Writing for Pleasure
This group was formed with the goal of sharing and discussing each others’ writing. It is ‘for pleasure’ as opposed ‘for publication, although publication or posting are by no means ruled out. Each month we each prepare a piece of work on a theme.
This January the Writers’ Group turned their minds to why people join things, especially why they join a U3A. Most of us produced a list of bullet points and we used them as the prompt for discussion. Philippa and Tim bucked the trend. Philippa offed motives uncovered in sociological research. The most common reason given in one study was to achieve something that needed numbers, that an individual couldn’t achieve alone; understandable for joining a union, a pressure group, a political party, but a U3A? Perhaps not? The second reason that emerged from research was to follow an interest or learn more about something. This one was on everyone’s list for joining a U3A. Other reasons were more specific to the age-group: losing a partner; wanting to escape from a partner, or caring for one! Also noted was moving to a new area; wanting to make new friend and connections. Isolation was the curse of the third age, commented Tim. The search for new contacts segued seamlessly into a need to belong; not that easy in Sussex several agreed, where you are rated an outsider unless you have lived around here for 40 years. Joining an interest group is a way of establishing an identity as well as finding like-minded people. ‘I am a gardener; someone who loves books; a person who like going out to dine.’ Paula noted that joining the U3A is neutral territory. U3A’s have no axe to grind unlike a political group or church. They are essentially non-judgmental. They take you at your own valuation. And another reason, we all agreed, was that leaving the world of work we sometimes miss routine, and having regular places to go; things to do, helps provide one. So all in all, many reasons to join a U3A. But which group. Tim, out on his own as ever, resorted to verse:
A is for Antiques and Collectables, whose creaking joints and croaking voices
Belie their wisdom and their many choices;
For instance, Book Club Chapter Two
Which you may join if Chapter One is full and can’t have you.
Try Cooking up a Storm, or Stitch and Chat
Where you can do some needling, and chew the fat.
If Studying Japan and Shinto
You’re not into
Try Walking, but if your legs find that a drag
Maybe to Write for pleasure is your bag?
Or speaking French, or Stamp collecting,
Or if green-fingered Mayfield Gardening?
The Drama group is less dramatic now
And if you might direct it, take a bow.
London On foot you can explore;
Though you must first get there: quite a chore
Arranging coach trips. Punters say they’re keen
But on the day they are not seen.
Make ‘em pay up front what’s due.
Then they’ll turn up, or that’s my view.
Canterbury was fun, or so they say.
Next April we go far away
Up north to Lindisfarne and Durham with another group.
Is that a scoop?
With News and Views your mind may wander
If current events you don’t wish to ponder.
To Heathfield U3A you’ll “Learn, laugh and live."
The group agreed that, although instructive this month’s ‘homework’ hadn’t been very creative. Next month the group has a challenging topic: just ‘Sorry’. Take is where you like. We meet on the third Wednesday in the month, at 14.00, Philippa’s house as usual.
Contact: Philippa Pigache
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