U3A Oliva

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June 2021

The Newsletter of the U3A in Oliva

Issue 62

From our President

Is it me or is there a feeling that we may … just may … be starting to see U3A Groups tentatively meeting again?  I paid a visit to the Pensionistas this week and the cafe area had a look of an old U3A Monthly Meeting.  Members who may not have seen each other during Lockdown were informally meeting up and socialising – always taking into account the current guidelines in relation to Covid.

I would remind you that we have a vacancy for a Tour and Events’ Organiser so if any of you would like to take on this rewarding job then please get in touch with me to discuss the role.

Have a lovely summer and should any of you wish to have a chat over a coffee, then please get in touch.


U3A Oliva President

Membership Secretary

I would like to introduce myself to the members as your new Membership Secretary and to wish everybody an enjoyable summer break before U3A activities resume in September.

The Membership Register is returning to being a separate function from the web site. This will help to keep records secure and up to date. However the web site will remain the portal for accessing all information and for submitting any changes to your personal details.

Subscriptions for the year 21/22 should be submitted between September 1st to 14th. The Webmaster will post details of our bank and Paypal account on the website from 1st September to the 14th after which time the information will be removed. The Committee have agreed that subscriptions will be reduced to 5euro due to the ongoing limited availability of some activities.

Once the register has been updated we will be issuing all members with a membership number valid until 31st August 2022. We are returning to a membership number system to aid authentication of membership as and when it may be required such as when claiming any benefits or discounts that membership offers.

I am aware that there may be members who are not familiar with or prefer not to use the internet. If you know of a member who may not be receiving our emails or accessing the website but does want to remain a member perhaps you could contact me on their behalf at membership@u3aoliva.org with a telephone contact so that I can help them remain on the register.

If you think your details are out of date please use the form with your new details so that I can amend your record.

I want to assure members that I am aware of the responsibility to maintain your information in accordance with the GDPR guidelines.

Finally, I would like to say how much I’m looking forward to working with the committee to continue making the U3A a vibrant and enjoyable asset for all members.



Group Coordinator

Hi, I’m Angela Garry, your new Group Coordinator for the U3A in Oliva.

My role is to book venues for groups and plan the timetable of sessions; update the website with information about these plus details of existing groups and potential new groups; and generally provide support to Group Leaders in running their groups. The U3A will be closing soon for the summer break, and during the next few weeks I will be meeting with several venues across the town to arrange for rooms for the start of the new U3A year in September.

If you are interested in joining a group, please use the “Contact the Leader” link on that Group’s webpage to get in touch with them direct. There’s also a list of potential new groups on the main Groups page which you can contact me about if you want to be kept informed on any of those. Plus, if you have the time, inclination, expertise / knowhow / wherewithal, you might want to become a Group Leader, in which case please do get in touch with me.

On a personal note, I moved to Oliva at the end of last year and like many of our members I am keen to boost my Spanish skills so I’ll be joining one of the Spanish groups this September and hope to see some of you there!

Bridge Club

The Bridge Group have been meeting each week to play at tables in the cafe area of the Pensionistes building. New members are always welcome – and should contact the group leader
Please note that the group doesn’t have capacity to teach beginners, so you need to already be able to play Bridge in order to join.

Photography Group

The Group met for the first time in a long while for a gentle stroll around the Oliva Pego Marshes.  As it was our first meeting there was no particular subject and members were free to photograph whatever they wanted.
Each member chose their favourite 3 photographs and put them forward to the rest of the group for voting to decide which was our “Photo of the Month”
Congratulations go to Ray Ashton, (a new group member), who won this months competition with his photo “Abandoned”
If you are interested, all of the photographs submitted can be viewed in our online gallery by following this link:  https://postimg.cc/gallery/7kfLdpQ

Card Making Group

The Card Making Group have been meeting weekly since the most recent restrictions were lifted and it was deemed safe to meet. The group have been having great fun making some beautiful and intricate cards, just a few of which are pictured here.

Lunch Club

I would like to thank all those Lunch Club Members who have joined us on a Thursday for a Menú del Día at a local restaurant in Oliva. It has been most enjoyable having your company while following the Covid-19 regulations to keep us safe during a difficult time. I also thank the restaurants that we have attended for strictly adhering to the cleanliness and spaciousness according to the current guidelines.
We had to close our Lunch Club from New Year’s Eve and only start up again in March with groups of only four allowed at a table. Now we are meeting up in groups of up to ten at a table making for a most enjoyable afternoon. 
La Dubí restaurant. Oliva pueblo.

