Tom’s wide range of questions reflected his wide range of interests, as well as the interests of club members. We played in teams, which was lucky, as the chances of a single individual (apart, presumably from Tom) being able to recognise, in the picture round, scenes from Paw Patrol and Gone with the Wind, were pretty slim.
Fish and Chip Nights are always popular, although they do require a lot of organisation behind the scenes, researching possible chippies, getting menus and taking orders and money before the night. It is good to find somewhere which can deliver a large order – we tend to be in the upper twenties for order numbers – to the city centre.
Despite some complications everybody ended up well fed, but also not overwhelmed with excessive quantities of chips, which in a time when people are more aware of the issue of food waste, is a good thing.
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.
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.
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.
You can download our Annual report below
Anything involving eating is very popular, and for a chilly autumn evening what could be better than our making and eating cookies.
Maria made authentic American Cookie dough, into which we incorporated our choices from a deliciously unhealthy selection.
These cookies were then passed to our kitchen team for baking.
And the result was delicious cookies for us to enjoy !
We all gathered in the Hall, due to a meeting in the John Wesley Room. I hope our enthusiastic Zumba session did not intrude on their meeting.
We all sat around and chatted beforehand.
The session started with some Seated Zumba, which still provided a good workout.
We also rehearsed the routine we will perform at the Zumbathon to raise money for Children in Need on November 8th. A video of the routine is posted for club members to the Oxford Phab Private Facebook Group for rehearsal purposes. If members do not have access to Facebook they should contact me and I can share it with them via Google Photos.
We then moved on to some more conventional Zumba, this section had us in a circle, with some seated and some standing.