Archaeology: This is a new group which will be forming soon. So far I have 8 names. If you would like to be added to the list, please contact me, Penny Rose, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 01297 561076.
Creative Writing: There is a vacancy in this group which is continuing to function at this time via emails. They will be continuing with “virtual” meetings in the meantime – i.e. sending our stories and comments round the group by email. If another member would like to join us with this please contact the new leader, John McCallum 01297 561696 or e-mail him on the Creative Writing Groups page of the website.
Poetry Reading: Half the Poetry Reading Group is continuing to submit poems as usual and then reading them in their own time in their own homes. Any U3A member with an interest in poetry is welcome to join us temporarily.
The only groups now functioning are a few who are or will be trying out virtual contact such as Creative Writing, Poetry Reading, some of the French groups and the Science and Technology Group - see below:
Online version of the SciTec meeting – forwarded by John Marriage
We can't have our usual meetings for now, and I'm sure you are, like me, pining for some mental stimulation. So at about our usual time we shall be having a live meeting over the Internet next month. That's Friday April 17th, probably at 10:15 am. Clearly it is experimental, if it works well we can repeat it in future months as long as we are cooped up.
I'm delighted to say that Steve Coles has agreed to give his talk on Infections of the Respiratory Tract on this occasion. We always look forward to Steve's talks, and there could hardly be a more topical subject.
This message is coming out earlier than usual so we can prepare. For the audience all you need is a computer or tablet and an internet browser, and if you want to comment and participate a bit more, your kit should have a microphone and forward-facing camera - which most do these days. If you don't have any of those extras, so long as you have a computer, a tablet, or even a phone connected to the Internet, you can still sit in and watch.
You would all participate from the safety of your own homes.
We plan to use software called Cisco Webex, which if you are interested you can check out here: https://www.webex.com/video-conferencing
The Webex promotional material all looks rather flash, it is aimed at companies mainly - but the free version will take up to 100 people in a conference and we have a "room" reserved for us.
You don't need to download any software or pay any money, not even our usual 50p, but you do need to register for the meeting. So if you think you might like to try it, e-mail please to email@example.com, just a few words so I can add your e-mail address to the list when the invitations go out.
This is not a commitment to attend, but it will reserve you a place if you are able to come, on the day. Also, if it isn't working for you once it starts, you can drop out without upsetting anyone. A few days before the meeting those who have registered will get an e-mail from Webex with a "Join the Meeting" button. Shortly before starting time (up to 15 minutes before) you go to the e-mail and click this button. A window should pop up where you can check the video you are sending (if you have a camera) and check your audio settings, then confirm and you will be with us.
I hope plenty of you will be willing to give this a try. It seems to be right that the SciTec Group should try to use some SciTec to keep our lovely U3A going!
Any U3A member is welcome, they need to pre-register by e-mailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) which will ensure they get an e-mail before the event which will contain a button to click to join the meeting. We have capacity for 100 people, 52 are registered so far, so we have room for plenty more.
Thank you so much, John, for experimenting with this and setting it up for up to 100 of us to enjoy!
Garden Lovers in the time of Covid-19
The joint meeting of the Garden Lovers, Plant Sharing and Seafront Gardens groups, planned for the 24th April, has had to be cancelled. We hope to pick up on our programme of garden visits sometime in the summer, and meanwhile we’ll do our best to keep things ticking over. To this end we’ve established a “Gardeners’ Questions” help desk manned by Gill Steinberg, Sue Back and Jenny Short. I’ll act as question-master. Send your questions to me (e.g. what is this plant?) by email (email@example.com), and I’ll send them on to our panel. They will reply directly to you, copying each other.
We’ve already answered our first question! We’ll keep it straightforward i.e. by email, for the time being.
We’ll restart work on the Seafront Gardens as soon as we are allowed; currently there is no gardening at all taking place on the seafront. We shall also try to find a way we can make surplus plants available to each other. Let me know if you have other ideas as to how we can keep in touch.