Are you frazzled? Even though October is supposed to be the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, sometimes keepingup with the frantic pace of life wears us out! It was fantastic to speak to Ruby Wax for our Talking Point interview in this issue. Her words of sanity have helped me to keep a bit more mindful and reassess my priorities so that my much-needed energy is not frittered away on worrying. Since my daughter broke her leg (poor brave girl!) and I’ve had several important life deadlines looming, this little bit of mental hygiene has really helped me stay positive. I hope you enjoy Ruby’s book (and show) as much as I did, as well as this edition. Wishing all our readers a wondrous harvest of downtime, be it Half Term Fun, Halloween preparations or one of Lyn D’s delicious apple puds...
First up; on Saturday 3rd October, six local groups are getting together to hold a community tabletop sale. Head to Charvil Village Hall from 2pm for the free event organised by Jewel Tones, Charvil Women’s Club, Charvil Pre-School, Charvil Senior Residents Club, Woodley Light Operatic Society and St Joseph’s Catholic Church Youth Club.
I loved speaking to hedgehog champion Hugh Warwick this month. The ecologist and author has really got me thinking about how to encourage the prickly mammals into my own garden. And, while we’re on gardens, to Caversham Horticultural Society, now. Gardeners are invited to two events this month; firstly the group’s autumn plant sale on Saturday, 3rd October. This takes place at the Oakley Road allotments (adjacent to vets) between 10am and 11.30am. Stock up with plants to settle in this autumn before making a display next spring. Secondly, the October talk will be held on Wednesday, 14th October, on the subject of Apples; their History and Cultivation with Gill Franklin, former owner of Cross Lanes Fruit Farm. Talk starts at 7.45pm at the usual venue; Caversham Primary School in Hemdean Road, Caversham. There will be refreshments after the talk.
From one prickly life force to another… cacti! (Tenuous link alert? Maybe!) The Reading branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society will be welcoming Dr John Hughes for an illustrated talk entitled ‘Echeveria’. These popular succulents from Central America are widely grown and much loved for their varying leaf colours. The date is Saturday 17th October. The time is 7.15pm, the venue is Chapel Hall, Loddon Bridge Road, Woodley (RG5 4BG). Non-members are welcome to attend. A token entry fee of £2 includes tea/coffee and biscuits together with a ticket for the raffle. See the website www.reading.bcss.org.uk For encouragement and any questions, call Alice Vanden Bon on 0118 9775273.
Pianist Yuko Sano will perform at St Andrew’s Church on 10th October at 7.30pm. This autumn concert marks five years for Concerts in Caversham; happy anniversary, guys! Yuko is a brilliant young pianist who will play a delightful programme to demonstrate both her wonderful virtuosity and musicianship. Yuko studied at the Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, before being awarded a full post-graduate scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where she won the Maud Hornsby Award at the end of her first year. She also won the highest prize at the Burckhardt International Piano Competition and the 1st prize and Grand Prix in all categories at the PIARA Piano Competition. Yuko’s programme will include works by Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Ravel and the thought provoking composer, Takemitsu. Visit www.concertsincaversham.co.uk for further details.
Ok, I’m not going to use that Back To The Fuchsia line again… even though I love it. (Once a local newspaper journo, always a local newspaper journo!). Back to Reading and District Fuchsia Club, which has resumed its Monday meetings after the summer break. William Buckley has been in touch to let readers know that the next meeting is on October 12th, as usual, at Maiden Place Community Centre in Lower Earley. Guests are very welcome at an entry fee of £1, including refreshments. For more information about the club, call 01189 690880.
Don’t you love autumn? The flaming shades of the leaves before they flutter down? Woodley Flower Club next meets on Tuesday 6th October and, for this meeting, Alan Gould of Henry Street Garden Centre will talk about Autumn. Alan’s talks are always very popular, full of expert seasonal advice, he’s willing to answer people’s questions and he often he brings plants along for sale. The talk starts at 7.45pm (doors open at 7pm and you’re welcome for a cuppa and a chat),. The group are very friendly and always pleased to welcome new visitors (£5 entry). For more information, call the group’s chairman Brenda Milton on 0118 9695697.
Caversham and Chiltern Flower Club present Dawn Keitley to talk about Something Old, Something New on October 14th at 7.30pm. This takes place at the Methodist Church in Highmoor Road,Caversham (RG4 7BG). Entrance fee is £5.50 for visitors. For more details please contact Shirley Sexton by calling 0118 9412329.
The next meeting of the Caversham Allotment Association is on Tuesday 13th October at Church House, Caversham, next to Waitrose. The subject will be Gardeners’ Question Time and the panel will be Geoff Hawkins, a regular speaker at Caversham, and Jacky Biddle from Wyevale, Playhatch. So if you want to know what is eating your apples or why your tomato leaves are turning yellow or any other problems, come along at 7.30 to get the answers! Entrance is free and there will be the usual raffle and refreshments. Call Carol Wheeler on 01189 475802 for further details. Don’t forget that Church House now has a lift which will appeal to all those who were prevented from attending in the past due to the stairs.
