Coventry and Warwickshire, May 2021 Newsletter

Happy May time!

I hope that you are staying safe and dry.

I have suffered 3 soakings whilst out on my bike, Gill (my wife) is unsympathetic.

“You won’t take shelter when it rains, you just won’t stop”.

She has a point.

Brian Nicol and putting the humanist viewpoint.

It was great to see and hear from Brian Nicol at our zoom gathering yesterday, he came to make the following points:

As members are aware, one of the ways that people in Mid-Warwickshire become aware of Humanism both locally in terms of activities such as rites-of-passage and as a wider philosophy, is through regular columns in the Courier series submitted by George Broadhead and myself.

George is no longer with us and I am writing now to say that I am no longer able to continue as I am finding it increasingly difficult both to physically type and compose coherent passages!

It would be a pity not to continue to take advantage, alongside churches, local MPs etc of this free publicity so I am writing to ask for members who would be willing to contribute.  Articles need to be about 300 to 400 words about anything relevant to Humanism. George and I used to write a lot about national campaigns such as Dignity in Dying and relating to various aspects of faith schools and promoting  a Secular society including  Bishops in the House of Lords and religious exemptions from legislation that everyone else has to comply with.  There is no lack of material on the various Humanist and other web-sites.

Every potential contributor needs to know what the others are doing.  One possibility is to have a small panel of contributors with a coordinator.  Perhaps ideas could be discussed at a future meeting?

Brian

Following Brian’s contribution, 3 of us (JS, BGB and myself) have undertaken to take the baton from him and try to maintain the tradition.  It’s a good cause and we’ll do our best.  If you have an idea for an article ………

and of course …….. thanks Brian and thanks George, for all your contributions ……..

KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH INDEPENDENT SCIENTISTS’ WEEKLY BRIEFING ON COVID-19

Glyn and Heather Evans have consistently recommended Independent SAGE.  They agreed to say what it is.

The Independent SAGE streams LIVE EVERY FRIDAY on YouTube.

Chair is Prof Alice Roberts, President of Humanists UK and also Prof of Public Engagement in Science at Birmingham University. Notable speakers are Prof Gabriel Scally, Prof Susan Michie, Prof Christine Pagel, Prof Anthony Costello, etc. The main advantages of Independent Sage, as its name implies, is its total independence from political interference and, of course, its members have particular expertise.

In last Friday’s (14/05/21) meeting they were particularly scathing about the Government’s approach to the Indian variant (B.1.617.2). Also very damning on the Government’s delaying of a public enquiry on COVID till Spring 2022. No indication whether collection of data and evidence would precede that date – if not the publication of the enquiry would not occur before the end of 2022. This delay can but sound a bit suspicious.

Summary of their six point plan for dealing with the Indian Variant (B.1.617.2)

1. Global Vaccination – as a matter of urgency!

2. Border Control – The current ‘traffic light’ system of international travel is weak and inconsistent.

3. Improved Local Systems of Outbreak Control. The provision to fine people £10,000 for failing to   isolate should be withdrawn as this is a powerful disincentive to come forward for testing.

4. Domestic Vaccination – follow up of people  not yet vaccinated, eg with vaccination teams.

5. Limit Indoor Mixing – Outdoors to be encouraged.

6. Continuing Vigilance It is incumbent that we act now rather than wait and see if things get worse. The lessons from 2020 have shown that delaying action could increase hospitalisations, overwhelm the NHS and may also cost lives. There should be a national communication campaign urging people to limit contact as far as possible and to take measures to protect themselves and others with whom they are in contact.

The Armchair Audience’ by Jacquie Campbell

As I type, the full opening of theatres in June is looking less certain and we’ll have to see what unfolds.  However, there is still plenty to enjoy online. 

The National Theatre has just released two more of its productions to view at home – Comedy of Errors and Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea.  I haven’t seen the first production, which stars Lenny Henry and Lucian Msamati, who played a powerful Othello at the RSC in 2015.  But I did see The Deep Blue Sea and, oh my, I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s a fabulous production, with the late Helen McCrory giving a stunning performance – one of her finest, I think – as Hester and Tom Burke as her younger lover, Freddie.  Time Out described this as “Exquisitely sad” and “Beautifully judged” and I couldn’t agree more.  It stays with you for a very long time. 

