All over the country students are returning to the universities of their choice. For many, including my eldest grandson, Jack, it is a whole new adventure.
the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, is not sure how she is going to fit all his possessions into the family car on account of the fact that the whole family, plus Jack's beautiful girl-friend Zoë, are all accompanying him on his trip Oop North. It
will be a full-scale Family Send-off.
Mr B and I are also returning to university - in our case, the esteemed a University of the Third Age or U3A. The U3A doesn't have lecture halls or a campus, a library
or a Student Bar - but, like every university across the world it is All About Learning. Indeed, given that the majority of its members have, like Mr B and me, reached A Great Age, it is a sterling manifestation of Lifelong Learning. As such, I am proud to
count myself among its (aged) students.
We have had a bit of a break during August but now it's September, Autumn is approaching, all our activity groups are welcoming back their members, new and old. The
monthly meetings have started again, too. We weren't able to get to last week's meeting as I had a prior appointment but the general view - as imparted over coffee and biscuits at Delia and Jim's cribbage group yesterday afternoon - was that we had had a Lucky
Escape. Apparently it was really, really boring.
This is a pity, because most of the talks at our monthly meetings are entertaining, if occasionally for the wrong reasons. I still remember the guest speaker
whose trousers kept slipping down so that he had to hoist them up between slides. No, sorry, I can't remember anything about his actual talk. My mind wad Otherwise Occupied, one might say. I dare say not all the lectures Jack and other students will be required
to attend will be totally fascinating, it's the law of averages.
Because I wasn't at the meeting I missed all the controversy over the Book and Jigsaw Table. This was a pity because I do like a Bit of Controversy,
especially when it isn't a case of Life and Death. I'm not that shallow, you know. What's happened is that, while in the past the Book and Jigsaw Table was run on a kind of informal "swapsies" basis, with a little bowl in which to place voluntary donations,
now there is a standard charge of 50p per book. Or per puzzle. Should you be generous enough (or should you, more likely, be needing to free up space on your bookshelves) as to bring along several books / puzzles for the table, you would still need to pay
out 50p to help yourself to the latest Jack Reacher adventure should you find it lurking beneath several back copies of Saga magazine and three volumes of a series on The Way We Were.
Julia, who is on a rota
of helpers on the Book and Jigsaw Table says she is Using Her Discretion. I do love a rebel, don't you?
So, the Autumn term is underway. Last Friday was the first session for our Singing for Pleasure Choir.
We started the term with a swing - lots of rousing choruses à la Last Night at the Proms. Without the flags and the bobbing up and down, on account of the fact that the majority of us have knees which aren't quite Up To Bobbing.
The Birdy Group has met once, though because of the weather our meeting was bird-less. Nevertheless the coffee and the company were first class. Members of our Nomination Whist group will reconvene at our house next Wednesday and the
following Wednesday I will be coming all over crafty at the Lovely Linda's arts and crafts group.
You may be querying how much actual learning I am doing but I
am stoutly of the opinion that everything can be a Learning Experience if you only put your mind to it.
Mind you, Scottish Christine (fellow member of the Birdy Group) puts me to shame on the learning front.
She has joined a Science group, freely admitting that most of the topics discussed at its regular meetings go right over her head. Sometimes, she says, she feels as if she has, herself, fallen into the Black Hole on which occasions she just sits quietly and
I think I should take a large leaf out of Scottish Christine's book. Listen and learn, that's the name of the game.
Like Our Jack - and countless
other uni students of all ages - I am looking forward to listening, learning and having fun in the new term.