Bourton & District

Latest News

This page will be updated frequently with the latest news, new quizzes, living history (members' experiences during the lockdown), poems and more so please check back regularly to keep in touch.

All submissions and suggestions for publication will be gratefully received.

CORONAVIRUS - LATEST ADVICE

The Third Age Trust's dedicated page on the U3A national website will keep you up to date with the latest guidance and advice - both general and specific to U3A. The coronavirus advice is updated regularly; if you haven't read it recently, we recommend that you look again.

AGM 2020

Susan Dodd, our Chairperson, has issued a reminder that our AGM was originally scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday 27th May but it has had to be cancelled. The situation remains very uncertain; her announcement in full, setting out the position as we see it now is on the "Events" page. These details will be updated as and when we know more - please check back from time-to-time.

LIVING HISTORY

Two more contributions today, 26 May, one by Fiona Freeman, the other is anonymous.

QUIZZES

Another quiz is ready for you to test your grey matter and see how it is performing during this tedious lockdown. Unfortunately there will be a delay in publishing last week's answers, the member who set the quiz is unwell; we wish her a speedy recovery and will publish the answers when she is fit again. Quiz setters remain anonymous.

POEMS

Two new poems today, 26 May - one by Jenny Stanfield, No 10, and one by Val Read, No 11.

SHORT STORIES

There are now eight Short Stories to choose from, select from the links on the right.

NATURE GROUP

Andy Lewis has been continuing his work in adding further photos to the Nature Group webpage. Everyone, whether a member of the group or not, is invited to enjoy these wonderful pictures; just click on the Groups tab, select and click on Nature Group from the list, then go to Nature Continues to see them for yourself

NEW SONGS (AND DANCE)

Under review - will be updated shortly.

BEACON IS LIVE!

There remain several groups whose Group Organisers (GOs) have not yet logged-in to Beacon. We hope that they will soon do so and use this facility for keeping in touch with the members of their group. The "E-mail Delivery" link on their home page enables them to see whether their emails have been delivered and opened.

Please let me know if you are ready to sign-up and I will send you a Username and Password together with instructions for logging-in. It's easy! (Ralph Williams, Webmaster)

THE BOURTON BROWSER

June's BB is now being delivered and it will be on the website by the end of this week, 29th May, http://www.bourtonbrowser.co.uk/ for anyone else who wishes to read it.

U3A DAY

The National U3A Day scheduled for 3 June 2020 has been cancelled and it is now planned to hold it on 1 October 2020, International Day of Older Persons. Further details will be published as soon as they are available.

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

During the Lockdown it is particularly helpful to be able to see one another on your laptop, iPad, phone or other device, it brings your conversations to life. The application I prefer is Zoom, it is very effective and quite easy to set up and use, even for those with limited computer experience. It's free too for the first 40 minutes! Your Committee has trialled it quite successfully, apart from one or two hiccups which were soon overcome, almost inevitable with any new technology. If you can handle email, you should not have much difficulty in setting-up and using Zoom. (Ralph Williams, Webmaster)

... and FINALLY:

THIS IS A CONVERSATION BETWEEN A MAN AND HIS WIFE.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SHE ASKS SEVEN QUESTIONS, WHICH HE ANSWERS QUITE SIMPLY.

WOMAN: DO YOU DRINK BEER?

MAN: YES.

WOMAN : HOW MANY BEERS A DAY?

MAN: USUALLY ABOUT THREE.

WOMAN: HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY PER BEER?

MAN: $5.00 WHICH INCLUDES A TIP (THIS IS WHERE IT GETS SCARY!)

WOMAN: AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING?

MAN: ABOUT 20 YEARS, I SUPPOSE.

WOMAN: SO A BEER COSTS $5 AND YOU HAVE THREE BEERS A DAY WHICH PUTS YOUR SPENDING EACH MONTH AT $450. IN ONE YEAR, IT WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY $5400 CORRECT?

MAN: CORRECT !

WOMAN: IF IN 1 YEAR YOU SPEND $5400, NOT ACCOUNTING FOR INFLATION, THE PAST 20 YEARS PUTS YOUR SPENDING AT $108,000 CORRECT?

MAN: CORRECT !

WOMAN: DO YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU DIDN'T DRINK SO MUCH BEER, THAT MONEY COULD HAVE BEEN PUT IN A STEP-UP INTEREST SAVINGS ACCOUNT AND AFTER ACCOUNTING FOR COMPOUND INTEREST FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, YOU COULD HAVE BOUGHT AN AIRPLANE?

MAN: DO YOU DRINK BEER?

WOMAN: NO.

MAN: WHERE'S YOUR AIRPLANE?

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Here's something different and rather interesting:

There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have some gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged. The horse-drawn dray, carting the prisoner, was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like “one last drink”.

If he said “Yes”, it was referred to as “One for the Road”. If he declined, that Prisoner was “On the Wagon”.

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The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

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Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

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Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so, all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs”.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "dirt poor."

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so, they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance. Hence: a thresh hold.

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Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over they would hang up their bacon, to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "Bring home the bacon. "They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around talking and ''chew the fat''.

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Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or ''The Upper Crust''.

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Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of ''Holding a Wake''.

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England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people, so they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realised they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus someone could be, ''Saved by the Bell ''or was considered a ''Dead Ringer'' and that's the truth.

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Now, whoever said history was boring! So, get out there and educate someone!

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Sex Insurance

Did you know that you can now get sex insurance in the UK? Make sure you get the correct insurance for the sex you are having.

Here's a list of companies catering for most tastes:

Sex with your wife/husband Legal & General
Sex on the telephoneDirect Line
Sex with your partnerStandard Life
Sex with someone different Go Compare
Sex with a lady of generous proportions More Than
Sex with a prostitute Commercial Union
Sex with your maid/manservant Employer's Liability
Sex with a pensionerSaga
Sex resulting in pregnancy General Accident
and finally ... Sex with a transvestite Confused. com

Make sure you are adequately covered!

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