The Original Theatre Company have been a happy discovery form me in the last few months, and they’ve done fantastic work producing live shows and then streaming them.  Being Mr Wickham is their latest offering.  The live shows have finished, but it’s available to watch online until August.  It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of that incorrigible cad and bounder, George Wickham, 30 years later.  It’s charming and great fun, and Adrian Lukis reprises the role of Wickham that he played in the BBC production.

For a live show, Original are producing A Cold Supper Behind Harrods.  Three giants of acting, David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser are doing a live reading from the stage of the Oxford Playhouse on 11 June at 7.30.  It’s about a reunion between three former Special Operations agents and is playing live for just that one night, but will be available to watch afterwards. 

Meanwhile, theatre brochures are starting to drop through the letterbox once more, tempting us to book.  We’re currently studying the programme at Malvern Theatres – if you haven’t been there, it’s a terrific arts centre with a programme that often features plays before they move to the West End.  And Great Malvern is a lovely place to stay if you fancy a short break.  Fingers crossed………..

Some Films and TV Programmes to look out for this week – May 28th

Thursday 20th May:

22.05 – BBC4: Tea with Mussolini – An excellent comedy drama. A group of eccentric English and American women living in Florence during the 1930s collectively adopt a local boy (believed to be Zeffirelli himself) disowned by his father. Their happy existence is under threat as war breaks out. Starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, Lily Tomlin and Baird Wallace.

23.15 – Film 4: Paris Texas – An exceptional and outstanding drama directed by Wim Wenders. A man wanders out of the desert with no memory and returns to his home town. He tries to piece together his past and find his estranged wife and child. Starring Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell and Aurore Clement. A wonderful haunting guitar score from Ry Cooder

Friday 21st May:

19.05 – Sony Movies: Raising Arizona – A great Coen Brothers comedy. A habitual thief and his policewoman wife discover they cannot have children, so set out to kidnap one of five babies born to a local tycoon. Starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Frances McDormand.

22.40 – BBC1: The Witches of Eastwick – A great comedy drama to go to bed with. The sleepy town of Eastwick changes when 3 bored independent women have their wishes granted when a mysterious man arrives. Starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon

23.20 – BBC2: Testament of Youth – An excellent period drama based on the memoirs of writer Vera Brittain. Her fiancé and brother are sent to the front line during World War 1. A young woman gives up her studies at Oxford to follow them. She becomes a nurse, and witnesses the horrors of the conflict. Her outlook changes forever. Starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington and Taron Egerton.

Saturday 22nd May:

15.15 – Channel 5: The Glenn Miller Story – Musical biopic of the bandleader. Depicting the king of swing’s triumphs from his college days to the pinnacle of his career, before it ended when his plane disappeared in 1944. Starring James Stewart, June Allyson and Charles Drake, and featuring an appearance by Louis Armstrong as himself. Pure nostalgia and enjoyment

19.30 – BBC2: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – A truly delightful feel-good romantic drama, ideal for a Saturday evening. A literary club in Nazi occupied Guernsey invite a famous author to attend a meeting. Starring Lily James, Tom Courtenay and Katherine Parkinson.

21.00 – Film 4: Red Sparrow – An excellent spy thriller. A retired ballerina is recruited to the KGB to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Charlotte Rampling as the ‘hostess from hell!!’

23.00 – BBC2: Loving – An excellent and critically acclaimed fact-based drama. In late-1950s Virginia, interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving are targeted by the authorities and arrested, leading to a momentous legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision. Starring an Oscar-nominated Ruth Negga, with Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton and Michael Shannon.

Sunday 23rd May:

18.15 – Talking Pictures: The Day of the Jackal – An exceptionally great thriller and adaptation of Frederick’s Forsyth’s novel. A group of conspirators contracts the Jackal to assassinate President de Gaulle. Out-foxing the French police at every turn. Starring Edward Fox, Michael Lonsdale, Alan Badel, Tony Britton and Cyril Cusack. If you missed it recently

19.30 – ITV1: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Second part of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel saga. A complex plot and the introduction of more characters adds narrative richness and a deepening mythology. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston and Jude Law.

