May Oasis Blog
Being clinically vulnerable and therefore on lockdown I do miss many things. Meeting friends, visiting restaurants and going to the theatre. I’m even missing “the middle of Lidl”!
I’ve sorted my summer outfits recently, but not certain where and when I’m going to be able wear them, except around the garden.
I’m also missing getting ready for the picnic on the Rainbow Day at Stody Lodge Gardens and try to relive the marvellous time we had the previous year.
It was so nice to see a few Oasis members at the “Zooming Marvellous” event on Saturday 16th May, when we would normally meet. I not certain how many bottles got consumed that night, but the wine certainly flowed. Let’s hope a few more of our ladies connect the next time. Our June meeting was titled Tea Party, so perhaps we could all raise our tea cups and candy fancies at the next meeting.
I think Lilly was the catalyst with her two-part novelette “Escape from the Country” because other ladies in our group have started to send their stories for inclusion on the website. It’s was lovely to read Denise’s story and Phyllis’s meeting of Denise and subsequent arrival to Oasis at our first 40’s event. Vicky came next, with an outpouring of her inner emotions and fears, but how nice she was about me-all true! Geri’s story, beautifully written about her gender journey I think is similar to many of our journeys. We are expecting Lilly’s and Hazel’s story next. Now I know there are a few more ladies that are considering writing their story, so I look forward to getting these out to you in June/July. I might even consider writing my story!
Most people appear to be managing our new norm, but here a run down of who I have heard from recently.
Sheila has had over 80 days of lock down in a very isolated village inhabited by not very friendly people. Sainsburys deliveries have become a lifeline. She is awaiting the birth of her first grandchild due in a few days.
Joanna is still designing the garden and her train layout and almost every evening, as it’s much warmer, dresses in her summer outfits.
Theresa is still sitting in the garden with Alice the ‘van’, waiting for campsites to open again. She’s sad to hear Debenhams in King’s Lynn will not reopen because she’s discovered a taste for Mantaray clothing.
Jenny asked if anyone watched “Dazzling Duets” on BBC4. She missed it at the time, but watched it on the iPlayer one morning, whilst still dressed in her feminine nightwear. It is brilliant, with something for everyone.
Wendy who we have seen twice at Oasis is well, dressing and sleeping, when she can in her female attire.
Michelle and her son are slowly using all the food in the freezer. If it gets desperate she may have to eat her son!
Lucy is well and keeps in contact most weeks.
Vicky is preparing to return to work at the cafe.
Recently I was chatting to my good friend Anna G. We were discussing how we could all meet again at Oasis and socially distance. After discussing many different way, from reducing number to a maximum of 10, sitting at opposite end of the tables, or all sitting in a large circle, we hit on the perfect idea. French wheel or great farthingales became popular in England in the 16th century, panniers in the 18th century and crinoline in the 19th century.
I’m sure you’ve all got one from these ” little” dresses tucked away in the wardrobe. They are perfect for her first get together, great for social distancing. Just not certain how I get in the car or through the door of the hall!
Saturday 16th May 2020
Wow, how up to date are we. Oasis goes digital in 2020! On Saturday, 16th May, we held the first ever Virtual Oasis meeting using the Zoom conferencing facility. Petra was the brains behind the organisation. She paid for a pro licence so that the meeting was not time limited and we all chatted away for a couple of hours. Thank you very much, Petra, for making it happen.
In total, 13 people including Oasis ladies and their partners took part, some dipping in and out throughout the evening. In the absence of face to face contact at St George’s Hall, it was an excellent way to catch up with friends and get all the goss on the other members of the group.
Petra has offered to host more meetings in the future so keep an eye on the website for details of forthcoming sessions. It was good fun, so I hope more people will take part in the future.
Who knows when we will be back at St George’s Hall? At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Restaurants and theatres are still closed and until such time as it is deemed safe to reopen them, I can’t see Oasis being allowed to meet.
When I was reading the BBC News App, I discovered the 17th May is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Many people in the LGBT+ community are locked down with families who do not understand and will not accept. We all know our lives are never straightforward so it must be doubly difficult for people in those situations. Spare a thought.
I also found this very beautiful picture in the EDP yesterday. She is Christina Johnston, a soprano based in Suffolk. All her concerts have been postponed so she is broadcasting on line from her home. I have included it especially for Vicky and all other shoe lovers!
Thank you again, Petra.
Love and best wishes to you all and hope to see some of you on Zoom in the near future.
