Welcome to 2018!!


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Tuesday 9th January – first meeting of 2018

Happy New Year to all. Today our first meeting of the new year was at The Greyhound in Bromley to plan the weeks ahead – so the first of our A.G.M.s for 2018!

It was a breakfast meeting so once we were all together we ordered for food and drink. The drink turned out to be a bit of a mission. The Greyhound is a Wetherspoon’s pub and have installed a machine for all hot drinks that is operated by customers. This was quite a challenge not only for us but other customers which was hilarious and amounted to quite a lot of coffee flowing everywhere! Luckily no one was hurt and no harm done. Once paid for you can refill your cup as many times as you like for the cost of £1.20. We all agreed that was such great value. This gave me the idea to compare prices at our many coffee stops and see at the end of the year which comes out the best!

The food was served very quickly and enjoyed by us all. We had a good old natter about our Christmas and New Year activities and got down to the business of the day. We always seem to come up with some good ideas as to where to go and what to do. Amongst our planned visits we have booked a visit to the Poppy factory where the British Legion make all the poppies, Wildlife Photographic Exhibition, Post Office Museum, a couple of visits to Victoria and Albert Museum for some special exhibitions and Roman Ruins. Dates planned until mid March and all dates are subject to be change!!

After a very pleasant and productive morning we went our separate ways home and of course a visit to the shops couldn’t be missed!!




Christmas Afternoon Tea

Friday 15th December – 43rd meeting of 2017

Our last meeting of 2017 was to meet up for Christmas Afternoon Tea at our local Theatre, The Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Some of our ladies had been at the theatre in August for a tour and tea so we decided to all nine of us meet for Christmas Afternoon Tea as an extra treat!

We met in the foyer and waited to be taken to our table which was decorated very festive and with Christmas cracker. The tea was delicious. Sandwiches were coronation chicken, ham and tomato, egg and cheese. It included a scone, chocolate eclair  and as much tea or coffee as you could manage.


We all enjoyed a very pleasant tea after which we all went our separate ways.  Many of us went to the shops to collect items for presents etc.

This was a nice way for us to end 2017. We have had a good year with 43 outings and a lovely holiday and will meet in the new year to plan 2018. So all I need to do is wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I’ll be back in 2018!


Christmas lunch


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Tuesday 5th December – 42nd meeting of 2017

Today was our annual Christmas Lunch. We went by cars to Coombe Lodge Beefeater restaurant at Croydon. We have used this venue many times for our Christmas lunch. As we use the library room which is very nice and gives us some privacy and allows us to make as much noise as we want therefore not annoying other diners!

We met for coffee. Luckily we all arrived more or less at the same time and we exchanged our Christmas cards. Our table us ready for us at 12.30p.m. we ordered our meal and had a drink while we waited. The food was good and we all enjoyed our three course meal. Funnily enough although we were out for Christmas lunch not one of us ordered turkey! Steak and salmon were very popular!

During the course of the meal we did our Secret Santa present exchange. Any of you who follow my blog will be familiar with the rules, which are – only spend £5 – the present should be funny or rude or silly or sexy! So no pressure!

We opened the presents one by one and this year a few of the items were, magnifying book mark, Indian head massage tool, glass with a seductive lady figurine, elf bobble hat, toy man who grows in water, shell shaped bra, red fox door stop to name a few. All presents once opened are worn, used or demonstrated which is very funny and amusing!

We had a really good fun Christmas lunch and will start looking for next years present as soon as the sales start!


North: Fashion Identity


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Tuesday 28th November – 41st meeting of 2017

Today the plan was to visit Somerset House and an exhibition exploring contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of the North of England.

After meeting at Charing Cross we went to St Martin’s Crypt for a coffee and cake. Then a walk along The Strand and Fleet Street to Somerset House. It was nice looking in the shops windows at all the lovely Christmas decorations and presents on show.

At Somerset House we watched the skaters on the ice rink especially installed for the Christmas season. The courtyard looked very nice with a very large Christmas tree decorated and looking fabulous.

We were a little early for our timed entry at 12.30 so we looked at another free exhibition with exhibits by Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane. This exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist showed many colourful subjects of Moroccan tradition and street culture. Although it was striking and colourful it wasn’t the kind of art that I personally can appreciate.

The North exhibition was a mixture of photography, fashion and multimedia work along with documentary film showing life in the north of England captured in the mid 20th century. It included hi-fi systems, clothes, furniture, beds and films telling everyday stories of Northern people. The fashion items were very interesting and we could all relate to many things on show.  Although it was depicting Northern life it was easy to think of it as life in the South during that period of time. A good exhibition which was easy to follow around. The cost of entry was £5.00 concessions and we spent about 45 minutes looking around.









There was a Christmas shop in the adjoining room which was run by Fortnum and Masons so we had a walk around. Some of our ladies purchased some items. It had all manner of things for Christmas, chocolates, sweets, alcoholic drink, presents such as scarves, slipper, toiletries, toys and decorations. All looking beautiful.

After this we made our way back to Charing Cross and our trains home and feeling very Christmassy!!




Painted Hall Ceiling Tour


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Tuesday 21st November – 40th meeting of 2017

Today all nine of us ladies met and went to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich to go on a tour of the Painted Hall Ceiling which is undergoing a cleaning and conservation project.

We took the DLR to Cutty Sark station, had coffee in the Wetherspoons pub, The Gate Clock, Creek Road and then walked to Royal Naval College. I love this part of London. Greenwich with its market and lovely individual shops is very pleasant to walkaround then at the river with the Cutty Sark looking magnificent and the park itself – it has so much to offer for a visit.

We were a little early for our 1 o’clock guided tour so went into the chapel for a while. This is a wonderful building and so peaceful to sit in and admire.






Once in the painted hall we were met by our tour guide and given a brief run through of the plan for the visit. It started by us all being given hard hats, brightly coloured coats and a headset to make it easy to listen to the guide. This was a major operation to get kitted up but after a little help we were all ready for the 60 foot assent to view the ceiling. Two of us took the small lift to the observation platform while the rest climbed the 67 steps.

Sir James Thornhill’s ceiling was painted between 1707 and 1726 and 40,000 square feet is being cleaned and conserved and open for public viewing during 2017 and 2018. The cost of the tour was £10.00.

When we were all together on the observation deck our guide gave us a mirror so that we could view the ceiling in greater detail. She explained the area to us in great detail pointing out the designs and stories to be seen. It was an amazing thing to see and even more amazing how it was painted originally. There were some conservators working and cleaning some of the sculptures on the walls while we were touring. They showed so much patience. The title of the painting is ‘The Triumph of Peace and Liberty over Tyranny’ and has many different stories and characters in it. Of course lots of Naval influence. Sir John Thornhill himself is featured, Diane Goddess of the Moon, Apollo, Peace, Mary 11, William 111, Louise XIV, Hercules are just a few. Also the four elements,Water, Earth, Fire and Air are shown.






Our guide showed us samples of the items that the six conservators use. Very simple cloths and cleaning items. We also so a jar with dirt that has been taken from the ceiling. This project when completed should keep the ceiling in good condition for many years.

I found this a fascinating tour.  The guide was very good.  She had a good sense of humour and made the stories interesting, bright and fun! The tour lasted 50 minutes and was very enjoyable.

Once back on the ground we took off the safety gear and collected our coats. We had a little walk around the grounds and enjoyed the beautiful views of the building, park and river.  We made our way home via the DLR to Lewisham and trains home.

A very good day was had be all!