u3a - u3a


 Pre-lockdown, during the 'delay phase'

Wednesday 18th March

5 things that have given me pleasure today:

  • My granddaughter Megan’s 16th birthday today
  • Sunshine!
  • A walk round Caergwrle castle – haven’t been there for ages – great defensive position for a castle
  • A chat with my eldest son who is concerned about work, looking after the children, money but adamant that we need to stay safe – so can’t help
  • The happy birthday messages for Megan, from all of our family – bringing us together

Hilary Wales 23.03.2020

Hilary, Wales

Friday 20th March

Up at dawn for our weekly early morning trip to Tesco. They were supposed to be setting aside 9am to 10am for wrinklies and the vulnerable. Well I know they say that not all disabilities are visual and that there are a lot of remarkably well preserved wrinklies out there, but my goodness! I have never seen so many fit and healthy people in there on a Friday morning. R keeps pointing out that we did fill most of our shopping list but there were a number of key items that we didn't find. There were no baked beans of any size; likewise no tinned tomatoes. No minced beef of any kind, certainly not the low fat variety that I always buy. No packaged bread, and absolutely no Weight Watchers malted danish; no bread flour of any kind.

Jenifer, Bedfordshire

Week One of Lockdown

Monday 23rd March

I am trying to move things forward in terms of adapting to the situation we all face. I am trying to get on to Skype so I can chat to people and see their faces. It seems less isolating than a telephone call. I am also going to go on some more on line video chat lines.

AND I actually got some eggs from the supermarket this morning!! Couldn't believe it!! I went to a 9am-10am slot that the supermarket I tend to use has tried to dedicate to older and disabled people. I was quite worried about going really. I didn’t quite know what to expect. But, in fact, it was a very pleasant experience. People were chatting; helping each other with what was in the store-and I actually managed to get just about everything I hoped to get. I can relax now for a couple of weeks apart from perishable goods. Phew!!

I also got YouTube up on my TV and did one of the 15 minute keep fit sessions they have on video. I felt much better for doing it and intend making this a regular part of my day.

Shelley, East Midlands

Tuesday 24th March

I’m actually adjusting to this strange new way of life. There is a certain freedom in not having to be anywhere at a particular time. As long as I can get out for my walk each day I will survive. My yoga teacher is now doing her classes online via a thing called Zoom. And I can watch church services online too. Hooray for the internet!

Tessa, Northumberland

Tuesday 24th March

      “Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to me “

                    (along with a one-minute hand wash on my 84th birthday. March 24th. 2020)

I was born in Sheffield, in the county of Yorkshire in 1936, which was an eventful year in Britain.

A King abdicated, his brother became King and our present Queen, his daughter, became the heir to the throne.

My Great, Great Uncle, Alderman Wardley, was at that time the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. He was a well-loved man of the people, being the first labour Lord Mayor of the city.

My parents told me later that life was not easy in the 1930’s but it was to get even harder by 1939 with the beginning of the second World War.

But we got through it and we will get through this present crisis. People are always at their best when things get tough and if we pull together and each do our bit we will pull through.

Not the happiest of birthdays but I am alive and kicking and at 84 that’s something to celebrate.

Sylvia, Devon

Wednesday 25th March

Breaking news this morning is that the Prince of Wales (71) has contracted the virus but is fairly well. The Excel Exhibition Centre in London is to be converted by the Army into a Field Hospital with 4,000 beds ready for the anticipated peak in the number of cases. The appeal for voluntary workers to help with the NHS in many different ways has reached its target of 250,000 in just one day. So many schemes are being set up to help each other and a great spirit of being in this together is very much evident now. We are now allowed just one outing each day for exercise so I decided to go to get some eggs from the Farm. I left the car by the roadside and walked up the lane to the farm. It was quite unreal! Everywhere was so quiet, just the bird song, and gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. The nosy young bullocks in the field came over for a peer at me! I collected the eggs and walked back up the road to the car. So quiet and peaceful: just the occasional car and walkers/cyclists who kept the two metres away from me. The world is certainly turned upside down and we are all experiencing such a strange different lifestyle. Although it is tragic circumstances, in some ways the world is a better place with so much more concern for one another and the feeling that we are all going through this awful thing together but will overcome it together. I sat in the garden in the afternoon in the unseasonal hot March weather and also put some wood stain on the garden seat. A rang for a long chat in the evening and explained how the four of them working together all the time at home are getting into some sort of a routine.

Gill, Rugby

Thursday 26th March

The days for us are passing with ease. I think I am gradually settling in to the idea of endless days, and I find - as expected - I have plenty of interests and activities which absorb me. I am fortunate, I know, to have the luxuries of good health, sanctuary, a sound and enquiring mind, creative abilities. I can use this time to reflect, study, listen to music, linger under big skies. There is a balance to be found between following Covid news and shutting off from it - I’m working on this..

I remember thinking that the New Year, 2020, sounded portentous. How far we have come, as a human race. Technological advances, some small progresses with alleviating poverty, celebrating disability and difference. We had - finally - decided to put the saving of our planet at the top of our priorities, and this felt encouraging. And on a depressing note, how insular, selfish and materialistic we had become.

This pandemic has hit us like a tsunami, rolling over us with an invisible, suffocating blanket. What a shocking equaliser. Pauper or Queen: you will bow to its power. That nearly half a million volunteers in England have stepped up to support self-isolating people is uplifting. Human compassion is a powerful presence in the masses and will always overshadow pockets of selfishness and cruelty.

Even when we have come through this (and all bets are off as to when that might be), the world will, and should, be a different place. Enforced changes like: the centrality of solitude, the silencing of shopping malls, the grounding of aeroplanes - will such things be reversed as soon as ‘lockdowns’ are lifted? How will psychological impact - individual, group, National - make itself apparent? Where will our economies be? UK; Scotland? What of Politics? All these questions are for another day. We truly are in survival mode.

Angie, Scotland


Week One

23rd - 29th March

Week Two

30th March – 5th April

Week Three

6th – 12th April

Week Four

13th – 19th April

Week Five

20th – 26th April

Week Six

27th April – 3rd May

Week Seven

4th – 10th May

Week Eight

11th - 17th May

Week Nine

18th - 24th May

Week Ten

25th - 31st May

Week Eleven

1st - 7th June

Week Twelve

8th - 14th June

Week Thirteen

15th - 21st June

Week Fourteen

22nd - 28th June

Week Fifteen

29th June - 5th July


Week Sixteen

6th - 12th July

Week Seventeen

13th - 19th July

Week Eighteen

20th - 26th July

Week Nineteen

27th - 31st July