History and Appreciation of Art

The History and Appreciation of Art group has continued very successfully this year on zoom. It is not the same as meeting, discussing and disagreeing in the real world; however, one unanticipated advantage of this novel technology is that members and friends from afar, in Spain and stuck in the UK, have been able to join in, including my sister in law in Scotland.

Knights, Winifred; The Deluge; Tate;

My ongoing trek through the diverse and diverging landscape of art history – from the deepest caves to the High Renaissance, from Medieval mosaics to Mannerist illusions, from Iconic holy images to Impressionist interpretations, during the five or six years that the group has been going – was brought up short by the shutdown on the cusp of the twentieth century and the onset of Modernism.
Rather than continue as intended with the ‘fathers of modern art’: Cézanne, van Gogh and Gauguin, I decided to put them on hold until we can get back to

Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World (1918)

reality; and take a look at a few themes and artists who have been pushed a little towards the margins by the critics clearing a broad swath for their theories and need to provide pigeonholes for their particular favourites to occupy.
So, we started off in January with a survey of the evolving forms and functions of sculpture, to which member

Laura Knight, Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring (1943)

Rob Ward contributed a professional and very informative view of the advances of artistic benchmarks in three dimensions – an area which I have somewhat overlooked. We looked at the development of English landscape painting, a genre which in its originality, from Gainsborough, Turner and Constable in their respective geniuses, influenced following generations of continental as well as

Jessica Dismorr, Martigues Market 2 (1911)

British painters. This survey climaxed with the colourful near abstractions of Spencer Gore; so the following month we explored the merits of the Camden Town Group, with its engagement with the urban landscape, to which Gore and his friends Gilman and Ginner subscribed under the watchful eye of their mentor Walter Sickert. This group, along with the Vorticists group, was disrupted by the First World War, which sadly cut short the lives of a number of promising young artists.

Frances hodgkins, Blue Barge (c.1932)

We followed then with a presentation of the Art and Poetry of the First world War. It is salutary that some of the best art and poetry of the early twentieth century, German, Italian and French as well as British, has come out of such tragic and unnecessary events. Paul Nash’s vision of dawn over a shattered and leafless battlefield, devoid of human or any sort of life, ironically titled We Are Making a New World, has been called Britain’s Guernica. This led us on to realise how many women artists held their own amongst the men, but have been rather

Eileen Agar, Ceremonial Hat for Eating Bouillabaisse

marginalised in recent years. I did a presentation of Six Women Artists who we should know more about, followed by three more in the last zoom meeting of the session. Just five of the many worthy of mention include Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970), Jessica Dismorr (1885-1939), Winifred Knights (1899-1947), Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947) and Eileen Agar (1899-1991). These and much more may be found in my illustrated notes on the History and Appreciation of Art page of the website.
A number of us managed to get together for the first meeting this year in real life at the Pensionistes. We started with a presentation comparing and contrasting seven pairs of paintings to learn to recognise subtle differences which distinguished, for instance a 17th century French landscape by Claude, and an 18th century English landscape by Gainsborough, different interiors and two modern views through a window. Intended as a bit of fun but I think we all learnt a little bit from the exercise. We followed that with a ‘show and tell’ session, with some interesting contributions. I was very impressed by Mike Pontin’s book of his photographs of bridges around the world. Afterwards, the most important part of the session, we adjourned to the bar for drinks and tapas. We have one more ‘event’ before we disperse for summer when we ‘meet to eat’ for lunch at the Pensionistes on Friday 25th June.
If this inspires anyone to join us in the Autumn when we hope to get the group up and running again then do contact me through the web page. Oh, and as anyone one knows who has read my previous contributions to the newsletter, I do rather bang on about art as if it is the most important thing in the world (which it is!) but here’s just a reminder that: LOOKING AT ART IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH, as proven by a recent Scandinavian study.

Robert Sedgeley

Flamenco Group

The Flamenco Group is looking for new members either with experience or without……….our teacher will begin with an easy start: the ‘Sevillanas’
, one of the many variants of Flamenco. She will also spend some time for teaching ‘Rumba’. The main purpose is to have fun while keeping our fitness in great condition.
For more information, please contact Anja Homburg at flamenco@u3aoliva.org.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Enjoy a beautiful summer and best wishes,
Anja Homburg
Group leader Flamenco U3A Oliva

2021-22 Subs

Subs for the year 2021 – 22 have been agreed at a reduced level of 5€. 
The subscription is payable during the first two weeks of September. Between the 1st and 14th of September there will be a link to pay via our PayPal account posted on the members page and for those that prefer to pay by bank transfer our bank details will also appear there.
So make a note in your diary for early September to visit the members page and pay your subs.