21.00 – BBC1: The Pursuit of Love – Last episode of this enjoyable series. Longing for love and obsessed with sex, Linda is on the hunt for the perfect lover. But finding Mr Right is much harder than she thought.

Wednesday 26th May:

21.00 – BBC2: The Black American Fight for Freedom – Fifty years on from the promise of equality and the Civil Rights Act, this documentary examines moments where America had the chance to become more equal and why that didn’t happen.

01.00 – Channel 4: Little Men – A rich, thoughtful and an absolute top quality drama. A 13-year-old boy recovering from the death of his grandfather befriends the son of a Chilean woman, who rents a dress shop from his parents. Starring Michael Barbieri, Greg Kinnear and Pauline Garcia

Thursday 27th May:

21.00 – Sony Action: Blade Runner 2049 – A great Oscar winning sci-fi thriller sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic. An android-hunter working for the LA Police Department discovers a long-buried secret, which leads him to track down former detective who’s been missing for 30 years and is linked to the case. Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas and Sylvia Hoeks.

Friday 28th May: It is a great night on BBC4 for fans of Bob Dylan to celebrate his 80th birthday

21.00 – BBC4: Don’t Look Back – A superb, intimate film diary of Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of Britain, Featuring interviews with various Sixties cult figures, including his then-girlfriend Joan Baez and poet Allen Ginsberg. Followed at 22.00 with Omnibus interview with Bob Dylan and 23.00 Arena with a recording of a live concert fro 1980

23.20 – BBC2: Effi Grey – A delightful fact-based period drama to go to bed with. A Victorian woman is trapped in a loveless marriage to a celebrated art critic. She becomes a model for a painter who her husband is promoting. She falls in love with the artist and creates a scandal by becoming the first woman to seek a divorce. Starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson.

Brian GB

Rare Blue Bee, thought to be extinct, rediscovered in Florida.

Membership dues

Eager members have been asking urgently “How do we pay into C & W Humanist funds?”

If you would like to pay fees by cheque, you can send it to our treasurer:

Adrian Davis

Flat 14 Ladbroke Hall

Ladbroke

Southam

Warwickshire

CV47 2DF           

Or you can pay directly by BAC to

Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists

Sort code 20 – 23 – 55

Account number 00982911

The Summer is coming and ….

We are fortunate to have several groups, allied to the humanist cause and responding imaginatively to lockdown and post lockdown.  Here, some of them describe what they are planning.

National Secular Society

On Tuesday 25th May at 19:30 in a zoom meeting

Rob Palmer from Recovering from Religion (RfR) will lead the discussion. 

RfR is a non-profit humanist organization which has the goal of providing hope, healing, and support for people struggling with issues of doubt and non-belief. Its passion is connecting others with support, resources, community, and most of all, hope. They have two forms of support available: peer support and professional support.

Rob Palmer is a volunteer for RfR involved with many aspects of peer support. He will join us to discuss why RfR’s services are so important, and share details of what RfR does to meet the needs of the community.

Rob is a retired aerospace engineer who now works for Recovering from Religion, filling a variety of roles. He is a Helpline Volunteer, Online Community Channel Moderator, a Social Host (for the weekly community Zoom sessions featuring professional presentations to the RfR community), and a member of the RfR Ambassador Program, charged with publicizing the organization. Rob is also a skeptical activist, as he is a member of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project, and he is a columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer (‘The Magazine of Science and Reason’), writing as ‘The Well-Known Skeptic.’

Skeptical Inquirer column: https://skepticalinquirer.org/authors/rob-palmer

Follow Rob on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TWKSkeptic

Birmingham Humanists – a real picnic!

So pleased to see this initiative from B’ham Humanists.

When the weather improves, perhaps we should follow their example.

