Jaqui's Daily Blog

An Open Day Experience

It was easy to spot my fellow choir members yesterday as I entered the East Worthing Community Centre, venue for the first ever U3A Open Day. Those bright red shirts were a real giveaway.

We had been instructed to gather, if fine, in a small courtyard / garden area at the back of the hall by 12 noon. This was, perhaps, a trifle early, given we were not due to perform until 12.45. Still we are a (generally) obedient lot so there we were, out in the garden, looking for somewhere to sit while we waited.

There was one small bench but it was in full sunshine and just a few minutes sitting there was more than enough. In the shady section of the garden the only place to sit appeared to be a small wooden kitchen built (we presumed) for the resident playgroup. Someone was already sitting on the work surface which only left the stove and the sink, neither of which looked exactly comfy, though the sink, complete with wooden taps, was probably the worst of a bad lot.

I decided to do a bit of exploring instead and visited the playgroup garden which was looking in sorry need of attention - but then I remembered that school's out for summer. Anyway, I needed to check in with our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, who was concerned that our programme - rehearsed so assiduously yesterday morning - was going to be too long, given the shortness of our allotted time. We would therefore, she decreed, cut out both I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside and Loudly Proclaim. Such a pity that these were the two songs I had practised most in the shower that morning.

The Open Day attracted lots of people, I was pleased to see. The small team of organisers had worked so very hard they deserved a good turnout for their troubles. The first person I saw when I arrived was the Lovely Linda who was signing up lots of new members for our Birdy Group. She took advantage of my arrival to go and fetch herself a well-deserved cup of coffee and I did my best to be a good and enthusiastic deputy, answering questions about when and where we meet.

Art appreciation? Play reading? French conversation? Philosophy? Yes, yes, yes - there are around sixty different interest groups in our U3A and the Open Day was a chance to find out more about them. Rummikub and Mexican Dominoes appeared particularly popular. There were so many groups I would love to join - but I'm not sure I have enough hours in the day, or days in the week, or months in the year, given how much I am doing already. I suppose I could always give something up? But, no, I really, really couldn't...

The Musical Interlude at lunchtime was well-received. I could see people bobbing along to the music through Funiculi Funicula (which always reminds me of holidays in beautiful Italy) and everyone loved Get Me To The Church On Time. Our programme only lasted ten minutes so we didn't really need to cut songs out. I could have Loudly Proclaimed my disappointment - but I decided better not. After all, there was plenty more to set the feet tapping in the shape of musical offerings by the U3A orchestra, which goes by the name of Inspired Instrumentalists, the Ukelele Group and Recorders for Beginners.

After the Lunchtime Break, I was down to give a demonstration on Nomination Whist. Most people seemed to have drifted off home but dear Margaret from our Whist group stayed to support me and we managed to coax a couple of passing gents to join us in a game. We obviously gave a good account of the Fun and Frolics of our fortnightly card sessions because one of the gents trotted off afterwards to join the U3A forthwith, saying we had changed his mind about whether the organisation catered for the likes of him.


In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I took this as a compliment.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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