Are you the same as me? Already planning for Christmas in October! Deciding which outfit for which event, what’s going with what! Short or long? Elegant or sexy? Black or red? Looking out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and then hoping what you’ve ordered is going to arrive in time!
We kicked off our first event in the Christmas Oasis calendar on 1st December.
Tina had been busy since August, in discussion with the venue about how the evening was going to be organised.
We had decided to give Caistor Hall another chance to impress us, as it was under new management. Thirty members of Oasis and friends celebrated Christmas. It was a balmy night with temperatures in double figures. As we arrived we assembled in the library and chatted to Oasis past and present members. It was nice to see Hannah, who was returning for a final time as she continued her transgender journey.
Tina, our organiser, was busy making sure everything was running on time. We are so blessed to have someone, who has embraced Oasis and is willing to organise these events, which don’t just happen, but need meticulous planning. Our resident photographer, Jules, was also on hand to capture those special moments that will become memories.
The next event, and another dress, was the Oasis Festive Fun night on Saturday 15th December. This event is always well attended and this year, despite the high winds and rain, was no exception, with over 30 people.
I was stepping down from being the figurehead or “Mother Superior”, as I’m affectionately called, so it was a sad and celebratory evening. I had served Oasis for 10 years and it was time for new blood and new ideas to take over. Vicky, Ann and myself received a great send off with thanks and gifts. Vicky did her special quiz and raffle and I gave out some special awards to some of the Oasis flock for their contribution during my tenure. It was also lovely to see Lena, returning for this special night as well as Carole and Kate from Sussex and Jill and Alice from London.
The next Oasis event, and another outfit, was the annual LGBT Carol Service, now in its 26 year, held at St John’s church in Timberhill, Norwich. Ten of us gathered at Pizza Express @ the Forum on Monday 17th December for a meal before the service. It was nice to see Shirl and Roger, two people who have been avid supporters of Oasis, not only during my time but also during Barbara’s reign.
The carol service afterwards gave us all an opportunity to raise the roof with joyful singing to be rewarded afterwards with mince pies and refreshments. It was a fitting culmination to all the December Oasis events.
It only leaves me to wish you all, wherever you are, a peaceful Christmas and New Year as Oasis embarks on a new chapter in 2019.
17th November 2018
Ascot Race Night
Well here we are again at the Oasis Ascot Race Evening. It’s November but the ground is still soft to middling, and the stewards have checked the course and given the go-ahead for the evening’s races. It’s been a bit of a squeeze with the increased number of cars and the stabling for the horses in the car park. The supply of carrots are running low!
By 8.30pm our enclosures were full with an excellent turn out of 35 people. Our ladies are dressed in their best racing outfits and our chef’s are busy preparing the buffet meals.
Our first race was the “Two Close to Call Cup” followed by the “ Far Memorial Chase”.
All our participants were given £120 from the Bank of Oasis and betting was manic. I even saw some of the ladies putting the bank notes into their purses ready for some Christmas shopping in Norwich tomorrow!
After the buffet tea, we launched straight into 3 more races. Finally a collection was made for Children in Need and the generosity of our members raised £125.
The highest winning across all the race went to Stella. She won by a good horse’s length from the rest of the ladies. She was presented with the highest accolade we could give her – the horse racing game including board, DVD, horses and trainers. I don’t know how she got it all in her car!
Finally came the best dressed race evening outfit. There was a good turnout of fillies, and after a judge’s enquiry the winner was Rachel with Claire, second and in third place was Serena.
Unfortunately the gorgeous Beccie it seemed had stumbled at the first fence and came in last! She was left to clean the stables.
All in all it was a great night and a fitting penultimate Oasis evening for me, as I prepare to hand over the reins after the December meeting and open a new chapter in Oasis’s history.
18th August 2018
M&Co Fashion Show
Our August Oasis gave our ladies and their partners a chance to snap up some clothing bargains. We were blessed with continuing good weather, the largest attendance at Oasis of 38 people and a fine selection of fashion models.
Ever done a car boot sale! You know despite what time you get to the field to set up, as your emptying your boot, people are already picking out the bargains and offering you money. Well this was the same as Beth and Virginia from M&Co in Cromer were frantically trying to get all those bargains on the rails, while our ladies were equally frantically getting those bargains bagged before their peers have found them!
Primark on their 50%, BOGOF sales day was a walk in the park by comparison!
As for our fashion models, there was Emma-Jane and Lilly, both recently joined the group, then Claire and Kay great and continuing supporters of Oasis. Joanna, our lady on the door, who is expert at extracting your subs as you enter has been a model before and I’m certain is the women in all the M &Co advertising.
By popular demand Beccie agreed in her final year as “Mother Superior”, to be the sixth model. It didn’t take much persuading.
Virginia, a novice to the group was given the ultimate challenge by Beth her supervisor. Find 3 outfits that will transform 6 old women into young supermodel. An impossible task, but Virginia had learnt from the best, M & Co, and with her fashion eye she came up trumps!
Let the Oasis Fashion Show begin!
