Monthly Briefing June 2020

Monthly Briefing June 2020

In Committee

We heard from Balmoral that the ‘garden’ is now clear so we arranged to meet there on 15 June.  Howes provided chairs.  In the space available keeping our distance was no problem.  As the straws in the wind suggest the pubs will open shortly we decided to check for those with large gardens with a view to booking lunch.

We caught up on three months lottery.  The star of the show turned out to be Kath Straith who came out first twice with the same number.  I won’t say which as you’ll all want it next year.

The other main decision for members was we don’t expect to meet until September.  Earlier may be possible but that would not allow Jean time to reorganise the speakers.

Late on I was asked ‘what’s for the digest this month?’  With no speaker contributions and not many events I was definitely feeling it would be a struggle.  A history of the Vietnam War went down like a lead balloon.  Something happy was called for!

What follows is a rerun of Jean and Bob’s CARRIBEAN CRUISE:

Last year Bob and I wanted a special holiday as we both celebrated special birthdays .  We took ages deciding where to go and what to do, we finally went in January this year!  We decided on a cruise to the Western Caribbean visiting British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and then staying a week in Barbados.

We have never been on a cruise before and didn’t know what to expect, it was wonderful from Gatwick onwards! We booked our luggage in and didn’t see it again until we were in our cabin on the ship!  When we landed in Barbados we got straight on our bus to the port, bypassing the airport terminal. Our Cabin was on the apex of the boat and larger than I thought it would be, views were amazing through big windows on to 6th deck.  Bob was more than ecstatic as guess where the smoking deck was, 20 second walk to 6th deck. I couldn’t get over relaxing on deck, they bring the drinks trolley round you didn’t even have to get up!

Every day, a different island, and we enjoyed learning about Britain’s Imperial past. British Virgin Islands we enjoyed a boat and bus ride with lots of rum punch!   Antigua was the island I was most looked forward to and it didn’t disappoint. We visited Nelson’s dockyard which the world’s only working Georgian dockyard. Dominica is dubbed the nature island and we visited spectacular falls where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. Grenada is known as the spice island and we toured the rainforest.  St Lucia was just breath taking views of rainforest and Piton mountains.

The hotel in Barbados was amazing, right on the Caribbean sea, with the perfect sandy beach and boardwalk with local buses passing to take us to the Capital Bridgetown.  We were a ten minute walk from the spectacular 18th century Garrison which is a Unesco World Heritage site. It has the finest collection of iron guns in the world and also houses George Washington house.

We never thought we could ever afford to see these wonderful places. I was about to book another cruise to Eastern Caribbean when the virus struck. We are still hoping to go next January.

Jokes were also held to be in order:

From Barry Todman, London Region NPC

“I am thinking of taking this wine box back, to complain. It says that once opened, it will last for 8 weeks. It only lasted 2 days.”

“I just got pulled over by the policeman who said ‘I can smell alcohol’.  I told him that’s because you are not practising social distancing.”

Sir Winston Churchill

has been in the news recently rather for the wrong reason.  Like all great men and women they all went thru school.  Commonly they got and end of term report most of which reached their parents.  When at Harrow Winnie got this one:

“Constantly late for school, losing his books and papers and various other things into which I need not enter.  He is so regular in his irregularity that I really don’t know what to do.  He had such good abilities but these would be made useless by habitual negligence.” 

Fortunately he grew up good.  Incidentally, what’s your guess at the “other things?”


A return to the community spirit that has so long been missing in large parts of the country is brilliant. But as ever, the scammers are never too far away.  The latest are:

  • Some calls and texts claim to be from the Government, your GP’s surgery or the NHS, or even the World Health Organisation (WHO). In the caller will claim to be contacting you about the coronavirus. They might offer a test for the virus, a treatment or cure, or might offer to discuss your medical needs.

If you receive a call, text or other communication that you think might be a scam, hang up or delete the text and report it on or phone 0300 123 2040, including the number that was used to contact you.

  • Another phone call says they are doing a survey on the virus. It sounds nice, they ask how you are and that you are keeping safe. Then it goes on to suggest that now might be the time to write a will, take out power of attorney, arrange a pre-paid funeral. The way to test this one is to let them give their spiel and then ask how they got your phone number. Normally they put the phone down, but if not, then you close off the call. If you have caller ID on your phone, sometimes this one shows ‘withheld’.
  • Phone calls purporting to be your bank Fraud team and that you have been the victim of fraud. They tell you they will send someone to your home to collect your bank card and pin number and give you a replacement. Banks will never do this. Some of these calls are again shown as ‘withheld’, but if you do get a call and a number, please report it to Action Fraud.

These, with all the other scams reported so far, will only be the tip of the iceberg as those unsavoury people seek to gain from others tragedies, so stay vigilant, ask questions, tell them nothing and make sure if you can that other vulnerable people you know are aware of them.

How to be a young Centenarian

The health and longevity of the citizens of Okinawa came to the attention of Professor Makoto Suzuki, cardiologist and geriatrician.

He saw they well outlived fellow Japanese who  already have the highest life expectancy in the world and have exactly the same genes and also consume, as in Okinawa a lot of fruit, vegetables, seaweed and fish.  He further noted that a group of Okinawans who had emigrated to Brasil suffered all the ailments associated with the ‘western diet’.

The difference turned out to be they consume a great deal of CURCUMA which is not the case in the rest of Japan.

Interested?  Call 0800 130 3900 or visit

If you have joint pain, blood pressure, loss of memory, are overweight or are susceptible to every passing microbe then you should be.

Date for your Diary

31 July-2 Aug:  Drive in cinema at Garon Park showing “Grease”, Bohemian Rhapsody and 5 others.  Book at