Hi again everyone.
Firstly, I hope you are all keeping fit and well physically and mentally. These are very challenging times.
I’m writing this on the day we should have been at St George’s Hall for our monthly Oasis get together. It would have been the M and Co fashion show and our models would have been sashaying along the catwalk. I know how much they have enjoyed doing that in the past and will be disappointed to miss out. However, Beth, from M and Co, assures me she will be delighted to come in later in the year when we eventually return to some sort of normality. With any luck, it will enable us to update our autumn and winter wardrobes.
We cannot fail to be impressed by the dedication of so many people who are putting themselves in the line of fire to get us through this awful situation. So many people deserve our thanks, especially those working in the NHS. They are very definitely ‘front line’ and exposed on a daily basis to something which could prove fatal for them. Some weeks ago, Joanna suggested Oasis should recognise this in some way. And then along came Captain Tom! Wow. What an inspiring man and what an amazing achievement. Aiming to raise £1000, the total is now well over £20 million. At Joanna’s suggestion, I made a donation from Oasis of £40 to the Captain Tom’s Just Giving Page (which, with gift aid, amounts to £50) and I hope this meets with your approval.
The government has recently announced an extension to the lockdown of three weeks which takes us up to 7th May. Even then, it is probable there will only be a partial lifting of restrictions, if at all. So it is highly unlikely the May Oasis will go ahead but keep checking the website for updates. Remember that our first meeting back will be ‘My favourite outfit’. I hope this will give us something to think about and look forward to.
Following an earlier post in which I quoted the NHS guidance on the use of ibruprofen for treating the symptoms of coronavirus, on 14th April, the Commission of Human Medicines stated that ‘patients can take paracetamol and ibruprofen when self-medicating the symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headaches, and should follow NHS advice if they have any questions or if the symptoms get worse’.
I have had an email from Petra (as in Petra and Lorraine near Ipswich) offering to host a get-together of Oasis ladies using the Zoom conference facility. If anyone would like to take part in such a meeting, I would be grateful if you would leave a comment to that effect so that we can gauge the response and act accordingly.
It is a miserable day here today, weather-wise, but the forecast is good for the next week so it will be …….. more gardening!
Stay well and keep smiling.
Happy social distancing and welcome to my April blog of all things happening at Oasis.
Many of you must be thinking when will this all end so we can get back to normal. Others are thinking that maybe there won’t be a normal anymore and life after Covid 19 will be very different.
Well here’s the monthly round up of what happened with our Oasis ladies.
- Katie and Roz would prefer to be at home but are still working as they are front line key workers for the food and pharmaceutical industry. Our praise goes to them.
- Geri is busy with a bedroom makeover. She spends a few hours a day assembling and fitting her new wardrobes from IKEA.
- Viki from Kings Lynn is running her guest house for key workers only.
- Stacey is on furlough from her diving job and spending more time with her partner and young daughter.
- Anna G is doing fine, only making essential visits to her local garden centre and shop. She is working from home.
- Claire’s good news is that her cancer is in remission although she is finding a struggle getting over the side effects of the radiotherapy. However her and Jules have managed to dress up for a short, but essentially trip. Cheers!
- Michelle is spending more time with her son, who normally is employed on cruise ships. Her son is getting more accustomed to seeing her in the lovely sunny weather.
- Vicky is on furlough. She has sorted her clothes out, colour coding them into different styles and outfits.
- Anna F is busy gardening and decorating. Dressed every day and nails and hair growing longer. She exercises by cycling fully dressed. Her partner suggest she starts using her bike! They had a lovely night in dressed to the nines over a nice bottle of wine.
- Gemma, who is isolating is struggling with the metric system. She is operating the 2 centimetre rule! She has to be very careful to avoid the local CovidStazi in case they think she is planning a rave under Cromer pier!!
- I have heard nothing from Emma-Jane despite text and voice messages. I have also not heard from Mary. I hope they are both safe and OK. Please contact them if you can.
- Theresa is using her latest purchase of a Winnebago to have nights away with her daughter and Lorraine on the house drive. You can’t beat those sunsets over Norfolk!
- Joanna is still up to her eyes in garden maintenance and concrete breaking, but does have some Joanna time in the evenings.
- Davina has now officially retired from playing with trains and will be seeking further employment when we return to “normal”.
- Shelia, a good friend of the group, is keeping herself busy with gardening, reading, knitting, sewing and artistic pursuits. She missing us all.
