Free Portland News entry by Keith Barnard Jones/ March Contribution for the Free Portland News

By Dr Keith Barnard-Jones

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A trip to the high life?

So how about a Spring Trip to London – to blow away the winter cobwebs?

Janet, one of our members, is taking yet another coach load of merry trippers out for the day, and this time the trip is to London on Saturday 27th. July.   As I understand it, the idea is to take a coach full of people and drop everyone off at Marble Arch, thus giving all those going some 6-7 hours in London, before returning home.

All this will cost you just £20 each and should be a great day. All her trips are fully booked very quickly so this is to give you all advance warning.  If interested, call Janet a.s.a.p. on 822864 and she will give you all the details you need.  Happy Tripping!

At the time of writing I have just returned from the latest Table Top Sale – this time in aid of a Hedgehog Friendly Portland.  Thank you all so much for your support – I don’t think I have ever seen such a large crowd supporting us (and, in particular, our monthly cause).  Hopefully the beneficiaries thought it worthwhile financially, and from the P.R. point of view as well..

So may I put in a plug please for next month – on 13th. April, the TT Sale is in aid of Read Easy. This is an organisation that helps people to improve their reading skills – both young and old, and I know for a fact that that there are people that you and I meet in the street who struggle to read or understand the written word.  I do not have time here to go through all the problems that this may cause, but those who cannot read (properly) are often left out of normal society.   They cope very well through a variety of ploys, but a little help in learning to read goes a long, long way.  We also know of those who end up in the courts, very often because their lack of reading skills.  Read Easy helps anyone and everyone, so please come along to the TT Sale, enjoy meeting old and new friends, perhaps purchase some useful items that you need and want, and help a very worthwhile cause into the bargain.    If you have concerns about yourself, or a loved ones, or someone you know well, contact Irene at  That one contact could transform someone’s life.  I repeat, I know that there are people out there who have problems reading – you/they are not alone.

Someone asked me why we appeared to be having so much fun in the kitchen at the TT Sale.   The answer is simple, and in two parts – the first is of course that we are able to facilitate the community by helping different causes each month.   The second was that we had all been told how useless we were!!

Rotarians are multi-talented and can turn their hands to making teas or coffees, making bacon butties, washing up, collecting the empties etc..  However, we now have a new lady in charge who does not see it the same way as we do.   I am too frightened to mention her name here.   To say she is bossy is unfair – she just likes to think she is the boss.  To say that she knows better than us is unfair – she just thinks she does.   I started off producing the bacon butties, but they had too much butter on them, the oven was too hot, the windows were not open, the bacon was under-cooked (or over-cooked), the tea was weak (or too strong), the ketchup and brown sauce were on my left, but they should have been on my right as I am right handed, there was too much milk in the drinks (or there was too little).  The milk cooled down the tea so that the tea was not hot etc. etc. etc.   I am sure you can imagine the situation.  We did not dare to put our own coffee cups down after a quick sip – they were instantly removed and washed up.  So the helpers, the ones who do all the work, had a ball discussing our new leader, as long as she was not listening, and we sympathised deeply with each other.   Rotarians are very good at sympathising.

Anyway, I was taken off butty-making and put on washing up, but my washing up was not up to standard so I was swapped to the money collecting table where I could do the least damage.   Sadly my finances were questioned as well so I ended up collecting the empties.

What it is to be a failure in life!!

Hopefully we will all do better for ReadEasy.