Dear friend of Birmingham Humanists

Covid regulations have changed, allowing up to 30 people to meet outside, so we can go ahead with our next event, the picnic in Sutton Park on Sunday, 23 May at 12.30. It’ll be great to see each other in person again!

As numbers are limited, we need people to register in advance. So if you intend to come to the picnic, please sign up via the website at https://birminghamhumanists.org.uk/events/picnic-in-the-park. NB You will need to do this separately for each person attending. Please sign up at least 24 hours before the event.

We will then send out details of where to meet, along with information about parking and public transport, to everyone who has booked a place.

Looking forward to seeing you there, and hoping the weather will have improved by then!

With best wishes

Carolyn Sugden

Secretary, Birmingham Humanists

http://www.birminghamhumanists.org.uk

And from north of the border

Join us in Glasgow from 3 to 5 June 2022 for an international humanist weekend!
The 2022 Humanists International General Assembly will take place in Glasgow (Scotland) from Friday 3rd June until Sunday 5th of June. The event will be organised in collaboration with our Member Humanist Society Scotland. The event will take place at the Sir Charles Wilson Building which forms part of the University of Glasgow. The weekend will feature a range of cultural and intellectual experiences, including the International Humanist Conference 2022.    


Events during MAY by Brian GB  

The Union between England and Scotland was proclaimed on 1st May 1707 during the reign of Queen Anne (I wonder if and when the Union will be disbanded?)
The Final of the Snooker World Championship is usually played on the first Sunday and Monday in May at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield
New Zealand officially became British colony on 3rd May 1841 during the reign of Queen Victoria
On 3rd May in 1611 saw the first publication of the King James Bible
Roger Bannister became the first man to run a sub-4 minute mile on 6th May 1954 at Oxford
On 8th May 1429 Joan of Arc’s army defeated the English army at Orleans
The General strike started on 3rd May 1926 and lasted 9 days. The main Trade Unions involved were the miners, railway/transport workers, dockers and printers
In May 1921 Coco Chanel launched the scent ‘Chanel No 5’ which was destined to be “the world’s most famous” Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show opened in London on 9th May 1887. The show included the world famous markswoman Annie Oakley
Henry Vlll’s second wife Anne Boleyn was executed for treason at the Tower of London on 19th May
1536 Eleven days later on 30th May, Henry Vlll married Jane Seymour (He didn’t hang about did he?)
On 21st May 1932 Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to make the first solo flight across the Atlantic
Iconic rock and folk musician and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan will celebrate his 80th birthday on 24th May (Bob Dylan 80??? Wow I do feel old!!)
The Gilbert & Sullivan opera ‘HMS Pinafore’ opened to rave reviews at the Opera Comique, London on 25th May 1878. The opera was produced by Richard D’Oyly Carte
Ordered by Philip ll, the Spanish Armada set sail for England 28th May 1588  

Thank you Brian GB
and finally, a poem, settle down now, are you sitting comfortably?     

The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,      
That is known as the Children’s Hour.  

I hear in the chamber above me      
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,      
And voices soft and sweet.  

From my study I see in the lamplight,      
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,      
And Edith with golden hair.  

A whisper, and then a silence:      
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together      
To take me by surprise.  

A sudden rush from the stairway,      
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded      
They enter my castle wall!  

They climb up into my turret      
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;      
They seem to be everywhere.  

They almost devour me with kisses,      
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen      
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!  

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,      
Because you have scaled the wall, S
uch an old moustache as I am      
Is not a match for you all!  

I have you fast in my fortress,      
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon      
In the round-tower of my heart.  

And there will I keep you forever,      
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,      
And moulder in dust away!  

A very pleasant note to end on, thank you Audrey for the suggestion.  

If you would like to join our 59th zoom session, at 7.30 p.m. next Wednesday 28th May, you will need a new zoom invitation, the old one will no longer work. I will send it to you but should I forget, please demand one at:   rmjelley@gmail.com  

Stay safe and if you’re out on your bike, stay dry too.  










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C & W Humanists Newsletter May 2021
 
Happy May time!
I hope that you are staying safe and dry.
I have suffered 3 soakings whilst out on my bike, Gill (my wife) is unsympathetic.
“You won’t take shelter when it rains, you just won’t stop”.
She has a point.
 