- Phyllis and Barry want to give their best wishes to all in isolation. They miss everyone. Stay safe.
- Lilly is still in lock-down in France. We’re all waiting to hear her second instalment of “Escape from the Country”.
- Lucy is pacing herself with gardening chores and keeping safe.
- Rosie is dressing as much as she can at home and is longing to get back to Oasis. She wants to pass on her good and safe wishes to all the Oasis ladies.
- Angela from Lincolnshire is struggling with the closure of her garden centre, where the climbing plants are going nowhere, but her on-line sales have gone through the roof. Anne, her good friend, who we have seen at Oasis is vulnerable and self isolating. Angela is in constant contact.
- Serena is occupying her time with the garden and her bees and she tells me that Rachel B, Rachel R, Carole,Jenny, Lilly, Lana and Long Tall Sally are fine.
- Petra is still taking bike rides around North Norfolk, but is gutted that Norwich Pride has been cancelled.
Well that just leave me.
Well I’ve been dressing every day, out shopping for summer clothes and accessories at M & Co. Returning home to get ready for the evening.
Even went to London to see Nelson’s column.
I try and get out to a restaurant twice a week to meet some of the other ladies, and once a week book for a theatre performance. Theatres are much quieter these days.
Then I wake up…. Oh what a nightmare!
Back to gardening and decorating. Thank God for lock-down!!
Saturday 15th February
Oasis has always prided itself on being a diverse group which is accepting of everyone, but there are exceptions. None more so than on Saturday 15th February when we held our monthly meeting with our theme of red.
An uninvited guest named Dennis, continually knocked against the windows and door trying to get in, but we weren’t having any of it. He just had to stay outside, along with his sister Ciara who visited us the previous week.
Considering it was such a windy night, we had a good turn out of ladies with around 20 of us braving the weather and travelling as far afield as the depths of Lincolnshire. It was going to be a very busy night, with a make-up demo, parade, quiz and raffle.
Up first was the makeup demo, run by Jodie, the daughter of one of our ladies, Theresa. She was in her 2nd year at her local college completing a cosmetics and beauty course. Although nervous at the start, who wouldn’t be when confronted with all of us, she quickly gained confidence, as she fashioned Theresa’s face to an Amazon beauty! She talked with confidence abut the products and we all learnt more about where we’ve gone wrong!
It was a big learning curve for me, more moisturiser, more foundation, less polyfilla and proper brushes. Look out in this coming months at Oasis to a younger Beccie!
Next came the food, always an important part of Oasis, followed by the red parade with almost half of the attendees involved. It was lovely to see such variety of the use of the colour red, and after much deliberation from Phyllis, Barry and Lilly the decision had been made. Our 3 winners were Anne, Joanna and myself.
Of course as much as it’s good to have themed evenings, where our ladies can have a chance to dress up, these are not compulsory. The glue that keep Oasis together is the people that attend and the networking that takes place at these gatherings.
Many thanks for the images from Phyllis and Angela,
Mammia Mia Party@Oasis
Saturday 18th January
It might have been January in Norfolk but, for one night only, St George’s Hall became a Greek taverna in the summer to host ‘Mamma Mia – The Party’. Loosely (very loosely) based on the film Mamma Mia, guests arrived to sounds of Abba in the taverna and the aroma of Greek cooking coming from the kitchen. Thirty one guests attended the party – a really good turn out, especially for a January meeting.
Venetia had worked incredibly hard preparing authentic moussaka – a classic Greek dish. It was no easy task to heat it up in the very inefficient oven and she required some last minute instruction from our resident expert, Vicky. However, only a few minutes later than planned, we tucked in. Several people said they had never had moussaka before, but came back for second helpings! Pudding was another Greek classic – Greek yoghurt, chopped walnuts and honey (the honey was from Gressenhall, not Greece – sorry!) Very many thanks to Venetia for a super meal. She should have received a bouquet of flowers but I left it in the garage at home (oops).
Not many guests had dressed for the occasion so it was decided not to hold the best dressed parade, but thanks and apologies to all those who did. I, as always, went completely over the top, trying to emulate Anna-Frid from Abba – it was just an excuse to acquire a pair of silver platform boots!
I told the group that Oasis is way ahead of the curve as there will be four ‘Mamma Mia – The Party’ nights being held at the Ocean Rooms in Gorleston-on-Sea in June, July, August and September. Tickets cost from £34.50 to include a three course meal. So it’s not too late to get those silver boots out!