21st July 2018
Over 10 years ago in 2007 the Oasis group met at Barbara Ross’s house. Concerns had been voiced about what would happen if Barbara was unable to continue the group that had been running since around 1987.
A new venue was found and I took over the running of the group. We lost Barbara in 2015, but the group continues and the July meeting was a celebration of 10 years of taking over the running of the group.
Coincidentally in 2008 Norwich Pride was born too, so our meeting was a double celebration.
To make it a bit more special we asked the ladies to get their best dress out befitting of the occasion.
Sheila who we occasionally see at Oasis, but has always been very supportive to all the ladies and their partners at the group, offered back in January to do the food and with the help of her friend Stephen, they produced a magnificent spear fit to feed a queen. ( Well several Queens, Kings, Earls, Dukes, Duchesses, Princesses and their attendances)
Oasis cannot thank her and Stephen enough for their contribution.
All in all it was a lovely warm evening and it was nice to see Dawn return to Oasis ( last see in May 2016) and Sharon and her partner who lived only a stone’s throw from the hall. Let’s hope it’s not as long before they return again. Sharon and Dawn has met each other when Barbara Ross ran Oasis from her house.
There was also a surprise presentation from Serena to Vicky, Ann and myself for all the hard work we had done over the last ten Years. For those that don’t know I intend to step down from being the figure head of the group in December, so there was some discussion about the future and a working group was established to look at what could be done.
Tina talked about the forthcoming Christmas meal on 1st December and collected in deposits for booking of places.
16th June 2018
Oasis’ Got Talent
We never really know when we do our calendar planning each year if an event is going to be a success or not, and was more worried about running this event than any of the others. Yes I’ve got talent,plenty of it, but has anyone else in the group got any!
I’ve got so much talent.. I could talk for hours about dressing appropriately to your age!
Well as it turned out I wasn’t disappointed with 7 ladies coming forward to take up the challenge.
We had some comical poetry from Serena who had mastered, from the picture, the ability to sit unassisted on one leg! Next up was Kay, a late entry, but not to be missed. Her hoop skills enthralled us and her pieste de resistance was drinking a glass of water while hooping.
Ann and Vicky, served us our first course, a ploughwomen’s meal of salad, cheese, meat and French stick.
Next was Carole, who talked about her love of watercolours and bought along two scenes of Norfolk. She had only started painting when she had retired and was now teaching other her skills. Geri was up next. Dressed as a Hillbilly and reciting from memory a monologue about Santa Clause. I understand this was the second time she had performed this! Well it didn’t show!
Pudding followed of jelly and fruit or strudle and custard. If I had a “Golden Buzzer” it would go to our most talented chefs Vicky and Ann.
Next up was Kate who talked about the work of the Norfolk Knitters and showed some examples of the items they produced for hospitals and charities. Her knitted bees were very amusing.
After that Petra talked about her love for baking and gave away her secret for making sponges light and airy. We all then had a chance to taste a cake she had prepared earlier.
Last was Jules who gave a rendition of the song “waiting at the church” . This was originally sung by Florrie Forde in 1906. Finally Jules recited a poem about meeting Claire and how it changed her life.
A big thank you to all the talent at Oasis who provide another great evening.
19th May 2018
Oasis goes 1940’s
My mother always said at twelve I was very mature and big for my age, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous when I got off the train in Norwich to meet Mrs Ann.
I came from London where all the bombs were. Lived on Trans Road, aptly named because our little terrace house was sandwiched between two main railway lines. My mum was a seamstress, and my dad and older brother were in the army fighting for King and country. I attended Hammersmith Girls School in the borough of Skirt-on.
My mother had told me I was an evacuee, it was something to do with a special secret mission called operation Pied Piper. She had packed a few clothes in my suitcase, and I was told to carry my gas mask and identify card at all times. Mummy let me take my most favourite teddy called Bobby.
It was May 1942, America has entered the war, after Pearl Harbour and were definitely part of the East Anglia community. There were 50,000 US personnel stationed within a 30 mile radius of Norwich. They completely change the cultural fabric of the area. The bought with them coca-cola, popcorn, bubble gum, peanut butter, donuts, nylons, swing and the jitterbug. Norfolk would never be the same again…
Mrs Ann said we were going to a wedding. She told me to call them auntie Phyllis and uncle Barry but they weren’t my real relations. Uncle John and auntie Sandra was going to tell us at the reception about the American in East Anglia, Mrs Ann said he was an expert!
Phyllis was a Wren and Barry was in the Navy. They hoped to settle in Norfolk after the war. Barry was serving on the Ark Royal as part of the Norwegian Campaign.
Mrs Ann told me to say hello to auntie Lana, who she hadn’t seen for a while, auntie Lilly-jane who was new to the our reception and to thank Auntie Lucy for bring in all her war stuff.
The food was great, Bobby liked talking to all the ladies who had dressed up, and all the items they had bought in from the war. There was even a pretend machine gun and a wind up radio with a kite as an aerial. Uncle John said it was called a “Gibson girl”, because it had the same shape as my waist!
