Okay so it’s November, let’s hit the fractions; we’re ten 12ths (which simplifies to five 6ths obviously) through the year, so just the one sixth to go people (that’s the fractions done!). That’s right: in two months’ time the whole show will come down on 2015 and we’ll hit a shiny new number.
So time to be maudlin about 2015’s passing you might feel; no way! Not by a long chalk, as the song (kind of) goes: “There may be a New Year ahead, but while there’s fireworks and carnivals and balls and markets, let’s face November and dance”. And here for you joyful folks of Wokingham, and its delightful surrounds, is the face of November. And what a visage it is, one of those near perfect ones about which gorgeousness is a unanimously accepted term; stare at it, drink it in and enjoy it.
So let’s start at near the beginning, it seems a good place to start… OK I’ll stop (in all honesty I’m at a loss to know where that particular number goes next), but let’s deal with fireworks first up shall we? You know the things, the kabooming, fizzing lovelies that make us all go ‘oohhh’ and ‘ahhh’ as they illuminate our retinas and assault our eardrums. So where and when to catch a display, well there are many but I feel obliged to mention the fireworks extravaganza at Cantley Park, mainly because it’s the biggest one on the block. However, being as I am writing this a month in advance details are a little thin on the ground (other than the date being Saturday 7th), so the best I can do is point you to their website, encouraging you to source the particulars for yourself. Go to www.wokingham-fireworks.co.uk for all of the details. What a weird way to begin proceedings!
Think of rivers – what pops into your head? It’s a lot isn’t it; it’s boats and ropes and mud and people and fun and banks and water (rather obviously) and activities and bridges and birds…and I suspect it’s this last one that the California Gardeners’ Club’s next meeting will concern itself with, birds. Actually I say suspect and there’s no real reason to do so, mainly because the talk is called Birds of Jubilee River, so it’s not like I’m having to do a great deal of thinking here. So what can you expect from this talk, well firstly it’s being presented by Brian Clews which has to be a good thing and secondly, well it’s about the birds of Jubilee river, what more do you need to know? Okay, these extra bits might be handy, fair enough; the talk takes place at the Ratepayers Hall in Finchampstead Road and you’ll need to be there soon, 2nd November indeed (maybe even tonight) and you’ll need to be there at 8pm, oh and you’ll need £2 if you’re a non-member (though this is refundable).
“Right, so when’s the first Wednesday of this month; go on… go and check, I’ll wait. Oh you’ve taken far too long, I’ll have to do it myself! Okay, so it’s 4th, which means that is your first opportunity to turn up and have a go at handbell ringing, you know you’ve always thought about doing that! Well I suppose if you can’t make that one then you’ll have to push it back to 11th.” OK, I’ll stop that matriarchal telling-off nonsense now; it’s not really in keeping with the relaxed, ringing for pleasure atmosphere that the Black Swan Handbell Ringers create at St Mary’s Church in Winnersh of a Wednesday eve (8–10pm). If you’d like to give it a go (and you’re over 18) just turn up or call Gillian on 0118 978 9141 for more information.
There’s a danger that will all of the fanfare from last year’s Remembrance Celebrations that this year’s will slide by a little more quietly, well that’s not going to happen, not on our watch! So a firm reminder for you all, the date is Sunday 8th and pretty much every town that this here little magazine is delivered to will have its own thing following the familiar pattern; gathering, parade, laying or poppy reefs, the Last Post, solemnity. I won’t go as far as saying it’s a civic duty to get involved, but it’s pretty close to it.
You might consider that having been physically assaulted by trees, while innocently jogging in their presence, not once but twice in recent weeks, I’d be giving anything nature loving a wide berth while I get over the trauma. But that’s just not me, I’m willing to forgive my static, spikey, scarring friends for their violent ways and hope for a better future for them. Which is a good thing, it means I can draw your attention to the next meeting of the Wokingham Art Society who will have a demonstration from Ronnie Ireland on using Acrylics to paint trees/orchards. The meeting, Tuesday 17th, takes places at the Methodist Church on Rose St, Wokingham and kicks off (maybe in the football fan of the ’80s sense given my recent experience, but let’s hope not!) at 7.30pm. If you’re a non-member you’ll need to hand over £4. For more info go to www.wokinghamartsociety.org.uk or call 0118 973 1556.
And my magnanimity doesn’t stop there people, such is the extent of my forgiveness towards the vegetation of the world (despite their unnecessarily violent ways); I’m even willing to plug that most terrifying of plant groups, the cactus. This month, on Saturday 21st, you can catch the Reading Branch of the British Cactus Society hosting Andy Young who will be giving an illustrated talk entitled Conophytums. Known as living stones these little gems are a wonder to behold, so why not get along to the Chapel Hall, Loddon Bridge Road, Woodley from 7:15pm and catch the man speak. A token £2 entry is required but that includes tea/coffee biscuits and entry to the raffle. Go to www.reading.bcss.org.uk or call Alice on 0118 9775273.
So Christmas; it demands some choices are made. Do you a) go into one of the bigger nearby towns and wander aimlessly around soulless emporiums of mass consumption to have your senses assaulted by the bright lights, the same tired Christmas music and the overpowering whiff of expensive perfume? Or do you b) spend it in a beautiful market town using your dwindling funds to buy original items supplied by local businesses and charities alike? Your choice, but if you’re inclined towards the latter then you’ll be very pleased to hear that on Friday 20th you will find a Christmas Market in Wokingham. It’ll have all of the usual original awesomeness that’s available at the usual market with the bonus being that voluntary organisations can rock up for free. It starts at 10am, get to it!
If you’re deaf or hard of hearing you’ll be very pleased to find out that there’s a local hard of hearing group that I’m aboutto draw your attention to, here goes; they meet on the first and third Friday’s of the month (6th and 20th) at Abbey Baptist Church in Reading to share time and learn lip reading skills. This of course helps with the time that the members spend in the company of friends and family. The meetings begin at 2pm and run through to 3.45pm, with a little break for refreshments in the middle somewhere. This friendly group are welcoming of all new members and now would be a great time to join as you’ll get your feet under the table before the group get together for their Christmas meal, a date not to be missed. If you’re interested all you need to do is turn up and enjoy!
Let’s finish with a biggie shall we? With a bit of flair; a bit of a flourish; some pizazz and all that jazz…okay too much. What local November event might we close with which fulfils all that early build-up? It can only be on thing; the Wokingham Winter Carnival… natch (that’s youth speaking for ‘naturally’, I think). So what can one expect from this year’s festivities… <intake of breath>… fun fair rides, jugglers, Berkshire Maestros, craft stalls, charity stalls, Punch, Judy, the Super Rock Choir, people on stilts, food, food, more food, magic, clowns, the carnival procession, floats, people on floats and of course making a special appearance the Big Man in the Red Suit, that’s right Father Christmas himself is winging in; make your list, children, check it twice, learn it, rehearse and then share it with him it in your nicest, cutesiest voice, he’ll be listening! The festivities kick off at 11am and it all finishes at dusk with the procession, see you there!
Pheeewwwey! You’re tired just reading it all right; well gird everything you’ve got and get involved people, get…in…volved!
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