We had Boccia on the programme, but had a committee meeting before club started, and discussions about our plans for the year, and hobbies and interests continued from there, so we never got round to getting the Boccia out.
Simon, having bought his laptop in for the committee meeting, showed me some of his videos of preserved railways.
Our Boccia referee, being deeply into politics, had a knowledgeable chat about the candidates for the Labour Party Leadership, and on other current topics our members hold views from staunch royalist to ardent republican we had plenty to talk about.
Since our first meeting of the year had been going to Motown The Musical, this was our opportunity to get together and chat. We caught up on books we are reading, what we did over Christmas, politics, astronomy, and the evening flew by.
We are also looking forward to all the activities in the new programme for Winter and Spring 2020.
Preparing Christmas Dinner for over 30 people involves quite a bit of preparation, planning and shopping for ingredients – even before the day of the meal. This year some of the items I won in the box of Christmas goodies which was second prize in the raffle at the Six Counties Kidney Patients Association Christmas meal could be put to good use.
We went to Wesley Memorial Church after lunch and got stuck into the preparation.
When our members and guests started to arrive Penny kept us entertained with game of Higher or Lower.
While the entertainment was happening in the Hall, the kitchen team were busy (in both kitchens), doing the final preparations.
We had turkey – supplied by Hedges Butchers, who not only gave us a good price, but provided cooking advice – pigs in blankets, bread sauce, roast potatoes, parsnips, sprouts, carrots, peas, and vegetarian options.
The main course was followed by real Christmas Pudding, or strudel, Viennetta, mixed fruits etc.
It was a lovely way to close the year for our members, and to say thank you to our guests who have supported the club in many ways.
Despite having been up all the previous night, watching the Election results and raising over £100 pounds for Oxford Phab, Tom was still awake to act as our Bingo caller for our usual selection of prizes brought in by members.
We all had a good time, and everybody wins prizes.
Kelly and Tricia getting into the Christmas spirit with seasonal jumpers !
It is always exciting when our members take the initiative to raise money for our club activities, especially since this is the first such event since our online Donations system moved from BT MyDonate to Virgin Money Giving. Please support his activity – where he will stay up all night to watch the election results, and remember to vote yourself. You may not be as interested in politics as Tom is, but we are fortunate to live in a country where we have the opportunity, and we should not waste it.
An Annual General Meeting may sound dull, but when your chair is a jolly as ours
it is a chance to look back on the fun things we did last year, and plan the exciting things we hope to do next year. Looking a bit further forward, Oxford Phab will have been running for 40 years in 2021, so we would like to celebrate that. Our History page has more of the story. We discussed the fundraising we will need to do to some fundraising to encourage donations towards a major event.
As the television is now into full scale Christmas advertising mode, and has been showing Christmas Films for months, even though it is not yet Advent we are starting to get into the spirit, by making Christmas Decorations.
Amazingly one of the key components of these decorations is the humble wire coat hanger !
Phab members from all over the South East of England congregated in Chichester for a weekend of activities and socialising.
We started a weekend of delicious food with a buffet dinner on Friday evening.
After a cooked breakfast buffet on Saturday we went off to a range of activities. These included Amazing Animals, which I had already seen 2015 and 2017, so I did not go to the session again, but those members who did saw (and – if they wanted a chance to touch !) a similar range of Amazing Animals.
Other members tried Indoor Archery, Taekwondo, making edible Christmas decorations etc.
Another option was Boccia and Indoor Curling. I had not tried Indoor Curling before, but Tom, already our club Boccia expert, proved a dab hand at Indoor Curling too.
After a buffet sandwich lunch we had an afternoon session including Laughing Yoga, which was great fun and a good way to relate to other Phab members.
The evening culminated in a dinner, which was made extra special by a bottle of champagne to celebrate the wedding of Leslie and Caroline. The hotel were fantastic in making this a special weekend for them, providing many thoughtful touches such as flowers in their room.
Entertainment was provided by DJ Lee, who sang and danced, while awarding chocolate prizes to anyone who could hit him with a balloon rocket while he sang and moved around the dance floor.
Breakfast on Sunday started a little later. Another buffet breakfast with a range of options and an opportunity for those of a voracious appetite (or those who had not remembered that a full roast dinner Sunday lunch was not far away) to have a full cooked breakfast again.
Breakfast was followed by an Act of Worship, led by Mary, for those who wished to attend. This was followed by a Quiz – in which Oxford Phab came second !
Finally after a Sunday Lunch, with Roast Beef (or Turkey or a vegetarian option) and all the trimmings, we said goodbye to the old friends we had met again, and the new friends we had made, and departed for home.