U3A in London Update – 13 April 2020

Here is this week’s update.  Remember, if you would like to contribute to the next update, please email the Office at [email protected]  as we can pick up the emails from home.

We have had a lovely letter from Jo Rapkin:

Dear Amalia (and everyone at U3A)

I am so overwhelmed by the generosity of all of you and I cannot find enough words to say what I want to say.  So (I know you are not supposed to start your sentence with ‘So’, but I will, anyway), let me just say a massive ‘Thank you’ to everyone for this selfless act of kindness – your donation is unexpected, deeply touching but also humbling and most appreciated.  I hope I can somehow, and soon, repay this – what I think of as a loan.  For starters – the cake is on me, just as soon as it is possible 🙂

Please pass on my sincere gratitude to all those involved and wish everyone, on my behalf, most of all good health.  I hope to see you all very soon.

Love, Joanna

P.S.  I am still waiting for the lock down conditions to ease, but in the meantime I am working on ideas on how to provide a service of sorts to those who are interested.

We’ll be sending a further payment to Jo Rapkin’s bank account this week.  For those of you who still wish to contribute to Susan Cohen’s dedicated bank account please contact the Office.


Gilli continues to do her amazing job of updating the list of classes on line. If any more of you would like to host an on line class, let Gilli know so that you can be added to her list.


Quizzes   By popular request, we are repeating Quiz one, Quiz two and the answers to both Quizzes.   Click here to see the Quizzes and here to see the answers (don’t cheat!).  We are sorry to tell you that there will be no Quiz this week as Gerta has had a fall and is in hospital.  Nothing too serious, but they are keeping her under observation for another day or two.  We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her Quiz next week.




From Wally Howard

Hi All,

Many thanks for your responses and enthusiasm for my series of talks on miscarriages of justice.  There will be 4 or 5 sessions and I thought it might be easier to post them on vimeo so that you will have the flexibility to listen to them at any time.  I will be sending out details to my class list and it might be of interest to other members.  The first talk is about antisemitism in France and the Dreyfus affair.  All people have to do is click on the link https://vimeo.com/405852964.

Perhaps if you have technical problems with this you can contact my daughter Lyana by emailing the Office .

Kind Regards,  Wally


From Michael Goodman to the Cercle français group:

Mes chers amis

Vous aurez apprécié qu’il a été de coïncidence insolite que nous étions en train de lire La Peste par Albert Camus juste au moment où une nouvelle peste inédite nous a touchés. Ce livre est devenu reconnu comme œuvre très important et très prévoyant aux circonstances courantes.  Ensemble nous avons lu la moitié et il sera plusieurs mois avant que nous pourrions nous reprendre. Alors je suggère que chacun finisse le livre soi-même. J’espère que chacun de vous va bien ou sinon ne sera pas mal touché par le virus.


The Tuesday Walks

This email came in response to a letter of appreciation from a member that we forwarded to Richard and Charlie.  She asked us to thank “…all the now imprisoned facilitators of those excellent Tuesday afternoons.  If only!  It is Tuesday today. But I can at least remember our outings…”

Richard Cohen replied, ”We are likely to offer some form of programme from September. However Charlie is planning to scale down his involvement.  He has worked enormously hard on managing the allocation of places on the walks through a rigorous Excel spreadsheet that he operates. He has also been offering fascinating walks which are much enjoyed and appreciated by the group.                                                                                                         If anyone is willing to help Charlie, please email the office at [email protected] .  Thank you.


From Barbara Alden

(Her video was accidentally deleted from our website, but is now restored). “Members may be in need of some calming exercises, if they just follow the first 3 parts.  The continuous forms that follow are built up gradually week by week with detailed explanations, so those probably shouldn’t be tried by newcomers without the live class.”


From Eric Mentzer

“Bridge fiends who follow Bernard McGhee may like to know that he is giving sessions on line at 11 o’clock every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.   The 5 sessions so far have been very good. He has covered Doubles and First Leads and also does a quiz with prepared hands.  If you would like to be a follower, email the Office for details.”


From Shafeeq Siddiqui 

“I thought I would send a YouTube link of my class recording last week. If anyone else wishes to see it they are welcome.   In our isolation it’s something to do!  Click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-lKDgHVecw&t=56s  (it’s over an hour long but you can fast forward the preliminary bits).”


From Shirley Levy

“Dear U3A team,

Thank you for your regular e-mails, it is good to hear what is going on among the Belsize Park community of members.   I was particularly pleased to know that a good sum was raised for Jo, who is one of the ‘hearts’ of the Old Hampstead Town Hall.  I am ashamed when I see what other co-ordinators are doing for their groups and can only apologise for my lack of skill with modern technology.  I do, however, hope that my Thursday group will keep reading Chaucer’s Tales.

Be well, Shirley.”


From Hazelanne Lewis

“A timeless and appropriate quotation.   Click here to see what I found on Facebook.”


This will cheer you up.  Ron Tucker told me a lovely story about one of his “buddies”.  When Ron phoned him to see how he was, he said he was fine and was enjoying a glass of wine on his balcony in the sun, celebrating his 98th birthday.  He added that when he gave his order to Waitrose, he had mentioned that it was his birthday – his order arrived within half an hour and included a complementary box of chocolates and a birthday card.


And finally, a message from Liz Cleaver in response to a letter from Naomi:

“There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that WacArts has been forced to close. Where did this come from? We do face a hard challenge since so many room bookings have been cancelled, but we are no different to thousands of other charities and businesses across the country”.

As you will have seen from Ron’s story, our “buddy” scheme is up and running.  Thanks to the help of so many volunteers, we have now made contact with all but a very few members who haven’t answered their telephones.  National Office has been very complimentary about our efforts and is trying to set up something similar for all other U3As.  Maybe we could expand on what we are doing and bring even more of our members together?  Although we are in contact through email, we are not actually speaking to each other and some of you might prefer to chat with another U3A member about what makes the world go around.  Amalia and Diana are always willing to chat, but if you would like your own “buddy”, please let Naomi know whether there is a specific person you have in mind.  If so, say who it is, or if you would prefer a man/woman as a buddy, let her know.  She doesn’t make any promises, but will try her best to make it happen.

Keep smiling, stay active, be positive and above all stay well.

From the U3A team.

P.S.  From Amalia.  I have recently phoned Ralph Blumenau and Ruth Scott.  Both are well and send their very best wishes to everyone.

P.P.S. From Naomi. I expect many of you, like me, are suffering from déjà vu.  Its Groundhog Day yet again!  However, that finally came to an end and so will this.