May 2021-Digest

May 2021-Digest


May 2021- Digest

At the end, it’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years!

Member’s News

Bob Howes weathered his surgery and is now at home.  His interest in the election results shows he is back to normal.

April Talk

Was by Colin Beaumont on his life as a toastmaster and Master of Ceremonies.  It was very well received.  I regret you have to wait until next month to share his experience.

In Committee

We met as planned.  The next lunch is planned for 30th June.   Further away the AGM will be in October.  There I will collect subs for 2021-22. Those who paid for this year will be credited for next.

Due to the hiatus only 48 of the 90 numbers have been taken for the lottery.  It is only supported by 15 members so with it now being back in action previous players are urged to come back.  It’s only £4 for a number for the rest of the year. (June -September)

The Outlook

Cum the May meeting we will be past the latest milestone of 17 May and life will be almost back to normal.  I’m still expecting to wear a face covering in public places.  However, you will note that daily infections are still north of 2000.  At the same time deaths have reduced to a very few.  The government has opened up a few countries to visit without needing to quarantine on return.  The list does not include France and Spain but it does include Gibraltar so guess what?   Their hospitality businesses will find this had to take.  The USA is also excluded.

Treasurers Talk

Last month saw us into the second half of the year.  Being the most unusual year ever you may wonder whether we are financially sound.  If not, there is no future.  Well, we are.  The result of no activity means both income and expense come close to drying up. At the end of 2019-20 our unrestricted assets were £1672.  At the end of April this year they were £1540.  Altho this is a fall of £132 it is not an indication of financial weakness.  The one aspect of our activity that will continue throughout the year is the lottery.  At present we are going thru a catch up exercise.  The first draw of the year was in October.  Starting last month we made drawings for batches of three months.  At this month’s meeting drawings for February, March and April will go ahead.

On the lighter side

Once upon a time there lived a King who had the most beautiful daughter. But there was a problem.  An evil wizard had put a curse on the daughter so that everything the Princess touched would melt. Because of this, men were afraid of her. Nobody would dare marry her. The King despaired. What could he do to help his daughter? He consulted his wizards and magicians. 
One wizard told the King, “If your daughter touches one thing that does not melt in her hands, the curse will be broken, and she will be cured.” The King was overjoyed and came up with a plan. The next day, he held a competition. Any man who could bring his daughter an object that would not melt would marry her and inherit the King’s wealth.
Three young Princes took up the challenge.
The first brought a sword of the finest steel. But, alas, when the Princess touched it, it
melted. The Prince went away sadly.
The second Prince brought diamonds. He thought diamonds were the hardest substance in the world and would not melt. But, alas, once the Princess touched them, they turned to liquid. He too was sent away disappointed.
The third Prince approached. He told the Princess, close your eyes and feel what I have in my hand.
The Princess did as she was told. She felt something very hard. She then held it in her hand. And it did not melt!

The King was overjoyed. Everybody in the kingdom was overjoyed. And the Prince married the Princess and they both lived happily ever after.
So what did the Prince have in his hand? 
M&Ms of course! They melt in your mouth, not in your hand!

What else did you think of?

Travel Insurance

With some of the world opening up again in the not too distant future one of the first hurdles we of a certain age have to jump is getting travel insurance.  The greatest stumbling block is pre-existing medical conditions.  My impression is that the insurance companies are a money grubbing bunch because on a form they ask, “do you have so and so or have you ever had so and so?” On the phone a clerk with no medical knowledge asks you medical questions. Any answer you give has to be recorded as yes or no in a tick box.  In my own case I have numerous historical conditions including cancer that are never going to strike me down during a two week holiday wherever.  My only recourse is to book flight only and find some sort of accommodation on arrival.

Now according to an article in the Echo help is at hand.  The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have imposed some new requirements on insurance companies in the case of serious medical conditions. The Money Advice Service will now be able to signpost you to a suitable policy.  Regret it is only on the internet which is completely counterintuitive when it comes to the older traveller.  Visit 

Another possibility is the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).  Again on internet. insurance.  They are good for anything unusual but for travel their broker, Just Travel, is where I expect you will go to.

Before making any travel plans the advice is to check the government website.

The Lighter Side from NPC London

An elderly man is driving down the M1 when his mobile rings. Answering it, he hears his wife on the other end, Albert she says, ‘please be careful when you are driving back as I have just heard that there is a maniac on the M1 driving the wrong way.’ No it’s not just one he replies, ‘there’s hundreds of them’

 Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, Holmes woke Watson up and said, ‘Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.’ Watson replied, ‘I see millions and millions of stars.’ Holmes asked ‘And what do you deduce from that?’ Watson replied, ‘Well, if there are millions of stars, and even if a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like Earth out there. And if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life’. Holmes said, ‘Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.’

Government’s Legislation

If you listened avidly to the Queen’s Speech waiting to hear Boris Johnson’s promise to fix the abysmal situation with adult care fulfilled you were no doubt disappointed.  I expect NPC will have something to say about that.

Blast from the Past

This year marks the 61st anniversary of that brilliant invention the Etch-a Sketch, that went on sale in July 1960.  Before Photoshop was a glint in Adobe’s digital eye Etch-a-Sketch seemed like a miracle.

The ease of wiping out whatever you chose was so satisfying.  Now, after all that time I have a similar situation with my memory.  The mental slider wipes out entire events.

Dates for your diary

Now:  Southend Museums are open again.

Mixed media in the Beecroft until 18 June.

Outdoor artwork from 22 May at the focal Point Gallery.

20 May to 2 Jan:  Postal Museum.  151 years of the British Postcard

16 June:  Members meeting.  2pm at the Balmoral Centre, Salisbury Road.  Kelly Marks of SBC on “Council and Community”.

30 June: Lunch. Brewers Fayre, Eastern Esplanade, Southend at noon.   £15 for 2 courses.  Call Jean 01702 341047 to book your place.

© JDS/ May 2021.  Tel 01702 472670