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Saturday, 11 October 2014

New Academic Year

During my last year of work, I spent a few weeks with a chap who was terrified of retirement, he just did not know what he was going to do with all that time. For myself, I've never had so much fun and attended interesting events.

On Wednesday evening I attended the first session of the Lifelong Learning course - "God Wills It, a History of the Crusades" at the University of York. This term is part one - part two next term. Our tutor is a self-confessed medieval warfare junkie, very keen on the Osprey green top series of books and a huge fan of Sir Ridley Scott's Crusader epic film "Kingdom of Heaven". This first meeting was a talk on the role of violence in European societies of the 11th century.  So for the next nine weeks, every Wednesday between 19:00 and 21:00 hrs, I shall be listening to and discussing this little known (to me) topic. The tutor has even given us some reading homework.

On Thursday morning I attended U3A Military History Group in York. A very interesting talk, a first hand account from an ex-RAF pilot who took part in the Falkland's/Malvinas campaign, flying Victor airborne refuelling tankers from RAF Marham. However, this does mean that I have a month to write my 90 minute piece on the Franco-Prussian War as I am November's speaker so I'd better get on with it (tomorrow maybe).

RAF Marham - when I was at Grammar School I joined the cadet force - the Air Training Corps - for young men. Girls were not allowed in the sixties. I was in it for 12 months and we had our summer camp at RAF Marham with its Victor bombers.

One bit of good news. The second U3A group I applied to, "Europe - in or out?", is back on for Friday, 17th October. Three others have expressed an interest, so with the leader and myself, this makes five, enough to form a lively discussion group. The plan is for each to do a little research on a topic for discussion at the next meeting. Presumably the topics will include the constitution of the EU, the Common Agricultural Policy, the free movement of labour and immigration, the financing of the EU and what are the alternatives should we leave the EU. This group could be very good - or very dull.

Victor tanker

I think the Victor had very Eagle comic/50's sci-fi looks
A Victor refuelling two Lightning fighters

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