Pensionistas in August

It is possible that the bar area in the Pensionistas will stay open during August but the rest of the building is definitely closed to other activities.


Groups without leaders

The U3A only operates due to the support of it’s members. Without the efforts of the Group Leaders we have no groups.


We have at present a number of Groups which do not have a leader so they are not active. If you feel that you would like to talk about taking any of these groups over please contact either Angela Garry or myself.

Most importantly we need a Travel and Events Coordinator.

These other groups are:

Dance Latin American
Dressmaking / Sewing
Metal Detecting
Stand-up paddle boarding
Social cycling

If any of you have any special interests which you feel might be of interest to other members, please get in touch with myself or the Group Coordinator and we’ll discuss whether there might be the possibility of forming a new U3A Oliva group


The Bowls Group

The bowls group has been playing throughout this year under strict COVID guidance from the bowls association. The group has been reduced both due to a reduction in those who felt safe to play and maximum numbers allowed. So in all an average of 8 stalwarts have been playing every Monday,  playing each Monday is a change this year as we used to play every other week but due to other groups not operating my group felt weekly bowls was a good idea. For the first time it was decided that our group would challenge elcid to a friendly game which was arranged over a month ago and the result was as below.
Our last match is on Monday 28th June which is followed by a lunch after which we break for two months due to the heat and restart again in September..

 A lovely warm afternoon for our game v El Cid.
As the away team Stewart agreed no fees to be paid.
The game ended 2 rinks each although on overall shots they were the winners.


Walking Football

The Walking Football Group has now officially stopped for its summer break and we intend to start again in September, weather (heat) permitting! We re-convened in late April after the Covid restrictions were relaxed and we’ve managed to hold seven sessions since then. We’ve struggled for numbers because several members were stranded in the UK due to the crisis, and one or two others have suffered unfortunate injuries and illnesses, but a hard core of players has kept the group going.

We want to make a strong start back in the autumn and we would really like to see new players coming along. We are a sociable bunch and I think people will enjoy participating. The skill levels might not be stratospheric, but the effort is certainly put in and the matches are refereed seriously.

As the name implies, the main rule of the game is that players walk, not run, in fact running on or off the ball is penalised with a free kick. We also discourage physicality, no tackling from the back or sides is allowed. The rest of the game looks a lot like normal five-a-side football.

I recommend that new players look to their fitness, particularly if they’ve not taken regular exercise for a while. How hard can it be, I hear you say, it’s only walking. Well, two 20 minute halves of football can be quite demanding nevertheless! It’s amazing how many times new players come away with muscle strains or worse, despite us taking care to warm up the group as best we can before we start playing. My advice would be to do a bit of cycling or something similar for a few weeks before you attempt to play.

By the way, spectators are always welcome, if you’re not sure if you want to take part, you can always come along and take a look first. We play on Friday mornings at 11.00am, and we turn up 10/15 minutes earlier to sort out any admin and do a gentle warm up. The venue is the Oliva Sports Centre (Pavelló Esportiu Municipal) in Carrer de Gabriel Miró. Parking in the centre car park is plentiful and free. We play on the blue five-a-side pitch on the far side of the full size football pitch. Follow the path on the end of the car park away from reception, it’s about 100 metres walk.

We have our own Whats App group which you can join by texting me your name on 711041899. Hope to see you soon!


British Consular Drop In Clinic Info

TIE Appointments

One of the main things that came up in the meeting was around TIE appointments. Sara met the local authorities in Alicante yesterday and they confirmed the following:

·       The staff in Alicante city are specific EU Exit staff and have contracts until approximately September 2022.

·       A couple of months ago, due to a very high demand in Alicante city for appointments, the police opened up appointments in other areas of the province such as Elche, Torrevieja and Benidorm. However, this led to a reduction in demand in Alicante.

·       The police have therefore decided that whilst there is appointment availability in Alicante city they will not open up anywhere else. They will only open up appointments elsewhere if Alicante city becomes overwhelmed as it was a few months ago. This is to prevent the other offices being put under undue pressure leaving the Alicante city EU Exit staff with no work.


