information go to www.facebook.com/sundayassemblyreading .’ Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Well, that my friends is July in a nutshell. Admittedly a big nut, it’d need to be to fit all of this nutty goodness in it but it’s all there for you. All you need to do is go, oh and get dressed and eat and what not, but you know, once you’ve done that you just need to go, simple.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA