First Normal Club of 2020

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.

Motown – the Musical

Calling out around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat?

Lyrics from Dancing in the Street, one of the Motown hits

After a Christmas break we Oxford Phab Members were ready for a brand new beat, which we found at the New Theatre, when we went to see ‘Motown – the Musical

The show is full of hit songs, performed by an energetic cast, and worth coming out on a cold January Friday for.

Christmas Dinner 2019

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.

The red box on the right contained stuffing and gravy granules which we used.h

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.

Putting the Fun into FUNdraising – an Electionathon !

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.

Tom’s Donations Electionathon page is at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TomBucknell/1 – please visit it and support him

Oxford Gospel Choir Concert

Oxford Gospel Choir were melodious, harmonious, uplifting, inspirational … I could go on, but suffice to say we had a wonderful time.

They had over a hundred singers, out of whom a range of talented soloists and conductors emerged to provide variety.

They also provided refreshments during the interval, with proceeds going to Restore, an Oxfordshire based mental health charity.

AGM 2019

An Annual General Meeting may sound dull, but when your chair is a jolly as ours

Helen – in ‘chair’ pose

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.

You can download our Annual report below

Phab Southeast Fun Weekend

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.

Zumba for Children in Need

As we did last year, we joined in the Zumbathon at the Christian Life Centre on Cowley Road for an evening of enthusiastic Zumba dance, where we joined the participants making donations to Children in Need


It was quite chilly before everybody started, but everybody soon warmed up once the Zumba got going. We had a slot, doing a routine we had practiced with George Martini. Our energy levels may not have been the same as some of the Zumba instructors, but we enjoyed it, and it was great to participate.

The fun continued as we joined in other dances – great fun, and raising money for a good cause.