This is an important message – people should not wait for appointments to be available elsewhere as this will only happen if the Alicante office becomes overwhelmed. In addition, the Alicante EU Exit staff resource is finite so there is no guarantee that there will be so many appointments in a year´s time.


As you all know, it is not obligatory to exchange a green certificate for a TIE card but the Spanish authorities do recommend that British nationals make the exchange as having a TIE card will make border crossings and administrative processes simpler in Spain.


Please let us know if you are dealing with anyone with particular vulnerabilities or mobility issues as the police said they could look at these on a case by case basis.


Padron problems:

We encourage anyone who has difficulty accessing the padron to follow the internal complaints process at the town hall and if necessary, escalate to the regional government Ombudsman:

·       Comunidad Valenciana: https://www.elsindic.com/en/

·       National (also covers Murcia región): https://www.defensordelpueblo.es/en/


Visas and entry to the UK from Spain:

·       There is detailed information on Visas to Spain from the UK on the Spanish Consulate´s website in London: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Pages/Visas.aspx

·       The contact details for applications and further information can be found here: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx


Rejected applications at Extranjeria (first time applications, not exchanges from a green certificate to a TIE):

Alicante Extranjeria office advises anyone applying for residency for the first time to submit as much evidence as possible that they were living in Spain before the end of last year. They advise people who are not satisfied with the outcome of their application or their “inadmission” to follow the appropriate appeal process.

For more information and support it is advisable to consult:

·       Asociacion Babelia: https://asociacionbabelia.org/en/uk-nationals/ (Comunidad Valenciana)

·       IOM: https://spain.iom.int/es/support-british-nationals-based-spain-uknsf-0  (Murcia Region)

·       An English speaking lawyer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spain-list-of-lawyers

·       A registered gestor administrativohttps://www.consejogestores.org/en/


Babelia are gathering data on applications that have been rejected on the basis of not having enough evidence to show the applicant was living in Spain before the end of last year. If you want to share their survey please do so: https://asociacionbabelia.org/en/residency-application-rejected/


British Benevolent Fund:

The British Benevolent Fund (BBF) in Madrid are open for organisations to contact them regarding how to become one of their partner organisations. Contact details can be found on their website here: https://britishbenevolentfund.org/ I am also attaching the new application form the BBF have put together for applications on behalf of vulnerable British nationals.


Driving licences:

The only thing we can say beyond the information on our website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#driving-in-spain)  is that we are in contact with the Spanish authorities in relation to the possible extension of the June 30th date and we will provide an update as soon as we are able.  We recommend UK licence holders sign up for email alerts to the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk and follow us on social media (www.facebook.com/britsinspain)


Contacting the Consulate:

As we said in the meeting, if anyone asks for details to contact the Consulate please give them the main contact details as we are not resourced to deal with lots of general enquiries from the public, these have to be triaged by our colleagues in the contact centre:

·       Webform: www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-alicante

·       Tel: ++34 965 21 60 22


If you as an organisation are seeing an issue/trend/change or are dealing with a vulnerable person and you want to let us know or discuss it with us, please email our shared inbox which is BC.Alicante@fcdo.gov.uk You can of course always email Sara or I directly also although as Sara said in the meeting, I will be leaving the consular team at the end of August. We really value the information and insights you send us as it is very helpful to know what is going on locally to be able to discuss with local authorities if needed.


Craft Group

We are expanding our repertoire and encouraging practicing artists as well as crafters and yarners.
Anyone who would like to learn a skill or anyone who can share a skill is welcome, but we particularly like enthusiastic social members who love to chat; even if your craft / sketching or knitting skills are not so good. We have knitters, crochet, Macrame, drawing, beading, quilting, rug making, embroidery etc. If between us, we don’t have the skills, we can find out for you.
At the moment there are only a few members and we meet Monday at 11am in the Pensionista centre, Oliva. This may change in September, so if you want to join, but can’t make Monday’s let me know.
I realise that this time of year is not the best for attending a new group, but you are welcome to email me craft@u3aoliva.org to discuss your hopes or ideas for the autumn.
Last week we had a Macrame workshop to show how easy making s leaf for a display or a key ring is. If you would like to learn, please come along. Even if you don’t, pop by for a coffee and say hello. We are a very friendly group. All members welcome.
See you soon
Angela Town

Fishing Group

The group’s leader is currently in the UK and is looking to return to the area this autumn. He hopes to start up the fishing group again then if possible. In the meantime, if anyone would like to step up into the role of deputy leader for the group, please get in touch with the Group Coordinator!