We followed our previous Club Night with Indoor Tennis in January with another tennis session, giving members an opportunity to have a bit of exercise.
This session was more co-operative then competitive with a focus on trying to have longer rallies across the net. Impressively, given how high the ceiling is, the ball managed to be bounced off the sound deadening blocks a few times, which returned it in random directions. Luckily we play with a soft foam ball, which is safer for players, spectators and fitments.
Taking the minibus and a car, we set off on Friday morning, hoping we might even arrive at the coast in time to see the sea before we checked into the hotel. Unfortunately the A34 was completely closed southbound, leading us to enjoy a scenic tour of Hampshire instead, with a highlight of the services at Sutton Scotney.
Finally we arrived at the hotel, checked in, unpacked and mingled with members from other Phab clubs in the bar until it was time for dinner.
Dinner was a buffet, with a selection of hot dishes, and was accompanied by entertainment and followed by disco and karaoke .
After a buffet breakfast, and a presentation by the CEO of Disabled Motoring UK, we split into groups for activities in the morning and afternoon with a buffet lunch in between.
Edible Christmas Crafts
In the this activity we learnt how to make a snowman, a wreath and a mug of chocolate out of marshmallows, biscuits and other edible goodies.
We saw, and in some cases got close to, a range of animals.
We got dressed up for a posh dinner.
Dinner was followed by a Disco.
After an Act of Worship for anyone who wished to attend, and who had got up in time, there was a Team Building exercise, once again making things out of edible material.
This was followed by a full Sunday Lunch, with Roast Beef, Pork or Turkey, and then we had a wrap up session and all went home.
Darren and Maria, who are getting married later this year, had a combined Hen and Stag party at Hinksey Heights Golf Club.
We had an abundance of Hen and/or Stag party themed drinking straws, ice cubes, pasta ! There was also plentiful and tasty meal.
There was fancy dress – here are some of the Pink Ladies
There was singing
and presents for the bride and groom to be
We also, sadly, said farewell to Mary, who had been making us welcome at Hinksey Heights Golf Club since we started being their Captain’s charity, but is moving on to pastures new. She had put a lot of effort into making this party very special, and we hope she will stay in touch.
When does a Phab holiday begin ? The official start was everyone assembling at 10:30 to board the Minibus, and three cars (we were joined by another one later with members who had to work during the day on Friday), and set off for the New Forest.
Before that plans had been made, food and other supplies bought, meals cooked and frozen and a host of other activities to make sure the holiday was a success.
The actual loading was very much the same as in 2015 and 2016, and the journey uneventful, but we were still pleased to arrive, have a picnic lunch in front of the house, and then, once our chalets were free, unload.
As always we were made very welcome at Donnington Social club, where we enjoy a change of scene and a chance to sit and chat.
We could also watch the club members play darts, which we did not join in – I think they play at a higher skill level than we do.
As usual we had a warm welcome at Donnington Community Centre, where they were having a fundraising evening for Macmillan Cancer Support. They had many tasty cakes, a raffle, guess how many sweets were in a jar and plenty of people were there to support this.
We rounded off the day with a Birthday party, and a Eurovision Party, it being the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest.
We played Eurovision Bingo, and did our own voting – though sadly we did not receive a call to ask us what the Oxford Phab results were. We also had a sweepstake for the winning country.