Brian Nicol and putting the humanist viewpoint.
 
It was great to see and hear from Brian Nicol at our zoom gathering yesterday, he came to make the following points:
 
As members are aware, one of the ways that people in Mid-Warwickshire become aware of Humanism both locally in terms of activities such as rites-of-passage and as a wider philosophy, is through regular columns in the Courier series submitted by George Broadhead and myself.
George is no longer with us and I am writing now to say that I am no longer able to continue as I am finding it increasingly difficult both to physically type and compose coherent passages!
It would be a pity not to continue to take advantage, alongside churches, local MPs etc of this free publicity so I am writing to ask for members who would be willing to contribute.  Articles need to be about 300 to 400 words about anything relevant to Humanism. George and I used to write a lot about national campaigns such as Dignity in Dying and relating to various aspects of faith schools and promoting  a Secular society including  Bishops in the House of Lords and religious exemptions from legislation that everyone else has to comply with.  There is no lack of material on the various Humanist and other web-sites.
 
Every potential contributor needs to know what the others are doing.  One possibility is to have a small panel of contributors with a coordinator.  Perhaps ideas could be discussed at a future meeting?
Brian
 
Following Brian’s contribution, 3 of us (JS, BGB and myself) have undertaken to take the baton from him and try to maintain the tradition.  It’s a good cause and we’ll do our best.  If you have an idea for an article ………
 
 
 
KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH INDEPENDENT SCIENTISTS’ WEEKLY BRIEFING ON COVID-19
 
Glyn and Heather Evans have consistently recommended Independent SAGE.  They agreed to say what it is.
 
The Independent SAGE streams LIVE EVERY FRIDAY on YouTube.
 
Chair is Prof Alice Roberts, President of Humanists UK and also Prof of Public Engagement in Science at Birmingham University. Notable speakers are Prof Gabriel Scally, Prof Susan Michie, Prof Christine Pagel, Prof Anthony Costello, etc. The main advantages of Independent Sage, as its name implies, is its total independence from political interference and, of course, its members have particular expertise.
 
In last Friday’s (14/05/21) meeting they were particularly scathing about the Government’s approach to the Indian variant (B.1.617.2). Also very damning on the Government’s delaying of a public enquiry on COVID till Spring 2022. No indication whether collection of data and evidence would precede that date – if not the publication of the enquiry would not occur before the end of 2022. This delay can but sound a bit suspicious.
 
Summary of their six point plan for dealing with the Indian Variant (B.1.617.2)
1. Global Vaccination – as a matter of urgency!
2. Border Control – The current ‘traffic light’ system of international travel is weak and inconsistent.
3. Improved Local Systems of Outbreak Control. The provision to fine people £10,000 for failing to   isolate should be withdrawn as this is a powerful disincentive to come forward for testing.
4. Domestic Vaccination – follow up of people  not yet vaccinated, eg with vaccination teams.
5. Limit Indoor Mixing – Outdoors to be encouraged.
6. Continuing Vigilance It is incumbent that we act now rather than wait and see if things get worse. The lessons from 2020 have shown that delaying action could increase hospitalisations, overwhelm the NHS and may also cost lives. There should be a national communication campaign urging people to limit contact as far as possible and to take measures to protect themselves and others with whom they are in contact.
 
A Lawn Being Sprinkled – David Hockney, chosen by Alistair, from one of his presentations to our zoom gatherings.

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The Armchair Audience’ by Jacquie Campbell
 
As I type, the full opening of theatres in June is looking less certain and we’ll have to see what unfolds.  However, there is still plenty to enjoy online. 
 
The National Theatre has just released two more of its productions to view at home – Comedy of Errors and Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea.  I haven’t seen the first production, which stars Lenny Henry and Lucian Msamati, who played a powerful Othello at the RSC in 2015.  But I did see The Deep Blue Sea and, oh my, I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s a fabulous production, with the late Helen McCrory giving a stunning performance – one of her finest, I think – as Hester and Tom Burke as her younger lover, Freddie.  Time Out described this as “Exquisitely sad” and “Beautifully judged” and I couldn’t agree more.  It stays with you for a very long time. 
 
