On 12 May 2016, anyone in the UK could record their diary and send it to the Mass Observation Archive, which is housed at The Keep in Brighton. The Mass Observation Archive specialises in material about everyday life in Britain and our members were asked to send their diaries in, not only to The Mass Observation Archive, but to NWR as well so that we could get a glimpse into a day in the life of our members.
On Saturday 5 March, Thornbury North group had an interesting and enjoyable visit to the BBC Studios for radio and television in Bristol. A group of 16 of us were given a guided tour around the BBC Bristol complex, visiting radio and television studios, especially the Points West studio and also the roof garden from where the weather forecast is often broadcast.
Last week was Facial Palsy Awareness Week and to highlight it, I wanted to share my personal story…
I thoroughly enjoyed my career in education and gave no indication of slowing down. However, one morning I awoke with severe vertigo. I tried to get out of bed but this just instigated a series of vomiting and seizures. The transfer to the ambulance was horrific because any movement exacerbated the vertigo, causing vomiting and further seizures.
Having built up quite a surplus of cash in the group's bank account, thanks to a win in the Telephone Treasure Trail and the prize draw for new members at the National Conference in Glasgow last year, Pickering and District members decided to splash out on a lunch date with a local celebrity, actor/director Dominic Goodwin.
As it was at my suggestion that a party of seven Dartford NWR ladies reserved a table at the ‘Clink’ restaurant in Brixton Prison, I was a little nervous concerning the success of the excursion. The information regarding security was daunting. Everyone remembered to bring some sort of identification but when I reminded them that we were not to have in excess of £50 in cash, a kerfuffle ensued as purses were turned out and bank notes locked away in cars.
Salisbury NWR groups one and two joined together on 6 January 2015 for an Epiphany Party.
As well as consuming delicious nibbles, both savoury and sweet, we had exercised the little grey cells with a couple of anagram quizzes and a picture quiz on Salisbury below eye level that certainly separated the highly observant from those who who are too busy trying not to stumble on Salisbury’s uneven pavements!
One of our members has a daughter in a Zazu tribal dance group, so it was suggested that, for a slightly different meeting, we could invite them to entertain us one evening.
Thank you for the wonderful prize of two nights' stay at Gladstone Library. I wasn't sure what to expect but it exceeded any expectations I might have had.
It is nearly five years since my husband and I took the unusual step of inviting strangers into our home for a weekend of cultural exchange, and we’re glad we did. Through a small charity called HOST we have welcomed some delightful international students from across the world and had the unique opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures from the people who grew up in them.
In June this year, I was delighted to receive the Mary Stott Award for my play writing. The plays are for all-female casts and are hired by NWR and other women’s groups.
It is wonderful to be able to combine my hobby of writing with raising money for two of my favourite charities. I’d like to thank the NWR groups around the country who hire the plays and keep them circulating by posting them on to each other.
Talent, financial success, fame and adoration offer no protection from the subjective experience of loneliness. There is nothing inherently problematic about solitude itself. Loneliness isn’t about being alone, it’s about not feeling connected. There is nothing trivial, comical or poignantly romantic about loneliness.
Of the top 10 books sold by Amazon this year, four were colouring books for adults.
Forget the idea that colouring books are for children. In a time-short world dominated by digital screens, many adults are now embracing the concept of the soothing art of colouring. Chosen for their creativity and the quality of the illustrations and paper, colouring books for adults are of an exceptionally high quality. They are designed to help calm, destress and focus the mind in the belief that exploring colour and space occupies parts of the brain that might normally be involved in anxiety.
At Rugeley we’re on the doorstep of Cannock Chase, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty boasting 26 square miles of mixed woodland with large areas of coniferous and heathland.
Its features made it ideal, throughout both wars, as an area for training the soldiers about to be sent overseas. We decided to walk a very small part of the Chase, one fine evening in August, to view a few of the historical sites that are still evident from the encampments of the First World War.
I was so thrilled when Jeanette House, the Trustee responsible for organising the Photo Competition, rang me to say I had won! The prize of two nights in Yorkshire was another opportunity to add to my photo collection.
In late April my husband and I travelled up to The Steeton Hall Hotel in Keighley stopping at the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park for lunch on the way – lots of lambs and Henry Moore sculptures and far too much to see in a quick visit.
Trentham NWR has been fortunate this year – with Japan as our themed country – to have had Chitose Ikawa from Tokyo as a member of our group while she was here studying at Keele. Nearing the end of Chitose’s year in the UK a few of us took her to Tatton Park to visit the famous Japanese Garden. Built by Japanese craftsmen in 1910 for the 3rd Lord Egerton it features acers, azaleas, water irises, a tea house and a Shinto shrine. Our guide walked us through explaining each item and its meaning, pointing out essential components such as the sacred fox Inari in his red bib, a turtle, water, bridges, stepping stones and zigzag paths to fool the devil.
My tandem skydiving experience was a present from my children for my 60th birthday last year. You can imagine my surprised look when I opened the envelope!
I booked the dive early in the year, timing it so that it came soon after my son's wedding so as not to leave me with too much time to dwell on it.