Newsletter February 2021

Newsletter February 2021

6 Feb 2021 - 15:12 BY Gill Theaker

Dear Member(s),

This month I’d like to share with you a picture of snowdrops (before they disappear under actual snow) as a reminder that it won’t be too long before we see daffodils announcing the arrival of spring and, we hope, greater freedom and the chance of a haircut! In the meantime, we’ll continue to make the most of online opportunities, such as the revised ‘study day’ last month, which a good number of you were able to join and obviously enjoyed. It’s always encouraging to get your feedback and some of you even said you could have gone on all day! Sevenoaks, meanwhile, are organising a virtual walk (a fee will be charged) and I’ll send you details when I have them for anyone interested.

Coming up:

Thursday, February 25th Paula Nuttall, director of the V&A Medieval and Renaissance Year Course, will be talking to us about Raphael: Painter of Perfection, one of the greatest and most influential of all painters and a superstar even in his own lifetime. This lecture will survey his life and work from Urbino to the papal court in Rome and his sudden death at only 37.

Thursday, March 25th Bertie Pearce, who is, among other things a member of the Inner Magic Circle, will be entertaining us in his own inimitable style with Charles Dickens – The Man and his Life through his Characters. The talk will be interspersed with readings of Dickens’ works, reminding us of Mr Micawber, Fagin, Magwitch and others.

These two lectures, as you know, were rebooked after our advertised lecturers were still unable to deliver Zoom alternatives and I’m sure will prove to be very popular replacements.

Sonia has also already been busy putting together next year’s programme for the committee to consider and we’re all looking forward to being back in the Angel Centre before that, despite it at present being used as a vaccination hub.

Zoom coffee chats: Take up has not been as high as I’d hoped but those who have taken part seem to enjoy the chance to catch up and we do generate a good deal of laughter. I shall persevere, inviting groups of up to 10 at any one time.

Banking: I’m pleased to report that we’re now well and truly part of the digital age, not just using Zoom, but able to make full use of electronic banking too. This will make life easier not just for the committee but for members too, enabling annual subscription payments to be made by standing order for those who wish it, and phasing out cheque payments to lecturers. No more standing in bank queues!

AS members’ website: I do hope you’re all taking advantage of what is on offer. This month, for example, there is a new art trail quiz (with answers!) as well as links to a tour of William Morris’s Red House and a film produced in partnership with the Royal Academy of Music.

Next month’s newsletter: I would love to receive contributions from you, our members, recounting your experiences of lockdown to make it a newsletter with a difference. I’m sure you have tales to tell! Don’t be shy and do include a photo if you like.

In the meantime, stay safe and well, ‘keeping on, keeping on’ as Alan Bennett famously said. (Thank you to JC for reminding me of that one!)

Best wishes,

Gill Theaker, Chairman

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