The Original Theatre Company have been a happy discovery form me in the last few months, and they’ve done fantastic work producing live shows and then streaming them.  Being Mr Wickham is their latest offering.  The live shows have finished, but it’s available to watch online until August.  It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of that incorrigible cad and bounder, George Wickham, 30 years later.  It’s charming and great fun, and Adrian Lukis reprises the role of Wickham that he played in the BBC production.
 
For a live show, Original are producing A Cold Supper Behind Harrods.  Three giants of acting, David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser are doing a live reading from the stage of the Oxford Playhouse on 11 June at 7.30.  It’s about a reunion between three former Special Operations agents and is playing live for just that one night, but will be available to watch afterwards. 
 
Meanwhile, theatre brochures are starting to drop through the letterbox once more, tempting us to book.  We’re currently studying the programme at Malvern Theatres – if you haven’t been there, it’s a terrific arts centre with a programme that often features plays before they move to the West End.  And Great Malvern is a lovely place to stay if you fancy a short break.  Fingers crossed………..
 
Some Films and TV Programmes to look out for this week – May 28th
 
Thursday 20th May:
22.05 – BBC4: Tea with Mussolini – An excellent comedy drama. A group of eccentric English and American women living in Florence during the 1930s collectively adopt a local boy (believed to be Zeffirelli himself) disowned by his father. Their happy existence is under threat as war breaks out. Starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, Lily Tomlin and Baird Wallace.
23.15 – Film 4: Paris Texas – An exceptional and outstanding drama directed by Wim Wenders. A man wanders out of the desert with no memory and returns to his home town. He tries to piece together his past and find his estranged wife and child. Starring Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell and Aurore Clement. A wonderful haunting guitar score from Ry Cooder
Friday 21st May:
19.05 – Sony Movies: Raising Arizona – A great Coen Brothers comedy. A habitual thief and his policewoman wife discover they cannot have children, so set out to kidnap one of five babies born to a local tycoon. Starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Frances McDormand.
22.40 – BBC1: The Witches of Eastwick – A great comedy drama to go to bed with. The sleepy town of Eastwick changes when 3 bored independent women have their wishes granted when a mysterious man arrives. Starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon
23.20 – BBC2: Testament of Youth – An excellent period drama based on the memoirs of writer Vera Brittain. Her fiancé and brother are sent to the front line during World War 1. A young woman gives up her studies at Oxford to follow them. She becomes a nurse, and witnesses the horrors of the conflict. Her outlook changes forever. Starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington and Taron Egerton.
Saturday 22nd May:
15.15 – Channel 5: The Glenn Miller Story – Musical biopic of the bandleader. Depicting the king of swing’s triumphs from his college days to the pinnacle of his career, before it ended when his plane disappeared in 1944. Starring James Stewart, June Allyson and Charles Drake, and featuring an appearance by Louis Armstrong as himself. Pure nostalgia and enjoyment
19.30 – BBC2: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – A truly delightful feel-good romantic drama, ideal for a Saturday evening. A literary club in Nazi occupied Guernsey invite a famous author to attend a meeting. Starring Lily James, Tom Courtenay and Katherine Parkinson.
21.00 – Film 4: Red Sparrow – An excellent spy thriller. A retired ballerina is recruited to the KGB to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Charlotte Rampling as the ‘hostess from hell!!’
23.00 – BBC2: Loving – An excellent and critically acclaimed fact-based drama. In late-1950s Virginia, interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving are targeted by the authorities and arrested, leading to a momentous legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision. Starring an Oscar-nominated Ruth Negga, with Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton and Michael Shannon.
Sunday 23rd May:
18.15 – Talking Pictures: The Day of the Jackal – An exceptionally great thriller and adaptation of Frederick’s Forsyth’s novel. A group of conspirators contracts the Jackal to assassinate President de Gaulle. Out-foxing the French police at every turn. Starring Edward Fox, Michael Lonsdale, Alan Badel, Tony Britton and Cyril Cusack. If you missed it recently
19.30 – ITV1: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Second part of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel saga. A complex plot and the introduction of more characters adds narrative richness and a deepening mythology. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston and Jude Law.
21.00 – BBC1: The Pursuit of Love – Last episode of this enjoyable series. Longing for love and obsessed with sex, Linda is on the hunt for the perfect lover. But finding Mr Right is much harder than she thought.
 
