Are you frazzled? Even though October is supposed to be the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, sometimes keeping up 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...
I loved talking to Hugh Warwick, our hedgehog hero, for our feature in this month’s issue about how you can help our prickly pals over half term. Now to another misunderstood mammal that feeds on worms and insects… can you tell what it is yet? Yes, badgers! Annelise Hill from Binfield Badger Group has been in touch to ask whether we could help spread the word about their October meeting. This will take place on Thursday 22nd October and will feature PC Ian Whitlock who will talk about his work as wildlife crime officer. This will cover topics including deer poaching, badger-baiting, hare-coursing and the illegal wildlife trade and should be most engaging. As always for Binfield Badger Group meetings, there is no admission charge and the meeting is open to non-members. Doors open at 7pm and the meeting will start at 7.30pm. This will be at the Memorial Hall in Binfield and everyone is welcome to attend so do make a date and bring your friends.
If you glanced at last month’s issue, you’ll know the huge admiration I have for the Women’s Institute, which celebrates its centenary this year. On this note, it was lovely to hear from Linda Willcocks, putting a shout out to anyone wanting to join a WI; join Binfield’s! “We are a very friendly, active and vibrant group of ladies who meet every month,” says Anita. “Our WI offers fun, friendship and the chance to make new friends and to learn new skills. The WI offers you a chance for your voice to be heard – just like the suffragettes in 1918, which is when Binfield WI was founded. Every month provides a new adventure for our ladies and we offer a warm welcome to new members. Why not come along and see what we have to offer besides jam and Jerusalem! We all have busy lives but the WI offers you the chance to make time for yourself - give us a try!” Tempted? I am! Binfield WI meet on the second Thursday of every month, at Binfield Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. New or prospective members will receive a warm welcome. “We have monthly speakers, covering a wide range of topics, followed by coffee, tea and cakes. We also hold a monthly walk, games afternoon, craft afternoon, coffee morning and badminton sessions. We regularly organise day trips to the theatre, stately homes and gardens, and many others.” Thanks, Anita! Give them a call on 01344 454503 or visit www.binfieldwi.wix.com/binfieldwi
Village life is enhanced by partnerships and I was pleased to hear that Binfield Football Club (established in 1892) have a new sponsor. Their neighbours, Denise and Coenie Phillips, owners of CVD Wellbeing in Binfield will proudly sponsor the whole new Tea Hut Stand in a three-year deal. Binfield Football Club Chairman Bob Bacon, says: “Binfield Football Club is delighted to have received sponsorship from CVD Wellbeing for the next three years. It is great to cement our relationship with the local village and community and with the services they offer from the heart of the village. We hope to see a long and fruitful connections between the two organisations.” Denise and Coenie, who just got married (congratulations!) are handy people to have in the village. CVD Wellbeing opened two years ago and are passionate about helping people boost those wellbeing levels with a combination of osteopathy pilates and much more – if you want to book in for a free taster, call 01344 306650.
Feeling Christmassy yet? (God, sorry to even mention the C-word (generally banned in my household until the start of December). Anyhoo, The Binfield Singers are getting into festive planning mode, rounding off their 30th year with their Christmas Concert on December 13th. Rehearsals have begun, but new members are still welcome to join. The singers meet in Newbold College at 7.30pm every Tuesday, so do add your mellow voices to the mix and make friends! Visit www.binfieldsingers.org
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. The programme will include John Williams’ Midway March, from the 1976 film, a new composition based on the famous tune Men of Harlech, a medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best tunes, a foot-tapping Sea Songs arrangement of well-known shanties, and New London Pictures a composition by the British composer Nigel Hess who is famous for many TV themes. 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. Tickets can be purchased from the box office on 0845 2263047 or visit www.trinityband.co.uk
Bracknell Flower Club, winners of a silver gilt medal at this year`s Chelsea flower show has just celebrated its 45th birthday – many happy returns, alL! The next meeting is on October 14th with NAFAS demonstrator Anna Stevenand her demonstration entitled ‘Do You See What I See?’ New members are always welcome and are also encouraged to join the monthly flower-arranging classes as well. Meetings are held at the Priestwood Community centre in Bracknell on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. For more information call Alison Phillips on 01344 882733.
Ok, I’m not going to use that Back To The Fuchsia line again… oops, too late! (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.
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 9616506. 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.
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.
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 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 or bought from Derry’s Den in Benson. The event is in aid of church funds.
And, finally, a fun idea for your children. The mayor of Reading has just launched a ‘Where’s Reading Heading’ Children’s Competition. The picture and writing competition is based on Reading Museum’s new project called Where’s Reading Heading? Children aged five to 10 years are invited to draw or paint what Reading means to them, either now or in the future. Young people aged between 11 – 16 years old are being asked to write up to 300 words about where Reading is heading. The winners of both sections will receive a prize from Sarah Hacker and have their entries displayed in her parlour. Where’s Reading Heading is a project which looks at the past, present and future development of Reading. It features a short documentary film which draws together the views and knowledge of a widespread group of Reading people.
You have until the end of the month to fill a shoebox with Christmas gifts for people living in poverty in Eastern Europe. The Link to Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal sees boxes containing gifts delivered to families and the elderly in Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. Family shoeboxes should include a gift for everyone in the family (mother, father, and children) as well as basics, such as toothpaste, soap and shampoo. Boxes for the elderly can contain not only toiletries, but warm gloves, scarves, slippers and a little luxury such as a lavender bag or candle. Details can also be found on the Link to Hope website, www.linktohope.co.uk
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