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Count down to meeting up.

As I write this on a glorious sunny spring day, we’re exactly a year from when we first went into lockdown! And what a challenging year that’s been. We certainly weren’t expecting to still be zooming, socially distancing, attempting to home educate or children or deal with he pain of not being able to visit or nearest and dearest a year down the line. However, our group has adapted magnificently over the past year - we’ve had some really interesting speakers on line which we never would have had the chance to listen to otherwise (apologies to all who can’t zoom with us - hopefully we can see you soon in real life!) We had an entertaining quiz at Christmas, the life of May Morris, stories from the travelling talesman and more. Let us know what you thought of these talks - we hope you enjoyed them.

On 12th April for our monthly meeting we look forward to a short video from Reigate beekeeping association on making beeswax wraps. Gill and Sue will be on the zoom call to answer any questions you might have after we’ve seen the video. It should be an interesting and informative talk - please do sign up and invite your friends who might be interested. Talking about bees, did you know Merstham Community Facility run a bee project. They have a bee hive on the allotments on Weldon Way. We’re currently looking at ways for training up those who might be interested to learn to bee keep - watch this space - will let you know when we come up with a plan!

From Monday 29th March we will finally be allowed to meet, drink coffee outside and exercise in groups of six - I’ve recently discovered a very muddy walk around Bletchingley, Nutfield and Merstham - there are a couple of rather high stiles on one section and in a couple of areas a lot of mud! Photographs of some of the views you can see are on the Merstham Wildlife and Sightings facebook page. `I am quite happy to walk this walk over the Easter holidays. Jenni has a lovely walk around Godstone and Tilburstow Hill which sounds lovely which we hope to enjoy. I will put a couple of dates on the programme and you can join in. If stiles and mud ain’t your thing, I’ll be looking for a blossom walk locally - all on streets around Merstham. No mud or stiles (and the opportunity for a takeaway coffee from one of Merstham’s cafes) and suitable for buggies, little legs and mobility scooters.

Speaking of food The Merstham Mix will be running another popular takeaway night this Friday 26th March -a vegetarian Garlic, Artichoke, Mushroom pasta dish with focaccia bread and lemon tart. £9.50 per person Last months Thai meal was amazing so do book this month. It should be amazing.

We also have some courses lined up with Hedges and Hurdles making bird feeders - check our website to book your space. When out walking locally do have a look at Paul’s amazing fence near Watercolour.

Don’t forget to have your say on the refurbishment of Merstham Recreation Ground. There was a very interesting zoom meeting on Facebook with local councillors last week in which more information was shared - there are focus groups coming up from 1st April so do feed into those (I’m on a focus group so do get in touch) This will be a nice open air space for us to meet and enjoy.

Meanwhile, enjoy some local walking and admire spring blossom which is looking amazing now. If you spot any lovely blossom locally please do post it’s location in the comments below and I can incorporate it into a map for a walk to post on social media for the Easter holidays. On a foraging note, there is a lot of wild garlic for picking on Oakwood Road off Warwick Wold Road. Sadly due to health and safety we were unable to pick any for the cafe, but there is plenty available for your own cooking. We can pick as a socially distance group or you can pick on your own.

Looking to the future - hopefully the hub will be open soon. Groups which hopefully will start again include yoga classes, Merstham Library book club, Paracise, repair cafe, walking for health walks, crafts, the community allotment are all going ahead too. Look out for those and more events that might interest you. A Merstham community Help in the Ham day is planned from Merstham Football Club on 31st July. If it goes ahead I'm sure we can somehow be involved as a group. Further details to follow. Plans for All Saints Summer fair are also in the pipeline this year. Watch this space. In the mean time keep safe and keep in touch. And do let us know what you're interested in so we can add it to the programme.

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