Wednesday 26th May:
21.00 – BBC2: The Black American Fight for Freedom – Fifty years on from the promise of equality and the Civil Rights Act, this documentary examines moments where America had the chance to become more equal and why that didn’t happen.
01.00 – Channel 4: Little Men – A rich, thoughtful and an absolute top quality drama. A 13-year-old boy recovering from the death of his grandfather befriends the son of a Chilean woman, who rents a dress shop from his parents. Starring Michael Barbieri, Greg Kinnear and Pauline Garcia
Thursday 27th May:
21.00 – Sony Action: Blade Runner 2049 – A great Oscar winning sci-fi thriller sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic. An android-hunter working for the LA Police Department discovers a long-buried secret, which leads him to track down former detective who’s been missing for 30 years and is linked to the case. Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas and Sylvia Hoeks.
Friday 28th May: It is a great night on BBC4 for fans of Bob Dylan to celebrate his 80th birthday
21.00 – BBC4: Don’t Look Back – A superb, intimate film diary of Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of Britain, Featuring interviews with various Sixties cult figures, including his then-girlfriend Joan Baez and poet Allen Ginsberg. Followed at 22.00 with Omnibus interview with Bob Dylan and 23.00 Arena with a recording of a live concert fro 1980
23.20 – BBC2: Effi Grey – A delightful fact-based period drama to go to bed with. A Victorian woman is trapped in a loveless marriage to a celebrated art critic. She becomes a model for a painter who her husband is promoting. She falls in love with the artist and creates a scandal by becoming the first woman to seek a divorce. Starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson.
 
Brian GB
 
Rare Blue Bee, thought to be extinct, rediscovered in Florida.
 

Membership dues
 
Eager members have been asking urgently “How do we pay into C & W Humanist funds?”
 
If you would like to pay fees by cheque, you can send it to our treasurer:
 
Adrian Davis
Flat 14 Ladbroke Hall
Ladbroke
Southam
Warwickshire
CV47 2DF           
 
Or you can pay directly by BAC to
 
Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists
 
Sort code 20 – 23 – 55
Account number 00982911
 
 
The Summer is coming and ….
 
We are fortunate to have several groups, allied to the humanist cause and responding imaginatively to lockdown and post lockdown.  Here, some of them describe what they are planning.
 
National Secular Society
 
On Tuesday 25th May at 19:30 in a zoom meeting
 
Rob Palmer from Recovering from Religion (RfR) will lead the discussion. 
 
RfR is a non-profit humanist organization which has the goal of providing hope, healing, and support for people struggling with issues of doubt and non-belief. Its passion is connecting others with support, resources, community, and most of all, hope. They have two forms of support available: peer support and professional support.
 
Rob Palmer is a volunteer for RfR involved with many aspects of peer support. He will join us to discuss why RfR’s services are so important, and share details of what RfR does to meet the needs of the community.
Rob is a retired aerospace engineer who now works for Recovering from Religion, filling a variety of roles. He is a Helpline Volunteer, Online Community Channel Moderator, a Social Host (for the weekly community Zoom sessions featuring professional presentations to the RfR community), and a member of the RfR Ambassador Program, charged with publicizing the organization. Rob is also a skeptical activist, as he is a member of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project, and he is a columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer (‘The Magazine of Science and Reason’), writing as ‘The Well-Known Skeptic.’
 
Skeptical Inquirer column: https://skepticalinquirer.org/authors/rob-palmer
 
Follow Rob on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TWKSkeptic
 
Birmingham Humanists – a real picnic!
 
So pleased to see this initiative from B’ham Humanists.
 
When the weather improves, perhaps we should follow their example.
 
