News for January

The January Newsletter can be downloaded from here or from the ‘About Us’ page (where other newsletters from the past year can also be found).

We have an interesting programme of meetings, starting in February, which is listed on the Events and Meetings page.

The November meeting consisted of a talk by Tony M and Tony A on the life and works of the Humanist philosopher and peace campaigner Bertrand Russell.

The group’s Winter social was held on 8th December once again at the Women’s Centre, Ludlow. More than 20 members participated in a very enjoyable evening of social chat and the customary games. We were also treated to an impromptu rendering by David Cade of new Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s Christmas poem. David, who clearly has remarkable thespian talent, managed to bring this unusual and secular poem splendidly to life.

In ’12 Days of Christmas’, Duffy tackles a wide range of subjects from troops in Afghanistan to MPs’ expenses, climate change and endangered birds. US President Barack Obama, actress Joanna Lumley and artist Anish Kapoor also get a mention. The poem begins: “On the first day of Christmas, a buzzard on a branch. In Afghanistan, no partridge, pear tree; but my true love sent to me a card from home. “I sat alone, crouched in yellow dust, and traced the grins of my kids with my thumb. Somewhere down the line, for another father, husband, brother, son, a bullet with his name on.”

The other 11 verses see the poet give her interpretation of the traditional Christmas song while commentating on the state of society and politics. Five gold rings feature “bankers’ profits fired in greed” while eight maids-a-milking sees one who “milked money to mend her moat”. Carol Ann Duffy, who is not religious, took over from Sir Andrew Motion as poet laureate in May, and is the first female in the post’s 341-year history.

We also enjoyed Tony Mason’s picture recognition challenge which was followed by Pam Cusack’s cryptic quiz for which the party was divided into men v. women teams. In a very tight contest the ladies emerged victorious by one point!

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