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We're back in business

Ladies we are back in business - we are now able to meet in public, albeit outdoors in groups of up to six of us. Sadly the weather seems to have been against us over the Easter holidays. I couldn’t believe my eyes early on Monday morning when I got up for a long awaited swim at Donyngs to see it heavily snowing! Hopefully Mary Poppins will float down with a wind change and better weather will be on its way next week just as the schools return. No doubt you’re all booked in for haircuts, eye brows, outdoor exercise classes and most importantly you can meet up with family and friends at last.

If you’re reading this, you’ve obviously negotiated our fabulous website and may have seen some of the events we’ve run virtually. If you’ve logged in to the Zoom events, I do hope you’ve enjoyed them. Please do feedback with what you’ve thought of our speakers. If you haven’t logged in, you’ve missed some interesting speakers. Our last talk was a video demonstrating making of beeswax wraps. Very interesting and we learnt where we went wrong! Recipe at the end of this blog. For the time being we’ll continue with Zoom meetings, so please feel free to suggest any speakers we might be interested in hearing. Please don’t feel sh to put youselvs forward if you’d like to do a talk, quiz or demonstration yourself if you have a particular skills or interests you’d like to share with us.

Now to business of looking forward. With great excitement we are allowed to meet up in socially distanced groups for meals, drinks or exercise so with this in mind here are a few events lined up that you might want to join. First up:

Saturday 17th April 10 am

Bluebells of Nut Wood and Gatton Park

Meet at Quality Street/Merstham Cricket Club

We’ll walk up over the North downs through Gatton Park to Nut Wood where the bluebells are just emerging. It can be steep in parts and may be muddy if it rains between now and Saturday. Please wear suitable footwear and walking poles if you need them. Bring water/ your own coffee/water as needed. Toilets and possibly the chance of a coffee/ice cream is available at Junction 8 kiosk in the kiosk of the car park on Reigate Hill. We’ll walk back through Gatton Park to Quality Street. At the end we can stop for coffee/pizza/cake at Pizza Project or The Feathers. If you want a shorter alternative you can park near Nut Wood off Gatton Park Road/Carlton Road and walk to Nut Wood from there. We’ll walk in small groups if more than 6 of you attend. Please feel free to peel off any time if you wish.

Next up:

Saturday 24th April –

Make your own bird feeder with Hedges and Hurdles - £25.

Check out the events pages of this website for details to book. It should be a fun event – out doors and less active than a walk! If you’ve explored the lakes around Watercolour and the Moors, I am sure you’ve seen Pauls living fence. I have shared a photograph of it in earlier blogs. Paul runs Hedges and Hurdles with his wife Lorraine.

Saturday 8th May

Lakes and Hills

10 am – Merstham Hub

For this one we will meet outside the Merstham Hub/Library. We’ll walk via Spynes mere and look from a distance at the Sand Martin bank. Walking along the cycle path we’ll turn off to Glebe Lake where we can see Swallow and Sand Martins. At this stage if you don’t fancy the hill and stiles, you can peel off and walk to the Inn on the Pond for a drink (and hold us an outdoor table!) The rest of us will continue on the Tandridge Border Path up to Nutfield Church. There will be mud and stiles on this stage. Looking back we will get some glorious views of the North Downs and Gatton Park in the distance. Walking through Nutfield Church Yard we will then cross over and walkthrough woodland. This path takes a rather interesting look at our industrial past. Walking over fields we will again get some lovely views as we walk down towards Chilmead Lane. There is likely to be a large pool of mud at one point near Chilmead lane. Here we will stop at the pub. After a drink/food we’ll walk past Nutfield Cricket ground and the rather wonderful fence Paul from Hedges and Hurdles, and then back to the Hub via the Moors, Watercolour and Merstham Rec.

Saturday 12 June

Chaldon Doom Painting

10am Merstham Hub

Route still in planning – a long walk – take a picnic as (probably) no pub on route – our destination and halfway point is the historic church of St Peter and St Paul which has a restored medieval doom painting. We’ll picnic on the grass outside near the church. If you don’t fancy the walk, please do feel free to drive up and meet us there -It’s about a 15 – 20 minute drive from Merstham and well worth a visit.

Other news – the Merstham Mix café is now open for take away coffee and food. Merstham Library now open for browsing. We will also host an evening at a pub in Merstham in June providing we’re allowed. We also hope to host some craft session (if weather permits in members gardens). If you missed our zoom meeting on beeswax wraps I attach the recipe here:

100g beeswax

20g pine resin

1/2tsp oil (jojoba, almond or coconut)

You will need a pan you don’t mind dedicating to beeswax wrap making (as you certainly won’t be able to clean it easily afterwards!) and melt the beeswax on a low heat. Add the pine resin and oil. You’ll also need pure clean cotton cut to size with pinking shears - paint on your fabric with a paint brush – iron quickly between two sheets of greaseproof paper.

When the weather warms up I’ll book some open air swimming sessions at the Shac in Buckland for confident open water swimmers – lessons available for the less confident.

Now it’s over to you. What would you like to do? Trips to London? Theatre visits? Cinema trips? National trust visits? Craft Fairs? Museums? Seaside visits? Crafting and cookery sessions? Please do share any ideas for your club in the comments be

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