The Reading and District Probus Club welcome new members. Probus is a club for men who are retired or approaching retirement, and who enjoy a meal once a month in the congenial company of like-minded men. Lunch is followed by a talk, which may be on a variety of interesting subjects. The club meets at the Caversham Heath Golf Club on the second Monday of each month. For further information visit the club’s website www.probusclub-reading.org.uk If you are interested in joining, please contact the secretary David Laird on 0118 9470709.
Caversham Neighbourhood Policing team have been busy as ever. As well as dealing with drugs arrests (some in conjunction with Reading Festival) and fighting fraud, in the form of the Rio Olympics 2016 scams and fake designer goods, the group have organized the next public meeting. This takes place on Tuesday, October 13th, at Mapledurham Hall and, as usual, starts at 7pm. Caversham Neighbourhood Action Groups (NAGs) are made of volunteers from the community and meet every four to six weeks with a view to keeping neighbours safer from crime. To find out more about getting involved with your local NAG, visit www.uknags.org.uk
Gebel Silsila: on the Trail of Egypt’s Temple Builders is the topic of a talk by Dr Sarah Doherty on 17th October at 2pm. The Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society always have fascinating topics and this one will explore the ancient site of Gebel el Silsila, known to the ancients as Khenu or Kheny, which is famous for Egypt’s largest series of sandstone quarries. You can hear news of fresh discoveries, including a recently revealed temple, several stone-built camps, tons of ceramics and more! Head to the Oakwood Centre in Headley Road, Woodley (RG5 4JZ). Members go free, and visitors are welcome for a £3 donation.
Caversham Heights Townswomen’s Guild have been in touch to thank those who helped with their successful summer programme. The main event during the summer for the guild was the Picnic in the Park at Langley,organised by the Chiltern and Castle Federation,with market stalls, competitions, a band,and,of course,food. The social studies group visited Greenshoots Manor Farm at Rotherfield Peppard – a facility offering work-based training for adults with learning difficulties – and there were many other community highlights. The next meeting will take place on Thursday, 15th October, at The Methodist Church Hall in Highmoor Road,Caversham at 7.30pm,when we will be Dropplng the Habit with Marian Dante. Any ladies wishing to visit or join the guild will be made most welcome.
Now there’s an autumn nip in the air, but it’s a gorgeous time of year to enjoy an autumnal walk. On that note, make a date with your walking boots for Sunday October 18th when Reading Outdoor Group will go on a 6.5-mile day walk from Shiplake. If you are interested in finding out more, visit www.readingoutdoorgroup.org.uk or call the membership secretary on 0118 961 6506. Reading Outdoor Group is a long-established outdoor activity group that welcomes new members of all ages from the surrounding areas. Events are arranged and led by members and the range of activities is varied including walking, cycling, weekends away and social events.
Are you interested in starting a new hobby? Charvil Short Mat Bowling Club is looking for new members to join the Wednesday evening sessions at Charvil Village Hall, from 6.45pm to 9pm. Beginners are welcome and bowling woods are provided. If interested turn up on a Wednesday night or, for further information, call 01189 345605.
South Oxfordshire Archaeology Group are holding a series of lectures through the autumn and winter worth sharing. The lectures are held generally on the last Thursday of the month at Goring Heath Parish Hall, Whitchurch Hill and start at 7.45pm. The next lecture is on Thursday October 22nd and is by Dr Alex Smith (University of Reading), titled New Light on the Romano-British Countryside: Current results of the Roman Rural Settlement Project. Non-members are welcome. For further details of future lectures, visit www.soagarch.org.uk
A barbershop evening in Benson is well worth sharing, especially as its organisers have told us we helped spread the word with last year’s event. On Saturday, the 28th November, The Thames Valley Chorus, a Reading-based barbershop group, will perform from 7.30pm. The group, who have featured on Radio Berkshire and have competed in many music festivals, will perform from their wide-ranging repertoire, which includes songs from the shows and traditional barbershop ballads. There will be a cash bar in the interval. Tickets for the concert (price £12, £10 for concessions) can be obtained by calling 01491 838494. The event is in aid of church funds.
Trinity Concert Band are preparing for their autumn concert at Reading University’s Great Hall (RG1 5AQ) on Saturday, 3rd October, at 7.30pm. The concert theme is Music of Our Time and features music by living composers. Guest soloist Jay Bevan will play a performance of the Clarinet Sonatina by Joseph Horovitz. Tickets are £10 up to 24 hours before the concert and £12 on the door. Children under 16 years are free when accompanied by a paying member of the audience. Buy tickets from the box office on 0845 226 3047 or visit www.trinityband.co.uk
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA