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...
First up, an event to help you save your pennies! Henley, Twyford and District NCT Nearly New Sale will take place on Saturday, 10th October, at the Christchurch Centre in Henley. The sale takes place 10.30am to 12pm with many bargains. Check the group’s Facebook page for more information.
Now, to cacti! The Reading branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society will welcome 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.
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!).Reading and District Fuchsia Club has resumed its Monday meetings after the summer. 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 welcome at an entry fee of £1, including refreshments. For more information, 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 friendly and always pleased to welcome new visitors (£5 entry). For more information, call the group chairman Brenda Milton on 0118 9695697.
After a busy summer season out and about around Berkshire, local music ensemble Woodley Concert Band are back this October with their brilliant autumn concert. This is entitled Best of British and takes place on Saturday 10th October at 7.30pm at Waingels College hall in Woodley. The evening will celebrate all things British with music including My Fair Lady, Vaughan-Williams’ popular Folk Song Suite and the theme from Downton Abbey, all rounded off with a fabulous Proms-style finale incorporating Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory. The evening promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable musical celebration and tickets (£12, £10 concessions, £5 for under-16s) are available from the Woodley Concert Band box office on 0870 321 2186. For further information, visit www.woodleyconcertband.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.
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 226 3047 or by visiting www.trinityband.co.uk
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.
Hurst Gospel Hall (RG10 0EE) are inviting children (aged five years plus) to a Holiday Bible Club which takes place 27th - 29th October, from 10am - 12pm. There is no charge. Visit www.hurstgospelhall.org
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.
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. Leaflets containing a list of recommended items are available from local organisers John and Margaret Willemsen on 01235 798875 or from the Cornerstone Coffee Shop, Savile Way, Grove. Details can also be found on the Link to Hope website, www.linktohope.co.uk. Completed shoeboxes should be handed in to John and Margaret or dropped off at the Cornerstone Coffee Shop by Friday 30th.
If you don’t know about Reading Town Meal by now, firstly where have you been? And second, I had better tell you about it, it’s important. The meal is a wonderful celebration of ‘growing your own’, and it returns to Forbury Gardens on Saturday the 3rd, from noon to 4pm. A meal made from local produce and cooked by Reading College catering students will be served up free to over 1,000 lucky diners. Family fun activities, live music and competitions make this a great day out. You can also help make it happen by donating your spare veg – even a small amount – or volunteering on the day. See www.readingtownmeal.org.uk or call 01189 586692.
And finally, a huge thank you to the youngsters who entered the World Map competition in our September education special! We had more than 100 entries, which will make a lovely map of all the comments from children in our January education follow-up. One entry came from Sachin Kumar, aged 11, from Woodley, who “would like to go to Los Angeles because it’s Hollywood!” We like your style, Sachin, and hope you enjoy your prize! Thank you everyone who entered – what a lovely response.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA