Phab Southeast Fun Weekend 2017

The Fun Weekend organised by Phab Southeast in 2015 was very enjoyable, so a dozen members of Oxford Phab signed up to go again in 2017.

Friday

Taking the minibus and a car, we set off on Friday morning, hoping we might even arrive at the coast in time to see the sea before we checked into the hotel. Unfortunately the A34 was completely closed southbound, leading us to enjoy a scenic tour of  Hampshire instead, with a highlight of the services at Sutton Scotney.

Finally we arrived at the hotel, checked in, unpacked and mingled with members from other Phab clubs in the bar until it was time for dinner.

Chatting in the bar

Dinner was a buffet, with a selection of  hot dishes, and was accompanied by entertainment and followed by disco and karaoke .

Part of the buffet – before we ate.

Saturday

After a buffet breakfast, and a presentation by the CEO of Disabled Motoring UK, we split into groups for activities in the morning and afternoon with a buffet lunch in between.

Edible Christmas Crafts

In the this activity we learnt how to make a snowman, a wreath and a mug of chocolate out of marshmallows, biscuits and other edible goodies.

Edible Christmas goodies
Room full of Christmas crafters

Amazing Animals

We saw, and in some cases got close to, a range of animals.

Dinner

We got dressed up for a posh dinner.

Dinner was followed by a Disco.

 

Sunday

After an Act of Worship for anyone who wished to attend, and who had got up in time, there was a Team Building exercise, once again making things out of edible material.

This was followed by a full Sunday Lunch, with Roast Beef, Pork or Turkey, and then we had a wrap up session and all went home.

 

 

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 windy.com

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 under  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.