Another first for me this year has been to visit the Fryern Funtasia on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May 2016. How to tell it is a Bank Holiday Monday? Because the weather closes in!
The weather held off long enough to not get in the way of a good show at the Fryern Recreation Ground. Nor did it stop the youngsters having a wonderful time on the bouncy castle, the bouncy slides, the pony ride, go kart track and so on.
As with the Hiltingbury Extravganza, the Fryern Funtasia is sponsored by Jonathan Rees Estate Agents.
Despite running late, I saw some of the entertainment (most notably the circus in the middle of the field) though I was sorry to miss the dog display team. I’ll try and catch up with them another time but I did get to meet up with friends.
It was great to chat with Andrew Kuttner of Bettermaths and his assistant, Scarlett Lane, again. Bettermaths were offering free taster sessions to show their approach to teaching Maths and I’m glad to report they’d had a good Funtasia.
Bettermaths have worksheets, showing their approach to a particular type of maths problem and then setting questions. I wonder how many of the parents at the Funtasia tried these.
I would add (appropriately!) Maths as a subject is just as difficult as it has ever been. Yes, calculators are used these days but it should be remembered the Maths exam consists of two papers, one of which bans the use of calculators. I strongly suspect there would have been those years ago who would have thought the use of slide rules, log tables etc as short cuts that shouldn’t be allowed! There really is nothing new… It is just a question of technology.
I think the important message is that there is help for those who struggle with Maths. It is a question of finding the right approach for your student. Based on direct experience, I would recommend looking at the Bettermaths method and see if it is the right one for those you know who need their Maths skills boosting.
In my case, it was the right approach and my Student X went on to finally achieve their GSCE pass, much to the delight of the family and, indeed, the good team at Bettermaths.
It was good to catch up with Neil Daykin and his team. Since I last posted about them, Thornden Hall now show movies so have a full programme of events. Their latest summer programme is available. Paper copies are available (I’ve seen them at the railway station and I would be surprised if they weren’t in the library and so on).
For Shakespeare fans, including those who have come to the Bard fairly late (that is, me!), Romeo and Juliet is being staged in July with Sir Derek Jacobi as Mercutio check spelling. Doctor Who fans will know him best as the Professor/Master. I remember him well from I, Claudius (my late mum was heavily into historical dramas). It should be an interesting production.
Thornden Hall were glad to tell me that they are becoming better known as an entertainment venue. I must admit I like going there as it is wonderful being able to see live theatre (and at a fraction of the cost) than having to traipse up to London’s West End to do so. On my bucket list, I must admit I would like to see a show in the capital’s Theatreland, have a night in a nice hotel and so on but that is the kind of thing you do as a rare treat.
Thornden Hall makes it possible to see more shows more often. A ticket price of £15 per head (less for concessions) does not break the bank generally. So for a good and relatively cheap away on improving my cultural education (that is, continue to improve my knowledge of the Bard and his wonderful works), I shall continue to go literally up the road to Thornden Hall!
By now the rain was teeming down as the Thornden Hall team and I chatted. It can be a glamorous life at times! Well okay maybe not…
Neil then told me Thornden Hall have found that people are coming to shows they are willing to take a chance on because the ticket price is relatively low whereas given the much heavier London prices, people tend not to gamble and stick to what they know they will like (and understandably so).
Thornden Hall have received comments from people enjoying shows and films (including opera) which have mentioned this. So this might be worth considering if you come across a film or show that might not obviously have caught your attention. This could be a cheap way (relatively) of discovering shows you never thought you would like. It is something I’ll bear in mind.
Marucci Icecream Van
It was great to catch up with the mother and son team at Marucci. They’ve served wonderful ice-cream in Chandler’s Ford to my knowledge for at least 30 years. According to their Twitter feed it is for over 40 years. It is so nice to support a local family firm. My husband had ice-creams from their van when he was a child. Our son has done so for the last umpteen years. Long may the Marucci ice cream chimes continue to ring out!
They usually go to the local shows and I caught up with them at last year’s Hiltingbury Extravaganza. (I understand there will not be one this year). Their van was hired as transport for when my son had his Proms do in his final year at Thornden School.
So in the parade of cars that unofficially started the Prom, there were limos, Jaguars, a horse drawn cart and the Marucci ice cream van! It was quite a sight. Not only was this imaginative, once the van had parked up, the window was then opened and I know they sold several ice creams to parents dropping their offspring off and so on. Double whammy here – the hire of the van and further sales!
Charities at the Funtasia – St. Anne’s Hospital, Tanzania
The great fun about local shows like the Funtasia is the entertainment laid on for all ages and you get to find out what is going on locally. However it is also nice to look outwards.
My church has a charity project each year and, because some of our members are Saints fans (we don’t claim to be perfect!), our way of choosing what to support is based on a “home and away” basis. One year we choose a home project, another year an overseas one. This year we are supporting a home charity, Jumbalance, which helps disabled people of all ages to have trips out and holidays, in this country and overseas.
Julie Bourne and Judith James and were “manning” the stall, showing the work of St. Anne’s Hospital and details of what the fundraising is for.
According to the booklet the ladies gave me, the hospital treats malaria, diarrhoea (a nuisance to us but in Africa this is so often a killer), worms, anaemia, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, infections, hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and heart problems. Ebola is the big fear given it is in neighbouring Congo.
The hospital serves 200,000 people whose average income is £5 to £10 a year. The main occupations of the people here are subsistence farming or fishing.
We all know there are myriad problems in this country but those figures do give a sense of perspective. And below is one great way of supporting what is a very good cause.
Fusion – and flushing toilets
There will be a concert at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church called Fusion to be held on 21st May 2016 at 7.30 pm in aid of the hospital. The concert will be a mixture of African and British music.
The concert is to raise funds to build a toilet block with flush toilets. This is part of an ongoing project to replumb the hospital and give an additional 4 toilet blocks. Government requirements meant the existing toilets must be upgraded. The plumbing was last done in 1978.
It strikes me as being somewhat sad it is still necessary to raise funds so people elsewhere can have decent flushing toilets but it is vital work and I would urge all who can to support it.
The cost of the tickets for Fusion is £7.00 though children go free and there will be refreshments.
Tickets can be bought from:-
The Parish Office, St. Boniface’s Church, Hursley Road (02380 265977 – the office is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
Alternatively tickets can be bought from the Methodist Church in Winchester Road (02380 260128)
or on the door on the night.
I hope the concert is a huge success, a lot of fun and a significant amount can be raised for this project. I long for the day when decent sanitation, water supplies, plentiful food and drink are realities for all.
So is this a sombre note on which to end my review of the Funtasia? Yes, perhaps. But is it a bad thing to be reminded how blessed we are in this country and why? I don’t think so.
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