22 - Chess Partners - Fully booked Kenneth Ray – weekly sessions from 10.00 to 12.00 on Tuesdays starting 12 May
How is your memory? Train your brain - play chess. If you have ever played chess, join our group - refresh and improve your knowledge. Our ages are 60 to 95 years. Play level 4-7 out of 10. Play speed 2–10 minutes per move. Coffee available. Average IQ 140 and rising. (No Alzheimer’s diagnosed yet.) Languages: French, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Chinese, German, Chess. English also spoken. Average duration of membership 10 years. Longest membership term over 20 years (and doing well). Two probationary places available. Enquiries answered.
54 - Poetry Pilgrims: Poetry appreciation - Fully booked Anne McQueen Thomson – 5 fortnightly sessions from 12.30 to 2.00 on Wednesdays starting 20 May
Anne will lead this poetry discussion group. (It is not creative writing). We read and discuss a variety of poems from a variety of authors and from different eras. Our explorations include the context of each poem, something of the author’s background and the strengths and weaknesses and style of each poem. We will advise in advance the poems for each session. Our hope is to learn something of the world of poetry, to become more open to taking pleasure in different kinds of poems and more articulate in discussing our reactions, all in a relaxed and congenial atmosphere.
56 - Turning points in ancient and medieval Jewish History - Fully booked Assoc Prof Peter Schattner – 3 weekly sessions from 2.00 to 3.30 on Wednesdays starting 20 May
This lecture series will examine several pivotal eras in ancient and medieval Jewish history. These eras were so profound that they changed either Judaism or the Jewish people or both – hence the term ‘turning point’. The series will cover the following ‘turning points’: the end of the first temple and the Babylonian exile; three Jewish revolts (the Maccabees, the Jewish-Roman War and Bar Kokhba); two golden ages in Babylonia and Moslem Spain; and the dark ages of Crusader and Christian antisemitism. The aim of the series is not only to describe the events but to analyse their impact on the evolution of the Jewish story. Ancient * The Babylonian exile: 586–538 BCE * The Hasmonean revolt: 167 BCE * The Great and Bar Kokhba revolts: 66–70 CE and 132–135 CE. Medieval * The golden age of Babylonian Jewry: 200–1000 CE * The golden age of Spanish Jewry till their expulsion: 900–1200 CE * The dark age of the crusades and Christian antisemitism: 1100–1330 CE. Course notes for lecture 5 and lecture 6 are available here.
57 - Conversations - Fully booked Anthony Ash convener – 5 fortnightly sessions from 12.30 to 2.00 on Wednesdays starting 27 May
Conversations are intended to be wide-ranging in scope, addressing topics of interest in history, ethics, science, food, art, and include overlaps between these. The theme or topic for each session will be advertised in advance. People are invited to attend sessions of their own interests. As with the former Lunarticks and Conversations in History, it is anticipated topics for a “Conversation” will emerge from within the group, and on occasions recommendations will be made for a visiting presenter. 24 June Course notes are available here.
59 - Gardens in Southern England - Fully booked Suzanne Collings – 2 weekly sessions from 12.00 to 1.30 on Wednesdays starting 3 June
These two sessions look at some of the beautiful gardens in southern England, Surrey, Sussex, Dorset and Somerset, and include Borde Hill, Nymans, Montacute Tintinhull and the Savill gardens at Windsor. The sessions include some of the history of the gardens, their design and plant collections.