Curiosity Carnival

We went to the University Museum of Natural History, as part of Curiosity Carnival. The museum was buzzing with interested members of the public and researchers willing to share their knowledge.

The building itself is fascinating, and the permanent displays, such as the minerals which were available to be touched, and the columns, each of a different stone.

Pillar 38 at the University Museum.
Pillar 38 at the University Museum. Each pillar is made of a different stone, and the capitals are carved with accurate representations of plants and animals. Click the image for a more information.

All these features were tempting, but we tried to press on and see the special exhibits, and come back another time to see the parts we could see at any time.

Phab members engaged in discussion with one of the researchers.

We saw how the colour of our faces as seen by an Infra Red camera matches how much blood flows to different areas.

We learnt a lot about long range weather forecasting from a climate scientist who showed us the tail end of Hurricane Maria, live on the displays at

Many displays, such as the chance to compare the weight of a cow bone and an ostrich bone of similar size, were rare opportunities, and we learnt a lot about bones. Bones are made of collagen and calcium, and we could feel how a normal bone is very strong; one from which all the minerals have been removed is quite floppy and bends too easily to support any weight, while bones which have no collagen are brittle and crumble underĀ  pressure.

This could be seen as a metaphor for they way that people, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, can come together to be tougher and stronger than we are on our own.


Post Summer Holiday catch up.

It was good to get back together after the summer break to find out what we had all been doing.

Slideshow of Summer Holiday pictures

One of the highlights was Darren and Maria’s wedding. We brought back napkins and table decorations from their wedding and Kathryn baked a cake. This gave everyone an opportunity to celebrate with them.

We also, as usual, chatted a lot – being especially pleased to see some new faces, and to renew contact with people we had not seen for a while.

Wesley Memorial Church Garden Party 2017

Members of Wesley Memorial Church once again kindly baked scones and cakes, and hosted a party in the garden of one of the church families so that church and Phab members could eat and socialise. Unfortunately the weather was not as kind as last year, but the welcome was just as warm, and the cakes just as delicious.

Sheltering from the light rain in a gazebo.


Tucking into home made scones with jam and cream.


Phab is 60 !

Phab, the national charity, which Oxford Phab is affiliated to, celebrated its 60th birthday this year.

Part of the celebration was a Tea Party at Avon Tyrrell, particularly significant as Phab started in 1957, following a National Association of Youth Clubs camp where one of the participants said he wanted “Opportunity, not pity”.




The marquee, decorated for a 60th party, ready for tea.


John Corless, OBE, giving a speech, and review of Phab, past and present.

He presented awards to people who had been working with Phab for many years,

It was a great opportunity to get together with Phab people from all over the country and have a reminder of the things that other clubs are doing.

Also being back in Avon Tyrrell gave us a chance to look at the water activities which we did not have a chance to do on our holiday earlier this year, or last year, or in 2015.



Barbecue at Simon and Sarah’s

Simon and Sarah kindly invited us to a barbecue at their house. Unfortunately the warmth of the weather did not match the warmth of the welcome, and we sheltered under gazebos from the showers.

We enjoyed burgers, chicken legs, hot dogs (and vegetarian options).

If you look at the right of the picture, you may recognise the keg of beer.

It came from the Captains Day at Hinksey Heights,

and this was a chance to put it to good use.


Darren and Maria Hen and Stag party at Hinksey Heights Golf Club.

Darren and Maria, who are getting married later this year, had a combined Hen and Stag party at Hinksey Heights Golf Club.

We had an abundance of Hen and/or Stag party themed drinking straws, ice cubes, pasta ! There was also plentiful and tasty meal.

There was fancy dress – here are some of the Pink Ladies

There was singing

and presents for the bride and groom to be

We also, sadly, said farewell to Mary, who had been making us welcome at Hinksey Heights Golf Club since we started being their Captain’s charity, but is moving on to pastures new. She had put a lot of effort into making this party very special, and we hope she will stay in touch.