March 24 News Extra

IGO March 24 News Extra

Hello to everyone, 

In March we have the joy of celebrating St Patrick’s day and the clocks go forward on Sunday 31st March – yippee! But did you know about World Piano Day on the 28th? 

Here’s a link to Scott Joplin’s ragtime piece The Entertainer and a great picture from wiki commons of a woman at the piano with a Cockatoo, painted in 1870 by Gustave Leonard de Jonghe.

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Helen Titherington, Trust Volunteer - IGO News Extra Editor 

Slow French on Tuesdays is a weekly, slow conversation in French. We've been a stable group since we formed in October 2021, and we've got to know each other and become friends, while talking and improving, all slowly, in French. 

From Stephen, group member 

Any keen learner could set up a similar group in any (popular!) language. Contact the editor if you would like to talk about it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

image of a man doing tai chi with the words creative calm over the top in red
Image from Wiki commons

Don’t forget if you want more practice with languages sign up for the new start-ups for French, Italian, Russian and Spanish – go to the beacon members' portal and join. Once we have sufficient names for each group, we ask you to attend an initial session to get the group off the ground.

Long Read - IGO members take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch

Tales from four IGO members about their experience of tthe Big Garden Birdwatch in January. 

Read more in the article IGO Members take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch, and get inspired to watch the birds in your garden. 

All Things Irish

Irish Music Group

I joined the traditional Irish music group at the end of last year. It is fascinating. Each programme gives us a wealth of information. including the history of Irish music, a description of instruments used (this month the harp) Different facets of Irish music are also described such as the development of Irish dancing over the years from a very complicated dance form to a more relaxed and freer style as exemplified by ‘River Dance.’

We enjoyed the music too, of Clannad, a Donegal group who first came to fame with ‘ the theme from Harry’s Game-’ a real musical treat. Finally, the afternoon ended with a rendering of Turlough O’Carolan’s first composition for harp. Wonderful! A big thank you to Catherine Wykes.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! (Bheannacht La le Phaidrigh!)

From Catherine, group member

In the last meeting of the Irish Music group, I gave a brief talk on the Irish harp. Instead of giving a historical overview, I started from the harp I know, the one in a symphonic orchestra. Though there are some significant differences between the two, both harps share their unique sweet sound that in the hands of an expert easily reminds us of what music in heaven may sound like. 

From Tomy, group member

a woman playing a wooden harp
Picture from wiki commons in the public domain – woman playing Irish harp

We are a small but select group exploring a variety of topics on Irish History and Culture.

A recent example is the "Brehon Laws" - a presentation based on the ancient Irish Legal System of restorative justice. Modern retributive legal systems could do well to emulate some aspects of this.

From Hubert, group member

Read more information about The Brehon Laws

a woman playing a wooden harp
Picture from wiki commons in the public domain – the Brehon Laws

Where does the expression Beyond the Pale come from?

The expression was first used in Ireland in the 13th century, to describe people who lived outside the parts of Ireland controlled by the English. Called the Pale, it originally consisted of parts of counties Meath, Louth, Kildare and Dublin in the east of Ireland. 

Within the Pale, settlers lived under the protection of the crown. But once you passed "the Pale," you were outside the authority and safety of English law. There was also a Pale of Calais – ruled by England from 1347 to 1558.

Picture from wiki commons in the public domain – a pale/ staked fence

A pale was originally the kind of stake used to make a fence (or enclosure, or palisade). So that's why the uncontrolled territory outside was “beyond the pale.”

"Beyond the pale" then became a colloquial phrase meaning "outside the limits of acceptable behaviour or judgment."

From Helen Cleasby, group member

Renewals Reminder

A reminder for you to renew your IGO membership for the next 12 months – the standard fee all members is £12 – we now have over 1500 members. You can renew via Beacon. We hope you will renew your own membership but also bring along a friend to swell our numbers!

This month's game

Match the Spanish to the English - Bingo!
Por si solo, el numero ocho

22, two little ducks

All the threes, 33

Juego del bolas

Horas del dia


Una docena

Las letras del alfabet

11 (once - the Spanish Lottery)

10 pin bowling

Los dos patios

La gorda

24 hours in the day

27 letters in the spanish alphabet

Todos los treces


A little feedback from our Coffee and conversation group. You may know that for each session we decide a topic for our conversation openers and this month it was Pets - our own, artificial pets or other people’s pets etc.

Aside from cats and dogs we heard about snakes, gerbils, rabbits, hamsters and goldfish, along with baby lambs and piglets! Here’s what one member wrote in her feedback message;

"I was sort-of-dreading the meeting and almost backed out -people going on about their beloved Rover or Fifi???..... But it turned into a wonderful mix of ideas, anecdotes, jokes and information.

It was raining here in Aldeburgh, but I went out to the shop with a smile."

Pat, group member

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