Pot luck discussion
Our first meeting of the year was a pot luck discussion. The first topic out of the hat was ‘Recomposition’ or ‘human composting’ which is seen as an eco-friendly alternative to burial or cremation; the resulting compost can be used in the family’s garden. The practice is already legal in Sweden and has now been legalised in some states in the US; natural burials without a casket or in a biodegrable coffin are legal in the UK. Opinions varied from ‘worth considering’ to ‘disrespectful to the body of the deceased’, ‘and ‘strange’. We also discussed the reintroduction of wild animals to the UK, including beavers – which have been successful in reducing flooding in the west country, wild boar and wolves.
Eleven of us met on 26 January when the topic was “chairs”. As ever, this was widely interpreted, and we began with a discussion of the many different names for furniture designed for sitting on: sofas, banquettes, benches, love seats. We soon made additions to the list to include those that evoke memories: pews, push-chairs, office chairs, school chairs and commodes! Others talked about chairs that they owned including a beautiful Arts & Crafts Movement Sussex chair, a Bauhaus dining chair, childhood chairs now used by grandchildren and great grandchildren, including one which had been reupholstered by another member of the group. We also learned about the history of folding chairs from a mediaeval bishop’s folding throne to the very frustrating – pinched fingers / sudden collapse / uncomfortable – but simple to store deck chair. One member talked about visiting the workshop of her furniture maker father and seeing the wood stacked for seasoning before it could be used. One member completely forget to mention that whilst working as a museum curator she had been photographed in an 18th century sedan chair and appeared on the front page of her local paper.
February started with another excellent meeting on the topic “laughter”. Eight of us attended and some brought jokes and anecdotes and others talked about the physiology of laughter and why we laugh. Turns out laughter is very good for you and that fake laughter can turn into real laughter quite easily – try googling “laughter yoga”. We all especially enjoyed (and joined in with) Peggy’s clip of a baby laughing.
The topic for our next meeting on 7 March is Maps.