Weekly Update 29 March 2021

Lockdown Quiz

The latest quiz from Julie Clarke (number 52) has been loaded to the website as well as the answers to number 51. Go to the quiz page where you’ll also find this week’s music quiz (number 51) and the answers to music quiz number 50. Our quiz page lists all the quizzes that have been set previously.

Julie writes – “This week marks the 1 Year Anniversary of the Sandbach U3A General Knowledge Quiz, with Quiz Number 52 attached. When I began in March last year I had no idea that I would be still producing the weekly quiz in March 2021. I cannot quite believe that I have now set 1040 General Knowledge questions! I am happy to continue for as long as is required as the research and production has kept me sane during lockdown. The positive feedback from members over that time has also been gratefully & graciously received.”

Group News

Getting to know you: the Sandbach & District u3a Committee – Barrie Hacking, Membership Secretary

Born and bred in Lancashire, Barrie has lived around Sandbach for over 40 years, He has been a member of Sandbach u3a since 2012 after retiring from a career in IT. Barrie has been on the committee as Membership Secretary since 2015 and is deputy leader of one of the short walk and dine groups.
Outside his u3a interests Barrie enjoys travel and gardening.

Covid Lockdown Poems

u3a member Maureen Sawtell has sent us her Covid lockdown poems. She writes “I cant believe I wrote them almost a year apart! Despite our frustrations, the year has passed quite quickly.” You can read Maureen’s poems at the end of this update.

Local News

Sandbach Concert Series

A reminder that the next concert is on Wednesday 31st March

We are delighted to have Meera Maharaj and Dominic Degavino perform a Flute and Piano Recital for our next concert on Wednesday 31st March. We’ll also have performances by talented local young musicians and we’ll be catching up with a local music educator for our interval feature.

If you haven’t already signed up, please do so now to reserve your place at the concert which will be broadcast live and is not available on social media. The concerts are free but information about making a donation will be given on the night. Details about the concert can be found at our website.

Sandbach Concert Series https://www.sandbach-concert-series.co.uk/

Vaccination Update from Sandbach GPS

We won’t be routinely vaccinating 1st doses for the over 50s after this last weekend. If you are in groups 1-9 and still need your first vaccine please use the national website Anyone under 50 not in group 6 please wait. As soon as we are allowed we will call you.

SMASH PCN have received confirmation of second dose vaccination deliveries for the next 3 weeks and roll out will follow the same pattern as first doses.

Message from Action Fraud about email security

Over 15,000 hacked email and social media accounts reported in one year.

The motivation behind the hacks are varied and can range from financial gain, to revenge or personal amusement. Some victims are extorted for money, whilst others have their accounts used to send malicious links to their contacts. One victim who had multiple email and social media accounts hacked paid over £2,000 to regain access to them. Another victim reported that her hacked Facebook account was used to trick her friends into sending money into a PayPal account they thought belonged to her.

Secure your email and social media accounts in just a few minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

1: Use a strong and separate password for your email, as well as other important accounts, such as  your banking or social media accounts.

2: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). It will help to stop hackers from getting into your online accounts, even if they have your password.

For detailed instructions on how to reset your password or enable 2FA on your accounts, visit: www.actionfraud.police.uk/secureyouraccounts

National News

A Spring Bouquet from the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London

This time last year we were preparing to run a series of concerts at St Bartholomew the Great called ‘A Spring Bouquet’. We still can’t welcome you into Great St Bart’s – but we refuse to let Covid defeat us a second time, so we’re moving the concert online in the same format as the hugely popular concerts in December 2020.

 Thursday 8th April, 2pm and 5pm with the Brandenburg Camino Choir and the Choir of St Bartholomew the Great.
The pre-recorded musical content will include excerpts from Vivaldi Gloria (with the Brandenburg Baroque Soloists), Fauré Requiem, O  Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen and a stunning vocal arrangement of Albinoni Adagio, all performed by the Brandenburg Camino Choir. We will additionally present a number of more intimate performances by the superb professional choir of St Bartholomew the Great.

The whole programme will have a refreshing flavour of Spring and be interspersed with readings providing a resonance of hope as Spring approaches.

