Huntingdon Races - Richard Stanley
14 of us gathered at The Holiday Inn for lunch next to the racecourse, good portions of a variety of foods from lasagne to fish and chips.
We eagerly awaited the arrival of Tony (the tipster) and Lyn who suggested a horse for the first race (it lost).
We walked to the course - it was dry and sunny but cold, we watched and lost 4races then the rain moved in and we moved out.
The championship jockey Tony McCoy had 2 rides at the meeting, we backed the one he lost and the other one won at 5/1 GREAT !!!
A good afternoon but let's hope we get a winner next time.
Thanks to RICHARD and Janette for organising and special thanks to RICHARD who was pressed ganged into doing the write up.
Blacksmithing at Stanwick - Janet and John Kemp
A cold March morning was met by four eager members of the 50+ club, coming to terms with the overpowering turbulent questions they battled with, such as should they make a wrought iron gate, a sculpture of Venus , or a more modest venture such as an ornate fire grate? Such lofty thoughts were soon put to bed when our ever patient teacher 'Stu' suggested that by the end of the session we should be able to make two rustic hooks (mine turned out to be more rustic than intended). We all had full opportunity to beat out any pent up aggression as we clanged and banged, tapering our iron rods and finally shaping them to a rustic design. We were somewhat slower than anticipated as we only made one hook each - obviously the remedial group. Still, our products did bear a faint resemblance to the one we were modelling them on. We must thank Stu for his excellent tuition and encouragement and a big thank-you to Lyn for organising it. If anyone wants their horse shoeing or an ornate log basket we're available at very reasonable rates!
Center Parcs Weekend Birch 666 - Typed and narrated by Sheila Casey, aided and abetted by Residents of the Home for the Bewildered. Jokes supplied by Bob Hopeless.
As Marilyn said on the first day, "It would be lovely here without all these people". We quickly learned to LOVE Woburn Center Parcs, the buildings, the activities, the wildlife such as Muntjac deer, grey squirrels, rabbit, robins, tree creepers and a thrush, the lovely weather and the friendly atmosphere. We all came to appreciate the busy activity of families and friends enjoying healthy activities together. Despite its number of 666, our lodge for 8 people was new, spacious and generated a happy atmosphere of close companionship in adversity!
Beforehand, we had had a logistics meeting to plan meals and food contributions and I had foolishly volunteered to make a chicken tagine, so my first real task was to start cooking. Easy! Unfortunately, there were 3 graduated pans, of which the largest was half the size we needed. Team co-operation came into play. Barbara suggested that we borrow a large pan from next door, but had to wait for the lady to dish up her spaghetti before we could have it! The tagine had to be made with half the ingredients in one pan, half in the other and the couscous in a third, smaller pan. The two sauces had to be mixed together on individual plates like supermarket kits, but it did taste good! We were ready for it in the end, because it took combined brains to work the modern cooker. Five separate processes to turn on one hot-plate. Talk about technology gone mad! By the third day we had discovered that there is an "F" in cooker but we worked together throughout as a strong team.
The first draw for most people was the Sub-Tropical Swimming Paradise, which largely lived up to expectations, Bob being overheard to claim after several rides that "the colonic irrigation was free". Although many of the rides were very vigorous, the rejuvenating waters turned the 50+ers into re-born teenagers. It was universally enjoyed.
We also had the pleasure of various other activities, thanks to Pauline, Keith and Dave, such as 10 Pin Bowling, where renowned 50+ Champion Steve was soundly beaten by Bob. In a new activity for the Club, Geo-Cache, Christine's 3-person Team from 666 beat the superior-numbered 780 Team, led by competitive, all-rounder Keith by a couple of minutes.
By the third evening, we had cemented old friendships and said a sad farewell to Hilary and Dave with a huge 3-course hot and cold buffet of remaining food from the cupboard and fridges. "We can now see how Jesus fed the 5000 and still had left-overs to take home". And Paul was still trying to force-feed us Snickers at 10 pm!
Missing: 1 black ash tray, last seen used as a squirrel feeding bowl. Would the squirrel please return it before we are charged.
1 fire log, last seen before Dave grilled the Cumberland Pie.
Center Parcs - Maple 780 (joint effort)
We have been swimming, walking, cycling and geo-caching. We have played badminton, short tennis, table-tennis, American pool and 10 pin bowling. We have been on the Cyclone, Twister and Typhoon slides in the pool and down the rapids and round the lazy river. Phew, we need a rest! Of course we have been eating and drinking in between all that.
Our accommodation was superb and our daily menu even better. My experience on the water slides was one I will never forget - thanks for the recommendation Paul.
The adventure golf was great fun with a bonus of seeing the birds of prey en route.
For some of us the activities were new and exciting and we look forward to expanding our skills next year.
Thanks for the great company and many thanks to Pauline for sorting it all out.
First Aid - Paula Alibone
About fourteen members were present for training at the St John's Ambulance Headquarters in Northampton.
We were welcomed by our instructor Paul and as this was my first event with 50+, I was introduced to and made very welcome by some of the other members. (Remembering names could take me a while).
After providing us with a free drink, Paul led us to a room upstairs where we were to spend the next three hours learning about CPR, The DRABC check, Recovery Position, Choking, Nose Bleeds, Heart Attacks, Electric Shock, Drowning, Cuts and Bandaging techniques. We were shown video clips of different scenarios, given demonstrations, practised on each other and adult and baby dummies (Annie's).
Paul was not only knowledgeable but also humorous which made the whole session very enjoyable.
Overall, a well structured course which seemed to cover quite a lot in the time we had available. Just hope I can remember it all!!
Thanks to Janette for organising.
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