Then the ladies had a fashion show and our photographer, Auntie Jules took pictures. The outfits were lovely and Mrs Ann said I should take part, as I had borrowed some clothes and jewellery from her.
Disappointingly I didn’t win, but a lady called Mrs Kate came first, Auntie Sandra second and Mrs Claire third. They all got flowers. Auntie Jules was kind and gave me some lovely tulips.
There were 2 uncles and 24 aunties at the reception!
You know I’m sure some of the aunties were actually uncles, but Mrs Ann told me not to be so silly!
17th March 2018
Oasis goes Full House
We have also strived at Oasis to give our ladies every opportunity to try out different themes, cultures and eras and this month was no exception. The sixties were a decade of experimental fashion and cultural changes. Bingo was also booming in the sixties so what better than to combine them both ot an Oasis evening.
It was a ladies’ food night, and despite the unexpected low numbers, there was plenty available. We welcomed two new ladies to our group and no sooner had they sat down we were crunching the numbers on our bingo cards in the hope of getting a line, the four corners or the full house.
Young and Keen – 15; Pick and Mix – 26; Buckle my Shoe – 32; Stop and Run – 81
Quality prizes, that Oasis is famous for were in abundance, no expense spared! With sweets, Chinese lanterns and chocolates for the smaller wins and a fibre-optic LED light for the Full House.
The evening was finished off with the traditional fashion parade.
First prize went to Hannah in what looked a real authentic outfit down to the Go Go boots. Could it have been hired? Had I seen that outfit winning competitions at the Beaumont Harrogate weekend recently?
The second prize went to Rachel, who had recently been on a skiing trip with Serena. You can see the article, written by Serena, in the latest edition of the Beaumont Magazine. Rachel is pictures in this article, which is more than she was in the Beaamont article!
The third prize went to Jennifer, who later on in the evening gave us a very informative talk on the new data protection regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May.
Don’t forget our 40’s Evening on Saturday 19th May. Information to be published later.
17th February 2018
In February Oasis went to the Oscars!
Just like the real event, no expense was spared! Serena a stalwart of our group provided the red carpet. After searching the internet, she found the perfect solution, the picture gave the effect of a quality product at a discount bargain price (£5 including p&p).
Beccie carefully laid the carpet roll, which had the complete reverse of the product image displayed, the thinnest red crepe tissues paper that every existed!
Vicky and Ann had planned a traditional American style meal to get our ladies into the mood for the parade and the chance of winning a Oscar for the best dressed outfit.
Many of our ladies plan their outfits around the different events we run at Oasis, and this evening was no exception. Serena came as Marilyn Monroe, but not a fan in sight! Beccie as the Lady in Red and Carole in an black and white outfit and elegant red cape. Rosie and Joanna in simple blue diaphanous dresses and Jenny wore a beautiful white fur coat – must have cost a fortune!
Geri tried to curry favour with an elegant black number and a walking stick. She was clearly going for the disability vote. Claire was in a very sexy leather zipped dress and hat fascinator. Kay wore an all black dress representing the #MeToo movement. Rachel, as ever went for simplicity with immaculate matching separates, so elegant!
Vicky chose a sparkly little black dress with matching gold jewellery. Finally Viki, new to Oasis, came in a strikingly elegant dress with diagonal stripes.
With so many Oscar nominations the judging was going to be difficult, although clearly no one had a chance with Beccie being there, although it’s so important to give others an opportunity!
All the ladies “walked the walk” on the red carpet and with all the votes counted the gold envelopes were opened.
The first award went to the “Chef of the Stars”, Vicky, for all the work she had done over the many years she has supported Oasis. She was overcome with emotion, and I’m told it now takes pride and place with all the other family photos on the walnut sideboard in her living room.
Next came the “Most outstanding dress” award. Viki, our new lady took the first place with Rosie as runner up both receiving vouchers and Oscars. Well done to Claire for gained 3rd place.
Beccie despite wearing an outfit to compliment the carpet felt like the carpet……rejected… ripped…dirty..well there’s no change there!!
20th January 2018
This month, the first meeting in 2018 was a chance to celebrate the birth of Robert Burns with this Scottish themed evening.
Numbers were lower than expected, but it was January and it was nice to see some people had made an effort to dress the part with many ….Luve’s like a red, red rose. (Although there is some doubt if Robbie actually wrote this line)
We are always thankful for the hard work and commitment that both Vicky and Ann put in to the preparation and work during the evening to make a good evening and tonight was no different. The starter was haggis, neeps and swede followed by a lovely cock-a-leekie soup with a cheese and beef Panini. Finishing off the evening was shortbread.
We welcomed Debbie and Emma Jane, two new people to Oasis and hoped to see them in future evenings.
Although we did not have a best Scottish outfit, a small and select group showed off their outfits. Clearly Beccie would have won by a mile.
Of course going to Oasis can be very tiring so it always nice to see our ladies (Claire) relaxing afterwards and planning her next month outfits.