Tickets are £10 – Sign up here  Delivery will be via Zoom (no technical knowledge required – just click on the link provided). We’ll also supply a pdf programme to be printed at home, together with tips to enhance the quality of audio delivery in the home.

Lockdown Poetry by Maureen Sawtell Sandbach & District u3a

Staying Home Alone by Maureen Sawtell

How will I cope alone at home?
Day after day without end
No U3a classes and choirs to attend
No having a laugh with my friends.

Doreen’s set us all our art homework
Making a file about the sun.
Stephens teaching us all to read music
Even Gareth Malone’s joined the fun!

Boris’s message is clear and appealing
Stay at home, stay safe and be well!
Two metres apart and no cheating
Together we’ll get through this hell.

Thank God for the phone, and the ‘net
I never thought I’d hear myself say
But these are good ways to support each other
Keeping us close day by day.

A call to arms for our dear NHS
Many thousands step up for the cause
Neighbours and tradesmen support those in need
Spreading kindness to help those indoors.

Now our spring gardens are blooming again
Showing us life can and must go on
Begging us to believe we’ll survive all the pain
Determined the fight will be won

Faith doesn’t survive in our churches alone
It exists in the midst of our hearts and souls
It’s there in the many kindnesses shown
In the smiles and the cheery hellos.

And as we emerge from this terrible strife
Midst devastating hurt and grief
Let us be healed and embrace a new life
Turning despair into hope and belief.

My Lockdown Year by Maureen Sawtell

A year ago I was sitting at home
Wondering how I would cope with lockdown, all alone
No teas and coffees on Sunday after Masses
Each parish group doing their share.

No chatting over painting at u3a art classes
Thank heavens for a leader with patience to spare.
Soon our art worries would be over
Doreen setting us work at home.
Our paintings in a weekly slideshow
An on -line exhibition showing were not alone.
But what of our altos and sopranos you ask?
Not forgetting out tenors and basses.
What shall we do without our choirs?
Could we still gather with masks over faces?
Could we still meet to sing away the hours?

Then there was Christmas
With problems for Church and State
Our Saint Marys only allowed 67
Many others will have to wait.
Father Jerome did his best to show us the way
Putting on extra Masses on Christmas Eve and Day
We had to book our seats in advance of course
No use turning up on the day.

Then how to arrange meeting with loved ones
Only five from two different houses
Adding up an amount, do little ones count?
What of those alone with no spouses?
Yes we phone and send messages by email and text
But soon that was no longer enough
Our phones and our laptops could never replace
The warmth of the human touch.

We heard of business surviving without meeting face to face
Holding conference calls, keeping staff safe in their own space.
Those who could were working from home,
Safe and alone in their rooms, connected by Zoom
Was Zoom our answer, as its becoming the in thing
With friends forming groups to Zoom chat and sing
Encouraging larger groups to join in as well
Even Including our own CWL.

Living life on Zoom can never quite replace,
Holding hands and hugging, meeting face to face.
But it keeps us connected as we sing chat and pray
Keeping friendships alive, helping to fill and save our day.

On a Lighter Note

  • • The Grim Reaper came last night, but I beat him off with a Vacuum cleaner. Talk about Dyson with death.
  • • The ghost of Gloria Gaynor standing at the foot of my bed. At first I was afraid… then I was petrified
  • • My daughter asked me for a pet spider for her birthday, I got her one very cheaply off the web.
  • • I saw an RAC van. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably. I thought to myself, That guy’s heading for a breakdown.
  • • I’ve just invented a three barrelled gun. I’m going to call it a trifle.
  • • I used to own a chicken dating agency, but it was a struggle to make hens meet.
  • • If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?
  • • When my dad saw me with some kippers, he made me smoke the whole pack.
  • • If you want to know how many bees Noah had, check the Ark Hives.
  • • The days of digital watches are numbered
  • • My brother’s hamster died the other day, fell asleep at the wheel.
  • • I’ve just baked synonym buns. You know, like grammar used to make.
  • • Started my own business making yachts in my loft , sales are through the roof
  • • Every time my doorbell rings my dog goes and sits in the corner… He’s a boxer