Message in a Bottle (4)

Message in a Bottle (4)

Welcome to Message in a Bottle (4), the a store for the material in the third Flotsam and Jetsam e-Newsletter from Farnham U3A.

It doesn’t matter if you deleted the e-Newsletter – the important bits are here!

Listen to a Personal View of Lockdown:

Your editors ‘phoned Ann Vickers to find out how she is coping with the lockdown. She’s been keeping busy as you’ll hear – listen using the media player above.

From your editors:

Our wonderful spring has continued and the arrival of recent rain has really perked everything up in our gardens and parks. Those able to take a walk for our daily exercise will have noticed how polite 95% of the community has become with a ‘thank you’ to those who step aside and a cheery ‘good morning’ to people they’ve never seen before. At the shops people stand back to let us reach onto the shelves. Let’s hope that this is a lasting benefit.

DIY hairdressers

Last time we asked whether you’d brave a DIY haircut during the lockdown – here’s the answer.  25% of respondents would brave the scissors – no doubt believing that any damage will have grown out by the time they see their hairdresser; 44% were fence-sitters opting to ‘wait and see’; whilst 31% remembered Sampson.  Thank you to everyone who participated in our straw poll.

For those willing to take the plunge the most important tip is to use small scissors and trim small sections a time. YouTube is full of video tutorials, but sadly the models are half your editors age and twice as glamorous.  The Telegraph offers this video and The Independent this one.

Groups on the go:


This group has maintained contact through a monthly newsletter which is distributed through Beacon about the time the group would have met. The aim is to provide updates (where appropriate), to inform and entertain.  Members have also contributed content which has broadened the range of topics was covered in the second edition.  A copy of the April newsletter can be found here.

The Arts Community can dip into an embarrassment of riches ….
Art History

There are a great many Art talks, virtual Gallery tours, and clips available on-line. Information about these are regularly sent to group members.

Concert Club

Just before lockdown on 5th March the group attended a concert of chamber music by Handel, Telemann and Bach at the Purcell Room. Sadly, the rest of their programme is likely to be cancelled but members will be kept posted.

The websites of their regular orchestras are offering music, either from their archives or recorded at home. One of their favourites is the OAE with informative content about their instruments as well as performances. You can listen here. The baroque spoons video is particularly entertaining – look at the date…. and they love this one from the orchestra of the Royal Opera House – click here.

Discovering Music

Group members are regularly receiving relevant clips and links and for others there is the BBC Sounds.  This may be a good time to try a free online digital music library like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music or ask a family member with a subscription to add you onto their account. [Editor tip – now’s the time to spoil yourself with a good quality portable Bluetooth speaker]

Jazz Club

Various clips, and interesting pieces by Alan Little on Mingus/Pre-war Blues/Great piano players, have been sent to group members. It’s very easy to search Jazz music on your BBC sounds app or on line digital music service provider.

Philosophy 1&2

Group members have received their scheduled session content by email and been invited to comment on the chapters they would have studied during the classes.

Wine knowledge online

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is offering free online events through Zoom. There is their Tuesday drinks-themed quiz plus their varietal tastings on Thursdays.  If you are seriously interested you can also access online their well-regarded industry training courses here.

Armchair Travel:

We bring you more clips from around the world. Showcasing the vastness of the USA the first two come from the Yosemite National Park in California’s stunning Sierra Nevada mountains then over to the Grand Canyon

  • To start some 360 degree panoramas are here.
  • And a selection of time lapse films showing the scene yesterday are here.
  • If that’s not energetic enough how about a (virtual) hike through the Grand Canyon.  Start hiking here!
  • Then take an 8 km walk through the Rainforests of Washington’s Olympic National Park here.
  • Or see the Skagit River in Washington State here.

Missing the Flower Shows?

We found a video of the Arundel Castle Tulip Festival here.. You will also find some other videos to help you in the garden.

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show has been cancelled so the RHS is making plans for a virtual Chelsea. There will be online events during the week of 19th to 23rd May on the RHS website and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’ll bring you more details in the next issue. You can also find out more at.

From our muse:

A word from the wise

One recent scam warns that your television licence is going to expire and unless you click the link, you’ll have no service. Don’t! Another tells PayPal users that there is a problem with their account. Again – don’t click the link.

Remember – don’t be panicked into doing something.  Check your records and if you really do have to make contact enter the details in your browser rather than clicking the link. Also if it sounds too good to be true it usually is – report anything suspicious to Action Fraud online or phone 0300 123 2040

If you need help with anything contact those you can trust or the Farnham & Villages Coronavirus Helpline on 01252 745446 (Monday-Friday from           9 am-6 pm) or email to


We’re all having to learn new skills with technology, hopefully we can help. Please don’t let it get to you like it got to Joe!

Surrey County libraries have extended their collection of e-books and e-audiobooks. Available to all Surrey library members – more here

The Zoom Guide below has helped members connect. Feel free to read it and circulate it to others. The guide was updated on 23rd April 2020.

Zoom instructions 20200423

Tip for joining an online meeting: please sort out the software and your computer / tablet / ‘phone before the meeting. This is because the meeting host can’t tutor you during the meeting!

Community Tips

The Town Council, along with the Maltings and the Farnham Herald, has produced a useful fact-sheet full of help and advice for residents of Farnham and villages which is worth printing.  Click here.

About this post:

The Farnham U3A site is found at Farnham U3A Home Page.

Please use this material to help you through the lock-down.

Posted by The MrT Podcast Studio for Farnham U3A – 2020

Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.