Oxford celebrates turning on its Christmas lights with an evening of activities at various venues, one of those being Wesley Memorial Church,
We started the evening in the Sanctuary – the main part of the church, where we chatted amongst ourselves and with church people and members of the public. We also ate Pizza, Stollen and Mince Pies. Amongst other activities one of church member was drawing caricatures of people, including some of our members.
We then moved through to the hall, and worked off some of the pizza with some hockey and boccia.
Activities involving food are always popular, and tonight was no exception ! With a team in the kitchen making pizza bases our members could add toppings of their choice and return them to the kitchen for cooking.
We had a wide selection of toppings to choose from so each one came out different. Almost a metaphor for Phab, in that they are all different at first sight, but built from the same base, and all valued as individuals !
One of the highlights of our online sessions, when we could not get together in person during the Covid pandemic were our Zumba sessions with George Martini.
These allowed people to participate who would not have been able to get to an in-person Zumba session. Also, as one member observed ‘You can turn your camera off and really go wild !’. On the other hand being together and being able to see how others are doing can be inspiring as well as inhibiting.
George is always very positive and encouraging with us, and makes sure the sessions match our abilities. We are already looking forward to having another Zumba session in our next programme.
The weather had been much too hot for our originally planned event, of a walk round Farmoor Reservoir, so the friendly people at Hinksey Heights Golf Course accommodated our last minute request to meet there, and we were able to put in some food orders in advance.
We were able to chat, eat and drink in the shade, looking back on our recent trip to Avon Tyrrell, and letting members who had not had a chance to come hear all about it.
We also celebrated some recent birthdays with cakes and cup cakes !
The ever helpful staff at Avon Tyrrell allowed us to roll over our booking to 2021, and then again to 2022 – and our much anticipated return became a reality. Sadly some of the members who came with us in 2019 could not join us on this trip, however we were joined by some people who had never been on a Phab holiday before, and a fresh perspective on trip was refreshing. As one of them, Libby, said
What an awesome weekend. It was great to spend some quality time with a range of top folk, learning together, challenging each other to get outside our comfort zones but knowing that we all had each other’s backs. It was a fun weekend, packed with lots of different activities and things to do, but one where we had the space and time to chillax and rest.
This sums the weekend perfectly.
It could not have happened without a lot of hard work, particularly from Mary, our club leader, but also financial contributions from The Bruce Wake Trust and Wesley Memorial Church. Their contributions enabled the holiday to be affordable for all our members.
We had a very action packed weekend, with different activities happening in parallel, so on Friday afternoon some groups were doing Archery, and some Canoeing. On Saturday we all went to Poole, where one group went on a boat trip to Wareham, another to Brownsea Island and another explored Poole town. On Sunday were further opportunities for Archery, Canoeing, High Ropes and the Climbing Wall.
The canoes were used in pairs, joined together with a plank securely roped to the boats, making them very stable.
The High Ropes allowed us to push our boundaries, as well as simply have fun !
The climbing wall had been replaced since our last visit, now even higher !
The holiday was so good that we have already started planning for a return in 2023, meanwhile, if anyone who went has memories or pictures suitable for sharing on a public web site, please contact me, or post a comment.
The Reverend Peter Powers, minister at Wesley Memorial Church, is a man of many talents, including drumming. He brought a selection of drums, mainly djembes, with him and we had a great evening, learning about the drums make different sounds depending on where and how they are hit, and then jamming along to make music ourselves !
It was an activity everyone could participate in, and revealed some unexpected talents and enthusiasms in out members. We look forward to Peter’s return for another session !
We returned to Hinksey Heights Golf Club for an evening in fresh air, plenty of sunshine and stunning views over Oxford.
Even though the Golf Club can not be reached by public transport, a combination of our minibus and member’s cars meant that we managed to get quite a few members there, to order drinks and food, chat and catch up.
We are looking forward to continuing to get together, though we do ask anyone intending to come to Phab events to stay away if they have symptoms which show that they might be infections.
In a return to tradition we celebrated the approach of Shrove Tuesday with delicious pancakes, and a variety of favourite toppings.
Although opinions may differ about the best topping for a pancake, a wide variety were available, lemon, sugar, bananas, whipped cream, chocolate sauces and so on. Several members bring their own contributions to make sure that their own choice will be available, and there was plenty to go round.
Unfortunately the Covid pandemic meant that we could not celebrate Kathryn being nominated for the Paul Hope award with trip to a ceremony in London, as we did for Simon’s nomination, but a presentation at Wesley Memorial meant that more people could enjoy the occasion, particularly Tom.
Fitting in with an activity that Wesley Memorial Church has been doing, we made sculptures of of bread dough. These could be of people we found inspiring – our ‘roll models’, or anything we liked.
It was good to get back to creative activities together.