DCS Newsletter: 7th April 2020

DCS Newsletter

Hello everyone
Well two weeks into Lockdown and I am now on ‘holiday’ – quite hard to tell the difference!

Even more confusingly, I am in work this week for two days. I am running a holiday club on Tuesday with the keyworker and vulnerable children with a theme of ‘Arts, Crafts and Games – never has a day been so elaborately and carefully planned! I am also meant to be starting the stressful business of providing official final grades for the students who will now not take their exams – so wish me luck with that!

Please do email me with any news and other things that I can share to keep us all connected.

Here’s some news from Gill:

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all safe, well, and feeling supported and loved by friends and family. If you are alone and struggling please tell us, because we’re trying to arrange different ways to keep people in touch with one another and the outside world.

Before I tell you what the Suters are up to I would like to tell you how things are going at Didcot Health Centre and how you can help your GP practice to help you. As you can imagine the past few weeks have been surreal and hectic. Despite this, it is also oddly quiet now that we have closed our doors and most consultations happen by phone. However, this does mean that lines are incredibly busy, so we are very grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding.

Unfortunately, the things you have heard about the lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) are not fake news. We were given some in late February but it was far from enough, and despite several calls we’re still awaiting our second delivery. However I’m delighted to say that the support and goodwill from our community is amazing. We’ve received gifts of PPE from patients, schools, and even local vets. But the biggest donation so far came from Rutherford Appleton Laboratories where staff trawled through every department collecting all the PPE they could find and donated this amazing haul! If any of you work with PPE that is not currently needed and you are able to donate some, particularly masks, please email me. 

Here’s a few things that you can do to help relieve some of the pressure on your GP:

  1. Stay home, but when you do go out imagine it’s you who is contagious and trying not to spread it. This makes you behave in ways that protect you. Also think of 2 metres as an absolute minimum.
  2. Stay well. Eat as healthily as you can, stay hydrated, and keep up with any medications you are supposed to take regularly. Do what you can to avoid falling ill with anything else at the moment.
  3. Sign up to the NHS app. You can use it to order repeat meds, manage appointments, and there’s a really good NHS111 symptom checker.

The Suter family are keeping pretty busy, I am glad to say. Kevin has resumed teaching some of his piano students online. At first he was rather unsure about venturing into this new technology, but so far so good! Elie works as a secondary school Teaching Assistant and until this week (as it’s now the Easter holidays) has been supporting students online. Happily for us (and especially me!) she is also a marvellous cook and is keeping us all well fed with healthy meals. Jono is home from Brighton where he is studying music production. Because he brought home his gear he is keeping busy with song writing and arranging, except when Kevin is teaching in the room below! As a consequence the dogs are getting plenty of walks!

Jono and I planned a surprise yesterday and made a full Christmas lunch with everything but the tree. It was so lovely – a lot of effort but well worth it as a morale booster. We couldn’t find the crackers at first so used Jacobs Cream Crackers as coasters! But as you can see, we found them in the end.

Stay well everyone, and I’m really looking forward to singing with you all again soon!

Gill xx

Quiz from Malcolm Card:

The answers to last week’s quiz: 5 a Day quiz                                                                                                                                                              Answers

Theme: Pilgrims

1. Where did Chaucer’s Pilgrims assemble for their journey?
The Tabard Inn, Southwark
2. Where in Norfolk do pilgrimages still take place to a Marian Shrine?
3. An ancient pilgrimage route from southern France into Spain ends at whose shrine?
St. James the Apostle
4. What is the name of the black cube which is the focal point of the Hajj?
5. Whose Pilgrimage went through to Vanity Fair?
The P­­ilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress

For this week’s quiz:
Theme: Beer (A theme very close to my heart!)

  1. What ingredients are allowed in German beer?
  2. What is the oldest Brewery in the UK?
  3. What are Goldings?
  4. How many gallons in a pin of beer?
  5. What was the historic difference between beer and ale?           
    Answers next week…


Please remember that if you are shopping online you can still raise money for the choir by using this link: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/didcotchoralsociety/?test=t2

DCS news

Alison Duncan sent us this very cute video – thanks Alison! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzTa3rtizrQ

Jelena has signed up to the Great British Home Choir – here’s her first song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA1dGnZIXWk Let us know if you sign up too!

Several people also shared this great Lockdown One Day More – I love this very much, especially the bickering at the start! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZafX_U5aqs

Please send your news! We would love to hear it.

On one of my daily walks last week I met Jane and Trevor (from a distance) then Maria (on the other side of the brook!), who was on the phone to Michael Walker! A lucky day indeed.

What are we reading?

This week I read Ian McEwan’s short novel Nutshell. I have been a fan of McEwan’s for many years, even though his  writing can be very uncomfortable at times. This one is unusual as ever, from the point of view of an unborn child. I won’t give too much away, except that it’s a murder mystery and whodunnit with a surprising ending, with lots of references to Hamlet and Macbeth. If that doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will! It’s also nice and short and can be polished off easily in a day, which might be what we need if our concentration span isn’t great right now….

Listening suggestions:

An interesting development this week has been a sudden upsurge in ‘live’ concerts where we get to see the inside of our heroes’ living rooms…

This week I watched Ninebarrow, a great folky duo who also do walking holidays!

Many of you will know Mark Morriss of The Bluetones is a real hero of mine who played at my 50th last year. He also did a live concert from the corner of his house on Sunday. He asked for donations to the Trussell Trust, the foodbank charity, and raised around £5000.

You might also be interested in this event from Alex Walker, the MD of Abingdon and District Music Society, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius: https://www.facebook.com/events/617389385482689/?active_tab=about

DCS Memories
One of our favourite traditions is our Christmas Eve carol singing, for many years outside of Calnan’s: Often freezing! Sometimes bacon sandwiches were produced, and once we were on the radio and the television!

Let’s hope that this Christmas Eve we will all be back to normal and singing together again.

Virtual choir

More news next week on what might be possible for us in terms of virtual singing…

All my love, Alison

Birthdays and Celebrations this Week:

Happy Birthday to

Trevor Chambers
Jane Chambers

If you have a birthday or celebration you would like us to share to the choir, just let us know!