Dear friend of Birmingham Humanists
 
Covid regulations have changed, allowing up to 30 people to meet outside, so we can go ahead with our next event, the picnic in Sutton Park on Sunday, 23 May at 12.30. It’ll be great to see each other in person again!
 
As numbers are limited, we need people to register in advance. So if you intend to come to the picnic, please sign up via the website at https://birminghamhumanists.org.uk/events/picnic-in-the-park. NB You will need to do this separately for each person attending. Please sign up at least 24 hours before the event.
 
We will then send out details of where to meet, along with information about parking and public transport, to everyone who has booked a place.
 
Looking forward to seeing you there, and hoping the weather will have improved by then!
 
With best wishes
 
Carolyn Sugden
 
Secretary, Birmingham Humanists
 
http://www.birminghamhumanists.org.uk
 
And from north of the border
 

Join us in Glasgow from 3 to 5 June 2022 for an international humanist weekend!
 
 The 2022 Humanists International General Assembly will take place in Glasgow (Scotland) from Friday 3rd June until Sunday 5th of June. The event will be organised in collaboration with our Member Humanist Society Scotland.

The event will take place at the Sir Charles Wilson Building which forms part of the University of Glasgow.

The weekend will feature a range of cultural and intellectual experiences, including the International Humanist Conference 2022.
 
 
THAT HAVE HAPPENED DURING MAY by Brian GB
 
The Union between England and Scotland was proclaimed on 1st May 1707 during the reign of Queen Anne (I wonder if and when the Union will be disbanded?)
The Final of the Snooker World Championship is usually played on the first Sunday and Monday in May at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield
New Zealand officially became British colony on 3rd May 1841 during the reign of Queen Victoria
On 3rd May in 1611 saw the first publication of the King James Bible
Roger Bannister became the first man to run a sub-4 minute mile on 6th May 1954 at Oxford
On 8th May 1429 Joan of Arc’s army defeated the English army at Orleans
The General strike started on 3rd May 1926 and lasted 9 days. The main Trade Unions involved were the miners, railway/transport workers, dockers and printers
In May 1921 Coco Chanel launched the scent ‘Chanel No 5’ which was destined to be “the world’s most famous”
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show opened in London on 9th May 1887. The show included the world famous markswoman Annie Oakley
Henry Vlll’s second wife Anne Boleyn was executed for treason at the Tower of London on 19th May 1536
Eleven days later on 30th May, Henry Vlll married Jane Seymour (He didn’t hang about did he?)
On 21st May 1932 Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to make the first solo flight across the Atlantic
Iconic rock and folk musician and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan will celebrate his 80th birthday on 24th May (Bob Dylan 80??? Wow I do feel old!!)
The Gilbert & Sullivan opera ‘HMS Pinafore’ opened to rave reviews at the Opera Comique, London on 25th May 1878. The opera was produced by Richard D’Oyly Carte
Ordered by Philip ll, the Spanish Armada set sail for England 28th May 1588
 
Thank you Brian GB and finally, a poem, settle down now, are you sitting comfortably? 
 
 
The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 
Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
      That is known as the Children’s Hour.
 
I hear in the chamber above me
      The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
      And voices soft and sweet.
 
From my study I see in the lamplight,
      Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
      And Edith with golden hair.
 
A whisper, and then a silence:
      Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
      To take me by surprise.
 
A sudden rush from the stairway,
      A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
      They enter my castle wall!
 
They climb up into my turret
      O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
      They seem to be everywhere.
 
They almost devour me with kisses,
      Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
      In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!
 
Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
      Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old moustache as I am
      Is not a match for you all!
 
I have you fast in my fortress,
      And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
      In the round-tower of my heart.
 
And there will I keep you forever,
      Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
      And moulder in dust away!
 
A very pleasant note to end on, thank you Audrey for the suggestion.
 
If you would like to join our 59th zoom session, at 7.30 p.m. next Wednesday 28th May, you will need a new zoom invitation, the old one will no longer work.
I will send it to you but should I forget, please demand one at:
 
rmjelley@gmail.com
 
Stay safe and if you’re out on your bike, stay dry too.
 
 
 

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